Passport stamps are fun and borders quite a rush, but many of you could do without the hassle of travel visas. When I asked last month if traveling would be less fun without borders, it turns out much of it depends on the ease of the crossing.
Whether it’s the cost of time to go through border control or the pressure of extortion, many of you would probably have more fun counting places without an involved process.
- Turkey’s For Life: “I quite like them on a superficial level. In an ideal world, everyone would be free to come and go as they please. No borders, visas…we’re allowed to dream.”
- Linguist In Waiting: “I actually would prefer that there would be no borders. I know why they exist, and I also know that if the borders were to disappear, we’d see a big wave of migration, since living conditions in our planet are not the same everywhere. But as a Filipino citizen, my passport doesn’t allow easy travel and most of the time, I need a visa to go to places. That is just a hassle. Why do I have to pay $85 for a Schengen visa when an American citizen doesn’t need it?”
- Ayngelina: “When my passport was stole in Vietnam the one thing I missed the most was the big communist visa sticker. Sigh, I guess I’ll just have to go back!”
- Kirstin: “One of my biggest travel dreams is visiting Samarkand and Bukhara in Uzbekistan, and as an American, I would sure love it if there weren’t any sketchy Uzbek border guards (and hefty bribes) preventing me from my dream!”
- Priyank: “I do secretly enjoy looking at my colorful passport with all the visas in it. The fact that I cannot go anywhere on a whim (having an Indian passport) makes things challenging, which I don’t mind because then it feels like I have worked hard for the holiday.”
- Gourmantic: “It’s not only great to see the proof and collect these stamps, but they serve as a memory jogger of the dates we traveled to certain countries.”
- Phil: “Interesting question, but one that I realize I do not need to spend much time thinking about…Most of my traveling is in Africa where borders are a nightmare.”
- Barbara Weibel: “Although it’s nice to get that new stamp in my passport, I don’t think the lack of borders would make the least dent in the fun of traveling. For me it’s all about the people I meet, and culture varies widely, even within a single country. In some places, I only need cross a street to enter a new world; for me that’s the fun of travel.”
There are some other benefits of official boundaries, like cheesy pictures as Annie points out, and many wonderful stories from border crossings around the world in the comments of that previous post. The stories from some experienced travelers like Akila, Justin Morris, Fabio, and JoAnne, might have you changing your border tune – or at least seeing it in a new light.
[photos by: Xaiozhuli (Brazil Uruguay border crossing), the queen of subtle (passport stamps), DTrigger05 (Main Street panorama)]
interesting perspective… yeah i guess it would be less challenging to visit a place if it becomes so easy to enter… but then again i would prefer it to be that way so more people could see all these amazing places…
Kinda goes with the discussion we had on the Facebook page – why not just have universal travel visa rules…?
I agree, it depends on the ease of crossing. I must say that I really enjoy traveling in Europe.
Not needing a visa for every country you visit makes it so much easier, and cheaper!
I can’t stand paying for travel visas, I mean by visiting, doesn’t that already guarantee we’ll spend in the country?
Anil, this is an interesting question. As a traveler, it is fun to get the stamps in the passports. However, certain destinations are hard to get into because of conflict. I think of this question in terms of the Middle East or India and Pakistan. If never of those places had borders, I think that would be a wonderful thing. The sad thing is we will always have borders because they define our differences and conflicts. As a traveler, I like borders. Looking at it from a world point of view, I think it defines the separation we have as human beings. I respect borders and love the diversity in this world. If only we could be diverse and at peace at the same time.
Well said and I agree. Though while some places have hard borders, there’s the EU system which makes me hopeful such a large open-border area might pop up in some other part of the world.
Well the only problem with the EU is it greatly cuts down on the number of stamps you get in your passports. From that perspective, borders are bad! 🙂
Interesting mix of responses, as varied as travel styles. Thanks for the mention 🙂
My pleasure 🙂 Maybe a foodie map would be something else to count. Have you eaten X in X…it sounded like a better idea before I wrote it 😛
Definitely not! borders make countries and countries are what I tick off my list!
…but no visas right?
I like borders if this means counting the number of countries we’ve been to, but visa applications are extremely annoying!
Hypothetical question for you then – suppose a country you’ve already visited broken in half, into two separate countries. You’ve only visited the north part when it was one entity, do you make a trip now to the south?
Just curious to hear your thoughts!
I would say yes, new reigeme can only mean alot of change has happened right? Sudan is a good example of a recent one. however i doubt id want to actually cross at the new boarder overland, as tension would likely be high!
So longing to visit the two Koreas (Much more so the North) before the opposite happens and they become reunified
A very good point – (two actually, though I’m not sure how difficult the land crossing is right now.)
As for Korea, I think reunification is a long way off but travel to the north is becoming somewhat easier and a bit more accepted by the government there.