It should be so simple. It should be a case of handing over your passport and getting a stamp. Maybe you'll then have to go to another office, and get another stamp, but that's it. That's a border crossing. That's all it should take to go from one country to another.
And yet as every traveller knows, that's very rarely the case. To cross a border is to submit yourself to the will and generosity of a whole raft of people who really don't care one way or the other if you get to where you want to go. It's to queue for hours at clogged crossings. It's to grit your teeth and smile at unfriendly guards. It's to marvel at rituals both foreign and bizarre.
It's to hope – to cross fingers and toes, to be on your best behaviour and to put on your most trustworthy face – that this whole thing will work out OK, that you'll be allowed out of one country and into the next.
On this episode of Flight of Fancy, host Ben Groundwater is joined by fellow Traveller writers Ute Junker and David McGonigal to discuss the world's most memorable – and frightening – border crossings. It's all about moving from one country to the next. Tangling with customs and immigration. And hoping it all goes well…