Not everyone loves a rubber stamp, but I’m hooked – there’s no better way to set foot on new soil than with a freshly inked passport. It sets the scene for what’s to come and sparks the inspiration.
It all starts at passport control. Homing in on the stamp-happiest attendant, I join their queue and throw them a grin, half-keen, half-expectant. I’ll then offer them my open passport, but do not leave it to chance. I ask outright, leading to various results. The inspector in Dublin gave a wry smile and said he better check my age first (the cheek), but so far only Milan has declined.
It’s not just about box-ticking destinations. There’s a lot to glean from every new addition. Seeing how countries woefully underuse or fully exploit this national branding opportunity never ceases to amaze me. Brazil, you need to have a rethink – I’ve been more excited by a franking machine. Cambodia, on the other hand, is a world champion (pictured). Make the most of passport stamps while you can – you’ve seen what they’ve done with boarding cards.