‘Maame without borders’ is supposedly a representation of my ‘coming of age’ story; me expressing myself without any boundaries or prescribed notions of who I must be in certain spaces.
A piece of my story is my struggle to control my fernweh. Fernweh is technically the German word for wanderlust, but, think about it as being homesick for a place you’ve never been to.
My story is incomplete without an introductory chapter about my identity and the piece of paper that changed my outlook on life, perhaps, forever. I can not possibly begin to talk about the endless beauty (and horror) in the world without first explaining how I found the ‘freedom’ to explore her in the first place.
HOW I ‘FREE-DOM’
- I became a US citizen before matriculating at the university and essentially bought myself freedom when I paid for a passport.
Of course, I would love to have a Japanese passport. That little book can now grant a person access to over 190 countries and visas on arrival. But, I have no connection to Japan and so I must cherish my blue book.
I love my home country Ghana. That had to be its own sentence because any ‘buts’ would negate that statement.
But: My Ghanaian passport wouldn’t have gotten me out of the predicament I found myself in Turkey when I was accused of having bombs in my trousers (I was barely wearing underwear, let alone a bomb). My Ghanaian passport wouldn’t have allowed me to change my mind about being in Morocco and then hop on a flight to Germany on the same day. My Ghanaian passport wouldn’t have got me financial aid (there’s not much I can add to that).
My Ghanaian passport is the part of my identity that began my story but it did not allow me to be free the way I needed to be. Yet, I have found myself in Ghana for more months than I have spent anywhere else in the world outside of the United States. It is home, after all.
- I worked 40+ hours a week when I was in high school and brushed up on my work ethic with all the responsibility I was given at that age.
I have always been a workaholic. In primary school I would sell candy or make my peers pay to learn a fake language named after my best friend, ‘Audrey’s Language’. In high school, I found a community in theatre and learned to work the stage lights. I was a black girl doing the thing white boys loved but all that mattered was that the manager loved me and thought I was brilliant. That job was my first step to understanding the freedom that came with financial independence and I stayed with it until I couldn’t anymore.
- I have worked the equivalent of three jobs every semester for three years since starting university.
I don’t think I have to explain this. But, I should probably add that I am not good at keeping jobs past a certain number of months unless my mind is constantly at work. It is what it is.
- I do research and apply for countless scholarships regardless of my financial background
I will blog about my different research topics soon. And provide some scholarships and opportunities worldwide for you to travel anywhere you want, with $0 to your name. So, subscribe.
- I am the queen of budgets
Should I define myself, I am damned to limitation.