Taking Travel for Granted

Equals Access

U.S. Passport = Access

There are obvious hurdles in planning a RTW trip — time and money top the list.  But what if you had the resources and simply weren’t legally welcome to visit other countries?

Citizens of the U.S., Canada, Australia and the European Union generally can travel anywhere.   For our trip, no visas are needed for half of the countries we’re visiting, and a turnkey tourist visa will suffice for the other half.  That’s not the case for the majority of the world’s population.  If you remove the socio-economic barriers of travel, the simple FREEDOM to travel is not a given for many.

Take Barbara Adam’s family for example.  Barbara is an Aussie married to a Vietnamese man.  Their family resides in Saigon, where they run a popular street food tour business, http://www.saigonstreeteats.com.   Barbara is well traveled and planned a vacation to France for her family.  But try as they might, France would not grant her husband a visa, believing that he presented a risk of staying in Europe to gain a “better” life.  Read her story here: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/1451562

Or meet Mina Mahrous, a 20-something Egyptian male studying to become a pharmacist.  Mina is highly interested in seeing the world…and has been consistently turned down for visas and held to higher standards to secure visas.  He wrote an excellent blog on access to travel: http://www.somedayillbethere.com/2012/04/no-not-everyone-can-travel-a-bubble-burster/

I understand that countries need safe guards – this is not a post on the politics of immigration.  Simply, it’s recognition for yet another liberty that I have that others do not and consciousness raising for my small family that global access is currently not a freedom that everyone shares.