“The land of the free and home of the brave.”
As American citizens, we’ve heard these words so many times they’ve started to lose meaning, haven’t they?
I always hear them and picture a soldier staring into the distance with an American flag waving behind him as a trumpet blares the national anthem.
It wasn’t until I left my home country that I found what it truly means to be from the land of the free and home of the brave.
Freedom is walking arm-in-arm down the wharf wailing High School Musical tunes at the top of your lungs, not caring who stares at you.
Freedom is flirting with a stranger because there’s nothing to lose and you can become that version of yourself you’ve always wanted to be.
Freedom is getting milkshakes at 9 AM and gulping down the entire thing, even though you were never really hungry in the first place.
Freedom is staying up with your friends until 1 AM watching a movie that everyone hates, just to make fun of it.
Freedom is being able to put work on hold for the day because the sun is shining and there’s so much to explore.
Freedom is jumping into the ocean fully clothed, just because you can.
Freedom is going for a swim in the middle of the night, even though you have somewhere to be in the morning.
Freedom is making music and dying your hair all the colors of the rainbow to express yourself.
Freedom is living the life you’ve always dreamed about because the only thing stopping you is yourself.
As rambunctious and crazy Americans dance through the city, they are met with raised eyebrows (and sometimes cameras) from other foreigners.
But they also get some good smiles out of the people they pass, because they remind them of the freedom that runs through the blood of Americans to live their lives and love every second.
Freedom means seizing the opportunity to live life loud and proud.
Because why the heck not?
They are from the land of the free, and they are brave enough to bring that piece of home with them everywhere they go.
Wellington, New Zealand