Vietnam to Laos: Illegal Border Crossing

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Photo of Vietnam to Laos: Illegal Border Crossing by Rishabh Dev

Because borders exist only in our minds…

My thoughts on one of my most thrilling experience, ever.

Photo of Vietnam to Laos: Illegal Border Crossing 1/5 by Rishabh Dev

Nothing to Declare...

No custom offices, no biometrics.

No stamped identities, no bags.

Just walking the earth as it was meant to be.

Without luggage, tickets or tags.

15.04.2019

It was 15th April 2019, comfortably cold early morning in Mộc Châu, Vietnam. The previous day was filled with explorations of the beautiful tea plantations of the rural paradise.

Today was still an empty book waiting to be written... Another beautiful chance to experience life anew. Another chance to live a lifetime in a day's time.

My religion is to live and die without regret. My religion is to not wait for tomorrows. My religion is to plunge into change, move with it, and to live the experience. My religion is the moment.

I always loved to watch the borders and get an immense sense of freedom in crossing them. The mindset as a global citizen cannot be tamed by the immigration checks, the wars, and the border police. This is because the mindset is stronger than the protocol.

While the society runs protocol, nomads think freedom.

9:00 AM: Begin the journey

I made my way from Moc Chau toward the Laos border - stopping on every small waterfall I found on the way and enjoying the rolling hills all the way.

11:00 AM: Rejected entry at the checkpoint

After a beautiful journey of 2 to 2:30 hours, I was at the border. I was aware this particular border was only for Vietnamese and Laos nationals but still gave it a try to enter the checkpoint.

I was rejected. It was time to head back.

Photo of Vietnam to Laos: Illegal Border Crossing 2/5 by Rishabh Dev

And then...

I was struck with an unknown feeling of freedom teasing me.

I was being invited... The forest sounded welcoming, the hills made way.

Everything made me walk - It was like a walk to freedom.

It had nothing to do with visiting the country or opposing the law.

It had everything to do with putting the mindset to practice.

As I was one with the earth - the borders erased.

12:00 PM: The trek into Laos

I traced the surrounding hills and forests for the opportunity. In around an hour, I found myself in a valley with a beautiful water stream. As I washed my face and stopped by the stream, I saw a beautiful family walking by. I looked into their eyes and knew I was there. I was in Laos.

Geographically, I was in Laos. Mentally, I was free.

I had no visas. At this moment, It was as if I didn't exist.

Photo of Vietnam to Laos: Illegal Border Crossing 3/5 by Rishabh Dev

2:00 PM: Exploring the first village of Laos

After celebrating the victory with BeerLao, I had a good meal and explored the village 'Pa Hang' until evening.

Photo of Vietnam to Laos: Illegal Border Crossing 4/5 by Rishabh Dev

5:00 PM: Entering Vietnam Again

After a few hours in Laos, I trekked my way back into Vietnam. Everything was available to me. The planet felt mine. I felt more location independent than ever.

I had experienced something so beautiful in my first illegal border crossing. I had experienced the absence of borders.

Photo of Vietnam to Laos: Illegal Border Crossing 5/5 by Rishabh Dev

I might not cross borders illegally again but I will always live with the global citizen mindset.

Remember the mindset is stronger than the protocol.

Don't follow the protocol, build your mindset.

Live free!

Nomadic Dev.

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