May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
-Naturalist Edward Abbey
Wow. Just wow.
A few hours ago I woke up to the ping-ping-pinging of my phone. My friends in Sweden were blowing up WhatsApp in reaction to the news that Donald Trump won the U.S. election. In disbelief, I grabbed my laptop and frantically opened the Politico map I had been watching before falling asleep. Sure enough, to my horror I saw that Trump did indeed win the election, amassing a shocking 276 electoral votes to Clinton's paltry 218. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that the Clinton Machine would lose so handily to an (to put it gently) unsavory candidate.
What now? While most of the U.S. is still asleep at this moment, citizens will soon wake up to a harsh reality and how they react is a guessing game. Considering that the Canadian immigration website crashed last night, I expect to see a large spike in people researching moving abroad. Which means I may soon have plenty of company in finding a new country to move to, something that can be viewed as a blessing or a curse. So, after doing a bit of research this morning, I have come up with three options for places to move to. Apart from the English language and friendly people, these countries boast extraordinary natural beauty and the promise of a higher quality of life.
- Canada: Although an avalanche of like-minded U.S. citizens are interested in this lovely country, I will still place it on my priority list of places to move to (Cape Breton looks especially welcoming). Last night I booked an IELTS test to determine my English-speaking skills (mandatory for Canadian immigration), so I will hopefully apply for residency next month as a skilled immigrant through the Express Entry program. It appears as though this process could take three months, although I expect that timeline to grow considering, well, Trump.
- Ireland: Inishturk, for one, has opened their arms to U.S. citizens fleeing Trump. This website seems helpful, although I haven't closely reviewed it for legitimacy. If all goes well in my travels, I will be in Ireland by March to check things out on the ground.
- New Zealand: Check out their website dedicated to U.S. citizens interested in moving there. Um, yes please. (It is worrisome, though, that NZ has seemingly become a haven for the rich.)
Frankly, I am relieved that I am outside of the U.S. at this moment, but still scared about what my future holds. When I left the U.S. in August, I did so out of fear of a Clinton presidency and a general frustration with U.S. politics. I did not seriously entertain the thought of a Trump presidency, and now that reality is setting in, I am equally as scared because the international community (with the exception of Russia) is vehemently against Trump.
Okay, with all of this said, I have to remain calm and positive. Once I find a sunny spot for lunch that serves cold beer, of course.