On Travel: Which Passport Is The Best?

I just saw the new Beauty and the Beast adaptation with Emma Watson, and I have to say that it was a great adaptation of the original. In the new version, some elements were added to give new life to an old story. Among these was a magical book that the Beast allows Belle to use in order to travel anywhere in the world that she desires. So naturally, as I was admiring Disney’s newest film, I asked myself, “If I could visit any place in the world, where would I visit?” But before I could even answer my own question, another thought occurred to me: the nationality of a traveler affects their ability to travel internationally. So, instead of perusing the web for Beauty and the Beast fan theories, I researched various passports from around the globe. This is what I found.

Americans, though we like to think we are the best at just about everything, do not have the world’s best passport. In fact, we don’t even have the second best, or third even. America is ranked by Passport Index as having the world’s fourth most powerful passport, tied with eight other nations. The Passport Index ranks passports by how many other nations it can visit visa-free. The world’s best passport belongs to the Germans, with their ability to travel to 160 nations without visa.  So, if a young girl in Germany just saw Die Schone und das Biest, it is her that has the most travel potential.

What does this mean on a bigger scale? It means nationalism from decades and centuries ago still affects our lives in a meaningful way today. There is a reason Americans cannot visit Pakistan or Iran without visa, or why Colombians need a visa to travel to Costa Rica but Mexicans do not. That reason is tension. That reason is the existence of allies and enemies. That reason is our inability to forget the past and look forward on a global scale. We should be gazing in that direction, aspiring to one day be global citizens and not consider a fantasy trip to be fantasy at all. We should be one.



2 thoughts on “On Travel: Which Passport Is The Best?

  1. I think that we mentioned this in class, so I’m glad that you bothered to look it up instead of me. I like your writing style, I was interested in what you had to say for the entire post. And that’s saying something, I’ve looked through a bunch and yours is the first one I’ve bothered to comment on in a while. Beauty and the Beast was pretty good, and, seeing as how Passport Index has France listed as the Number 3 best passport, Belle is gonna be able to go to a lot of countries. You know, with that magic book that can let you teleport. Which the movie never brought up again. Even when the castle was being attacked. The book that Belle never used to try to escape or to help her father. And if she had brought it with her she could have used it to teleport at any time. And if the beast had used it, he could have searched across the globe looking for a cure to his spell, teleporting out of there should he ever frighten to locals. That book was just there to show what happened to Belle’s mother while at the same time bringing up so many plot holes…

    Good post, by the way.


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