There is no doubt that we are living in an interesting time. For all of our interconnectedness through social media platforms and the internet at large, division runs rampant. The gap seemingly becomes wider every day. Every time it seems that common sense, logic, or justice will prevail, the rug is pulled out from under us and we are forced to deal with the fatigue of near-constant outrage from each new scandal that comes to light.
While those of us who live in urban centers have plenty of opportunity to engage politically and make our voices heard, there remains a large portion of the country where the political climate is so slanted that activism is nearly impossible. Outside of signing every petition you come across or attempting to find and energize those in your community with similar political goals, what is there to do? Well, for some, the best option is to initiate change outside of their stomping grounds by branching out and traveling.
Taking to the road while maintaining an active political presence has never been easier with the advent of social media as a political tool. Organizing events in a new city is as simple as widely sharing a post, creating the purest of grassroots movements. However, this newfound tool comes with a caveat.
While the ability to share information nearly instantly is undoubtedly a boon to your ability to be politically active, it can also generate risks. You take things with you wherever you travel, be it physical baggage or data baggage. You will always leave a footprint behind in regards to data, and unfortunately we have seen this collected data bar activists from attending events in foreign countries or even the U.S.
Despite this, travel is still an amazing way to interact with different cultures and expand your knowledge base. Regardless of where you go and who you meet, travel is one of the best possible ways to fully round yourself out as a person, as it will expose you to new ideas, art, culture, and even politics. In addition to these benefits, participating in a nomadic lifestyle helps you to put off navigating the muddy waters of the modern housing market!
Travel with a Purpose
Whether traveling domestically or internationally, you don’t necessarily need to set out on a whim with no real plan in place. Though, yes, hitting the highways towing your home behind you and letting the wind take you where it may is certainly a liberating thought, some structure can help you to make a more significant impact than you would be able to on your own. You may have the fire and the drive to change the world, but you will find that a little help goes a very long way.
There are dozens of programs in place out there to help you achieve your goals in this regard. While The Peace Corps is probably the most well-known of these programs, it does require that you make a two-year commitment in order to join. If you have less than two years to spare, programs like Moving Worlds and WWOOF can set you up with a variety of projects ranging in length from as little as one week to a year.
Many of the programs are focused on community development and allow you to directly impact the lives of people who are at high risk of falling through the societal cracks. Even within the U.S., there are plenty of opportunities to travel while also doing your part to help, whether it be working with disenfranchised communities or volunteering in a national park.
Become a Politician. No, Seriously.
It might seem like, in the age of the internet, holding office is for people who have never engaged in social media, leaving a trail of comments and posts that could be used against you. But to be honest, the bar has been drastically lowered in the last year, and realistically there seems to be little to no prior behavior that could prevent someone from holding office. So with that in mind, why not consider a career in politics?
It is no surprise that the U.S. is ready for a political revolution. On both sides of the political spectrum, populist candidates have proven to energize voters to a degree that is nearly unheard of. Yet still, despite this newly lit fire in the voting population, the massive divide in the country results in political gridlock preventing any helpful policies from passing. Millennials tend to have a relatively homogenous voting platform, and while they still suffer from economic anxiety due to the shaky housing market and rampant income inequality, they dwarf the eligible voting population of older generations in terms of size.
This means that if you choose to go out and campaign, if you effectively generate voting momentum, that political change can be just around the corner. If you are reticent about being the face leading this particular political revolution, there is always work to be done behind the scenes as a political manager or even as a volunteer.
The main point of all of this is that no matter where you live or what you are currently doing with your life, engaging in politics to foment change can be as simple as packing your bags, hitting the road, and making the future happen for you.
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Image Source: Pixabay