Friday, September 28, 2012

Locked up Abroad

No no no, don’t get me wrong. Looking at the title of the post, I am not locked up abroad. I am rather addicted to the series Locked up Abroad. :P. My favorite past time these days has been watching Locked up Abroad on National Geographic channel. Not enough of the series on TV, I had my friend download all the series and since then I am hooked to my laptop screens. 

Locked up Abroad is a British documentary featuring true stories of people who have been arrested while travelling abroad, usually for trying to smuggle illegal drugs out of a country and have received lengthy prison sentences as a result. 
It takes viewers inside firsthand accounts of capture, imprisonment and pure terror far from home. From kidnap and torture to foolish plans to smuggle drugs, this nail-biting series tells the harrowing stories of people who set out hoping for adventure or easy money, only to end up in situations beyond their worst nightmares. All the while your heart will be on your throat pounding.  It’s suspenseful. And it leaves you thinking, What if that were me?

And also, Thank God it’s not.

All the stories basically revolve around easy money through smuggle of illegal drugs. Each and every one of them are offered a vacation of their life time abroad with good amount of money at the end for exchange of bringing in little (sometimes large) amounts of cannabis, heroin, cocaine, name it.  Some have been kidnapped, some have “accidentally” swallowed condom after cocaine-filled condom, but they all face the same fate – dismal grey cells, some serious hard time, and an understandable fear of shower time. The difficulty they have to undergo at the airport security and through the customs officials are the tickets to their prison. And some even try to escape through the prisons after not being able to tolerate the prison terror. All the prison escapes tales we have read about or seen in movies turns out to be true here.

It set out a food for thought for me. It kept me thinking. How naïve we are in this part of the world. I have no idea as to what would happen if we get locked up abroad and if we do not speak the language. Especially if you love traveling, you got to be careful.  After all these episodes, it had heightened my paranoia so severely that I felt I would never leave Bhutan. Maybe I am overreacting here. :P 

It might be a night of stupidity that goes horribly wrong, a brief moment of indiscretion, a lapsed visa or a straightforward case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but whatever the circumstances, there is no doubt that being arrested or detained in a foreign country could be the most terrifying and alienating experience to ever go through.

If you want to experience the thrill and the suspense and want to know more about this series watch Locked up Abroad on NatGeo channel every Mon-Fri at 10:30 pm BST. And trust me you will learn a lot of lessons. Learn the laws of the land and stay safe.


  1. I love that show too. However, I haven't watched it since I got to Bhutan in January. It made me a little paranoid too lol. Stay Safe!

    P.S. I love the way you write.

  2. Hi Sabrina, Thank you!

    I know you must have missed the show since you got no Television Thats what I know from your stumbled across your blog yesterday and mind you, you kept me hooked to it for hours :P.

    Its so nice of you to document your live in Bhutan. I loved going through all your posts. Keep positing and keep us updated on your life in Bhutan.

    Have a nice stay and keep us cracking through your wonderful and interesting write ups.

    P.S.I was in Bumthang for 7 wonderful years studying in high school :)

  3. Thanks for stopping by and liking my pictures!

    Maria xx

  4. I love the way you write too…very readable and entertaining. I think you are on point about travelers’ naivety. I backpacked fairly young and went through Southeast Asia first. It’s a common backpackers’ route, and oh my, I saw some bad situations! I spent a lot of time in Thailand and knew many travelers who were briefly jailed, paid bribes to police, or spent money on Thailand lawyers to avoid prison. In retrospect, all of the people I knew who ended up in trouble (including myself) could’ve avoided these situations if they’d bothered to learn a little about the laws and culture of Thailand. I saw similar scenarios in Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines. There is definitely a rebellious and reckless feeling to traveling or backpacking abroad, but travelers also have to be responsible and somewhat knowledgeable about their new environments in order to protect themselves and stay out of harm’s way.

  5. I am totally gonna watch this Documentary.
    I can already sense the thrill I am going to feel while I am on it.
    I think that we don't have to die to go to Hell, we experience it on earth only.

    1. Did you see the series yet? Let me know how you feel about it :).

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