So That’s What a Passport Smells Like

Today, for the first time in my life, I purchased airline tickets. I took a helicopter tour in Gatlinburg once, but I’ve never flown in a plane. And wouldn’t you know it? My first trip on the wing will be international. In September, I’m flying to Toronto for the Steem Creators Conference and SMT Summit. This requires a passport. So also for the first time in my life, I applied for one.

I received it just over a week after I applied. This surprised me. Yes, I’d expedited it, but still. That was fast. My photo is horrific. But I can be identified by it, so I guess it serves its purpose.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit how much time I spent sniffing this passport of mine. It smells like ink and new plastic, with a bit of paper essence thrown in for good measure.I like the stiffness of the pages and texture of the ID portion. Most of all, I like how important it feels. I have a passport! More to the point, I have a need for a passport. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be traveling out of the country. Steem has impacted my life in some very unexpected ways. 

These trips I’m planning–to Toronto and then to Krakow, Poland for Steemfest–will be fun, but they’re not for pleasure. These are no vacations. This is business. As part of Steem witness team @noblewitness, much of the networking and public relations falls on the shoulders of @GMuxx and me. Not that other team members aren’t capable, but their wheelhouse is tech. I’m honored and humbled to be able to speak for us in Canada and Poland.

I’m also co-admin of a large and active writing group on Discord. We’ve seen a great need for a front-end interface to the blockchain that showcases the very best talent in the Steemiverse. This, combined with our plans to launch the first crypto-backed publishing house in the mainstream industry, drew the attention of a skilled and innovative developer who will help us achieve these goals.

As visible as these projects are, it would be ill-advised to shirk the responsibility of sharing our ideas with investors and potential users of our site. So I’m going. Though part of me feels unprepared to stand before hundreds of people and explain how we’re doing our part to revolutionize the Web, I appreciate the fact that at this moment, our team is the sole proprietor of a startup that could change small press forever. I’m committed enough to overcome my fear of flying, board a jet, and travel to places I swore I’d never go. Purchasing those airline tickets was a rite of passage for me. Receiving the passport marked the end of an era and the beginning of a journey I never thought I’d take. A year from now, I hope I can look back on this pivotal moment in time and remember how my ragged passport smelled when it was new. I may never see this kind of opportunity again.