By birth right, I am Canadian. One that has yet to leave the continent, but one whom lacks residency requirements for basic Canadian benefits- like healthcare. How that makes sense, I’m not really sure. I live and work, study, play, and volunteer here, 90% of the time- the other 10% has been spent getting to know our neighbours, the United States of America.
I’ve been trotting around this little continent for nearly five years now, it never seems to get old. I always find a unique place which is unlike the rest. The explorations are endless, so long as you get off your butt and go. Every place has people who teach you something new, or offer a perspective you hadn’t thought of- if you remain open to it, of course.
Truth be told though, I’ve maybe touched 10% (random toss of a number. Either way, it’s pretty miniscule) of the ground in my own backyard. Yet, it feels like I’ve been across the globe. I know people from anywhere and everywhere, all walks of life; homeless, rich, and middle class climbing bums; from Switzerland, Japan, Spain, and Mexico. It’s pretty dang cool.
Since I’ve been studying, working, and trying my best to make (at least) yearly visits to my family, I’ve been keeping my travels semi-local. That’s a handful to manage on it’s own, I can promise you that. Nevermind trying to manage my well-being on top of that (climbing- duh), and dreaming of the places I want to go.
I’ve volunteered en route, and have filled my time with activities I am passionate for, as well as ones which help me grow as an individual. Opportunities to work along my career objectives, while expanding my skills in the general working field, have also crossed my path (and continue to.) Yet, all of what I have said is being jeopardized due to formality issues.
You see, I am sitting at home, sick, without the opportunity to see a doctor, with an injured foot that won’t be x-rayed. That’s a basic right, is it not? It is illegal to live in my van (an address is necessary for a license), and student loans go to those who are located- without being a student- for two years, in one place. Two more issues that complicated my life enormously.
My life, is different than the average joe, perhaps. But then there are plenty like me out there. I mean, we had a “gypsy van crew”, and a “McDonald’s dirtbag crew”. That’s two very different crowds of people living like me, in one small town. We all have jobs- that are a hassle to get and maintain- but we do it. For instance, I was supposed to work today, but couldn’t. Why? Because I couldn’t get a doctor to look at my foot for under $1000, or to sign a piece of paper telling me to be careful.
So please, don’t tell me it’s a lack of contribution to society. I don’t make a lot of money, because often I do the jobs that no one else will do- like working for non-profit organizations. There are times where I volunteer, and times where I buy homeless men coffee with the last toonie to my name. I go to school when I can, and I am a family girl as often as possible.
Travel, is simple. It is breathtaking, eye-opening, and quite awakening. It is lessons learned, continuously. Ones that are re-taught to those in our homelands, or passed on to others we meet on our journey.
The rigid structure of civilized society? Well that, is another story. These ridiculous laws, like the ones against living in a van, are de-humanizing. My person needs to be set free to see who she is, in order to be the highest product to society that she possibly can.
Humans may need structure, but we need structure which allows our spirit to move; a structure that allows us to grow as humans, to experience our full potential, and to share it with everyone we meet. Otherwise, we fail to be human- a trait which is unique to each and every one of us.
I was hoping to begin journeying abroad this Spring, but it has me wondering what the government will have in store upon returning to this native land…of the strong and free. I mean, if I can’t travel across North America, what sort of consequences will they give me for coming home to tell them all their travel advisories are lies, and they are equally as corrupt as anywhere else in the world? How hard will they try to suppress me from teaching kids to expand their minds, to go out and play, and to give them strength to become anyone or anything that they want to be?
All I know, is that I am trying to do the best that I can do, the best that I know how. Be anyone else, and I fail to fulfill my duties to the world I was gifted, and to the life I was blessed with. That’s what it’s all about right?
For now, I’ve left it to the lawyers to sort out my residency issues and help me find healthcare (pretty sure not having it is illegal as well, but could be making that up.) Amongst other sortings that need to be dealt with…
I couldn’t tell you the answer to solving the world’s issues, but maybe you can tell me? Or maybe we can all just spread a little love, and care for one another. Freely.