Even though it was 20 years ago, I remember my 9th grade World Geography teacher so vividly. His name was Joe Peters, originally from Clewiston, FL; "where you could sit and watch the sugar cane grow," as he would say. Mr. Peters was probably the main reason that influenced my choice to go into the Navy when I chose to go into the military 5 years later. I could remember him speaking of how the Navy allowed him to see the world, and when he looked where most of the bases were located, they were all in warm weather areas. While I was in the Navy, I got to see places like Singapore, Dubai, Canada, South America, and other places. It was great to see other cultures. But because I was on a ship, I never needed a passport do go to any of those places.
I remember growing up where, in most cases, all you needed was a driver's license to go to places like the Bahamas, Antigua, and even Mexico. But the world has changed since then. In the past two years, I personally have needed my passport more times than in the past 10 years. Why? Because of opportunities!
The reason why I speak on this today is because lately I have been casting for a photo shoot I am doing later this year outside of the U.S. In the casting process, I have come across, not only models, but also photographers who don't have passports. I've even had a close friend of mine who is a model, who almost refuses to get one. In this ever competitive environment, it is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.
If you are a model or photographer that is serious about being in this business long term, a less than $150 investment could bring you not only thousands of dollars, but a gateway to shoot at locations like nowhere else. Currently it takes about 3-4 weeks to get a passport back. The process is very simple, and you can go to almost any post office to get an application and more information.
Or you can check online here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html