Travel to foreign lands and mixing with locals

Just wondering. Looking to travel in Central/South America, not in the ‘no-no’ places (Cuba, Venezuela, etc.) but could well come into contact with natives from those areas. How much of an issue is that?

I’m careful with people online or off to never disclose who I work for, etc. The most I say is that I work in IT as a DBA (or something similar). At this point I’m up for renewal, don’t want to do anything dumb but don’t want to be so paranoid that I ruin my vacation.

Does your organization have an Unofficial Foreign Travel (UFT) policy? You might have to file a trip report and debrief when you return.

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What do you mean by “no-no” places? Your shop may have a special policy, but U.S. citizens may (covid aside) visit Cuba and Venezuela. There is no prohibition against visiting those countries.

Travel to Cuba is legal but only under certain circumstances. Please check with your employer/agency as well as the OFAC licensing rules for US citizens.

Every agency has different rules regarding travel. Check with your security office to make sure you are in compliance.

Excellent advice. Always check with your agency/employer/security office. But still curious what the OP - who I hope is an adult - meant by a “no-no country.”

From what I’ve read elsewhere, even going through the necessary channels for approval to such places puts you on the radar and can affect clearance renewal. So being in adjacent countries and fraternizing, etc. IIRC they still require reporting any foreign people one meets. And I can understand why. I’ve seen some perfect examples of clearance holders failing to disclose ties or activities, and the consequences.

I would guess Iran, Afghanistan, Syria maybe even China and Russia could be on this list. Not that anyone can stop you from going there, but I assume you will invite a lot of scrutiny on yourself by going there.

You know, the ones the Department of State has issued a do not travel advisory to, like the OP listed Cuba, Venezuela.

Exactly. Places such as Cuba or Venezuela, both of which have plenty of neighboring countries.

And no, definitely not…nothing that would be that immoral or invoke a federal law.

It’s just that I’ve been playing ‘Simon Says’ within the DoD environment so long that I don’t look to cross invisible lines, at the same time the oversight of federal government has expanded exponentially. So at this point I want to get out of the country for a while, relax, live my life, and not feel eyes on my back. The last year and a half hasn’t been fun.