Travel broadens the mind
I’ve been “home” for about a month and by home, I mean my home town of Mobile, AL. You may recall that Michael and I moved in with my Dad in August to save more money for our big move! I have come to a lot of realizations. I’ve been transported to an alternate universe, there is no other explanation!
I’m in an environment in which I don’t fit in anymore. I often feel out of place when I wear clothes that are NOT from “Southern Belle’s” boutique or that aren’t monogrammed from head to toe. (What is with that, seriously?!)
I tend to choose local coffee houses over Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts because the coffee is better. I prefer espresso to drip coffee and “Mom and Pop” shops to chain restaurants EVERY TIME! You will not catch me drinking Bud Light, Miller Light, Michelob Ultra, or Coors Light, which is the beer of choice in the Southeastern USA. Instead, I will be happily sipping on my craft brewed porter, wheat, or stout. Travel broadens the mind.
I get frustrated by the politics of home. Women are admired for having babies yet are ostracized for breastfeeding in public. Moms are shamed into bathrooms and expected to have potato sacks over their heads while they feed their tiny humans. There are still debates surrounding whether a woman has actual rights over HER BODY. Never have men had to wonder if their penises were their property or not. Sorry to let you down guys, but your dick is just on loan and you haven’t paid your fine, time to give it back because it has been repossessed.
Women are also viewed as unladylike when we cuss or bitch about the injustices we deal with, you know like unequal wages in the work place! Caitlin Moran’s book, “How to be a Woman” sums this sentiment perfectly! Can you believe it, there are still men who believe that a woman’s place is “in the household” not outside of it! Women are expected to stay at home with the kiddos and give up their beloved careers yet when the reverse is suggested, it is seen as “ridiculous” or “unthinkable”.
It is also an unpopular thought for the LGBTQ community to have the same rights as me, a heterosexual gal. If 2 men, 2 women, or 2 transgenders decide to commit their lives to one another out of love and honor, why shouldn’t they be allowed to? How is it hurting you? They should get the same titles and tax kickbacks as a married, straight couple. Let me take it one step further, if the above want to adopt a child, who was otherwise abandoned by this straight couple, then let them! Think of how #blessed that child will be to know unconditional love. “It’s wrong”, says society, yet a young career woman is “selfish” for not popping a kid out “sooner”. I don’t get this backward thought process.
Having new tech gadgets, a house, 2 brand new cars, and 1 ½ kids by the time I am 30 is EXPECTED of me. (Umm, who asked me?!) Instead, I feel trapped when considering this lifestyle! In terms of what my ideal goals are, well it’s quite different from my Southern heritage. I believe education and wisdom are the keys to success in the future and that love trumps hate. I like my freedom of non-motherhood, my time spent with my husband and dogs, and my, yes, conceitedness. It is okay to admit that I am needy. (and if that sounds like a title of a book you’d enjoy, you should check out these 8 travel books!)
I want to give my children all of me and frankly, that ain’t gonna happen if I must give up my dreams for them, now. How will I give them their best shot when my world views are solely of the USA’s and no other country? How will I love them fully if I blame them for my dreams not becoming reality? How will they know respect if they live in a culture that prides “white-maleness” over all other genders/races? I am not in denial to think I will have the secret to life figured out before children arrive; but I will not rush into motherhood based on a misguided timeline. Yep, travel broadens the mind.
In terms of travel, I want to go someplace new each year. I don’t want to visit the same vacation spot year in and year out and call that an adventure. I don’t agree that vacations abroad should be expensive, that is what travel hacking is for. I think my country, the USA, could be just as dangerous as visiting the UK, Europe, or South America. After being in Spain during the Barcelona attack, I can say that the city handled it brilliantly. While the USA was tearing itself apart from White racist bigots, this damaged and mourning city was already rebuilding. That is Europe for you. So, if you love to be your own person, try new experiences, and learn from cultures that are nothing like you, you should travel, NOW! (How’s that for an infomercial?)