flashback friday replay: i got deported.

by Janetha on October 5, 2012

in flashback

okay, so you guys REALLY want to know what happened with my whole getting deported from canada thing. i received comments, emails, a few ask me anything inquiries, and numerous searches for “deportation” in my search box.

i realize most of you didn’t read my blog back in the day, when i did flashback friday EVERY SINGLE FRIDAY. i think maybe it would be a good idea to replay (err.. repost?) some of those flashbacks. i posted about getting deported back on january 29, 2010. sorry if you are a longtime reader and already know the story. come back later for something new! and for all of you who have wondered… here’s the story!

first off, one of the ask me anything questions was What happened on July 10, 2003?

well, i got pulled over. and i had things in my car i should not have had in my car. and i had been drinking. and i was twenty. and it wasn’t a pretty outcome, but hey.. it happened. this experience is the epitome of the phrase “live and learn.”

and now, the story about canada.

february 2, 2007 i was deported from canada.

this flashback friday will not have many photos, as i have lost lots of my files due to computer crashes over the years.. but i wanted to share the story!  i am still trying to look back on it and laugh~ turns out 3 years 5 years and some change is still not long enough.

when i lived in london i made friends with a bunch of austrailians.  one particular aussie i befriended was lachy.  he and i became super good friends.  when he decided to spend a season in big white (a ski resort in kelowna, british columbia, canada) i decided i had to go pay him a visit!

i planned to go to big white for 10 days and snowboard my face off and hang out with lachy and just have a baller time.  some of my friends originally said they would go along with me, but when it came down to it~ i went alone.  that was fine, i like to travel and don’t mind traveling alone. as long as i can get into the country i am going to.

i first flew to seattle and got there in the afternoon on the 2nd of february.  unfortunately, my flight to canada was canceled due to the weather. strike one.  i had to just hang out in the airport for a few hours.  i decided to go get something to eat.. and then i realized that my debit card was missing.  ugh. strike two.  i had no idea where it was! i figured it had just fallen out of my pocket somehow.  this was the story of my life. i once lost my debit card seven times over the course of six months! not exaggerating. i currently don’t have a debit card because i don’t want to lose it. i do have a debit card now, but don’t lose it nearly as often. yay for breaking bad habits. although the number DID get stolen and we had to replace our cards about a week ago…

SO~ anyway.. a second flight was canceled and i was stuck at the airport for what seemed like centuries.  i finally was able to snag a flight into kelowna and was ecstatic!  i got into canada around 9:30 PM.  the kelowna airport is probably the tiniest airport on the planet. so small.

one by one we all picked up our bags.  the only people at the little airport were the workers and then the people who were with me on the plane.  one by one we went through the customs line to show our passports.  and i was pulled aside.

i was put into a room. by myself.

i started to panic.

there was lots of talk behind closed doors and i had no idea what was going on. after QUITE some time, they came to talk to me.  everyone had gone on their merry way.  i was the only one left.  i burst into tears~ i had no idea why they pulled me aside.

freaking out.

they started questioning me about my past.  asking if i had any criminal charges.  yes, i told them, i did have charges from when i was 20.. from july of 2003.  i had taken care of them and my name was clear…

in the united states.

apparently you cannot have any type of charges on your record for FIVE years before trying to go to canada. say what?! i had no flipping clue!

so they told me i was getting deported. i won’t go into the details (oh and don’t ask what my charges from 2003 were) but lets just say a lot of tears were shed and i basically thought my life was ending. 

strike three, i was out.

they gave me three options, since there were no flights going back to seattle that night:

  • stay the night in the airport
  • stay the night IN JAIL
  • have lachy pick me up, hang out with him for the night and come back the next morning to fly out

well obviously i decided to stay the night in jail.

hah. psyche!  i had lachy come pick me up so we could spend a little, tiny bit of time together.

what really chapped my hide was the fact that they wouldn’t let me into the country for ten days to snowboard~ but they would let me in for the night.  as far as concepts and principles go, i would have rather they made me stay in the airport or jail! but of course i was grateful that i got to see lachy and hang out for the short time i had.

oh and P.S. i dunno what was wrong with the exposure on my camera. all the photos are super white.

lachy and his friends picked me up~


i hadn’t seen him for five years!!

we went to the hostel he was living.. where i had paid for nine non refundable nights.. ugh..


we went out to a bar~


and gallivanted around the town until the wee hours of the morning. i had to get my money’s worth! i mean.. i spent a few grand on a trip i wasn’t going to be able to take.

we slept for a few hours and then headed to the mountain.  i had purchased a snowboarding pass from some girl for $200.. and i was able to take three runs.  those were very, very expensive runs!

on the lift~

in the lodge, having a meat pie because lachy said i HAD to try one.. haha..


and then it was back to the airport to fly home :(


i’d been crying my little eyes out.

i ended up coming back to the SLC and took the time off from work even though i had been deported.  i spent the time snowboarding at my local resorts.. sigh.. not as epic as canada would have been!

here are some photos from the days i spent in SLC when i was supposed to be in canada~



went out with friends

IMG_0228 IMG_0237

kissed cats


balanced on boards


loved up on <3 mable <3 RIP


sigh. tried to live it up in the SLC but i was really just depressed about getting deported!

and NOW.. i don’t know how to get allowed back into the country. apparently once you’ve been deported you have to jump through all sorts of hoops to be allowed in.  if anyone has an in at the canadian embassy~ let me know!

well folks. there you have it! my biggest travel debacle ever! hope you enjoyed the story.

and i also hope you have a fun-filled weekend! i am off to the metric show tonight. they are allowed into canada. they live there!


1. do you have any travel horror stories?

2. what’s one of your biggest regrets?

xo. janetha g.

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Brittany @Berries and Barbells October 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

No crazy travel stories quite like that but I did have to wait in an airport for 8 hours one time!

elise October 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm

wow. that first question was insanely specific. kinda creeps me out that someone knew that info about you…but yeah…live and learn.

love ya j money!!!

sofia October 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm

JANETHA! how are you?! i remember you telling me about this. nuts!! anthony and i were *almost* gonna be in SLC this winter, but instead are gonna be in colorado. close, but not quite. miss ya! hope things are good.

Neil October 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Awesome story. Singing, “BREAKIN THE LAW!” by Judas Priest for you! You a bad mamma jamma!

Remind me to tell you about the lady I killed in Phoenix … Actually, she might have lived. Hope she did …

Chloe October 5, 2012 at 9:44 pm

i’m pretty sure the key is to not have any DRINKING AND DRIVING charges on your record. so yeah, i don’t really think that stating any charges whatsoever is correct since obviously drinking & driving is a much bigger offense than most.

Janetha October 6, 2012 at 8:45 am

Actually I didn’t have a DUI offense on my record. I didn’t get a drinking and driving ticket. And furthermore, you cannot have ANY criminal charges for 5 years. My friend was deported for a very minor misdemeanor.

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 6, 2012 at 7:17 am

Wow, I can’t believe that story – crazy!

Life's a Bowl October 6, 2012 at 7:40 am

Oye! I’ve never been deported but I have had travel troubles- worst was when I was trying to get home from college for Christmas break and my flight was cancelled, delayed, cancelled, delayed, rescheduled, and then finally cancelled again. I hopped onto a train and things just got worse… The train lost power, the tracks froze, they replaced the engine and put it on backwards [didn’t even know that was possible]- a 6 hour trip turned into an 18 hour nightmare!

Sara October 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

Ohman! I have nothing as bad as that, but when I was in Austria trying to buy a train ticket the ticket guy (behind a glass partition) looked at me after he swiped my card, grabbed his scissors, stared me straight in the face, and cut it into several pieces. He then smiled (you %$#*@!)and slammed the partition cover down in my face. I was horrified, upset, mad, crying like a baby. I was a mess. And, just three days earlier I had called my bank to make sure I had enough money in my account and that everything was a-okay, and it was! I still had about a week left on my trip and that was my only debit card. My friend had to pay for everything for me the rest of the trip. When I got back to the states my Dad had checked everything and there had been absolutely nothing wrong with my card or account. I have no idea what happened!?

Janetha October 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm

DUDE! This is a good story. WEIRD. And crappy.

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning October 6, 2012 at 8:35 am

Wow!! So, my husband was REALLY interested in this post. Ever since you said something about not being allowed in Canada to him when we were hiking in Boulder, he’s been curious as to why! And man- you kinda got the shaft on this deal. I hope you get to go back, because BC is amazing!
My travel horror stories only consist of having to spend the night on the cold floor in an airport due to a flight being canceled (that sucked) and having the airline lose our luggage flying out to our 2-week honeymoon last summer. Luckily, they found it the next day.
I have lots of things that I sort of regret (like spending 30k on a masters degree in teaching!!) but then I have to remember that everything that’s happened in the past has brought me to where I am today, as corny and cliche as that sounds.

Carly October 6, 2012 at 11:02 am

Did you know I lived in Kelowna when this happened?! I was probably at big white (since I spent pretty much every day of the winter there) at the same time as you. Crazy.

I have no crazy travel stories or real big regrets. I’m boring today!

Janetha October 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm

That is a trip! It’s so pretty there.

erin aka eef October 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Oh gosh, that’s insane! haha! Who would think Canadians would care that much anyhow?
My travel stories aren’t that crazy, but I did one time get stuck on a train in Germany… I blogged about it here: http://eef-etc.com/munich-january-2-2008/

Summer October 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Omg I live in Kelowna! I have been following ur blog for the last year. If you ever need a place to stay in kelowna let me know! So sorry u got deported and they gave you such a hard time.

Janetha October 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Haha well I wish I could come. But now I am banned…

momma b. October 6, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I remember this only too well. Lots of tears shed on both sides of the border!!

Remember going to Italy…..3 ambiens later….and then don’t forget the rippin migraine coming home from Italy…..there weren’t enough vomit bags for that trip!

Ahh regrets…..can’t go there. I try to pack a lot into every single day and find joy in the journey!

I love you!!

Janetha October 6, 2012 at 10:40 pm

LOL the ambien…

Shady October 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

My worst day of travel ever included a full cavity search for drugs (yes that kind of cavity search), a possible blood clot, riding in a cab that hit a little old man riding one of those scooter things and the airline losing my luggage. Or maybe the day my passport, birth certificate and travellers cheques were stolen and I almost got tossed in a Laotian jail when I tried to report them missing.

Sarah K October 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I definitely don’t have any travel stories like that. I can’t imagine what a let down that would be. I can’t wait till I can save enough money to travel to other countries, but would be super nervous going through customs. People with authority tend to really freak me out.

Calee October 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I call bullshit on Canada. Especially given what sounds like the nature of your crime was (read: certain things are illegal in the states … yet we have other things, like guns, that are legal … wtf).

Anyway, thanks for sharing this story again. I didn’t search for it because I figured I’d already read this story. But apparently this was RIGHT before I started reading.

Emily @ www.main-eats.com October 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Now THAT makes for a good story!

Lexi October 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Actually, if you have a DUI it’s usually around 10 years before you’ll be granted admission. 5 years is the point you can apply for readmission, but it’s up to them to say yes or no and involves time and and paperwork. 10 years is when you are freely admissible.

As for having a “minor” misdemeanor you can have one and still be good, if you have more than one you have to wait the five years. It’s always good to check when visiting another country and have anything on your record!

I thought this was common knowledge, but apparently people are unaware. Better safe than sorry!

Janetha October 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I had more than one, but a friend had only one and he was deported. It was his first and only offense. That was in 2002, so maybe things have changed since.

Lexi October 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm

It’s depends on what they consider a minor misdemeanor; which in Canada is a “summary offense” and includes:

Disorderly Conduct
Drunk in Public
Supplying Liquor to Minors
Driving While License Suspended (depends on reason suspended)

These are the offenses you can still get in, unless you have two. The other misdemeanors that require a minimum of 5 years (but usually 10 unless you are willing to appeal and prove your are “rehabilitated” ) are:

Negligent or Reckless Driving
Driving While License Suspended (if reason for suspension was indictable offense)
Drug Crimes
Firearms Offenses (or any weapons)
Violent Crimes
Sex Crimes

The 5 year point is where you have to appeal, it is not an automatic re-entry either. Just wanted to make sure that correct info is out there because spending money on a trip you can’t go on really sucks. And like I said, it’s best to call or research and not just rely on a friend.

Janetha October 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm

His was a drinking ticket (drunk in public). Wonder why they deported him. I didn’t rely on a friend for info. I relied on a travel agency. Bummed they didn’t tell me. She has booked dozens of trips for my boss before so I thought nothing of it. She later apologized, oh well.. Live and learn! Thanks for the information!

Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl October 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm

This happened to my ex. He had some stuff on that wasn’t even official and he had to go there for work. They basically told him even for misdemeanor charges, they consider you a danger to Canadian citizens, but then followed up by saying if he paid a fee (somewhere around $200) he could enter the country. Apparently safety has a price. Sheesh.

Janetha October 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Yeah.. so whack!!!

meggi October 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Wow! That is crazy that they let you stay for the night but wouldn’t let you in for longer. That is cool you got to spend the time with him even though it was short.

I don’t have any major travel debacles but the recent one that stands out is when my husband won the US Battle of the Bands and was flying to London to compete in the World finals. The girl I was supposed to be traveling with canceled last minute which upped all my costs by a couple grand so I had to cancel. I was pissed. Not being there is also one of my biggest regrets.

… And then in Cancun when I was 18, my friend thought she had been stabbed by a syringe at one of the clubs and was sure she was drugged or given some sort of disease so we had to carry her back to the hotel. Then another friend’s purse got jacked with her passport. Not a debacle but definitely a drama filled trip! ha!

Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut April 21, 2014 at 7:16 am

Oh my gosh I would have died! I guess it’s only Canada (like if it was a different country with more questionable means of discipline…not wanting to name any names lol) but still to be put in a room and not have any idea what was going on?! That also sucks about the lost money (and time in Canada with your friend) but at least you had a day with your friends and had some fun in Utah! :)

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