What a week this has been. I feel like I’m living in an entire different world from last week’s post. I’m emotionally exhausted from the horrible past few days, but I want to keep this weekly series going so here we go. This is what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been thinking over this week.

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2016 Election

I am so tired. I’ve been trying to explain Trump away for a year while I’ve been abroad. I am scared for the marginalized and that people I love (or people I don’t know, but value inherently as humans) will suffer. I am exhausted. I couldn’t get out of bed on Wednesday morning when the results came in. I feel like there is this heavy weight that I carry around. I feel guilty for moving abroad and being “safe” when so many people back home aren’t. I feel guilty for encouraging anyone to leave when the US needs those good strong people the most right now—the people who are oppressed and suffer the most are the least able to leave, and they need a voice. I feel guilty that I live in a country where my access to healthcare (particularly contraceptives) is safe, when women back home are trying to get 5-10 year IUDs before January since they won’t be able to get them after he takes office. I can’t believe this is reality.

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This election has showed me that America is racist. It is misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, and bigoted. It is far more flawed than I ever thought it was. So the fight starts now. Confront your privilege. Step up. And I say this as a travel blogger and as an American: traveling is important. Widening your perspective, meeting different people, experiencing new cultures, visiting diverse places—seeing different people and accepting them as humans worthy of respect is VITAL. We must love one another.

I’ve spent the last few hours trying to come up with what to say. I usually plan out my posts a day or a few hours in advance. I have lots of pictures from my trip to Scotland I want to share. But today. Today is hard. It is scary. I am disappointed, sad, upset, shocked, discouraged, a thousand more things. . But today has reminded me, more than ever, that traveling is important. Getting out of your comfort zone is important. Recognizing your privilege is important. Meeting people who look different to you, speak a different language, practice a different religion, live in a different country, love differently from you, is so important. Openness, inclusivity, and kindness are important. No matter where I am in the world, I will fight like hell for these values and for the people who need them the most. . This is a photo of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, often called the Holocaust Memorial. I’m sharing it today to honor them and all that they suffered. May love always win. . Every day we have the choice to make the world a better place. Be kind. Show compassion. Love one another. . ❤❤❤ . . . . . #election2016 #lovetrumpshate #usa #love #history #berlin #germany #holocaust #holocaustmemorial

A photo posted by Maja Proescholdt (@awaywithmaja) on

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I have so many more words, but I don’t want this whole blog post to be about the election. So I will leave it at that, and encourage everyone reading this blog to donate to Planned Parenthood. I was a Planned Parenthood patient for 4 years, and I simply would not be here if it weren’t for them. Even $5 helps. This organization will face an uphill battle, and they need our help now more than ever. You do not need to be in the US to donate! Anyone with a credit/debit card can donate. Please consider donating. It is so important. The link to donate is here.

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You can’t just MOVE TO CANADA

One of the things that frustrated me the most about the election was how (as always happens when things turn downhill for America) people immediately started saying they would move to Canada. YOU CAN’T JUST MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY. IT DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT. There are borders and rules and visas and paperwork. I would know, because I just moved to a new country and spent several months and $3300 applying for a visa. You cannot just move to another country. Americans are subject to the rules (privileged as we are) just like the rest of the world. Stop assuming that you can just live anywhere in the world you want. YOU CAN’T. For more discussion on this, and for 10 ways to actually leave the country (and travel), check out my post on this here.

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It’s a struggle to remember life/the world before Wednesday

I came to write this post and I couldn’t even remember what I had done this week. I feel like nothing existed before Wednesday, when the election results came in. I’m trying to remember that I had some really great experiences this week. I feel like everything has shifted, and a dark cloud has descended over us. I’m doing my best to not be as apocalyptic/depressed, but it’s so hard. Ugh. So here we go.

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Knaresborough: small-town Yorkshire is great

This past Saturday I spent the day in Knaresborough, a small town in Yorkshire and less than half an hour away from York by train. The weather wasn’t good (it kept going from bright and sunny, to cloudy and raining about every half hour) but I had a really nice day exploring what there was to see. It was very picturesque and I’m glad I went! Keep your eyes out on the blog for post on Knaresborough soon.

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Scotland was wonderful

I went to Scotland for a quick two-day trip on Monday and Tuesday, and I had such a great time! I was in Edinburgh and Stirling, and I definitely wished I could have stayed longer. I really need to see more of Scotland. I had also forgotten how much I love Edinburgh! The city is amazing, beautiful and historic, lively and friendly, and just so great. Edinburgh has a special place in my heart—it was my first solo overnight trip (besides visits to London) in November 2013. I already want to go back and spend more time there! But not in winter—I need to go back when the weather is better and it’s warmer! Blog posts coming soon!

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It was so good to meet up with friends

One of the main reasons I went to Scotland in the first place was to meet up with one of my best friends. She and her boyfriend were traveling in Scotland for a week, and I had a blast hanging out with them. Moving abroad definitely has its periods of loneliness, and I am so happy that I got to spend time with friends on this side of the pond!

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Next weekend: Peak District!

It takes a whole lot of effort to find something to look forward to during this week. But next weekend I’m headed to the Peak District, and I’m very excited! Adam has a rock climbing course and I’m tagging along to hang out/hike/explore the area for two days. We’ll be based in Eyam for the weekend, which is a quaint and charming village that I actually visited three years ago on a group trip! I’m excited to explore the area more thoroughly.

Over to you—what has your week been like?

Catch up on previous posts!

Living in England: Week 3

Living in England: Week 2

Living in England: Week 1

First Thoughts on Moving Abroad

Surprise! I’m Moving to England