Gen Z: The New Globetrotters

With the summer in full swing, I wanted to share a piece with you about following your own pace and doing what works for you. I’m honing my blogging skills and will be sharing more articles like these in the future!

As the youngest sibling, I’ve seen generations of youth grow into their cohort-stereotypes. My oldest brother, classified within the “older millennial” range of 1988 or earlier, always wanted the best tech there was. He was one of the first in town to have a PalmPilot or iPhone 3G because, just like his friends, he wanted to stay connected to this new innovation—the internet. My middle brother, classified as the classic millennial age range of early 1990s, loves to go to the best restaurants and most artisan breweries. He’s willing to pay anything as long as there’s great quality ingredients, no matter the price.

And me? I’m Generation Z, born in the mid 1990s to early 2000s. Even though we’re frugal, we’re obsessed with travelling. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat at a dinner table with friends and shared stories of countries we’ve been to. We flip through our passport stamps like prized photo albums as 79% of Gen Zs got their first passport stamp before they even applied for their driver’s license.

Why is this? First, Gen Z is one of the most ethnically diverse cohorts anyone has ever seen, with 48% identifying as nonwhite. Generation Z have roots that span further than the country we reside, and we are itching to find out more of our heritage and ultimately, how we got here. I got my first passport stamp when I was 9 to visit Vietnam and meet my aging grandmother. We saw my mom’s childhood home, my dad’s surviving family and on top of that, tasted authentic Vietnamese food my parents desperately tried to incorporate into our daily meals back in Canada. I learned at the age of 9 that my story didn’t begin in Canada, and instead covered the stories of my parents in Vietnam, uncles in France, cousins in Australia and grandmothers in Hong Kong. It was a humbling experience and grew a love of learning new histories wherever I visit.

Second, Gen Z can’t afford the traditional purchases that millennials saw as ‘milestones’ in their lives like a down payment. I can’t even realistically dream of homeownership, because I had to have started saving up when I was 4 years old to afford one today. Older millennials and baby boomers lecture us again and again that they purchased their first condo when they were in their early 20s, and why can’t we? Well, tuition costs are higher than ever, wages have stagnated, and in general, things are harder for Gen Zs than our predecessors. I opened my first GIC when I was 15. I had $20,000 in liquid assets by 21. When I realized that I could never afford a home in Toronto, I invested some money into retirement and then invested in myself: a bachelor’s degree and travelling the world. I’m not financially illiterate, I’m just a realist. If I can’t purchase the big-ticket items that mean I’m ‘adulting’ correctly, then I’m spending my money on plane tickets and hauling outta here.

As peak travelling season is upon us, if you have the privilege and financial freedom to take an adventure, go for it! Where are some places you’ve been? What about where you want to go next? Sound off below and let’s share stories! And for all you fellow Canadian bloggers, have a great long weekend ahead 🙂

Love,
ELLE

91

I was taught in youth that my body
was designed for a man’s eye
the frill of my skirt, the flick of my hair
the very weight I carried
in my thighs that touch
in my chin that appears
only when I’m smiling
much too wide

I’ve grown in recent years to
shy away from these expectations
and do what I feel is right for me
because if my body is truly my own
I will be having the last laugh
and he has no right to tell me otherwise.

 

I’m participating in #OursToOwn, an activation for you to write, sing or draw what “my body, my choice” means to you. For a chance to win $10,000 to a charity of your choice, click here to take part!

Love,
ELLE

90

I think of myself as a collection of versions
an orchestra of variation
scribbled in the margins
revisions to a song
I’ve always known the lyrics to.

I envision all these lives I’ve lived
and all these stories I’ve told
(even the ones I haven’t yet)
and wonder if I’m proud.

Progress is not a straight arrow
and success isn’t always the goal
but if acceptance was a tune I knew
I’d sing it off rooftops.

I spent my early adulthood always in flight:
exploring new neighbourhoods
drinking to get drunk
being reckless for the sake of it
I’m landing, I think, on solid ground
airplane’s strip
final stop

The air is clean and the money is good
maybe I’ve been home all along.

89

being around you is like touching sunlight
so inviting and clean
the glow just so
comfortable

there are days I feel like rain
wishing for clouds again
gloomy and angry and lost

I’m storming and you’re warming
everyone you meet
I heard once that when opposite temperatures collide they
create chaos
out of thin air alone

I hope my storm never overpowers your sun
I hope you radiate everyday and maybe soon I
will too

88

the sun never hid its light
because someone else
feared its brilliance

never dim your success
for the sake
of another person’s insecurity;
it’s not your responsibility
to make them feel
bigger than you.

87

spring cleaning
what am I meant to do
with all this love I have for you?
tucked away in scribbled journals
pressed old flowers
I know what clean looks like –
maybe that’s why
scrubbing you off my skin
feel so dirty.

This summer, I swear I’ll…

Dedicate time to be a better me!

As the weather gets warmer, I’m feeling productive. I’ve created a summer bucket list of things I’d like to accomplish by September to keep myself continuously improving, creating and being me, more often, and I wanted to share it with you all. Feel free to take it for your own!

  1. Write and compose a song (This one terrifies me because I know I can write lyrics but I’m not sure I can compose. Any advice, PLEASE sound off below!)
  2. Write for Medium
  3. Write for Globe and Mail
  4. Go swimming!
  5. Write for ten minutes about the Word Of The Day, everyday
  6. Buy a bike
  7. Go to two concerts
  8. Learn how to and bake macrons
  9. Go to Canada’s Wonderland (I haven’t been in years, and I LOVE roller coasters)
  10. Have three picnics (High Park, Toronto islands, Trinity Bellwoods)
  11. Go to a kickboxing class
  12. Save $4,000 (not including tuition)

aaron-burden-292599-unsplash.jpg

What are some things on your list? Do you have any advice for songwriting? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Love,
ELLE