Embracing Life on the Adriatic

“Every breath a trans person takes is an act of revolution.”  – Lourdes Ashely Hunter

We live in a world where, according to society, trans people don't deserve to exist. The basic act of being alive - of breathing, of resisting this societal standard - is in itself revolutionary. It took me a long time to understand that and realise the value in my own life. I spent too much time believing that the path which society has set forth for trans people was the only option. It took taking a leap of faith and going on a trip with ten total strangers across Siberia in the middle of winter to truly discover that there's more to life than what is expected of me. 

Going beyond that revolutionary act of breathing to truly live and embrace life - laughing with friends, climbing mountains, jumping into the sea, and simply standing in amazement at the beauty of the world - that is powerful. That has the ability to create a deep and meaningful transformation from resistance to thriving, from self-care to self-love. That is what this year of travelling is about. 

We spend so much time focusing on the negative that sometimes we forget that the positive exists. It's hard to justify doing something completely and totally for yourself and advocating for luxurious things such as travel when there are so many more serious things happening in the world. Of course, it's an immense privilege to be able to do things such as travel and that cannot be overlooked. But it's necessary to remember that we deserve to enjoy life and there is nothing wrong with taking time to focus on yourself.

The past few days have reminded me of that. We've been moving what seems like non-stop from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Kotor, Montenegro, and then a day of site-seeing through Montenegro before arriving in the capital, Podgorica. 

From jumping off (small) cliffs and basking in the sun by the Adriatic Sea...

Travelling While Trans in Dubrovnik

To watching the sunset from the ancient walls of Dubrovnik...

The Trans Traveller in Dubrovnik

To dancing the night away with friends...

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To sitting on a dock in Kotor's bay drinking wine, watching an impromptu light show, and bonding with fellow travellers...

Kotor Fortress at Night

To climbing a mountain to get a bird's eye view of the city and Montenegro...

To riding in a boat to a small island...

To playing with adorable puppies...

To finishing the night off with card games with friends. This is what life is supposed to be like: doing the things you love, enjoying the world around you, learning to become your own best friend, and surrounding yourself with people who make you feel happy.

When you stand at the top of a mountain and see how far this beautiful world goes, it's easy to feel insignificant. But then you remember you climbed that mountain. You can take on the world. There's always going to be hate and violence in the world. There's always going to be a need for activism and social justice. But your life is temporary. No matter how insignificant or invaluable you may feel, remember you have worth. And while making a difference in the world is necessary and important, it cannot overshadow your own need for self-love.