YOU CAN TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE USA!
Hello, I read a lot of depressing, discouraging stories all the time about being on the registry and wanted to let everyone know it is not ALL doom and gloom. We have choices, we can let the ‘system’ win, or make the choice to live a good life. Yes, that life would be a LOT better if the registry miraculously disappeared, but we all know that won’t happen in most of our lifetimes. So why sit and complain and worry about what you can’t do – focus on what you CAN do. In the 12 years I was in the ‘system’ I pushed the boundaries every day on living my life – PO’s hated it, but it is also how I proved to those in control I can make good choices, and in the end, was able to successfully complete the program and eventually released – but of course on the registry for life – at least for now.
Since I was released, I have just gotten back from the 7th country I have traveled to, Nepal. I spent 2.5 weeks riding my mountain bike thru the Himalayas, riding over almost 18,000′! I have always followed the rules by doing the (stupid) notification, and I hate it. For Nepal, I called the embassy and asked about if they allow RSO’s in the country, they said yes and eventually got my travel Visa. That was before the ‘notification’ from the US, and was nervous going into the country – especially since I got a call from my local PD asking for more details that Nepal requested – a few days before I left!!! They wanted more flight info and itinerary – she was nice about and understanding of my fears. For those who think they don’t know when you are flying or not without registering, they do, don’t take a chance. US Marshall’s/Interpol knows where we are all the time whether you notify or stupid enough to not, I know someone who chose to not register to the Dominican Republic and was still denied entry.
When I got into Nepal, I walked to the immigration guy, no questions, stamped my passport and I moved on thinking I was good to go, nope! As I was walking out of the airport, I heard my name announced over the PA system, heart sank. They asked me to wait for someone to come talk to me – 45 minutes later, a ‘Human Trafficking Officer’ came to talk to me. She was very nice and essentially wanted to know where I was going to be when I was there. It sucked, but it could have been a lot worse. I was mountain biking and I gave her what I had, and that was fine. After that, she even helped me find a taxi and made sure I got out of the airport safely. Understand, Nepal is a 3rd World country, chaotic is an understatement!
My trip was a lifetime experience, learned to appreciate what I have here, people are amazing, food was great and of course seeing 28000′ mountains was epic. Now the return flight fear, going thru my head is there anything on my phone, pics, etc, anything in my luggage when they search it, what questions will they ask, etc – got to the desk he said I see you claimed some food, I said, yes, some tea, spices, etc, he said, ok, and have a nice day – no search, no harassment, nada! After a 15 hour flight, I was so relieved!
Including Nepal, I have been to Iceland, Amsterdam, Switzerland, France, Czech Republic, London (yes, I was able to get into London twice on the same trip) – 7 countries, twice coming back was harassed by US customs, twice now, not. Who cares about Mexico, Canada and some others, there are dozens and dozens of countries you CAN travel to if you want to. It is easy to sit on your butt and complain and do the ‘poor me’ thing, but not for me, I lost 12 years of my life in hell and going to live the best I can now. I do not have a stamp on my passport and we’ll see if they revoke it after this, but it is on the last page, and all you need is a good passport cover, tuck the last page in and likely no one will ever see it. They care about the info page and open pages to stamp, after that, for ID etc, should not be an issue.
I hope this inspires you to pick a country, make the plans and take the chance to live – no risk no reward – they have taken so much from us, and keep trying to take more. We can still live and enjoy life, may not be easy, but not much in life is.