I Take It For Granted…
Last night I had a conversation with the Mexican dude who manages the building I’m living in this week.
We were sitting around a small table in his living room. Peanuts, limes, salt, and a half-finished bottle of tequila lay on the table in front of us. Hanging from the ceiling was a pair of old cowboy boots. Boots hanging from the ceiling look a little out-of-place, so I had to ask what they were doing there.
“Those are special boots.” The man said in Spanish “I’ve walked across the border four times wearing those.”
He’s never visited the USA legally or gotten a visa.
Every time he’s crossed he’s had to hide from police and pay strangers to help him sneak through. Over 11 million people have taken a similar journey. With visas for unskilled labor capped at just 5,000 per year it’s the only way for them to get in.
I don’t think about it often…
…but I’m pretty lucky to be able to point to any country on the map, buy my ticket, and go.
Your situation may be similar. Visiting foreign consulates to get a visa is annoying but it just takes a few days of waiting and you can pretty much go anywhere. (I can even visit North Korea.)
I don’t need to sneak through the desert to cross the Mexican/American border.
I didn’t need to jump through hoops to get a visa to non-Asian countries like my friends from Vietnam.
I’m not stuck living in a hostel in Turkey waiting for access to Germany like the Syrian refugees I met while traveling in Istanbul last year.
It’s an amazing opportunity, especially when compared to the curtailed freedom of mobility available to so many people around the world. It’s an opportunity I’m taking advantage of. (Maybe you want to consider doing the same?)