It’s hard for me to put into words how I’ve been feeling since yesterday morning, just as I imagine it is for so many people around the world. I can’t even fathom how it must feel to be an American who did not want this result. My Facebook and Instagram feeds are all filled with sorrow, anger, and fear. There is so much I want to say and yet I, too, am too angry and too sad to articulate it properly. But, I have to admit, I am not completely shocked at what has happened. After watching what the UK decided this summer with Brexit, and after watching the American presidential campaigns unfold over the last year, I have been horrified at the racism, misogyny, bigotry, homophobia, and hatred that has emerged. Perhaps it was inevitable that it would come to a boiling point, and it has done so in the worst way possible.
But now, the day after the results of the election, I sit here wondering what I can do. As mentioned, I’m a Canadian living in the UK – a privileged migrant – and some may argue this is not my fight. However, I believe that it is, in fact, our duty to reach out in times of need, no matter where we come from or what our backgrounds may be. I have spent considerable time in America, have many American friends, have lived next to America for the majority of my life, and, most importantly, I do not want to idly stand by when there is so much work to be done. The fight for human rights is on all of our shoulders, no matter our gender, religion, sexual orientation, country of origin, or colour of skin.
So how can those of us who aren’t American help out right now?
This time last year, I could have never predicted where I’d be at this exact moment: sitting on the patio of my family’s rented casa in Nicaragua, a spiced rum and coke beside me, the sun dipping low in the sky before it sinks past the ocean’s horizon and out of sight. I thought that 2013 wasn’t a very big year for me, but it was; it was one of transition, of finally moving to London. 2014 started off slow, with almost no plans – soon it grew into a year of travel, a year of accomplishments, and a year of maturing (both in numbers and in mindset). Here’s a little review of the past year.
Be warned: there are lots of photos!
There’s a time in most adolescent lives when everything starts to change, when the things you did last week now seemed juvenile. We all become misfits for some brief, difficult years, lured by the different and the dangerous. We become obsessed with something with the zeal that only teenagers possess, purposefully ostracize ourselves from the adults in our lives. Some kids turn to music. Some kids turn to drugs and alcohol. My obsession became the world itself.
I went to Burning Man in 2011, and stayed the full eight days. I camped in the desert under the big clear sky, my days spent riding the playa on my bicycle, making friends, cooking grilled cheese sandwiches, my nights a hazy blur of stilt-walkers, fire-breathers, mutant cars shaped like scorpions and jellyfish. I wore outfits I threw together from a garbage bag of costumes in the trunk; I wore saris and glitter, fake fur and angel wings, tutus and sometimes nothing at all. When I first reached the gates on that very first day, a girl wearing pink fishnets made me roll around in the playa, coating my hair in the greyish dust. “Welcome home,” she told me, and hugged me. I was instantly in love with this alternate universe, this utopian dream of creativity and art and acceptance.
She’s A Rainbow from This Battered Suitcase on Vimeo. Phoenix, USA
Nevada, USA What I love so much about travelling is seeing something new every day, or even every hour. It might be an entire city, it might…