I am 41 years old, male, american born and raised in NY of dominican parents. My mother was born in the Dominican Republic from Lebanese parents. I've been traveling since I was 4. When I was 18 I moved to my parents homeland, Santo Domingo. I would frequently travel between Santo Domingo and Miami or NYC. Dominican authorities would always give me a hard time getting out of the country, just because they do that because of all the people that try to leave ilegally and because I didn't have a resident card from there. But getting into the US was basically just showing your passport.

I now live in Europe, in Spain. I travel between european capitals and don't really get any hassles but when I'm traveling to the US there's always an extra check, or the shoe thing.

I last traveled this past december 28th out of Philadelphia to Madrid and I set off some alarm or something after they rubbed my hands and checked for explosive residue which meant I got an extra pat down, and then was seated while my carry on luggage, laptop, and coats were thoroughly swiped and run through the machine again, They swiped my hands again and this time everything was fine which made me think if they had set off the alarm on purpose just to justify an extra search because of my appearance ( beard, brown skin, ).
In the end they were very respectful and gracious given the circumstances.

I really don't care about having to go through extra security measures even if because of my appearance it usually means that I get a little extra looking at, as long as it really is making flying safer. But if I can avoid flying altogether and take a train somewhere or drive, I prefer it, just because of all the delays and extra time specially if you're on a multi flight journey ( go through security measures 2 or 3 times on one trip depending on your route. Ouch! Ex. Madrid - Heathrow - JFK ).

I am now, which I never had been before, a little bit afraid of flying. It's either my age or all the little nagging thoughts that sometimes pop into your head that somewhere out there somebody wants to do bad things and one day you'll be unlucky and be in some train station or airport or flying when some lunatic decides to do something, anything, even just generate panic.
So, yeah, if I can drive somewhere, listening to some good music, enjoying the scenery, stopping when I want... I'll take that any day.


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