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Old 20-12-2010, 10:06   #16
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Thanks that's really useful. I suppose that will be fine with careful planning but a bit annoying for thinks like whey protein powder that I can't get cheaply everywhere. Do they let you keep a supply of grains like rice and oats?
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:36   #17
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OK. This touches a nerve for me as well.

As I have simplified my life, the "organized world" does not know what to do with me, and it starts to feel that my simplification can be a complication. I can't be the only one who has bumped up against the feeling.

Not maintaining a residence in my "original" country (as opposed to home country. I mean, I have no home there, right?) can confuse matters. But with the non-US citizen wife (Indonesian) there are places that make it tough. A part of that is Post 911 Debris that isn't going away anytime soon. We were married before 911, and I can tell you that there is a difference.

So this community isn't all made up of couples from the same country. I've thrown this out here before, but not much came back.

I'm FROM one corner of the world.
I live on my boat, which is currently in dry storage in another corner of the world.
I am currently in my wifes original corner of the world.

When I wrap up here, I'd certainly love to take my wife back to the boat in Mexico. Mexico, where I can step off a plane and get a "visa upon arrival" has already told me that they would just deport her with the next flight out if she doesn't have a visa.

You DO have to jump thru some hoops if you have a situation like mine or the OPs. Before 911, she was with me, a US citizen and that was good enough. Now, no cigar.

Had her with me in Austraila. We started our trip back to the boat in Mexico. In the airport in Brisbane I was told that she had to have a Mexican visa. When I told the ticket agent that Mexico was "visa upon arrival", the young girl said that I would need to buy a 100% refundable "visa ticket"..... $6,400. I ran over and threw down a couple of credit cards and got her on the plane.

But wait !!!, there's more!!

Just changing planes in the US.... not gonna happen without a visa. They seperated us for 5 hours before finally giving her a "transit visa". But not until US immigrations had fined the Ozzie airline $2,000 for letting my wife on the plane.

Then we made our way over to the Mexican ailine counter to re-book for the next day. We checked into a nice hotel because we wanted to be nice to ourselves. So a wad of cash later we got back to the Mexican airline check in counter and I found out how the "visa ticket" works. My $6,400 ticket would be used to fly her out. I would loose my wife and $6,400 on the spot if she didn't have a visa.

We had to split again for a while. She went back to Indonesia, I accepted an assignment in the Middle East. Another year later before we could get together again.

OK, so I didn't do the homework. Point is, there is homework. In my American arrogance I just figured it was like the old days. Duh.

So depending upon your situation, there can be red tape. And it can be discouraging.
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:49   #18
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Whenever you ask for or are given one's opinion/experience on crusing be very very sure to determine IF the accounts were pre or post 9-11...

Things changed overnight...
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:50   #19
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So depending upon your situation, there can be red tape. And it can be discouraging.
Just out of curiosity - does you being married to a local give you a straightforward Indonesian residency / working visas? for self - boat?
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:54   #20
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LOL..Red tape...Puts me off the treadmill rat race...DMV, City, County State, Federal, Corporate BS..over commercialized society we live in...

I can deal with customs, immigration and whatever other BS..just to not have all that crap in my face every day...can't wait!
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:22   #21
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Just out of curiosity - does you being married to a local give you a straightforward Indonesian residency / working visas? for self - boat?
Short answer. No. But there's some opinion in that answer. There might be some more options, but "straightforward" is not a description one uses in Indonesia very much.

One attitude I find in the US that makes me want to cry is "I thought if you were married that she could be a US citizen automatically".?? uhh, no.
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:28   #22
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LOL..Red tape...Puts me off the treadmill rat race...DMV, City, County State, Federal, Corporate BS..over commercialized society we live in...

I can deal with customs, immigration and whatever other BS..just to not have all that crap in my face every day...can't wait!
I think you're missing something here.

Yes, some of it goes away. And maybe it won't be in your face everyday. But some of it is complicated by the lack of access. Still worth it, but it takes a while to sort it out. Still sorting here.
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:36   #23
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I was like you Thames for a long time, just doing my research online and books.. I've been talking with and assisting sailors/cruisers for years and love to hear their personal experiences and stories.. It usually differs greatly from the news/internet...

There's a quote from one of the cruisers on this forum that basically states, the worst day on your boat is much better then your best day on land.. That's the attitude I have. I think like everyone said, it's all a state of mind.. If you expect the worst, you may get it.. Just enjoy it and everyone will enjoy it with you...

Good luck regardless!!
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Old 20-12-2010, 16:36   #24
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You will also face compulsory insurance in some places. Maxing Out - you may be a little out of date, things have definitely deteriorated in recent times.

That said I also agree with those who say deal with it, be polite and respectful etc and most problems won't happen
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Old 20-12-2010, 16:52   #25
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I find that most folks give what they get, so I always give nice.
Going by the name Rolf calls himself (Rotten), if he can give nice then it should be easy for the rest of us .
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Old 20-12-2010, 18:32   #26
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I have lived and travelled overseas as an expat since I was 9 years old. After almost 5 decades of regularly dealing with customs officials it is still the case that by far my worst experiences have been in the USA. Other places are bureaucratic or expensive but the officials were always nice to me if I was nice to them and willing to help me figure out their process if it was clear that I was making a good faith effort to do the right thing according to their rules. That is also true in the US most of the time but twice I have had a real s.o.b. rake me over the coals and give me a really hard time including invasive body searches for no apparent reason ( both times before 9/11). I am in the Caribbean right now and as far as I can tell the officials are very very relaxed about the rules. They are always pleasant and helpful.
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Old 20-12-2010, 22:54   #27
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Thumbs up

Thanks everyone, I do feel somewhat relieved to hear that in practise things are a bit more relaxed if you show respect where it's due and make careful plans. I've been reading many countries' regulations for two days now and it's too much to bear. But in reality I'd spend a few weeks cruising one place and have plenty of time to read up and prepare for the next. Not to mention my first few years learning cruising should be in the European Union virtually free of red tape (I hope).

Interestingly, I ran some Google searches:
  • 53% of the millions of results for 'backpacking camping' also had the word 'immigration' on the same page whereas only
  • 15% of the millions of results for 'cruising sailing' had the word 'immigration' on the same page
And some countries won't let you bring in your tent, bicycle or even shoes if there's a speck of foreign soil on them. So clearly yachting folks are not the only people to suffer. I suppose if you want to keep life really simple you join a hippie commune out in the sticks of your own country and just stay put. Tempting. But if you want to travel the world legally, whatever means you choose you have to accept some inconveniences. After all customs & immigration are for the benefit of the people you are visiting. Aren't they?
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Old 20-12-2010, 23:09   #28
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After all customs & immigration are for the benefit of the people you are visiting. Aren't they?

I sometimes wonder about that.... especially when I hear the 'natives' complaining about them louder than me.. but then I would be quieter.. I can be 'deported'.....
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Old 20-12-2010, 23:53   #29
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In our sailing voyage around the world, I never found the requirements for entry into any country to be onerous. Even entering into Egypt wasn't that big of a deal. There were 40 pages of stuff that needed to be filled out, but for a small amount of money, a local person happily filled it out. We never gave a person a bribe anywhere in the world. We never tipped officials who expedited our passage. We sailed twice to Australia without a problem.

When I get close to a new destination, I routinely heave to until daylight. If a country has expensive penalties for arriving on the weekend, I simply slow down and smell the roses rather than sail like a bat out of hell which would make me arrive at the wrong time.

Overall, we have found that entering and leaving foreign countries to be a relatively easy and uncomplicated procedure frequently requiring less than an hour of interaction with officials of the country. We also smile a great deal and say nice things about their country, and usually about an hour later all of the entry/exit procedures are finished.

I don't look for problems or anticipate that entry or exit will be a big deal, and that's the way things usually turn out.

I don't focus on the negative things that people say about particular destinations. Many of their negative experiences are related to their attitude and aggressive stance that they pursue in their interactions with officials.

I have driven Land Rover Defenders from the Iraqi border to the Yemeni border, and I have had a uniformly pleasant adventure traveling in the Arabian sands - authorities have always treated me with respect.

I sailed around the world on my catamaran over an eleven year period, and my interactions with officials have always been positive and helpful. That includes officials in Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, and Egypt during our trip up the Red Sea. I sailed twice to New Zealand and twice to Australia, and our interactions with officials were always positive.

The cruising world where I live is different from the one described in many negative blogs and commentaries. Maybe I am just a lucky person.
I think your summation is pretty accurate and I would highlight the attitude angle. Nothing gets officials offside more than being told that their country does it differently and their countries ways are superior etc etc.
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Old 21-12-2010, 00:58   #30
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Well, you could always stay at home or go by plane.
Not much bureaucracy there is there?

You will still have problems with your foreign gf.
You still have to hold a drivers licence, insurance for your car, pay rent or mortgage, phone bills, internet bills, licences qualifications for the type of job you do.

you will still need a valid passport for traveling o/s. Have visas for travelling o/s.

you will have the "will it crash" moments as the plane takes off and lands. Motel hotel bills. Bus time tables, train timetables, Taxi drivers that dont speak your language. Late planes. Lost luggage. plane food. Missed connections

Hopefully the idea of cruising is starting to look better to you now.
Dont kill the dream on a handfull of what ifs. Besides if you visit someone elses country and dont like it. Do as the rednecks say.. Leave!

Cheers
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