Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Free Advice on Traveling without Being Tracked

 Hi ladies, and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I am Anne Johnson, a happy Pagan in the Great Blue Northeast, USA. I live in a state that has not only enshrined a woman's right to body autonomy into its laws, it also stands poised to be a "sanctuary state" for anyone looking for private medical care. 

If I can toot my own horn a bit more, I'm also a woman of a certain age. What's that age, you ask? Oh, I'm not shy about it. I was a stripling of 14 when the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade.

A lot has changed since then.

The biggest change, bar none, is the cell phone. Did you know the doggone thing tracks you everywhere you go? And you would have to find someone WAY techier than me to tell you how to disable the tracking, should you need to for personal reasons.

But I can still help you. What if you took a trip and left your phone behind? Then no one could track you at all.

Scary, right?

Well, I'm here to tell you, it can be done! When I started traveling across state lines in 1974, nobody carried a phone with them. The phones were in little glass booths on the street corner. Or stuck to the wall in your house.

So. Let's suppose you want to travel from, oh, I dunno, Oklahoma to sunny Atlantic City, New Jersey, without your phone. Sounds terrifying. And I'm not gonna sugar coat it. This will not necessarily be like hopping in your car and turning on your Maps app.

First, you need to plan ahead. WAY ahead. You need to pretend that you may need a medical procedure at some point, and you need to put away cold hard cash. Don't wait until you need the money! Start now. Today. Put away as much as you can. You'll need cash for travel and for your medical procedures, and for a hotel room. In Atlantic City, most of the hotels are ridiculously expensive, but not all of them.

Second, you need a paper map of the old USA. Buy it right away and keep it handy. Then locate the nearest Greyhound bus terminal to where you live. I know, I know, Greyhound is the suckiest way to travel. But they go everywhere, and they take cash and give you a paper ticket if you ask.

If you plan way ahead, you can even enter some hypothetical destinations in Greyhound's web site and find out how much you will need for your excursion.

But how can you book a procedure in a strange hospital in a strange state? Again, ladies, you need to have an abundance of foresight. Locate the names and numbers of clinics you may some day need to visit. Write the names and numbers down on old-fashioned paper with an old-fashioned pen. Then, when you do need to call, you can buy a burner phone or borrow your best friend's phone to make the appointment.

Once you get a person on the phone to help you with the appointment, you can ask them: Where can I stay? Can someone pick me up at the Greyhound terminal? Is there any support system in place for a lady in my predicament? I'm hoping we will all be pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of aid that will flow in certain cases.

Thank goodness cash is still an option for so many ventures! When they do away with good old-fashioned dollars and cents, we will all be up Shit's Creek.

Most of us don't have a lot of ready money lying around, nor do we have easy ways to earn it. So my free advice to you, ladies, is save what you can. If you can put two bucks a day in an envelope, you'll have about $700 in a year. That takes a lot of discipline, but it's a sensible plan. 

I spent a lot of miserable hours on Greyhound buses. They are slow and stinky. But they go from A to B to Z. My free advice on Greyhound travel? Have that paper map, and pay attention to the stops! You don't want to miss your stop. (Well, in the case of Atlantic City, you won't miss the stop. It's as far as you can go on dry land.) You'll probably have to change buses a few times, though. Stay alert.

My last piece of free advice really shouldn't cost you a dime. You need to go to the board of elections and register to vote. Here's something you can freely look up on Google! You can find out just how to do it in your state. Then, once you are registered to vote, go out there and vote these monsters out of office. Bad things happen when you don't vote. Very bad things.

I hope you never need this advice. But take it from me, it is still possible to leave your phone on the shelf and take a trip somewhere. You just have to plan the old-fashioned way. Beforehand. Before you need to go anywhere.

This is what we did in 1974.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Excellent advice on how not to leave a trail of incriminating evidence, Anne. How sad that it's needed.

Nan said...

For those persons who are nervous about going totally phone-less, there is the ever popular option of the burner phone: a bottom of the line TracFone purchased with cash at Dollar General in a neighborhood or town where one does not reside, activated after one is on the bus, and then destroyed when one's journey is complete.

Also, for those residing in states such as Oklahoma, one can always follow Greeley's advice to go west. Denver, Colorado, is a mere 10 hours from Tulsa.