11 July 2010

Vacation, all I ever wanted!

I went on "vacation" this weekend. I quote because it was one full day and another 12 hours or so that I was away from home. It was delightful and my partner and I enjoyed some much needed time away from this world where people have HIV and everybody hates feminists and freshman composition. As a side note, I hate the word 'freshman' but felt like I should just use that word so you, my faithful readers, would know what I was talking about. Calling it 'first-year composition' takes the scathing torture out of the word.

I digress.

Even if I'm not longer living in the beautiful, heart-wrenching world of social justice academia, I still spend many minutes of every day pondering the way I present myself in the world, considering the privilege from which I know I come. Whilst off enjoying a vacation, I realized what a funny thing a vacation is. Let me tell you about how many POC I saw over the course of the weekend: approximately 10. Realistically, there were more than that, but considering how many people were relaxing in the same small mountain town as myself, that's a relatively small number. And, are you curious to know about where specifically I saw those folks? Almost always working in shops or serving at the bar. Meanwhile, I was ordering drinks and minding my own business. It's a frustrating thing, I think, to be in a place like that and to note how many people there are like me and how few people there are who do not bare the same skin tone as myself. Is vacationing kind of a gringo thing to do? Speaking from my own experience, my family rarely vacationed when I was a kid. Usually, we went to Disneyland which is, in case you didn't know already, the happiest [read: most oppressive] place on earth! So, my vacationing knowledge is slim. Fill me in, blog world. Do I just go to places where all the white people hang out? Because if that's the case, I need to know how to expand my vacationing horizons without a) losing all my money, and b) intruding in spaces where I'm not really invited.

I love vacations, even if I simply leave my home and go somewhere else for a weekend. I don't, however, like leaving my town just to go some other place exactly like the place I left. Perhaps it's time to do some research about the things other people do when they get away from the daily thrill of work and school.

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