Passport Ideas

This site reported how Houston customs officers lost my passport at TRAVEL WARNINGS. The message stressed how vital it is to keep your eye on this document and to have backup ID data when you travel.

Readers shared some interesting insights on this that I now pass onto to you.

“Hi Gary.  Read your passport experience with interest and dismay.  I also have to sympathize.  I had a lost passport and had to do the fast-replacement-shuffle, so I know how much trouble it can be, and I really have to sympathize.  Mine was a stopover in Hawaii, and I had to island-hop to Honolulu to get it replaced.

The interesting thing was that the Passport Office guy told me that once you have had a lost or stolen passport once, it can be much harder to get a replacement if it happens again.  It could also take significantly longer.  Thanks for the info. Doug and Judy”

This point is clear. Be careful. If customs lose your passport, the passport office may then mark you as careless….or worse!

Here us what another reader wrote:

“Gary, Sounds like a conspiracy to me. I had a student in Japan who was seriously questioned by immigration officials and made to feel like a criminal in America because she made so many trips back and forth out of this country. The U.S. immigration officials even suggested to her that some consequences may come if she does not limit her travels. What was the reason for her travels back and forth? Taking care of her grand daughter. In freedom? , Brad”

Merri and I have had customs officers mention this to us as well. They act like there is something wrong just because we travel a lot. I do not think this is a crime yet so perhaps these officials are jealous. There is a good point here. Keep your profile as low as you can. Do not be ostentatious anywhere you travel.

Many readers felt that someone in Customs stole my passport. They wonder where that passport will go? They asked how could it be used and how might this affect me? Here is what one reader shared:

“Gary, Aren’t you worried these immigration people are going to try to use or duplicate your passport for some sort of illegal purpose and cause you even more headaches? I wouldn’t have left without getting my passport if I had to scream holy hell. Bob”

Bob has a good point but I needed to get to San Antonio to speak at a seminar. Many people would have been let down had I not showed. I was concerned about the consequences of screaming too hard at a customs agent..besides it is never polite to scream.  We cannot let the shortfalls of others create shortfalls in our own actions. There are other ways to handle poor public services as you will see below. Other readers mentioned the risk of shouting at law enforcement officers as well:

“Hello Gary, You and others have mailed stories about the new regime of homeland security. I’m very surprised that the guy who shouted about getting his passport back wasn’t arrested and put into jail. I personally find it very hard to withhold comments when being ‘served’ by the ultra courteous who have a ‘—- you’ attitude under the razor thin veneer. Many of the guys who get these jobs probably have some power issues apart from being in the marginally employable ranks. It’s also nice to hear that you made lemonade from the lemons with your friends in Houston. Jay”

Other reader shared how they lost their passports also:

“Dear Gary, It is good that you relate this story. I also travel ALL the time. Whether I am in Africa, So. America, Europe, or Asia, I am NEVER treated rudely, ignored, nor like a criminal. I absolutely dislike returning to the U.S. From the time you leave the plane, someone is shouting at you to have your passports out and visible, get in this line, no cameras, no phones, and all with dogs sniffing at you as you walk down the corridors. In no other country have I experienced this.

“I also, had the same experience with a lost passport. I did have a copy of my passport, but it was NO GOOD. They don’t accept copies as proof that you had this same passport that is in their very computer!! Personal freedoms have been diminished to the point that you have no rights to challenge any authority figure, as your case shows. If they tell you that is the way it is, that is the way it is, and you pay. Citizens used to be the check on authorities. Congress used to be the check for the executive branch. Now both do what they want, and no one can deter them, even if every one knows that they are being trampled on. Thanks for being a voice crying out in the wilderness. Frank”

Let’s end with a travel tip from another experienced traveler:

“Hi Gary… What I do is have a gmail account from Google that makes searching for information a breeze. You can have up to 2.7 gigs of space. I took color scans of everything in my wallet; credit cards, passport etc. so I can always go to an internet shop and at least provide numbers and information to get any search for lost documents going. Cheers…REG”

Finally in your travels, remember to enjoy life and remember that sick societies mean that the average is sick. Do not let the incorrectness of others draw you down to their level.

Until next message, enjoy good travels and good investing. Our freedoms and global abilities are still a miracle that no past generation has ever enjoyed!

Gary

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