This past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to an island off the coast of Croatia called Korčula. It was absolutely amazing. I was able to spend most of the weekend relaxing at the beach and exploring the old town. The old town is a walled-in city dating back to the 13th century and it is also the place where Marco Polo was born.
While I was there, I stayed at an apartment very near to the coast with an amazing balcony with wonderful views of the Adriatic.
The people who own the apartment were so incredibly welcoming and helpful. One night they invited us to a festival in a nearby town. They took us in their own car and bought us the most amazing grilled squid and red wine.
We proceeded to have a great conversation about life, love and the future. At one point in the conversation, the nephew of the apartment owner, Surdjan, who was the one who spoke English, mentioned to me that I had a lot of stamps in my passport. He started listing off some of the many places that I have been fortunate enough to visit. Surdjan, along with his aunt and uncle, were very curious about all of my travels and were very envious of everywhere I have been. Usually, I am really proud to talk about all of my travels and the experiences I have been lucky enough to have had, but in this moment, I felt somewhat embarrassed or spoiled. I know that they were asking me these questions just out of curiosity, but I couldn’t help but think of my privileges during this conversation. My American privilege, which allows me to have one of the strongest passports in the world that can take me to nearly every country. My socioeconomic privilege, which has allowed me to pursue higher education and have these amazing travel opportunities. And my white privilege, which allows me to travel freely without fear.
I have so much appreciation for all of these privileges that I have and I realize that all of the amazing things I have been able to see and do are a result of them. The people that I have met this summer as well as last summer are some of the most amazing people I know. They go out of their way to help me with whatever I may need. The more people I meet while I am over here, the more I wonder how only 16 years ago, they were at war with one another…