Border only exists in people’s minds

1 minute read


I love to observe the national border. At the national border, you may observe things suddenly change, such as religion, language, culture, habits, identity, and quality of life. I always wanted to cross the border illegally, but I am, by large, a rule-abiding person. On my recent trip to Africa, I finally had the chance to practice “illegal” border crossing without showing my identity to anyone to visit another country and back.

I crossed borders “illegally” twice. The first time is from Mauritania to Western Sahara where controlled by Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (de facto controlled by nobody). And the second time is from Senegal to Mauritania. The “illegal” border crossing is amazingly smooth. Everything is normal, just like traveling in the same country. No border inspection or boundary stone can help me realize that I was crossing the border, except on my phone’s map with GPS real-time location and some pixels showing a black borderline.

Crossing the border into Western Sahara: no border inspection or boundary stone can help me realize that I was crossing the border.
Immediately after crossing the border into Mauritania, I found a cow watching me. She must be weird why I was trying to cross the border as there is no border for her.
The only borderline I saw was some pixels forming a black line on my phone.

After the two “illegal” border crossings, I realized that the border is human-made and only exists in people’s minds. On the one hand, the border helps protect people from outside enemies. But on the other hand, the border seems to create an invisible wall in people’s minds preventing them from leaving and effectively trapping people into a single mindset. Certainly, such a border is not restrictive to the national border but also in culture, language, habit, ideology, religion, identity, morality, or even reality. Will you try to cross the border even if it is “illegal”?