11 March 2011

Privacy and Travel

Keeping some things about ourselves private is a good idea, and it is a theme I often mention when writing my four blogs.

Can anyone in the world easily find your real name and home address?

Can anyone in the world find your telephone number or your date of birth?

Do you reveal your whereabouts to anyone who might be interested in relieving you of your three-dimensional goods and financial assets?

How secure is your identity?

Who knows when and where you 
will be going on your next travels?

One of the problems with travel is that we give quite a large amount of information about ourselves to quite a lot of people, most of whom are strangers.  Information about us is put on government databases when we enter and exit a country.  Personal details about us are likely to be on the databases of airline, hotel, car hire, bus, boat and tour companies.

Your travel bookings may have necessitated the use of credit cards, debit cards, international money transfers, and cheques, all provided to you through financial institutions - with your personal details in their databases.

If you own some accommodation, or at least have a mortgage that you are somehow managing to pay, or even if you have been able to rent somewhere for a reasonable price on fairly a permanent basis, then it might be a place you call "home".  How secure is that home when you are not there?  Do you hide personal documents and precious items before you go away?

If you have somewhere safe to keep most of your three-dimensional belongings when you travel, so that you do not have to carry everything with you, then you are probably a lucky person.  If you have never had many three-dimensional belongings in the first place, or some or all of them have been stolen or destroyed, then you are probably quite unlucky.

How to really "get away from it all" 

Luck may have something to do with where we are in the world at a particular moment, as can our feeling of being unlucky.  But how can we avoid misfortune and become more fortunate?  We can begin, of course, by being careful.  Who knows where you usually live, and when you may or may not be there?

The best way to "get away from it all" is to quietly decrease the aspects of life that you want to escape from in the first place.  Avoiding problems  might include mentioning your concerns about privacy to others, especially an indiscreet neighbour, colleague, friend or relative (who may even have mentioned your activities in their blog or online social network).  You may even wish to show them this blog post.

Why is travel an important part of your identity?  And how do you protect your identity?

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