Instead of being mired in hopelessness for the last couple of months, instead of storming the streets with my comrades, I was pursuing the very American dream of freedom—the very stuff of hope. As frightening as the election of Trump is for a variety of reasons, I have felt nothing but hope.
Perhaps it is my familiarity with dystopia or my critical American studies lens. Perhaps it is because I had more than 60 days and 11, 469 miles to see and experience a wide stretch of America, including 20 states and 15 National Parks or Monuments as well as beaches and hot springs and interstates and abandoned buildings and diverse people and ski resorts and the Mexican-American border.
America is deep and wide and we’ve been there before. The climate on the other hand…. I only slightly digress, but my point here is about hope. In the spirit of hope, I share a collection of essays that reflect upon my travels. I have posted these individually, but collect them here as a set.
Two I posted while traveling:
Musings on the Geographical Center of the U.S. and Making America Great Again
Reflections on Privilege and Border-Crossing
And several more I worked on over the course of the trip:
Making America Great Again: Musings on East and West
The Thinking Woman’s Vacation
A Few of My Favorite Things…
And the culminating piece:
The Unauthorized Sabbatical: An Exercise in Self-Care and Professional Development
And, so, it is back to work for me. But back to work means doing what I can to hold my country accountable to its dreams, to work toward social justice, to take care of myself, and to continue to have hope.
PS: I include a selection of images that are generally representative of the places we traveled throughout this series of blogs. Enjoy!