There are still countries you can travel to!

By Tod…

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.

  1. I’m a wife of a RSO and am looking to book our next summer family vacation. I know of the NARSOL forum where people share their travelling experiences, but is there a comprehensive, current list that shows all countries and whether entry is granted or not?
    I know about Schengen, as we’ve travelled to Europe before without any issues, but am struggling with clear answers on some Caribbean destinations.
    Thanks!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story too. I too have been blessed by being able to travel and afford to do so. Yes, getting stable work and housing is the first two huge obstacles to overcome after being released, but it is do-able. Once you over come those obstacles, then start to lead as normal a life as possible and for me that means traveling and going on vacations. Traveling overseas has not been a problem for me. Only time I have an issue is returning to the states, but for the most part it is a 15 minute 2nd screening, so just give yourself extra time if you have a connecting flight. Like I have said in previous posts, I DON’T contact foreign governments to let them know I’m coming. That is what the 21 day notice is for and that is all I give them. Once you are in a country, you just blend in with everyone else. It is not until you leave that they may raise an eyebrow, but your leaving, so too late. You already enjoyed your vacation and are heading home. I’m looking forward to the new year. I plan on going to Egypt and Italy this year. I will keep you posted.

    1. Hi my name is Albert…have you gone to Italy yet?
      Did you get in? I’m planning on taking a risk to go…
      Tell me how it go for you?

      1. Albert, I have not been to Italy since my registration requirements. However I have visited Italy many times before then. From those experiences I would not expect anything different from Italy than Germany. I do not foresee you having any issues traveling to Italy. I actually plan on making a trip there next year and I’m not even thinking twice about making travel arrangements. Just ensure that you give your registration office the required 21 day notice. Not a day earlier or a day later. The more time you give them, the more time they have to notify the country you are going to. Most of Europe does not care about this whole RSO BS.

  3. How do you afford these trips? My son is on the registry and cannot find a job, cannot get a place to live without going under the radar and having me rent a place in my name. He had a job when he was first released but was told he could not stay there because the district he was in was not where he was suppose to live once he completed his “residency” in the half-way house. So he was forced to quit the job and move to an area with very poor prospects of any kind of a job or housing. He has contacted the Federal Defender’s Office for assisstance but even though they say they will help, he has been waiting for several months for any contact. He calls them to find out where his status is and every time, he is told there is a new person taking his case, but nothing gets done.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I have plans to travel in the next couple of years and will keep your experience in mind when I begin to make plans. Yes, it can sometimes be convenient to wallow in our sorrows and misfortunes. But you have shown that it is certainly not necessary.

    Again,
    Scott

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