Man With Largest U.S. Passport
While many of us dream of traveling the world, the truth is only one in three Americans has a passport. International travelers collect passport stamps as little badges of pride, souvenirs neatly packaged in one place to show friends, family and fellow travelers where they have been.
chris corwin, flickr
One man, however, may be the exception to this rule. "I try my best... not to get stamps," Sanjeev Midha, a 49-year-old from New Jersey told ABCNews.com. Midha, who owns a technology company, is part of an elite group of pilots, celebrities and business travelers who have reached the maximum number of pages allowed in their passport.
The news outlet first found Midha, who had two additions of 24 pages each added to his passport until it was 96 pages long. At this point, he was forced to get a new one because no more pages could be added.
"Each page was crowded, crowded, crowded. There were stamps, stamps, stamps. We travel as a family, a lot," Midha explained with modesty to ABCNews.com.
Midha reserves between $150,000 and $250,000 per year to take his wife, Sunita and their two sons, Ashim, 18, and Akhil, 16, across the world. Ashim is a recent graduate of the private Peddie School in Highstown, N.J., where Akhil is a student. The school has a six-day school week and lengthy breaks, allowing the family to hit the road and skies.
"I strongly, strongly believe in experiences. We do a little bit of sightseeing, like most people," Midha told ABCNews.com, "but we like to eat only local food, go to local people's houses for dinner and try to speak local languages as much as possible."
Midha goes on eight to 10 trips each year with his wife, one or both of his sons, or the entire family. His company has offices in Singapore and India, which he visits on business from time to time.
Last summer, the family started their vacation in Paris where they traveled through the Champagne and Burgundy regions of France. Next they headed to Switzerland, Italy and Austria before flying to Turkey, and then went to Spain just in time for the World Cup finals. After a few days traveling through Barcelona, Valencia, Toledo and Segovia they flew home for one night.
Next the family packed their bags for Asia. They flew to China and Mongolia, where they went on a safari and slept in huts in the Mongolian wilderness. After visiting Beijing, seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian, spending some time in the countryside, and then stopping by the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the family was again off to India for two weeks.
"Then we came back home, again, literally, for one day," Midha told ABCNews.com.
Next was a wedding in Toronto and then a weeklong trip to Belize.
Since there are still valid visas in his old passport, Midha must now travel with both. New passports issued after 1996 start with 20 pages reserved for stamps, and now have a maximum for 100 pages.
After visiting Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar in December, Midha will bring the number of countries he has visited to 100. His 16-year-old son, Akhil, has already been to more than 80. His passport has now reached 72 pages.
"If people were to travel more to all parts of the world," Midha told the news outlet, "there would be more camaraderie and less distrust, for more people would be getting authentic experiences, getting rich in all aspects of life, including culture, art, architecture, history, languages, science, cuisines, climates, nature and religion."
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