'Merica Life Updates Public Journaling

Why I’m Leaving America Indefinitely & What Happens Next…

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes


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I think I’m pretty (stop the sentence here, JK) overdue for a personal post with some life updates. Because a lot has happened and changed in a short amount of time, and I’m still trying to grasp and make sense of it all.

I’ve been a bit reclusive lately, finding sufficient company by the crowd of my own thoughts. Thoughts of my past, future, and present state of mind. It’s a party most days, and a ruckus all the others.

While I’m still arguably young (26) and feel like I’ve got the world ahead of me, I’ve done and seen a lot for my age, and I know every experience, encounter, and flight ticket has shaped and developed who I am today.

And I never take that for granted.

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For those who don’t know, the majority of my family live just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, so this is where I come when I’m not traveling.

I initially came home in December for two reasons: My older sister was graduating from the University of Arizona, and my passport was full. #1stWorldProblems

I was set to leave for Nigeria a couple weeks after that, and I went through all the loopholes to quickly attain a Nigerian passport that was needed for my entry (dual-citizenship for the win)!

But after that quick jaunt to Atlanta (location of the Nigerian Consulate) turned out to be a waste (I love Nigerians, but rules to them are suggestions, not guarantees), plans quickly changed.

My passport that was supposed to be issued in two days, took about 4 weeks to arrive instead.

Thus, canceling my trip, and leaving me unsure of where to go from there. With a couple travel offers on the table, I needed some time to think.

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But I felt myself getting restless at the thought of having to be “stuck” in Arizona any longer. A place I don’t necessarily consider home, though I went to high school here.

I don’t have a favorite hang out spot.

I don’t go out on weekends.

I hardly remember the street names anymore.

Nonetheless, I made slots of availability for my long-time high school BFF, my high school coach, my favorite high school teacher, and a couple dope, entrepreneurial photographer friends.

Old friends have made it through a couple texts of back and forths before I found myself unable to commit to a time and unintentionally taking a few days to reply.

I found myself not wanting to go outside — not wanting to deal with people. Needing space and time to just be alone and away from the public.

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I didn’t know how to explain this feeling to them and/or whether they would understand, but I just couldn’t get myself to be happy with being back here.

I’ve seemingly forgotten how to be a friend and I failed miserably at making efforts to rekindle old friendships.

On top of that, I found myself easily triggered by online ignorance, instead of trying to educate or correct it. And it was the product of surrounding myself with intelligent and enlightening people 24/7 while traveling, and forgetting the majority of people are nothing like that — especially the average-Joe American.

I’ve been home for a cumulative total of 4 months in the last 4 years, and my mom has miraculously fought the urge to turn my high school room into a guest bedroom (though I give it a few months), but it does feel nice waking up in that same, familiar bed these past few weeks.

Vienna, Austria

It’s a foreign feeling really. I’ve slept in so many beds these past 4 years (please don’t read that promiscuously, lol), so the feeling of waking up every morning and asking myself, “Wait, where am I again?” became my new normal.

The foreign became familiar, and now the familiar has become foreign. Click To Tweet

Why am I leaving?

It’s complicated, but it’s definitely a combination of a few things.

Just like a toxic relationship — you can love someone, but know you need to be away from them to grow.

The U.S. is my abusive and mentally unstable boyfriend that I need a break from.

An indefinite one.

I’d be lying if I said Donald Trump being president wasn’t the main driving factor behind a one-way ticket departure. Because he was.

And I made this video trying to make light of the situation, and though it’s dripping with sarcasm, there’s a lot of truth in it. When you get a chance to watch it, hopefully you can see where I’m coming from as I share my slightly uncensored thoughts on camera.

Politics aside, the reality is, I’ve outgrown most people in my life in the United States. And I don’t mean that in a condescending or holier than thou way at all.

I’m fully aware that a combination of our upbringings, daily surroundings, and extra-curricular activities shape our views, perspectives, and ultimately our characters.

I’m so freakin’ blessed to have seen and experienced so many cultures and countries that have shaped who I am and how I think today.

So needless to say, reconnecting with old college friends is tough, or essentially non-existent. I went to a very small liberal arts college in Baldwin City, Kansas.

I adore so much about my Baker family who is made up of a wonderful staff of faculty, professors, and coaches. But I soon realized something — as a student, I connected most with faculty and staff, not peers. And the same is true today.

Being told you’re “wise beyond your years” is both a blessing and a curse, because you can never find people your age to connect with you at the wavelength you’re surfing.

Amazing staff and faculty aside, many of my college friends have still maintained that small-town mindset, where they never think or experience anything outside of suburban, midwest USA.

They continue hanging out with the same people, who look exactly like them, and never trying to mingle with different cultures or religions to try and learn about other people.

Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam

No, you shouldn’t have a quota of black, Muslim, or Mexican friends, but for goodness sake, do you at least know one of each on a first-name basis?

Not your cleaner. Not your mailman. But an actual friend who you regularly talk to from a completely different walk of life. That’s what so many of Trump’s supporters and small town Americans are lacking right now.

It’s apparent by the type of things they share and say (or don’t say) on social media, and I’ve found myself slowly deleting them from my online space, because the ignorance was deafening.

I started losing patience and energy to constantly educate and inform people on some of the most basic concepts around humanity. It felt like a daily existential crisis that I couldn’t win.

And while I do my best to be vocal and delve deeper than surface-level observations, not everyone can handle that kind of wokeology (the study of wokeness).

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Lately, I’ve been very vocal about the need for inclusiveness and my utter disdain with discrimination.

Naturally, most agreed, but many from my past have become uncomfortable, passive-aggressive, or remained in denial. It’s maddening. But here’s what most Americans get wrong —

You could love your country and still be critical of it.

One more time for the people in the back or nah?

Blind patriotism is the enemy of progress and change. And most Americans are afraid of change, so duct-tape over the eyes of reality it is.

But this archaic and backwards mindset is what will keep us at the butt of every global joke and constantly on the wrong side of history.

So I’m leaving because I need to surround myself with progressive-thinking people again. Your environment and surroundings are so crucial to your development as a person.

I also understand that not many millennials spend their free time watching historical war documentaries or biopics of corrupt leaders, lol #singleforever. But this is my turn up on weekends now, and I’m 100% okay with it.

And while I’ve met some incredibly #woke Americans (defintion: cognizant of the subliminal and subconscious wrongs in the status quo and active in helping bring about progressive change), the majority of my most awakened and enlightened friends are overseas.

I love how they challenge me. Their upbringings and cultures help strengthen and inspire mine.

You could say I’m running away from my problems, or you could see me finding a solution in continuing to surround myself with these beacons of light so I can continue using my platform for good.

All while subconsciously serving as a US ambassador abroad and reminding the world how loving, accepting, and welcoming Americans still are/can be.

I can’t take on every problem, injustice, or wrongful law, but I sure as hell can give a damn and voice my contempt for it. Read about my random grocery store encounter shutting down bigotry before it opened its mouth below:

Where am I going?

Anywhere and everywhere. Ideally, I’d like to have a base on each continent (except Antarctica, obviously lol). The beauty in being a single and solo traveler is that I have no roots or responsibilities locking me down to any specific location. This won’t last, but you bet I will milk every drop of freedom it affords me while I can! Lol

While my job and sponsorships land me in some of the most unexpected and exotic places, I want to scale back and start moving a little slower and having more meaningful experiences in the places I’m going.

Sure, I’ll still be posting and sharing the amazing scenes from my travels, but there’s so much more to travel than, “Look at me, I’m in BLAH BLAH COUNTRY and you’re not!”

I don’t ever want to feel like I’m giving off that vibe. So here’s how I’m going to try to change that.

I want to start volunteering locally, staying with local families, and giving back any way I can. Obviously bringing tourism to a destination through my content is one of the best ways to help, but I know I can do so much more than that.

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I’m going to start with 3 months traveling around Africa, a continent that is unbelievably underrated. I land in Cape Town, South Africa in the first week of March, and I’m excited to start my African adventures in a city that I’ve heard so many wonderful things about.

While I’m anxious to embark on a new journey on that continent, with a rough itinerary through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and Morocco on the radar, I’m most excited to show my followers the other side of these countries that the media neglected while being neck-deep in supply of poverty-porn.

After Africa, I’ll slowly work my way towards the Middle East *gasp!* Yes, that dangerous, terrorist-zone that we should avoid by all means *eyeroll*.

Middle Eastern people are some of the most hospitable souls in the world, and before Americans are banned from entering those countries altogether thanks to Hitler 2.0, I’d love to experience some places firsthand.

Then into Asia, and then eventually Australia. Again, these are tentative plans, and I will likely add in a couple random getaways in between.

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2017 will be more about where I would like to go and experience, rather than companies sending me to specific locations. Don’t get me wrong, being in the destination marketing travel industry is amazing! Getting to have $10,000-worth of travel expenses covered, plus payment for my content is literally the dream.

But those opportunities will also always be there, and tourism is an industry that will never die.

So as long as I maintain a platform (please don’t leave me y’all, ha), those kind of offers will continue pouring into my inbox, and I’ll say yes again when I’m ready.

This year has started off heavy, and I found myself turning down a few big offers in January that made me realize that the mental shift in my brand’s direction was more than just a fleeting desire.

Some didn’t match my brand. Some didn’t seem worth the hassle. But most importantly, if it didn’t make me go “HELL YES” then it was a resounding no.

This is my year of NO and that word is a complete sentence. A beautiful, eloquent, and liberating sentence.

Starting out in the travel blogging industry, you have to work your way towards notoriety. You have to build a resume of partnerships and experience to be reputable and recommended by others.

And I’m so happy with my past partnerships and collaborations that have helped get me where to where I am today.

Bangkok, Thailand | TheBlogAbroad.com
Bangkok, Thailand

But when you take away the sponsorships and strip the glitz and glam, you have a gal who, at her core, believes there is so much more to be done to help connect people around the world.

To help show the beauty in different cultures and help awaken the empath in us all.

As Americans, we’ve been lied to all our lives, thanks to digital brainwashing and mass media gatekeeping. We just blindly followed along and bought into the trust of big money corporations, while they used fear to play on our emotions and conveniently forgot to show us…

How harmless Muslim people are.

How beautiful diverse cultures can be.

How much life there is to be lived outside of the familiarity of your own literal comfort zone.

So what happens next?

Well, for one world domination — you can expect the same vocal, unfiltered, and passionate voice across my social platforms. You can also expect 10x as much hate and scrutiny for it. My top 10 annual hate comments articles will have a surplus of content this year, and I’m pretty pumped, ha.

Because it comes with the territory, and fellow online influencers have to learn to stop giving a sh*t about the opinions of nobodies.

Sure, be open to constructive criticism, but your truths are your truths, because of your experiences.

When Racist Randy and Smalltown Susie keep trying to force their narrow mindedness down your throat, their ignorance is not and never will be your problem.

And the day you start letting the public be the driving force behind your content or platform, you’ve lost sight of who you are and what made you so special in the first place.

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I had a good friend ask me the other day if I was afraid of losing followers because of my political content lately.

I laughed so hard, because if I ever compromised my platform or morals for the fake fandom of a few, then I’m blogging for the wrong reasons. I couldn’t care less about losing the eyes of close-minded sheep. Baaaaaaahhh-bye, Felicianettes.

My platform isn't here to coddle your privilege or comfort your ego. Click To Tweet

I’m here to challenge it. Because so many of us believe things for the simple fact of believing it. We never question “truths”, just take them as fact because it’s the lazy, yet convenient thing to do. And it makes me sick.

But I lived like that for the better part of my youth, because I didn’t know any better either. And seeing the light has made my life so much more fulfilling knowing that I’m actively speaking out on things I believe in, and have firsthand experiences that corroborate it.

I wanted to change the world, but I didn't know how fast the world would change me first. Click To Tweet
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How can you help?

If you’re a photographer or videographer, let’s collaborate. If you can fund your way to Africa or any of the destinations I’ll be at, meet me there and let’s make magic together.

All I want to do is create incredible and inspiring content for the world, and I know I can’t do it alone.

If you find me in your home town, give me a shout! While it’s easy for me to get free accommodation with hotels/hostels now, I much rather stay with locals, because the experience and memories are 10x more authentic.

Locals know a city better than anyone else, so take me under your wing and show me the best of your city. I’d love to help bring tourism to your town or your business. Just email me where you’re at and what you do: GlobetrottinGlo@gmail.com.

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And while I don’t know exactly how long I’ll be away from the states (sorry mom), as long as my brothers and sisters remain unmarried, then I have no urge or event that would bring me back otherwise.

I don’t see myself living in the U.S. down the line anyway, but I also don’t know where I would like to eventually call home. It’ll take a really hot guy big opportunity to get me to settle down somewhere, but until then, I’ll continue making every corner of the world my home.

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Thanks for all the support and understanding over the years. And while I may not talk to many of you on a regular basis, your constant words of encouragement via likes, shares, and comments mean so much to me!

It takes an army to keep me going, and I’m a one-woman show. There’s so much about my journey that I’m still trying to learn and navigate, but there’s beauty in that, and it’s an honor to take you all along for the ride.

Last but not least, if you’re curious about more of my journey, because there’s a whole lot of ugly from my past, make sure to check out my book “From Excuses to Excursions: How I Started Traveling the World”, the digital or paperback copy to get the full scoop on my story. Cheers to the magic to come.

The beauty of following your heart, is that there will never be a regret that you tried. Click To Tweet

Why I'm Leaving America & What Happens Next... | TheBlogAbroad.com

  • Jordan Swayne

    Yes to all of this haha! Out of curiosity, how are most of your readers attracted to your content? I ask because I found you through Facebook and love your everything you’ve done but I’m quite curious about how someone on the opposite side of the spectrum could find their way here (especially with social networks forming a bubble around us and only attracting what we they think we want to see).

    • Hey Jordan! Such a great question! Definitely from mutual friends and varying facebook networks. While we tend to only see the stuff we agree with on our news feed, we still have silent lurkers/Trump supporters who stick around. So I assume it’s through that!

      The Internet is a big place! So I don’t even question how I’m found anymore, haha. It just happens 😛

  • Jamie

    Wishing you nothing but the best Glo! I’d offer for you to stay with me, but alas I do not live anywhere exotic. Just regular old southern California. If our travels ever coincide in an exotic locale my accommodation is open to people like you. Looking forward to continuing to read about your inspiring journey!

    • Hahaha, Jamie you’re hilarious. California is one of the few states I’d escape to if I were ever deported abroad, sooooo, yeah, I’ll be in touch, LOL. XOXO

  • Crazy travelista

    Wow, this resonated with me on every level!! I have the same feels! You rock Glo, keep doing your thing! 🙂

  • Caren Martinez

    Girl you’re not alone you’ve got the Globtrottong Glo fam! Seriously just love all your work ! You’re so inspiring , intelligent and an amazing writer ! Ps. Have you looked into Workaway? I’m going to pick up some volunteer and work gigs like that whenever possible with children . My guts feels kinda selfish just bc of all the shit happenings. If I’m going to quit my job I’d rather also use that time to give back !

    ~Caren

    • Hey Caren! Yes, I LOVE Workaway! Used them a couple times in the past! I might refer to them, but I have a lot of trust in my network for people to connect me to awesome people organically. I love word-of-mouth recommendations, because people I know can vouch for them, and it adds another layer of comfort. Thanks so much for reading hun!

  • I wish I could express myself as well as you have in this post. So many times through it I found myself nodding and thinking “Yes! yes, this is how I feel but didn’t know how to say it”. And I completely feel where you are coming from and don’t think it’s a bad thing to have grown away from old friends. They were great in their time, you have wonderful memories, but now it is time to move on and make new ones.
    I can’t wait to read about your new adventures as I haven’t been to any of those places…yet. 🙂 I wish more people would take that step out of their comfort zone and visit another country just to try it. If they hate it when they get there, fine so be it, at least you tried. But I bet many would come home with stories of wonderful, generous, hospitable people just like we have and then we could start to see the shift towards openness in this country that I’m so desperate to see.

    • Thank you SO much Stacy! So glad this resonated with you, and you’re right, there is just so much growth waiting to happen, and I’m aware travel is an incredible privilege, so if they can’t make that growth through travel, then definitely through trying to mingle with and understand other cultures in other ways. So much YES to your comment, thanks for reading! <3

  • Hi!
    I’ve been following you on Snapchat for a while, but it’s the first of your post I read and I really like your writing. I’ll be following your trip in Africa, it sounds pretty amazing and inspiring.
    I’m having a lot of similar reflections in the past months, as I’m celebrating 30 and 10 years of travels, including over 6 years away from France.
    I wish you all the luck and an amazing adventure. Hopefully, we can meet somewhere along the way. Take care,
    Lucie

  • Nnedi Ugo

    Glo girl! I love the way how you’re able to express so many things that resonate to many of our feels right now. And I am just so so happy for you girl. Really excited to see your upcoming travels and adventures.

    • Thanks so much, sis! Really appreciate your support! XOXO

  • Julie Olum

    I love this, Glo 🙂 and I can totally relate to being back home after an absence (both university nd travel in the last couple years for me), but not really being that pressed to reconnect with everyone. I’m still yet to figure out why exactly that is for me 🙂 but congratulations on your realisations, I can’t wait to see what’s next!
    And even cooler than that, you’re coming to two of my homes, maybe I’ll catch you in Cape Town or in Nairobi some time soon!
    Peace 🙂
    Julz. Frame Ambition | model diaries, travel, fashion films

    • Hey Julz! That’d be amazing if we’re able to link up in those cities! And yes, I’m so glad you can relate, because I think it’s the hardest part about coming home that most travelers don’t really talk about. Glad this resonated with you! xx

  • What a beautifully written declaration of your upcoming plans. Glo, you have a way with being transparent beyond expectations. It’s a wonderful gift you have. We definitely plan to travel more within Africa during the next year or two, so we hope to cross paths. Would love to shoot and interview you. Much love on the journey ahead. Can’t wait to follow along!

    • Eulanda, your words are so refreshing and I’m so happy to have found your blog online. I appreciate your support and can’t wait until we finally cross paths. So overdue! xx

  • First off, you go girl! I’m not American (Aussie represent here) and having come from a small-ish city, I feel you on finding it hard to find your place back there (…and even harder when you find out your friends and relatives would have voted Republican if they were American…)
    I admire your candor to share your feelings and experiences, and travel to those ‘big bad scary places’; and I’m pumped to follow along as your explore Africa and the Middle East!

    When you are in Australia, especially Melbourne, be sure to reach out. I’d love to show you a slice of my adopted city. 🙂 Until then, I look forward to following and reading!

    PS: Those photos in the field – beautiful! I especially love the skirt! Been trying to find something similar but if it’s my size then it seem to be black, white, cream and bright pink!

    • Hi Nicole!!! You’re a doll and yay, can’t wait to get to Oz for the first time! I’d love to link up, and I’m so glad you can relate to this too.

      Also, I got my skirt off Amazon. I’m obsessed! | bit.ly/WineSkirt 😉

  • If you come to Bangkok, you’ll have a home here! See you in TH!

    • Can’t wait, Sab! Long overdue that we meet! XOXO

  • Angelica Nankinga

    Glo, I appreciate that you’re coming to Africa. The world needs to see this beautiful continent through eyes that appreciate its beauty, not eyes that milk it of everything. I am a Ugandan travel blogger, whose been to 5 countries in Europe and USA and what I found disturbing about these countries is questions such as “Do you have buildings in Africa” or my lecturer in Paris telling a class of undergraduates that there are no phones in Africa. Like, how is he allowed to teach? I have taken it upon myself to educate people about Africa and the places that I visit on my blog http://www.afripastravel.com but it is great to have you share about Africa, with your audience. Let’s link up when you’re in Uganda. I would love to pick your brain on world domination. Cheers!

    • Hi Angelica! Oy, so true. It’s that same ignorance that compelled me to finally go there for myself. Long overdue and I’ll be checking out your blog in the meantime. Let’s definitely link up in Uganda! Thanks!

  • Savannah Grace

    Hey Glo! I can 100% relate to your feelings of being back home after so many years of travel experiences under your belt. When I went home at 18 after 4 years living a nomadic life, there was no way to relate to my teenage peers anymore. I felt lost. Travel does make you “outgrow” people in a way and it is both a blessing and a curse. You’re right. You will love South Africa. It’s one of my favorite countries in Africa (though one of the most dangerous, so just be careful). You will absolutely love it. Excited to follow your journey. You’re always full of light and life! Keep up the great work.

    • I can only imagine how it was for you, as you’ve got 2x as many travel experiences under your belt, and you started so much younger too! Much respect and admiration for all you’re doing with your blog, books, and platform! Can’t wait to keep following along xx

      • Savannah Grace

        You’re sweet!! Thanks!!! Don’t know how you pump out so many posts and blogs, you’re a machine.

  • Caleb Watts

    Glo,

    First, congrats on your self-reflection and the journey thus far. I respect your choice to be so public and open.

    I know we didn’t connect much at Baker, but your points re: Baker are misguided. You make the experience, no one else. Sure, some folks may not be expanding horizons, but don’t categorize and label Baker students or “small town” people. It’s offensive and the reason I will no longer be following you. My parting plead is to not focus on the negative comments from what you call “small town Americans”. Being from “small town America”, I don’t fit your stereotype. Please refer to this definition of counter stereotype https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterstereotype.

    If you have decided to continue reading and value criticism, I have more. There are a lot of Baker peers who adore you for your experiences. Seems like those folks have been forgotten and labeled in this post.
    The thought to distance yourself from America due to a disagreement w/ one political candidate baffles me. If everyone takes the same approach where does that leave the world? ^ This is not the solution.

    Your platform could have been an amazing opportunity to open eyes, expose cultures and change the world. I don’t see that happening anymore. Your model has evolved to promoting businesses and getting views.

    Best of luck in your content generation,

    A parting follower

    • Hey Caleb!

      I anticipated a comment like yours, and I have to be honest — I had to look up your name, because I didn’t remember you. I don’t think we’ve ever spoke in college or online, but I’m glad this is the first post of mine you decided to chime in on, because it’s important.

      I’m glad this post angered you, because again, I’m not here to coddle or comfort people’s privilege. As most people are sheltered and spoon fed their whole lives, it’s natural anything outside of their bubble will alarm or offend them, so again, I stand by my words.

      I absolutely love my Baker family and my experience. And being a minority at Baker meant I was always walking on eggshells, because I know anything I did wasn’t just a reflection of me, but a reflection of the entire black community at Baker. Something you will probably never have to consider.

      When you say, “Your platform could have been an amazing opportunity to open eyes, expose cultures and change the world” it shows me you must be new, because I’ve literally been doing nothing but that for 4 years, but again, I’ve never spoke to you, so I’m sure you don’t pay attention.

      I also don’t apologize that I get paid to do something I love, so the fact that you have a problem with my business model is laughable, as the average-Joe slaves away at a 9 to 5 they hate. No thanks. I went with the road less-traveled. #puns

      As a “parting follower”, I hope you didn’t skip over the part where I mention how little I care about losing the eyes of those who are blinded by privilege. Again, I’m not here to make you comfortable.

      Best of luck to you and Devin, and you won’t have to worry about seeing any more of my content – I went ahead and took care of that for you guys 😉

      • Hey Caleb, I’m not sure why you deleted your own comment, but I’m glad I got a chance to respond to it. I’ll take you deleting it as a sign that some of your statements didn’t have much weight behind it.

        Either way, wish ya the best 🙂

        • Caleb Watts

          I deleted my comment because I criticized your business. That wasn’t fair, it was more emotional than rational. So, I removed the whole comment. Glad you responded.

          Since I’m “privileged”, I will just keep doing privileged things. #assumptions

          • Oh, yikes. If you’re still at the stage of denying your privilege, that’s an embarrassingly low level of awareness for your age and I highly suggest you seek Google to educate you on what privilege is, how we all hold varying amounts of it as Americans, and why it’s not something to feel guilty about (unless you deny it of course).

            Growth is uncomfortable. Hopefully you seek ways that challenge the bubble you live in.

            Your comment corroborates many points in my article, so thanks for that and I hope you leave this comment up this so people can see.

            Have a good one and best of luck with life!

  • Nicole

    I feel you Glo! I started planning my great escape last year while I was still in college, but the current status of the US (and studying abroad last yr) was just another confirmation as to why it’s time to go. I wish you the best of luck throughout your travels. I’m looking forward to posts in Africa so I can live vicariously through you until I get the chance to visit LOL. <3

    • Thanks so much Nicole!! And don’t be afraid to spread those wings girl. You’ll either learn to fly, or find new ground when you land. It’ll always be a win-win when you take a chance at something new 😉

  • Kristen.L

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that you posted this, you have put all my thoughts and feelings about the current situation in this country, as well as the people, into words. I can’t wait to read all about your travels (especially the Middle East!) and I wish you the best of luck. You have been such an inspiration for me the past couple of years, and because of you and a few other awesome ladies I am planning my first solo trip as well as a trip to Japan with my boyfriend, can’t wait!

    • Thanks so much Kristen!!! Change is scary, but it’s necessary! And I’m embracing all the emotions that come with it. I hope your Japan trip is AMAZING! I’ve never been. That’s #GOALS right there! XOXO

  • Potato

    I love your blog and your sense of humor. I found it somehow through searching travel blogs and read it for months before I noticed through your recent post that you’re from Avondale. I’m in far southwest Phoenix, so I though that was a cool coincidence. 🙂 I totally understand you giving up on the US after Donald Trump, and I do on some days too, because even though I have almost no friends or family who are Trump supporters, I know they must be out there somewhere. But other days I think about one person that I seem to have maybe reached with my photos from international trips, someone who previously thought of other countries like crazy-scary places full of space aliens, and then I think maybe I should keep on truckin’. Your blog is making a difference, even if a lot of the time you’re preaching to the choir. 🙂 Have a wonderful year of travel! I’m really looking forward to all your posts.

    • First off, I love that your name is “Potato”, haha.

      But I always love hearing the random stories about how people land here. The internet is a big place and it still blows my mind that people find their way to my tiny corner of the web amongst the saturation of cat videos and horrible memes. #blessed

      I love that you’re hanging in there and using your journey to inspire others! I have many “silent” Trump supporters who follow my page, and they’d never say it out loud, but I’ll see them quietly share or “like” pro-Trump things.

      I’ve done nothing but promote inclusion, progressiveness, and social good on my platform for years, and I think it’s time for me to do what’s best for me and my sanity and break free.

      I’m 26, single, and childless, and this is the best time to be selfish in my opinion, lol. Thanks for following along and I appreciate all the support!

  • Rachel Heller

    Good for you! As an ex-American expat living in the Netherlands, I feel the same way. Please tell me you won’t be skipping over Malawi in your Africa trip though! Such a lovely, peaceful country!

    • Good for you too, Rachel! The Netherlands, how fun! Hope you’ve enjoyed your time and I’ll do my best to accommodate Malawi! It’s all a matter of timing at this point. I’m trying to spend at least 1-2 weeks in each country I visit! Very excited!

  • Susanna Kelly

    I really enjoyed reading about your decisions process in starting your next journey. I made the decision to leave the U.S. last year and recent events have urged me to not come for a while. My family keeps asking when I will be home and I can only tell them, maybe never… This sparked a really interesting discussion with me and a friend where we talked about whether it is better to stay and protest the injustice happening or put your self in a better situation. I am not sure what the answer to that is, but I know I will keep protesting from where I am and voting as a citizen. I’m glad you’re making this decision, it sounds like it’s the right thing for you and I hope the road gets easier for you as you travel the world!

    • Hey Susanna! Wow, at least you were abroad for all of the chaos! I envy that, lol.

      That’s such a great conversation to have with your friend, because to a degree, you feel responsible for helping bring about change and speak out against injustice — at the same time, you have ONE life to live, and mental sanity to maintain.

      I feel like I’ve done my part in the U.S. with being very vocal on social media, so I’m going to continue being vocal, but just further away now, lol.

  • Great now I have tears in my eyes and I don’t know what to say! I just wanted to let you know that idiots are all around the world, and even though I love my home country (France) very much, I sometimes feel like we’re a bunch of idiots, with the exception of very few people. No country is better than any other… I used to think, when I was new to this “travel” thing and “expat thing” that anywhere else was better than France and I learned (sometimes the hard way) that no country is perfect. But all of them can be awesome as well! So I wish you the best and I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for!

    • Hi Stephanie! I love your comment! It’s so true! We think of the grass as always being greener on the other side, but really, it’s just fertilized with different sh*t! LOL

      Life is such an interesting journey, and I’m glad that you came to the realization that every country has its problems. For me, it’s about which problems are easier to handle than others, haha.

      Thanks so much for reading! XOXO

  • travelwithtarah

    Love your openness and honestly of this post! Best of luck with your travels!

    • Thanks Tarah! It’s therapeutic for me, and whenever people can relate, it’s just a plus!

  • What you said at the end of this post was perfection – I relate so much to not knowing exactly where I want to end up but definitely knowing that it’s not in the town I grew up in or the place my family calls home. I hope you have an amazing year of travel, adventure and self-discovery. I’m in Colombia now and plan to travel through South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa over the next 2 – 3 years without stopping. Maybe we will run into each other somewhere along the way 🙂

    • Girl, that sounds INCREDIBLE!!! And thanks so much for reading! Glad it resonated with you! We’re a unique breed of crazy, us travelers 😛

  • Hela Bella K

    Hello! I don’t often find time to read blogs but tonight, as I am packing my closet as I prepare to move BACK to the US after nearly 3 years away, I needed to distract myself. I am saddened by one major message portrayed in your post & felt compelled to respond.

    The message I understood was about how boring & unintelligent people are who don’t leave their hometowns.

    Has it crossed your mind they might have fear or anxiety evoked when leaving their comfort zone? It is travel blogs, photographs, and sometimes as much as a buddy that gives people the inspiration to book a trip and go.

    It’s up to us as travelers to empathize, inspire, and support people who are happy living the “American Dream”

    Secondly, sounds like you may not be looking in the right place to surround yourself with intelligent people. America is full of inventors, artists, and welcoming souls, even in “boring” corporate environments. While in Phoenix Did you become involved with entrepreneurial meet & greets? There are many volunteering opportunities 🙂 If you decide to come back after “indefinitely” leaving, America will welcome you with open arms!

    • Hey Hela! Thanks for dropping by and hope your adventures abroad have been amazing! Safe trip back to the states!

      Many of my words struck people the wrong way and I tend to write with conviction which can either inspire or offend people. Especially those who aren’t frequent readers.

      I had a few professors and old friends from Baker message me and mention how much they agreed about “small town America” or how much they’re inspired to start having the harder conversations with some of the close-minded people I mention.

      The best thing about having this blog is that it’s my space to release my uninhibited thoughts for people to either contextualize and digest, or get offended and dismiss. Both are inevitable and that’s okay.

      A country of 325+ million people will of course have amazing, inspiring, and intelligent souls like you, and all the innovators and entrepreneurs that help advance future generations.

      Our lives, encounters, and experiences ultimately shape our perspectives, and perhaps the many racist and close-minded exchanges I’ve had with small town Americans is why a post like this is necessary. And if you’re not present in those exchanges, it’s easy for you to feel like singing “kumbaya” is the only way to win people over.

      Conviction breeds change, and I’m okay with being the messenger and taking that backlash.

      Thanks again for reading and hope your transition back home is amazing!

  • I’m excited that you’re visiting South Africa soon 😀

    Anyway, here’s a blog that I’ve been following
    https://2summers.net/

    Heather is an American living in Johannesburg and I think you might like her blog.

  • Lakicia Cooper

    Yes! You’ve expressed exactly how I feel. So few people openly express feeling this way, especially in such an ethnocentric country like the US. I’ll be moving to Japan in May to teach English, and I’ll be moving on to other countries afterwards. I’ve been to Japan twice already as a visitor and I can’t wait to start the ‘Teaching Tourism’ part of my life. There are so many places to go and I think teaching english is the most economical way for me to do so. Thailand, Vietnam next maybe, and then on to south america. I also love the idea of staying in place long enough to get immersed in the culture. And I’d love to learn some languages along the way. I’ve already started studying Japanese!

    I don’t feel at home in the united states and I don’t feel loved by this country so why should i LOVE it? We don’t ever question that for some reason. Why are black folks still here?! And I don’t believe in limiting myself. Who says I HAVE to permanently reside in the city/state/country I was born in? No one. People live such limited lives and ultimately die full of regret. Keep going hun! Maybe one day we’ll cross paths 🙂

  • I would first like to say “Can you please get out of my head? Thanks” This post was AMAZING! And I feel so comforted to know that I am sharing this thought pattern with someone else – and who know how many others are out there?! Go. Do it. And don’t look back.

    I am in the beginning stages of planning my 6 months (hopefully a year) abroad exploration to Nairobi, India and Barbados – leaving US the end of this year. Blogs such as yours, make what I think is a “big huge OMG” thing a reality. Please keep traveling, please keep writing. You have a host of support to draw from.

    Love & Light Gloria!

    Oh, P.S. How do I keep my hair up?! I’m natural underneath and opt for blonde sew ins. Been thinking about that… words about hair care would be appreciative. If there is a blog about that and I missed it, please let me know! 🙂

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  • fragglewriter

    I just came across your blog last week. Will you continue to create posts on this site, or should I look for you instead on Twitter and/or Instagram?

  • Tirzah

    I’m not really sure that I agree with this post. I’m 54 years old, and I look at life much differently than someone who is only 26. Long ago, Mahatma Ghandi taught that we must be the change that we want to see in the world. The secret to happiness lies in what we can do and be for others, not surrounding ourselves with people, places, situations, and things that can do and be for us. It’s not about receiving; it’s about giving.

    We can’t go through life choosing people, places, and things based on what they can give to us. That is selfish and immature. I believe in blooming where one is planted and then creatively looking for ways in which to make better that corner of the world where we have been planted. If everybody packed their bags and took trips every time the going got rough, what would become of rooted human society? We can’t spend our entire lives living out of suitcases and hopping from one country to the next. At some point, we have to grow up, settle down, and contribute.

    One Sabbath, when Jesus of Nazareth went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, He turned and said to His host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors. If you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” [Luke 14:12-14]

    My purpose in quoting this passage of Scripture is not to preach religion, but to point out the principle that Christ taught – the principle of doing for others and giving back to others even if they are not in a position to reciprocate.

    In your case, it sounds to me as if you have decided to leave the United States because you have grown weary of dwelling among a people who cannot give back to you spiritually or intellectually. But did the thought ever occur to you that maybe…just maybe, it is you who might give to them spiritually and intellectually? Everything about this post seems to be about what America and American citizens have not been able to do, be, and give to you, but again, as Ghandi said, “You must be the change that you want to see in the world. Have you given any thought as to how you might become the change that you want to see in America, or is it much easier to pack a suitcase and jump on a plane to Anywhere But Here and blog?

    Truly, I am not writing this response to be uncharitable. Life is not just about us. It’s about others and how we give of ourselves to them. As a Christian, I believe that man’s threefold purpose in this life is to know, love, and serve God. The accumulation of wealth, adventures, mental and intellectual stimulation is an insufficient reason for living. When I reach the end of my days, I must look backward on something more meaningful than the pursuit of adventures and all things exciting and stimulating. I will consider my earthly existence to have been wasted – utterly wasted – unless I can recall a loving family, a consistent investment in the lives of people, and an earnest attempt to serve the God who made me. Nothing else makes much sense, and certainly nothing else is worthy of my agitation.

    I can only hope that one day you will come to understand that God did not put you here on this earth for yourself, but for Him.

  • Tirzah

    I’m not really sure that I agree with this post. I’m 54 years old, and I look at life much differently than someone who is only 26. Long ago, Mahatma Gandhi taught that we must be the change that we want to see in the world. The secret to happiness lies in what we can do and be for others, not surrounding ourselves with people, places, situations, and things that can do and be for us. It’s not about receiving; it’s about giving.

    We can’t go through life choosing people, places, and things based on what they can give to us. That is selfish and immature. I believe in blooming where one is planted and then creatively looking for ways in which to make better that corner of the world where we have been planted. If everybody packed their bags and took trips every time the going got rough, what would become of rooted human society? We can’t spend our entire lives living out of suitcases and hopping from one country to the next. At some point, we have to grow up, settle down, and contribute.

    One Sabbath, when Jesus of Nazareth went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, He turned and said to His host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors. If you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” [Luke 14:12-14]

    My purpose in quoting this passage of Scripture is not to preach religion, but to point out the principle that Christ taught – the principle of doing for others and giving back to others even if they are not in a position to reciprocate.

    In your case, it sounds to me as if you have decided to leave the United States because you have grown weary of dwelling among a people who cannot give back to you spiritually or intellectually. But did the thought ever occur to you that maybe…just maybe, it is you who might give to them spiritually and intellectually? Everything about this post seems to be about what America and American citizens have not been able to do, be, and give to you, but again, as Gandhi said, “You must be the change that you want to see in the world. Have you given any thought as to how you might become the change that you want to see in America, or is it much easier to pack a suitcase and jump on a plane to Anywhere But Here and blog?

    Truly, I am not writing this response to be uncharitable. Life is not just about us. It’s about others and how we give of ourselves to them. As a Christian, I believe that man’s threefold purpose in this life is to know, love, and serve God. The accumulation of wealth, adventures, mental and intellectual stimulation is an insufficient reason for living. When I reach the end of my days, I must look backward on something more meaningful than the pursuit of adventures and all things exciting and stimulating. I will consider my earthly existence to have been wasted – utterly wasted – unless I can recall a loving family, a consistent investment in the lives of people, and an earnest attempt to serve the God who made me. Nothing else makes much sense, and certainly nothing else is worthy of my agitation.

    I can only hope that one day you will come to understand that God did not put you here on this earth for yourself, but for Him.

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