Travel Betty

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Four Years Makes A World Of Difference

November 10th, 2008 · 9 Comments

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Last time our country had a presidential election, Travel Boyfriend and I were on our way to Southeast Asia. I remember getting ready to board our plane in South Korea for Cambodia when I saw that my home state of Ohio had officially made Bush president for a second term. Tears sprang to my eyes as I felt shame and sadness. I was embarrassed and angry and could not understand how the man behind Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib could get anyone’s vote, let alone the majority of the nation’s.

I remember the conversation we had with our cab driver when we arrived in Phnom Penh. He told us he was confused because he’d ever met anyone from the United States claiming to like George Bush, so how could the man get elected again? I informed him that sadly, and most likely, the people who would vote for Bush were not the same people who would ever travel to Cambodia.

Throughout the trip we were asked to defend the voting actions of our fellow countrymen, but we couldn’t come up with a single defense. We were told that the world had excused America after the first Bush win due to the inconsistencies in voting, but this time, we were on our own. The world had put the USA on the Colbert Report’s notice board and I couldn’t blame them.

So, it is with tremendous gratitude and joy that tomorrow Travel Boyfriend and I will board another plane on our way to our belated honeymoon in Argentina and Uruguay with our heads held high. America is a country capable of so much more than the past 8 years have demonstrated.

Change has come to America, indeed!

Tags: Pop Culture

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  • 9 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Fat and Sassy // Nov 11, 2008 at 6:39 pm

      As an American expat living in New Zealand, it is a pleasure to be able to hold my head high. What a difference!

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    • 2 Nomadic Matt // Nov 13, 2008 at 5:58 am

      I tell people it’s none of their business really. It may suck but we don’t lecture them when they vote in crappy officials. It is what it is. Good or bad.

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    • 3 amanda // Nov 13, 2008 at 6:05 pm

      Great post ! Please post photos of the trip ! ~Amanda

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    • 4 Marycchs // Nov 15, 2008 at 7:51 pm

      Reading your experience in Cambodia during the last election brought my own memories to mind. My husband and I were traveling through Brazil at that time – and constantly encountered the same reaction. How could America do this? we were asked over and over again. We hid behind the reply that we didn’t vote for him, though we also were wondering how. I think you are right on target that the people who are traveling to Cambodia ( we were there last summer) or traveling independently elsewhere in the world are probably not the one’s who voted for George ( 1 or 2) Given the economic crisis that is worsening daily, Obama has his hands full. What he does in the next 4 years I hope will go far in raising the esteem of America and Americans around the globe.

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    • 5 Lisa Lubin // Nov 21, 2008 at 10:13 am

      Good post.
      Since I’ve been traveling around the world for 2 years now…I’ve heard it all about being an American…and was asked exactly the same questions you were. I’ve gone from agreeing with people to also getting defensive and exhausted after awhile. I am not a spokesperson or representative of the entire American population!
      But at least now…we did something good we can be proud of!

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    • 6 Sharon // Dec 3, 2008 at 1:26 pm

      I totally agree and am excited to see our President-elect already actively engaged – especially since I plan to go to Asia this spring specifically Cambodia and Vietnam!

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    • 7 Jenny // Dec 3, 2008 at 7:02 pm

      Welcome change!

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    • 8 stretch limo hire // Apr 23, 2009 at 11:55 pm

      you are not alone in the belief that change has indeed come to America, because i too share those sentiments though not from that part of the world.

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    • 9 Michael // Jan 31, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      I hope that change has come to America.

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