Aside

Don’t go there.

As you should know by now, I want to see the world. It’s not so much about the number of passport stamps that I get (although it’s a small perk) as it is about the vast & various landscapes that I get to see, the foods that I get to eat & drink, the cultures that I get to experience, and the potential connections that occur as a result. But as an avid reader, especially on the internet, I read & observe the good and bad news about people, places and things.

After recently reading about some disturbing news in France, in addition to other news from the country, I’m very ambivalent about going there. And I don’t think that I’d ever continue my expatriate life there either.

I feel the same about South Africa: it’s a country that I’ve always wanted to visit, but I’m quite ambivalent about visiting there also after hearing about the rape culture (especially used to fuel homophobia) and its president’s dismissal of his own rape charges & beliefs about HIV/AIDS. Those are just 2 of many reasons why I also don’t think that I’d ever continue my expatriate life there either.

I also have a few concerns about Russia, which experienced/is experiencing racial violence by neo-Nazi & ultra-nationalist groups. And had I known about Australia’s racist history before visiting there, I don’t think that I’d spend my money (going) there. I’ve considered continuing my expatriate life there also, but I’m not sure if that’s in my best interests as a person of color, along with knowing what I know about the country’s history now (White Australia policy; Aborigine assimilation – Wikipedia edition; etc.).

You might be saying to yourself, “But you’re from the United States. You shouldn’t skip visiting a country, especially because of where you’re from.” You might be correct. But I didn’t ask to be born, and I didn’t have a choice about where I was born. I made the choice to leave the United States for good over a year ago, for many reasons, and I can also choose not to visit or live in certain countries for some of the same reasons why I left the United States. Then again, the United Kingdom doesn’t have the most pristine history either…

So what about you? Are there countries that you’re ambivalent about living in or visiting for ethical or moral reasons? Are there countries that you outright refuse to live in or visit for ethical reasons? Or will you live/visit wherever you want, ethical or moral issues be damned? Please discuss.

No country for old (wo)men.

No country for old (wo)men.

6 thoughts on “Don’t go there.

  1. Interesting post! I’m pretty ambivalent about visiting China, but I’m pretty spiritual and naturally want to visit Tibet, which means I’d have to travel to China first (Talk about tolerance!) Anyway, I don’t think its wrong of you to not want to visit/live in places your not interested in nor passionate about, and concerned about security. These days you have to be safe and smart about your choices anywhere that you live in the world. If you’re interested in living in South Africa and Russia, why not try it out, you may be surprised what you learn from the human experience in some of these places. Good luck! :)

  2. Hmmm…I don’t know that there are countries that I wouldn’t visit based on moral reasons just some countries that are more interesting to me than others. As someone who has spent significant time in South Africa, I would urge you not to let Jacob Zuma’s stupidity sway your decision not to go there. Its a beautiful, fascinating country with very nice people. If I have learned one thing about my travels is that a small group of horrible people or idiotic political leadership does not define a country, its inhabitants or your ability to appreciate what that country has to offer (case in point, the one I live in now. AHEM!). I agree with rowingwithlife. You might be surprised at what you’ll find.

  3. Shiv says:

    Honestly as a brown person I’m terrified of going to Europe. I love to travel and I’ve lived in a few different countries but I fear how I’ll react to the racism which I feel I’d inevitably face there.

    • Spinster says:

      I’d suggest not letting that hold you back. It’s a fear that may be unfounded, and you won’t know until or unless you try. I hope that this helps you a little bit.

      Thank you for commenting. I appreciate it.

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