Since today is the anniversary of the start of my journey, I thought I would reflect on what has happened since I have been away. Here are my thoughts on my year abroad.
The photo above is a selfie from my last day in America which was November 14, 2019. That photo is significant for two reasons: it captures my last moments on American soil, and it is one of the few selfies I have taken where I don’t look like a freak.
Every day I watch the BBC news and I see the USA is having many issues. It seems the USA has become somewhat unhinged this past year.
When I am on Facebook, I see people I have known for years viciously turn on each other over a few hot button topics. I have kept mostly silent during this time as I do not wish to get into a heated debate with anyone over any issue. Now I will say what has been on my mind.
The Global Pandemic
I first heard about Coronavirus late last January. I had not been watching television news while I was in Thailand, Bali and South Korea and therefore I was not aware of it until a friend told me about it on Facebook. The lockdowns have been hard for everyone. There is no conspiracy, it is just an unfortunate series of events that led to the pandemic. Let’s all work together and do whatever we can to get it under control so we can try to resume the lives we had before.
To wear or not wear a mask? Last November when I first arrived in Bangkok, I saw a few people walking on the streets wearing masks. At the time, they were wearing them due to air pollution from heavy traffic in the city. By late January when I arrived in Japan the mask wearing became more frequent. Some in America have declared that wearing a mask violates their freedom as an American. I do not see the big deal about wearing a mask when I am in public to protect myself and others from this virus.
Racial Injustice and Violence
The police brutality and murders of African American citizens is wrong. But, the racial injustices in this country will not be remedied with riots. It will not bring the deceased back and will only bring further devastation. You cannot use violence to protest violence, it doesn’t work. Two wrongs do not make a right. America needs to heal and come together now.
The 2020 Presidential Election
The polarization between the political parties on the presidential election is frightening. As a member of the media, I feel I should be politically neutral. Therefore, I have not and will not engage in political debates with anyone on social media or anywhere else. Every leader of our country has been an imperfect human being and will have flaws. There should not be character assassinations on opponents’ personal lives in political campaigns. It needs to be about our country’s many problems and how to solve them. Period.
Final thoughts On My Year Abroad
I met a lovely Englishman when I was in Thailand. Last February after I was finished with my work I came here to stay for a while. I now have been living in England for 10 months. It has been a peaceful existence and I want to make a life here. Presently, I am working on making that happen.
I miss my children Aaron and Kate very much. It has been a year and I have not seen them since I left. When it is safe, I will return to the USA for a visit to see them. I do not know when or if I will return to live in America. I will watch what is going on from across the pond and I hope America can resolve some of its inner conflicts. That is what will make America great again.