I hope to bring you (and myself) a little more faith in the world with all the wonderful people I meet and the great experiences I was offered, but I also wish to be sincere and critical. Therefore, I will also write about the injustice I will be confronted with, as not mentioning it would only help erasing it from our minds, but not from the world. In other words, to the best of my abilities, and to the best of my biases, my blog will also include critical pieces about the state of the world we live in today.
At this point you might be wondering how delusional I am. Do I really think I can change the world, young little wanderer adding to the endless amount of information on the internet? No- and yes. It’s quite simple really. I found myself at a turning point in my adventures and had to ask myself a few questions: what am I doing, where am I going, why and what do I need to do this? My main answer was this: I keep going. What do I need? Not much. But the why question turned out more interesting and it got me thinking. What if I shared something (I consider) positive with everyone I meet along the way? Travelling the way I do gives me a great opportunity- I constantly meet and interact with people from everywhere, people I never would have met or spoken to otherwise. What if every time people ask me about Canada, I speak about the Natives and their lack of rights in their own country? What if I try to explain that I am vegetarian or vegan, even to people who never heard of such a thing, instead of assuming they will be close minded ? What if I just tell about my hitchhiking experiences when people tell me I can’t hitchhike or that it’s unsafe? What if I just show people that it’s possible to travel in a humane, ethical and cheap way? Some people say we can’t change the world. I say that my world was often changed by one person, one interaction, one question. To me, if you change one person’s perception about a subject, you’re already changing the world. That’s how I decided to add a bigger purpose to my wanderings. Really, it’s just about keeping on questioning myself and sharing my thoughts and questions- even when it’s hard to speak up. I only chose to become more aware and conscious of the impact I have- or can have on the worlds around us, and try to make it a good impact. That’s a great resolution, but it was still confined to the people I met every day and, more importantly, I realized there was always a lot more to say. Solution? Write it.
I must say the very first idea for the blog was selfish (although we could argue that everything is selfish). After travelling for a good 6 months and deciding to keep going for many many many more (sorry mom), I needed a way to keep in touch with the people I love, further than just telling them where I am. I want people to understand how I travel and what I experience in my daily lives, and the crazy stories as well, and not just come home with a 3 year blank- we know where you went but have no idea what you did. Second, I realized I was experiencing so much so fast, it was already slipping away and I almost forgot the first months of travelling. So, first reason: a space to process and capture moments or thoughts I want to remember and share with my family, friends and all the people I meet along the way.
There is also a huge gap between my travel life and how my friends and family see it. I al ways end up answering the same questions: How do you do it? You stay in hotels? How can you afford it? Isn’t it dangerous? Is it really possible to hitchhike in…? Although a lot of people travel like I do, before you do it yourself, it seems quite difficult to get information or be exposed to this way of travelling. I also believe there are a lot of ethical issues with the conventional representation of travelling and not enough discussions about it. That’s the second reason: explaining and exposing how I travel and why, in the hopes of broadening perspectives or nourishing thoughts and discussions.
Why this blog doesn’t matter.
There was one major problem stopping me from starting this blog. As a cis, able, neurotypical, heterosexual white woman, does my privileged voice really matter? Is my voice really the one who needs to be heard? The answer is simple, no. I often get excited and hopeful, it is possible to travel and trust people, hitchhiking, getting invited into people’s homes; good things do happen! But I have to remember one important thing: All the odds are in my favor. Everyone knows it’s easier for white people. Easier for healthy, fully able, young people. Easier for women to be trusted. This is why all of my thoughts and experiences will have this major nuance: they are true, for a cis, able, neurotypical, heterosexual, white, western, educated, english speaking woman with beauty privileges (meaning my physical appearance conforms with society’s standards or, in other words, my beauty privileges both result from and reinforce my privileges).