Most people probably don’t think of passports as the latest must-have travel accessory. I mean, yes, generally you must have one to travel, but its existence is based on functionality, not fashion. It’s up there with travel insurance — necessary but, frankly, pretty unexciting.
Which is odd. In all the years that passports have existed (they go waaaay back, says my good friend Wikipedia), you think they might have evolved from a standard, sombre little booklet to something a bit more visually appealing.
We take great pains to produce a decent passport photo — as nice as they can be these days with all the no-smile, mugshot-type regulations — and collect as many colourful visas and stamps as we can. Couldn’t they (the mysterious league of worldwide passport designers) jazz up the rest of the book to match?
Yep, they could. And did. Best of all, I’m proud to say it’s a fancy-pants New Zealand passport that’s had a trendy new makeover. She’s a pretty little thing. Check her out:
The cover is pretty standard, although the shiny silver fern is a snazzy addition. But it’s when you look inside that things start to get interesting.
And beautiful drawings!
In fact, every single page is different, with a detailed, delicate design crossing each spread.
Somebody clearly spent a lot of time coming up with the design of this passport, and I, for one, am impressed. I just wish that this particular passport was mine. Sadly, I’ve still got another two years with my current, old-and-unexciting number. But when I do get my hands on one of these lovelies, you can bet I’ll be flashing it about proudly to every customs official I meet.