Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 63

20 | CAA MAGAZINE The Davis family poses at the Palace of Versailles with a French family they first met in Spain. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. We took their picture, they took ours, and soon we made plans to spend the day together. A few weeks later, when we visited France, their home country, we met up again. These "strangers" showed us Paris, took us to Versailles and then fed us a coq au vin supper in their home. This has never happened in Toronto. This is why we travel. Travel, by its nature, renders all of us more vulnerable. Walls come down in ways you can't anticipate, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes thanks to wine at lunch. If you're a traveller of colour, that kind of vulnerability can feel especially scary. We have to remain alert to signs of racism because it can be a threat to our safety. It adds a layer of anxiety to a decision to stray far from home. But travel has consistently shown me the good in the world. As travellers, we find ourselves in situations we simply can't navigate alone: street corners with signs we can't read, local customs we don't understand. In those moments, we are forced to trust strangers. Every time my family has, we've been richer for it. There was the family we met in Africa who helped us plan our trip across India by introducing us to relatives there. We visited them again in England to share pictures from the trip. There was the tuk-tuk driver in Cambodia who invited us to take a seat on the floor of his one-room home and share a meal out of a common pot with his family. There was our Egyptian guide who took us home to meet his young son and then invited us to join his neighbours in a midnight game of outdoor Ping-Pong. Ish and I travelled before the kids arrived, and our decision to raise them as global citizens was intentional. If you don't leave home, we've found, you're more likely to believe the things you're told about yourself, and for kids of colour, a lot of those things are limiting. Raising Global Citizens HOW TRAVEL BRINGS US TOGETHER by HEATHER GREENWOOD DAVIS M Y FAMILY TRAVELS. Or at least we used to. This year, like most of the world, we are grounded thanks to a pandemic that has quashed summer travel plans like mosquitoes at the co‰age. Instead, we've been reminiscing about the giŠs of travels past, like that time in Seville when my husband, Ish, noticed a dad struggling to get a family photo. "I'm going to help him out," Ish said. "I know what that's like." We are a Black family. The strangers my husband was approaching were our white doppelgängers—mom, dad, two young boys. Stereotypes travel well, and I knew that there was a very real possibility that my six-foot-two, smiling husband wouldn't be seen as a friendly guy trying to help out, but as a threat.

Articles in this issue

view archives of CAA_SCO_FALL20 - CAA_SCO_Fall20_DO