Gabar’s Year in Review: 5 Important Lessons I learned in 2019

First, I would like to begin this blog post with gratitude. I am grateful for a US passport which is something people are willing to die for. I am grateful that I will never have to emigrate to another country as a means to escape death threats for my apostasy. I am grateful that I will never have to carry a pregnancy to remain in the US. I am grateful to my feminist foremothers who’ve made the life I have today possible. I am grateful I have the ultimate freedom to go anywhere. 

1. Escaping is a luxury

I had to quit my job because they knew where I worked. I was afraid because I had no idea what the future would hold. Escaping an honor killing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. They knew where I worked, so I had to drive Lyft full-time until I found a new one. I survived 6 months without health insurance. There was no guarantee, yet I still took a chance on myself. I’m so glad I did. 

2. 2020 will be the year of solo travel

2020 will be my year of solo travel and I have so many exciting adventures that I will be blogging about on GabarIskuFilan! Solo female travel is a defiant act. I still can’t believe I can book a flight to anywhere in the world. Trinidad & Tobago will be my third country abroad as a solo female traveler. I will also experience my very first carnival. I’ll be documenting my travels on Instagram: @gabariskufilan_

3. I (publicly) left Islam 

I never believed in Islam. I just pretended because I knew they’d kill me for leaving. Since leaving, I can travel solo, live the life of my own choosing, and I will never have to wear those hideous tents ever again! I didn’t have to get on a plane, launch a fundraiser, learn a new language, risk deportation or sacrifice my well-being and access to healthcare. This is an incredible luxury.

4. Reproductive freedom is the key to economic security 

I wouldn’t have this life if I were forced into early motherhood. I was able to travel abroad, gain financial independence and move to a new city because I am childfree. The most effective way to control women is to limit their reproductive decision-making power. Unlike my foremothers, I will never be forced to carry a pregnancy, so that I can secure a better quality of life.

5. Real-life began in my late 20’s  

I wish someone would’ve told me that real life would begin during my late 20’s. If someone had told me 3 years ago that I will renounce my faith, quit my job, and move to a city where I didn’t know anyone, I wouldn’t believe them. I knew I would be entirely on my own once I rejected forced marriage and left Islam, but none of that scared me. And it never will. Everything I could ever want out of my life is within reach. 

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I'm a feminist blogger who writes about solo female travel, politics, fashion and the Black experience abroad.

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