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Until a vaccine is made universally available so that all Americans can travel freely around the globe again, allow me to take off my mask to reveal two “truths” (for those who are not already in the know) to my fellow US passport holders about travelling as Americans outside the States: 1) We are not the “darlings” of the world we think we are. 2) We never were.
Strength is overrated. People will wish you strength as one of the “tick the box” condolence statements. They mean well. Don’t worry at all about having to be strong in your loss especially if up till now, you’ve been the strong one that everyone else has leaned on. Feeling like you have to be strong (which we do for others) is futile and self-defeating when all you may be feeling at the moment is numb and depleted.
My multi-cultural background and experiences as a Filipina/American/Canadian in Europe for 20+ years have made me culturally-astute at embracing “the new normal.” I try to approach it all with sensitivity, humour, authenticity and kindness.