Let’s Talk about Privilege
I recently recorded the interview for the October 2021 episode of Nomadtopia Radio. It was an eye-opening and insightful conversation about examining our privilege, taking a more justice-oriented approach to travel, and lots more with my guest, Amanda Machado, and members of the Nomadtopia Collective who joined us live. I wanted to share some tidbits with you now because there’s so much good stuff to unpack and consider.
To help set the stage, at the beginning of my conversation with Amanda I read an excerpt of an article she wrote; here’s part of it:
After moving to Cape Town in 2015, I wrote a widely-shared essay sanctimoniously arguing about the benefits of leaving the United States and living abroad. But at the time, I didn’t fully recognize or acknowledge the passport privilege that allowed me to have that experience in the first place. My privilege meant I could easily decide to leave the U.S. when its culture or politics frustrated me, and choose another country that suited me better at the time. And, if ever I needed the U.S. for its unique financial opportunities to advance my life or career, I could then just as easily return. . . . it’s more important than ever for U.S. citizens to understand our privilege: We take advantage of an unjust system that allows us to easily move about the world while others must sacrifice everything to do the same.
I don’t know about you, but this is something I’ve certainly thought about and struggled with myself, and it was helpful to explore it with someone who talks, writes, and does training on these kinds of topics as part of her work.
From there, our conversation went on to talk about understanding our impact on the places we travel, especially when we see them as a commodity; the colonizer (and even expat/nomad/traveler) attitude that means we’re not fully invested in a place; and lots more.
Be sure to check out the full article from which I pulled the above excerpt: “The Privilege of an American Passport.”
Some other important food for thought is offered in this article, which I mentioned during my conversation with Amanda: “Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?” by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin.
If you’re intrigued by these ideas, stay tuned for the full episode coming October 6! Follow Nomadtopia Radio wherever you get your podcasts so you can easily access this and other new episodes as soon as they go live. (If you’re a member of the Collective, you can find the raw recording and all the resources right now in the community.)
P.S. As I mentioned above, members of the Nomadtopia Collective get to join us live for podcast interviews and participate in Q&A and discussion with me and my guest—and they get immediate access to those replays rather than having to wait until the official episode is released. This is a great perk, especially if you’re a big fan of the podcast and would like to be able to interact directly with guests and me! Click here for details and to join us now.