Passport Woes with International #TeacherExchange prevent attending #EdCampChicago

Posted by on October 25, 2013

DSC00987-2000I woke up in the dark of night last night in a panic. I was scheduled to fly the next day to EdCampChicago. Very exciting. If you haven’t been to an EdCamp yet, you really must find one near you and go.

In case you haven’t read any of the other posts on this blog, my family and I are spending 2014 in Australia on an International Teaching Fellowship and have planned a layover in China for 5 days. As you can well imagine, there is all sorts of paperwork, and a couple of visa applications requiring a lot of documents: original and certified copies. Therein lay the problem. In 14 hours I was to be on a plane from Winnipeg to Chicago and it suddenly occurs to me that I mailed my passport to Ottawa to process my transit visa through China in December en route to Australia and I don’t yet have it back in my hands.


Armed with every passport I’ve ever held and every piece of government issue photo ID in my possession, both current and expired, I proceed, optimistically, to the airport check-in counter. The staff were wonderful, polite, understanding, sympathetic, and, ultimately, faithful to the letter of the law.

“I’m sorry, sir. Without a current valid passport, you cannot board the flight.”


You do a lot of stuff with your passport when preparing for a teaching exchange: numbers here, certified copies there, couriering hither and yon, and this was one occasion when I kind of lost track of it. Fortunately Delta credited me the value of the flight, and Expedia negotiated a full refund for a non-refundable hotel stay at a Howard Johnson in Chicago (thank-you, thank-you, thank-you). Net cost: $0,  anxiety: priceless.

Now I get to spend the weekend with my beautiful wife and entertaining son. Not a bad consolation.

First World Problems, for sure.

Enjoy your day, #EdCampChicago! Would love to have been there in person to meet you all. For the record, I would have submitted to a cavity search to attend #EdCampChicago, but they didn’t even give me the option!

3 Responses to Passport Woes with International #TeacherExchange prevent attending #EdCampChicago

  1. cteachr

    Awww… things happen in this business. The exchange will be worth it, for sure.

  2. milesmac

    For sure – disappointing at the moment, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s all good 🙂

  3. Joy Kirr (@JoyKirr)

    Enjoy your days with your family – you can participate in EdCamp Online today!! There are so many out in this area, so I’ll keep going to them – with a new reason – the hopes of meeting you some day! 🙂

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