After traveling halfway around the world, sick we know more than ever that we got it good back at home. We have a home in a beautiful non-polluted modern city in a free country, ed we have the education and skills to live in the top 1% of wealth in the world, and we’re surrounded by people who love us and support us. Here are some additional reflections this holiday on what we are most thankful for…
10) Proper Toilets: Let’s just get down to it – I’ve had my fair share of traveler’s diarrhea. We’re talking about the relentless kind, the kind that had me popping squats on the side of the road Bridesmaid style. It makes things far worse when toilets are few and far between, and the toilets that do exist are nothing more than a hole in the ground. We practically celebrate when we find a working western toilet (if there’s toilet paper included, that’s a bonus). I can’t believe we have two of them in our house in San Francisco.
9) Speaking English As Our Native Language: It’s something you don’t think about at home, but once we started traveling we thanked our lucky stars that our families left their ancestral homes to raise us in the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free. Not trying to be overly patriotic here – it’s just that we realized how much harder traveling would be if we didn’t speak the most common international language in the world or hold a passport that allows us to cross most borders with ease.
8) The End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Our very first interview abroad this year was on base with Supergays of the New Zealand Air Force, where gays have been integrated into the military since 1993. As Americans, we felt way behind. Now we can take pride in our military. Check out this week’s video of a lesbian couple at a Navy homecoming.
VIDEO: What a kiss!
7) Real Coffee: Very very few things make me happier than a cup of good coffee. Unfortunately, for the past three months we’ve been traveling through the Land of Tea, which is no good for a coffee addict like me. I’ve grown accustomed to traveling around with my own bottle of Nescafe and powdered milk. Sure, it’s pretty incredible to see an Angkor Wat or a Taj Mahal, but I have to admit that I feel similar levels of joy when I find a cup of good ground coffee in these parts of the world.
6) Our Big Gay ‘Family’ Around the World: We have been blown away by the hospitality and generosity of our LGBT family. In Australia, a group of lesbians took us into their circle and showed us the Sydney queer scene. In Indonesia, a young gay couple invited us into their home and their families. In Shanghai, one of the coordinators of Shanghai gay PRIDE gave us her apartment to use while she was on a business trip. And in India, an Out & Around reader connected us with her partner in Delhi, who graciously offered to host us for two weeks. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
5) Hillary Clinton’s United Nations Speech: Our Secretary of State had Jenni and I teary-eyed as she urged leaders around the world to defend gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. “Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct, but in fact they are one and the same,” Clinton said. “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” Amen to that.
VIDEO: Clinton at the UN
4) (Same) Sex In the City: We had just left for our trip around the world when New York became the 6th and largest state to issue same same-sex marriage. Did thousands of heterosexual marriages fall apart? Did an apocalypse take place? No. On the other hand, a report shows that marriage equality laws improve the mental and physical health of gay people. Now that we’re engaged, we feel the urgency all the more for the same rights in California.
3) Time Time Time: The biggest luxury that we’ve gained from leaving home is time – time to slow down, time to enjoy one another, time to examine ourselves, time to do all the things you wished you had time to do at home. This trip has been our own Eat, Pray, Love journey. Its also been the best investment in our relationship. Sure we have our arguments, but we’ve learned to travel as a couple without killing each other and in the meantime, we’ve learned that we really, really do love spending time with one another.
2) Quick-dry Underwear: No joke, this stuff rocks. Ex-Officio underwear claims: 17 countries, 6 weeks, one pair of underwear. Well, we are into 6 months, 9 countries and 4 pairs of underwear. They even make quick-dry thongs and lingerie for when you want to get a little bit sexy.
1) Your support: We can hardly believe that this year we already traveled 139,453 miles to 9 countries to complete 30 Supergay interviews. Our website exceeded all of our expectations and has been featured in international media including the Huffington Post, the BBC, and the lesbian publication Curve Magazine. At least once a day on this trip we’ve said to one another, “We’re so lucky to have _______(fill in the blank).” We could fill this space with so many things…family and friends who support us, a lifestyle of travel that we love, and a project that we believe in. Thanks for following us in the upcoming 6 months in 6 countries in Africa and South America and have a happy holiday season.