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My Worst Nightmare Happened At The Border

I was originally going to make this travel blogs post about my recent trip planner adventure to Florida since I already survived the long journey. Barely though. I was fine throughout my travel, right until I reached the Canada border crossing. Long story short, the border search was absolutely terrifying, and for a girl who suffers from anxiety and who is already always nervous going through the Canada border crossing, this experience may keep me far from traveling ever again. Honestly. I first want to say that I understand that it’s the official’s job at the Canada Border Crossing, and I respect that… However, I don’t find the need for the border search officials to be rude or inconsiderate for no reason. Trust me, I gave them no reason. I was very polite. So let me tell you about my horror border search.

So I pull through the Canada Border Crossing and the lady asked where I’ve been, how long, and why and how much I have to claim (Things I’ve purchased). You know, all the standard questions. I told her I’ve been in St. Pete, Florida for three months on vacation, and didn’t shop so I don’t have anything to claim. True story. She continued to rudely question me, demanding that I elaborate my travel blogs story. Well.. There was nothing to elaborate on. I was in St Pete, Florida, on vacation for three months… What more do you want me to tell you? She continued to squint her eyes at me, and rudely said to go to the Border Search as they were going to conduct a search. Sure. Not a problem.

I drive over and the male officer asks me to put my dogs on a leash, step outside of my car and stand by the hood. Not a problem. There I stood, in the blazing heat, answering questions about what I do. Well, I tried to explain that I am a freelance writer for online content such as blogs and websites, typically within the fashion and beauty niche. Again, I was asked to elaborate. Okay, so I said, companies hire me to write their website content and blogs online. Again, I was asked to elaborate…! There was nothing to elaborate on. The male official at the Canada Border Crossing had no idea what I did and continued to interrogate me about everything from my income, inheritance received from my Grandfather’s death, friends I met in Florida, drugs and guns. Yes. I was asked about guns. I am the most terrified person of guns. The male and female official at the border search completed tore apart my car. They went through my purse. Read my travel blogs diary. Read my emails that I had printed out. Read my mail. Read all my receipts… Everything. They then ransacked my suitcases, removed everything in the trunk and even analyzed the hood on my car. This all took about an hour, while I was also being questioned about absolutely everything that you could imagine. Now again, I respect that this is their job at the Canada Border Crossing and that they have to do these things, but after they quizzed me extensively, and came up with nothing, why was the rude, inconsiderate ransack of my belongings necessary even after the border search was complete? Let me tell you, my things were EVERYWHERE. My car was a tornado once they finally let me back inside of it. That wasn’t the end of my border search horror story though. The female official then came over and kind of understood what I did. I was a writer. Mind you, I don’t understand why this was important since I was on vacation in Florida. She asks my for my website, and I gave it to her, in which they took another 20 minutes for, what I assume, a google search on me. Oh, and the male official at the border search asked me who was sending me money. I was thinking “Someone was sending me money? Hell ya!” but I asked him to restate his question as I didn’t understand what he was talking about. He said my Western Credit cheque receipts for thousands of dollars. I don’t even know what Western Credit is. After I was rudely  and continuously asked about who was sending me money, and me having no idea what they’re talking about, it turned out to be the receipts for my rent that I provided to stay in Florida.

I have no criminal background. No discerning attitude, and was polite and complied with all of their demands and invasion of trip planner and my privacy. I thought that the dogs and I would be cavity searched at the Canada Border Crossing. I get it. You need to search me for whatever reason, but why was it so rude… And to read my diary? Regardless, I really don’t feel like the rude, inconsiderate-of-my-belongings kind of search was appropriate as I was polite, kind and simply trying to go home to my own country. What a nice friendly Canadian welcome home. Eventually, they said, “You can go!” I wanted to say, “Yeah, no kidding! I could have told ya that”, but instead, I thanked them and drove off. Why can’t border search officials have somewhat decency towards people who they have no reason to suspect? I am feeling very deterred from wanting to enter my own country again from traveling. I shouldn’t feel like this. Millions of Canadians go to Florida every year. Why was I questioned? I wanted to ask so it never happens again because it was terrifying, but I just wanted to get out of there at that point. I want to defend Canada and say that they’re so strict because we don’t have guns everywhere, and things that other countries have. I don’t really have an excuse for the way I was treated though, and trust me… I tried to come up with one. Everyone around me who was at the border search was treated much nicer. Long story short, I no longer had to go to the bathroom after leaving the Canada Border Crossing. It was terrifying. They make you feel guilty and totally violate your privacy. I understand its their job but why can’t the border search people be polite until they have a reason not to be? My next road trip to Florida better be my last one with that whole Canada Border Crossing speal. Terrifying. There was no reason for me to be searched… As they’re border search showed. Pooped. My. Pants.

Seeing this guy was so worth it though.

3 Responses
  • Candace
    July 11, 2013

    What an awful experience, suffering anxiety myself i don’t knkw how i would handle the situation. I think the reason why they did such an extensive search was because, you had nothing to declare. most ppl who go on vacation go shopping,so it was probably hard for them to believe that you didn’t purchase anything, so they assumed you must be a drug smuggler. Florida is a huge hub for drug smugglers. I totally get how you can go on vacation and not shop, i rarely purchase anything when i go on vacation, all my money goes towards, entertainment, food and housing…

  • Jason Copeland
    July 11, 2013

    Woah. Thats more so something you would expect going into the states since all these attacks. Not coming back to your own country. Sorry you had to go through all that.

  • […] damn you. I can’t believe this situation is making it onto the best of 2013 list. Remember the story of me coming back from my road trip to Florida, where I literally had a poopy-pants experience at […]

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