Having to deal with this 2016 US presidential election while living abroad…
Yeah.WOW! That was fun!
“Trump or Hilary? Seriously?” – said THE WHOLE WORLD!!!
Everyone back home assumed because I am living in Australia that the election couldn’t have possibly affected me. I must have been too busy playing with kangaroos, riding motorized eskies and eating meat pies, right? HA. I wish. I think the fact that I was living in Australia during a world changing election impacted my life more than ever.
So now I am going to vent and tell you why living overseas during the election sucked and negatively affected my life… Well, at least the top 8 unique reasons why.
Born Again Virgin
Since the election started, my dating life took a turn for the worse (No sure HOW that was even possible). The first message I would receive from guys was always regarding their concern on who I was supporting. What the heck happened to the standard, “Hey!”
Come on, this is Tinder not eharmony for goodness sakes!
That reaction forced me to adjust the fine print on my profile, next to my irrational fear of chest hair, saying that I am indeed NOT voting for Trump. But even with that updated disclaimer, there was still a substantial decrease in matches purely because I was American.
I can live without a shortage of cringe-worthy bad dates, but that also meant I had to live without (Cough) umm…other things…
Hooray for Political Science!?
Electoral college? Popular vote? 2 year campaigns?
Yawn-filled and confusing compared to most other countries, our election structure was agonizing. Everyone around me found our election process to be very complicated and unnecessarily drawn out. I personally couldn’t disagree more! As my school records will prove I took poli sci 3 times because I found it so intriguing.
Orrrrr because of all of my involuntary naps during class… :/
Either way, too much of my time was spent clarifying how this classy election worked and operated. It is safe to say, I remembered instantly why those naps were necessary.
Can of Worms
Many new people I met exhaustively tried to avoid any conversation regarding my American background. Normally we talk about bacon, guns, and diabetes, you know, the norm. But during this election, no one wanted to bring up America because everyone was scared to open that can of worms.
So my conversations included less,”Oh cool you are from America! Where from?” And more of, “Oh, you are from American? (awkward pause)..So how about that global warming, right…”
Self Medication Theory
With all the nail biting debates that occurred during prime work hours here, stress levels were off the charts within the office! We couldn’t just kick back, grab a beer and relax to watch the circus unfold like everyone in America. Noooooo, we had to try and concentrate while working at 11 am when all the shit was hitting the fan.
The debates were ugly and they were nasty. And we had to watch them while at work, sober.
Talking to people back home happened more frequently than usual. I called for a normal check in but really, I called to get their view on how the election was playing out firsthand within the war zone.
Catch ups are difficult to come by when you live abroad, so regardless of the topic or potential difference of opinion, all conversations were cherished. My phone bill last month though, ehhhh..yeahhh, not so much.
Sure, I am Canadian
The first piece of advice I received when landing in Australia was to place a Canadian flag on my backpack. Apparently, “Everyone hates Americans because all Americans live in a bubble.” This made absolutely no sense to me.
I mean, come on. Canada doesn’t even have it’s own flag! 😉
Regardless to say, that was not a fun welcoming word of advice and I have always corrected others who thought I was Canadian. But during the past yearrrrr, to save the long tedious conversations around the elecion, when people assumed I was Canadian…
YES. I AM TOTALLY CANADIAN, EH!
I had friends from all around the globe who reached out, called, messaged, tweeted and poked me to ensure I was voting in the election.
Most were random connections I met through traveling, Tinder, or a bar, but all of them were absolutely frightened with the potential outcomes of the election.
I loved hearing from all those wonderful people, but hated their fearful voices behind it.
“Huh? Can’t Answer. Mouth Full.”
Being American abroad is equivalent to being a full-time defense back in football. We have a reputation for being uncultured, America-centric idiots, who hug the bible all day before making love to our guns, Sigh. I have always done my best to defend America, to clarify that demo is not the typical American and respectively explaining the values that each state holds. But having to try and defend America’s two candidates that both had major ethical, moral and personality flaws.. simply.. UGH, I gave up.
I felt like team America kinda kicked a goal in our own net this election, and I was no longer able to defend any team. So instead, I did what any normal American would do and stuck hot dogs in my mouth to block all ability to talk!
I think this election was quite miserable and painful to witness no matter what continent you were on. It clearly highlighted the cracks, in what many believed, to be a very broken system.
But if there is one thing I learned over this past election year while in living overseas it is this…
It Doesn’t matter where you are from. Governments just suck!
Just ask the majority of my friends from the UK, Australia or even Columbia. It really was not the best year for many desired political outcome and I am sure most of them will agree.
Regardless of the results, I will always love America no matter what country I am living in or how orange or small handed my new president-elect might be.
I am a firm believer you don’t need to love your government in order to love your country.
We all just need to love each other <3
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