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:
- I suspect it will hurt like hell to leave.
- 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!