I'm Cliff W from Minneapolis, MN (Cliff76 on the HoboTraveler talk wall).
First off I hope you heal quickly, and get some financial satisfaction for your medical bills through your efforts with Kathy Green & Jim Banks as you mentioned on the wall.
In the meantime, I have a question that I've been thinking about for a while now.
I learned a while back that when crossing borders you pretty much have no rights. They can go through your things, your electronic devices, demand your passwords to your laptop, cellphone and any email accounts they may discover. Usually something about you, be it your appearance, your attitude, where you are traveling from/to/with have something to with such searches. So now the question:
As an American who has traveled for almost 20 years, to over 107+ countries, you have made numberous border crossings.
1. Have you ever been subjected to such an invasive search or observed others going through one?
2. Do certain countries scrutinize more closely?
3. Do you think as American's we will be scrutinized more closely in the future because of some of the things our government is doing?
4. What things can we do as travelers to avoid this kind of thing? (beyond the obvious, don't be a druggie, wear politically inspired clothing, etc..)
Thank you for Andy for sharing your travel experiences with us through your blog, founding Hobotraveler as a safe place for us to learn about places & strategies, your inventions & honesty.
I'll be sending more money after the first of the year to assist you in this time of need.
May God (and the good gods) bless you and your family, and all the hobos out on the road.
Have You Experienced Invasive Search at Border Crossing into Countries?
The funny thing is that I am treated better at foreign borders where I have no rights than US borders where I have rights as a citizen. I wouldn't mind having my bags searched for customs compliance since that is part of their job, but when I get asked about things like my kids school schedule which are state laws and not federal immigration or customs laws it seems inappropriate. We are treated as criminals in order to come home to our own country! Other countries welcome us as visitors with open arms. In all situations though, I am with Andy, just be polite and don't try to stick out.