For most of my 30 years, I have taken my freedom for granted. I was “proud to be American,” but I never truly understood what freedoms I was afforded due to my nationality.
Traveling has opened my eyes wide to the injustices in this world. It has also opened my eyes to the injustices IN the United States and the inequities among people everywhere.
If you are reading this, it means you have access to social media and the internet, and can generally freely read content without restriction (or have found a way around). That is something that puts you in the top third of the world’s population. Half of the world’s population lacks even basic internet.
I will admit that it is not until I traveled that I realized the power and strength of the US. That I am afforded privileges when I travel with a US passport, that say… someone from Iran, or Israel, or a number of other places are not. They have to carefully plan trips and gather visas.
I have mostly unrestricted travel freedom that seems unfair in my eyes. Of no fault of their own, others are limited where they can go in this world and who they can interact with simply due to where they are born. I have freedom of speech while others are beaten or tortured for speaking out.
I no longer take my nationality for granted. I may not always agree with what goes on in the US, this administration and how it is projecting the US to the world in particular, but I am still eternally grateful for the freedoms provided to me and protected for me by our troops.
*This post is particularly dedicated to the people of Iran, Hong Kong, and cities around Latin America who today are striking and rising up against oppressive governments. May we support the voices of the people and democracy around the world!
(For those who don’t know… I am doing “30 days to 30” and sharing life lessons and stories in order to celebrate my birthday—hoping to break stigmas and stereotypes about what 30 means and looks like)