Today I'm not in the Christmas spirit. I feel disappointed. And annoyed.
While the past eight months traveling with Alex have been some of the best months of my life, they've also carried jealousy and sexism from outsiders.
Many of you might've just joined the ride, so welcome. Many of you love that I'm a traveling couple now - thanks for your support.
So maybe you don't remember the years of adventures I've taken. Or when I was an event planner traveling every other week.
What about when I rode with NASCAR? Or was a teacher's assistant in Alsace, France? Or when I rode 23 hours to Mississippi to volunteer with Hurricane Katrina relief?
How about when I safaried through the desert dunes of Aruba swimming in natural pools and learning Papiamento (okay, the language thing didn't fare well). Do you remember when I got stranded in Central America with no money and had to walk across the border for the first time to Nicaragua, bartering my Spanish-speaking skills in exchange for a place to sleep and a bus buddy?
Do you remember when I sold notebooks featuring my photography? Or when I built my blog to chronicle my adventures of self-exploration and acceptance as a SINGLE woman?
Okay, how about when I quit my job and lived in Costa Rica solely bartering marketing skills?
Does your misogynous subconscious only seem to remember when I met Alex and he started traveling with me?
Yeah, I think that's it.
Because otherwise, the majority of you wouldn't have the audacity to even fathom that this man, my sugar daddy - you assume, is paying (most if not all of) my way for the adventure of a lifetime.
I am independent. Always have been.
But I never thought I'd be so affected by the "playful" comments friends, family, and readers make regarding how I pay for my travel -- insinuating that Alex is paying for it all.
So let's get this straight. HE IS NOT PAYING FOR ME.
My boyfriend and I are in a partnership. We support each other.
I saved thousands of dollars before I quit my job and traveled long before Alex ever joined me.
Within six months of quitting my job I started working. GASP. Yes, making some money. It was always my goal to work: I just wanted to work for myself on my own clock and terms.
Then Alex quit his job to join me. Yes, he only joined me eight months ago. And how did that work, you wonder? WE SPLIT THE TRAVEL COSTS. Whether monetarily or through the blog, we both carried our own weight.
So WHY do you (or not you, depending on who's reading) continue to whisper, wonder, and assume that I can't do this on my own WHEN I ALREADY HAVE BEEN long before he came around?
And why is it that no one questions Alex? No one wonders how HE is subsidizing his contribution to the trip? You all know he quit his job, but none of you have whispered and wondered how he is paying for his portion.
And that sucks.
It sucks that you don't DARE question a man.
What is it? You assume I found myself a wealthy white man to subsidize my life dream and "take care of me"?
I found myself a loving partner who supports me just as much as I support him?
If my boyfriend ever wanted to "take care" of me he has the right to, just as I have the right to do the same for him. BECAUSE WE ARE PARTNERS.
So no, Alex didn't pay for my adventures. And I didn't pay for his. Our lifetimes of hard work did.
Alex also isn't paying for this upcoming road trip across the USA. OUR money is. OUR equal contributions are.
So don't wonder how we are paying for the next adventure. And don't assume that Alex is rolling in dough and didn't have to save his money too.
Don't get caught up in the misogyny of travel and travel costs. Don't question my wallet without questioning his.
Don't take away from our hard work just to make excuses as to why you think you can't do what I am doing.
You are better than that.
-- Okay, rant over.