Forget Canada. I’m Going to Spain!

In June, I shared that America’s regression into a conservative theocracy made me question whether I want to remain in the country. I moved to America to enjoy the promise of freedom and rights, but every year, it seems I have fewer and fewer of those. The last straw was when Roe vs. Wade fell, and states swiftly moved to attack women’s bodily autonomy.

Canada and several other countries spoke out against America’s decision and vowed to pass laws that upheld women’s rights in their own countries. These governments also promised to make it easier for Americans to opt for abortions in their jurisdictions. Mexico beat them all to it the year prior when it shocked the world by decriminalizing abortion.

Why did Canada get crossed off the list?

Over the summer, I researched the Airbnbs I wanted to stay at in Canada. I recognized that being north of the border would cost me at least three times what it did to RV in the rest of North America, but I figured the cost was worth the taste of freedom for a few months per year.

However, my Airbnb host quite suspiciously ignored my request. When I followed up a week later, it was clear I was not welcome. Airbnb typically does not disclose pictures of guests because racial discrimination is rampant on the site. But, I had my full name up because I am a host. Maybe she looked me up? Who knows.

She claimed the suite was fully booked, but it wasn’t when I went back to check. She also ignored my messages asking whether the other months were booked out too, or just the one I had initially asked about.

Meanwhile, I had posted on Quora asking Canadians what areas they would recommend moving to or visiting. Half of the responses were sickeningly racist―lending credence to a common sentiment I often hear from Black people in Canada:

Canada is just as racist as the United States. They just have better PR.

After that, I started questioning why on Earth I would pay thousands of dollars to spend annual summers in Diet America. So, I decided to postpone plans while I considered my options.

How did Spain get voted in as the replacement?

If you know me personally, you likely also know I have an unhealthy obsession with Spain that started in my 20s. I have deliberately put Spain off for the very last country I wanted to see for two reasons:

  1. I suspect it will hurt like hell to leave.
  2. There’s always the risk I’ve built it up to be more than it really is.

Every so often, I’ve checked tickets to Europe, and the prices were always in the thousands. One night, I browsed flights out of curiosity and it was cheaper to fly to Spain than to fly to Jamaica or drive to Canada!

It was almost too good to be true, so I decided to pace myself and give it some thought. A month later, I bought the ticket.

How Long Will I Be Spending in Spain?

I’m visiting Spain for one month in the spring of 2023. It’s a test trip to help me decide whether a longer stay is feasible or if I should consider yet another country.

Spain allows 90-day visits, so that’s three months to explore and then head back to North America. If I like it there, I’ll start spending three months in Europe from 2024 onward.

Is Shadow coming with me?

Unfortunately, no. I’m flying with Shadow to Atlanta and leaving him there for the month I’m away. Mom is very excited to be on grandma duty.

Dad said, “So you’ll be cat-sitting? That’s nice.”

And she said, “No! I am babysitting my grandson!”

I have never flown with Shadow, so this will be a new experience. The flight will be his test trip. I wanted to have his first time aboard a plane within the US, so I could focus on getting the logistics right before I had to worry about the paperwork of getting him into Europe.

He is most certainly coming with me on the next trip. Mom has agreed to fly with me at that time so that I have an extra pair of hands.

I suspect spring of 2023 is going to be one for the books! I can’t wait to share how Shadow’s first flight goes and what it’s really like to walk the streets of Spain.

Wish me luck!

24 thoughts on “Forget Canada. I’m Going to Spain!

    1. Thank you! I’m headed to Andalusia for this trip, but will definitely explore other regions. If not this trip, then in subsequent ones. You know me. I can’t stay put anywhere, haha. I did notice that the south and west seemed to have most of the campgrounds.

  1. This is so exciting! Definitely a big decision: I wish you a lovely test trip next year and hopefully a move over. Spain is a beautiful country; do you have an idea which city/region you want to stay in? Best of luck!

    1. Thank you! I’m headed to Andalusia. I’ve been curious about that specific region for years.

  2. Congratulations on your decision, Alexis. I think you will find Spain very welcoming and laid back. Where exactly are you going? For the authentic experience, I would recommend lesser known regions, so the whole northern coast or inland might be a better bet. Do try and visit Galicia (northwest region) if you possibly can, but the whole north coast is definitely less spoilt by tourism than the other Costas. Enjoy your trip and ‘bienvenida a España! ❤

    1. Thank you! I am headed to Andalusia for this trip, but I may take my explorations further north before I leave. ☺️

  3. LOL @ Diet America. I suppose I’ve never really researched Canada from the POV of a Black person. I have so much family there and they’ve never complained, but then again I’ve never asked them about racism. It’s the only country I’ve seriously contemplated moving to before, so it’s sad to hear about that. Anyway, I wish you best wishes in Spain! I hope it’s everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

    1. Just calling it like it is. 😂 Lots of Jamaicans in Canada shared their experiences there after I posted the Airbnb drama months ago. None of them were surprised either. It is what it is.

      Canada is still a good option, though. I don’t think you can avoid racism anywhere as a Black person. I finally had my first racist experience in Mexico last week! It was hilarious, but racist all the same.

      1. I had that same optimism until I saw how many young people were at the January 6th insurrection. Now, I’m not so sure. But it might still be true of Canada!

  4. Such exciting plans, filled with anticipation. Of course, I wish the good ole U S of A was more welcoming to you, and Canada as well. I have never been to Spain, but I fell deeply in love with Portugal. I look forward to your adventures..

    1. Thank you! I may take a trip to Portugal while there. I’ve heard great things about the country. ❤️

      1. That’s good to know. Welcome seems to be in short supply these days!

Chat to me nuh!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.