I’ve been called out a lot lately on this “white privilege.”
When I talk to people it’s obvious I’m not from Trinidad, though people, if they were nice will lead with “Where are you from?” and I’ve played it up since I’ve lived here for the last year that I’m from Trinidad, and most will follow it up with “Originally?”.. Okay fine, Canada, but that’s if I’m lucky and they didn’t right off the bat say “oh so you’re american.”
So this white privilege thing comes in once we’ve established where I’m from and exactly why I’m in Trinidad. Many people bring up the aspect of travelling. I’ve done my fair share of that over the last 9.5 months, but in no way did my parents give me a single penny towards my travelling.
First, I pay for my education on my own, and once I finish paying my education the world is my oyster.
This was my year of adventure, following my dreams and finding myself. I funded this myself though. Last summer I worked 6 jobs, deadicately. I think over that time I may have slept only 6 actual hours. I went from job to job to job, some nights working triples without a break.
So in the end it’s not about ‘white privilege’ just because of my colour does not make me any more able to travel than the next person or a person of colour. If you want to travel you have to work towards it.
Stop buying the fast food, save the ‘pennies’ or in my case some loonies and toonies. Skip the extravagant lattes and make your coffee at home, or forgo it for a year. Apply for an extra job and create the savings; but just because I’m white and you’re black does not mean it is easier for me to travel. In fact, through travel I see just as much harassment, difficulties and hard times as the next person. I am not given royal treatment at airports, on planes, in hotels or taxis, and the streets are not the safest place for a solo white female, but none of this stops me from making the travels I have been on safe, fun, enlightening and worth the experiences. None of this to say is that my experiences have been terrible or bad. I’ve only had 3 awful airport encounters, but one person’s travel struggles will always be different from yours; and yes you may share stories along the way and there may be some similar experiences but we can all travel and travel just as much or as little as we want to, but you have to put yourself out there to make it possible for yourself just as I did.
So before you walk around telling a white person who travels that they have some privilege to be able to travel and you can’t because your black or you have less, think about what you could do to be there, travelling yourself.
Until the next one,
And in safe travels,