Money notwithstanding, when it comes to providing freedom, a passport offers a plethora of options. By having this funny little booklet with blank pages - you can travel the world! I think that's pretty cool.
I obtained my first passport when I was about twelve years old. I was supposed to go to Germany...but, that is a long story, so I won't digress; however, I will say that the whole process of obtaining (my horrible photo), and submitting the application made me feel so incredibly grown up. I think it's a special experience, and without even knowing exactly why, I knew that a whole other world had been opened up to me, and I wasn't wrong.
Traveling to far flung places in order to have my passport stamped is not why I go there, but it is an added bonus. It's a conversation starter, and it's something that you can add to your own "bucket list" of accomplishments. When I meet people and they ask me what I do, and I tell them that I am a travel professional with my own agency; it's amazing to me how many of them will say some of the following, "Wow, that's cool. Is it a good business? Do you get to travel all over the world? I would love to travel the world, but I don't even have a passport." I hear that phrase more than I care to think about. And of course, being in this business, my personal favorite is the individual(s) who want to go on a trip (next week or month) to an international destination, yet, they have no passport. Those are always interesting conversations, especially when you let them know how much a. a passport cost, and b. how much it will cost to be expedited. More often than not, their plans change and they travel a bit closer to home (read: within the United States).
I was fortunate growing up, in that, my parents liked to travel (primarily throughout the United States), and it provided me a chance to see a lot of diverse places while I was young; thus, increasing my thirst for travel as I got older. I guess you could say, I saw all the U.S. had to offer at a young age, so I had to branch out and travel the world! I am glad that I was provided the opportunity to obtain a passport while I was young, because to me, it's as essential as having a drivers' license.
If you don't have a passport, go apply for your own freedom.
*photo by digitalart and provided by freedigitalphotos.net