Being a Person of Colour
Being a Person of Colour
I never gave much thought before to being a person of colour. I was born in Canada; my parents were born in Canada and even one of my grandparents was born here. I was fortunate to grow up in a multicultural community where I did not feel like I was much different from other people. As a child, I remember racial slurs being used towards myself and others, mostly from other kids, who likely did not understand the meaning behind what they were saying. My response was always, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”
What did upset me as a child was when adults would use derogatory terms. I remember feeling such anger towards the man who pulled up beside our car and told my family to, “go back to where you came from.” I remember thinking to myself that we were as Canadian as he was. My great grandfather, Yip Wing Sang, came to Canada in the early 1880s and was instrumental in helping complete the western most portion of Canadian Pacific Railway. He was also one of the earliest settlers and businessmen in Vancouver. I could not go back from where I came from, Canada was my home. But again, “sticks and stones…”
As I grew up, Vancouver became even more culturally diverse. Racial slurs appeared to be a thing of the past. When I moved to Toronto, I felt the same way. During my final years in Toronto, I was living with a couple of friends, one of whom was a black male. He told us about how he had been pulled over and patted down by the police on multiple occasions, for no reason.
The casual way in which he talked about being black and me never having been fearful of harm because of my race, I was unable to empathize with his stories. However, when COVID-19 became known as the “Chinese virus” resulting in violent hate crimes against Asians living in Canada and the US, it was the first time I lived in fear because of the colour of my skin. I finally realized that systemic racism still existed. It also dawned on me that one cannot truly understand racism until it creates fear, anger, and anxiety of the real possibility that “sticks and stones will break my bones…”
As a result of the events over the last couple of months, we took the time to think about Movement Travel and why we specifically combined travel with wellness. From the beginning, our vision was to improve the well-being of as many people as possible regardless of race, gender, age, etc.
We believe wellness is about being well physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and travelling allows us to learn, broadens our horizons and gives us perspective. Through travel, we aspire to introduce our guests to different cultures so they can get an intimate view, and develop a more profound understanding of, the different people in our world. And, hopefully, through this type of learning we can stop focusing on just the colour of skin and form a deeper appreciation of all people as human beings.
During the pandemic, we unfortunately have not been able to travel and do not plan to schedule wellness retreats again until a vaccine is found to ensure the safety of everyone. We hope things return to normal in the near future so we can begin exploring the world and sharing our love for travel and wellness with you again soon.
Co-Founder, Movement Travel