It seemed a bit silly to upload my latest blog post come the wee hours of Wednesday morning. All of a sudden, everything I did felt frivolous, especially blogging. Putting on my shoes, washing the dishes, folding my laundry…it all seemed utterly ridiculous considering who was the newest President Elect.
I’ve stayed away from social media, the snaps and Buzzfeed articles and the heartfelt, saddened posts of my peers. It can’t be real. It just can’t. I feel empty and bare.
I truly thought it would never happen, and that was my mistake. I thought I was rising above it all by keeping my personal beliefs to myself and offline. I wish I hadn’t.
I’m still hurting, and processing just like a lot of other Americans. I could go on about Hilary and Trump and the future of this country, but there are far more qualified persons to turn too for reassurance and clarity. I’m still coming to terms with a lot of my thoughts on the last few days, but this is all I know:
I choose. I choose love. I choose to speak out more about my beliefs. The time to be polite and keep politics out of my social conversations is over, and frankly should have been over a long time ago. I choose to stand up to racism, sexism, hatred, and prejudice. I choose to spread love, acceptance, and peace. I choose to fight and vote for my beliefs in my community for the rest of my life, and not just every 4 to 8 years. Because frankly, my right to choose as a female in this country may very soon be taken away.
So why am I posting here when blogging seemed frivolous to me just two days ago? Because slowly but surely life goes on and the sun has continued to rise each day. And for me, I kept coming back to this one quote about travel for comfort.
I know, how can I possibly be thinking about travel considering the current state of my home country? But hear me out.
Nathan Lump, past editor-in-chief at Travel + Leisure magazine, wrote this after the Brussels terrorist attack last March:
“Travel fosters human understanding, and empathy for people whose lives are unlike your own; it opens your eyes to otherness, including other cultures and religions. Serious travelers are among the most open and tolerant people I know; their frequent encounters with difference make them expansive in their thinking. Travelers are, ultimately, the enemies of terrorists, and what they believe works against terrorists’ aims, person by person and little by little. I am proud to count myself among these travelers and to work every day to inspire them—and to create more of them.” – Nathan Lump
The full article can be found on travelandleisure.com http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/terrorist-attack-brussels
I’ve come back to this quote many times to remind myself of what traveling can do for the world, and maybe for America now. This quote gives me some small comfort.
During this time of fear and hopelessness, I am reminded to continue my own small fight day to day.
Part of that is to stand up against hatred and prejudice. The other part is to (humbly) try and spread understanding and acceptance of others day to day through this travel blog “person by person and little by little”, with the hope that more Americans will travel and in turn become a country of people who are “open and tolerant” and “expansive in their thinking” no matter who their president is.
This is my hope.