Generation X and the Millennial’s are traveling much more today than any generation previously. Many travelers are afraid, therefore making us into passive idiots.
Edit October 2020: This post was originally published in May 2015, 5 years before Covid-19 Colombia even began! Think about that as you read onward.
Travelers now exist in a permanent world lifestyle, as digital nomads, carefree wanderers and over-the-road explorers. Yet too often, we submit to searches, scans and over-the-top security as passive smiley-faced drones because we have learned that it is the easiest way to get from point A to point B.
We pride ourselves on our internationally conscious mindsets even as we split hairs (lightly) with other travelers over which political party we will abide by during elections (if we are even in our home country by then). Travelers are afraid, but we are also passive idiots as a result!
Travelers are Afraid, but Passive Resistance Actually Is a Thing
I am as guilty as the rest of everything outlined above. I broke free of my financial ties to the United States and set out on a grand adventure which has resulted in me becoming a resident of Colombia
after finding my one true love. Edit 2020: Learned a lot about Colombia from that little adventure of love.
Quick note about TSA: now they are checking you with dogs not for drugs but for CASH (WTF?!). However I do mange to passively resist in ONE WAY. I ALWAYS refuse the X-Rays. The great thing about my passive resistance is I do it with a smile on my face and a peaceful exterior even if I am a bit tense on the inside. “I would like to opt-out please,” I say.
No extra comments, no fuss. This is a small example but it is a push against the ever-encroaching police state. This is the point of passive resistance. It disarms the opposition because if they make a big deal out of it then they become the bad guy.
Henry David Thoreau was an 19th century GURU of passive resistance. He said “The only way to speak the truth is to speak it lovingly.”
Travelers need to defend their rights to travel by preventing this over-obsessive push against our rights. “But it’s a legitimate concern against terrorism and drug smugglers”, we say.
Ok but have you stopped and taken the time to realize that the biggest drug smugglers are the DEA and CIA? How about the ATF? Remember that little game called “Fast and Furious“? I’m not talking about a cool movie about fast cars and hot guys made by Hollywood.
The stuff they are obsessing about in airports is small potatoes. They are trying to stop a monster by stepping on his toes rather than cut his head off. Just like the FARC in Colombia. Warfare is a business. Drug Warfare is an even bigger business. Colombia gets some nice little chunks of money from the US for their military. Do you think this will continue if there is still a drug trade and a guerilla issue? But again, I digress.
We are talking about travelers not world-politics and they are two separate issues, right?
The issue is the over-legislation in the name of “liberty, security and protection.” Travelers are going to start seeing the effects of this more and more in years to come. Jade Helm doesn’t affect us, does it? Well, it might.
If martial law is declared in the US how will that impact Americans overseas? I don’t know, but these are questions we should be asking. If cash is banned how much of a headache is it going to be for travelers to enter a foreign country, find a bank that works with our debit card, pay for things and stay secure?
Cash is the easiest way to travel because we can buy cool artsy stuff at roadsides, pay for food quickly when we are on the run (don’t tell me you haven’t been held up at a restaurant because your debit card was never declined), and make spur of the moment decisions. Especially in the third world there are many businesses who don’t accept cards, and they are usually cheaper for those who travel on a budget.
The point is that travelers as a whole tend to be very multicultural, flexible and environmentally conscious. However sometimes we bend too much.
How can you support Obama or Hillary but in the same breath say that GMO’s are bad? How can you declare your religious neutrality (not a bad thing) but not speak out against religious persecution whether it be against Muslim or Christians?
I’m not saying that Democrats are the bad guys here either, the infamous Bush family had ancestors who were avid supporters of the Nazi party and own plenty of oil interests in the middle east. Sarah Palin, well she was just a disaster. Ron Paul’s son Rand is every bit the neocon that any other modern day Republican tends to be.
This isn’t the time to square off against political parties but rather political ideals and machines that are destroying the world.
In conclusion, travelers are a beautiful disaster as we search for ourselves in foreign cultures, cuisines, and adventures. Our photos inspire future generations of travelers even as we share our knowledge and experience with each other. We become better, more well-rounded people through experience as we overcome preconceived notions through hands-on interaction.
However, sometimes we stay so neutral, so politically correct and spineless. We are idiots who look for the next great picture, party or experience while ignoring the issues going on around us. If we do participate in issues it is with an apologetic air of politeness that makes us feel good but keeps us aloof from the root problems.
Hopefully by now you are asking “what do you expect me to do about it?” The truth is that I don’t know the answers, but I am searching for them. I don’t know the root of every issue but I am investigating.
In a future post I will discuss more of the concepts of civil disobedience and ways that travelers can protect their liberty and sovereignty. Input is always welcome to keep the conversation going and hopefully inspire deeper thought, prayer and meditation. Stay safe. Be peaceful.