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Vancouver influencer’s trip to Hawaii during pandemic sparks outrage

Vancouverites have expressed their disgust over her reasons for travelling during the pandemic
Leah Brathwaite
Leah Brathwaite's Instagram post detailing her recent trip to Hawaii has received condemnation by others whose travel plans were dashed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I was confronted for travelling at a time when so many couldn't and had to let go of another layer of giving a f*** about what other people think of me.”

That was one of the hardships a Vancouver micro-influencer said she overcame in an Instagram post explaining why she went on a trip to Hawaii during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Leah Brathwaite, a Vancouver-based “Mindset Coach” and author posted her explanation to her 3,513 followers on her Instagram account over the weekend. The account has since been made private.

In the post, Brathwaite said she felt "called" to the Hawaiian islands. While there she had a tarot reading, went whale-watching, took part in a fire ceremony and visited a volcano.

“Even with the most integrity and care, people will only be able to see your journey the way they want to because judgement is in the eye of the beholder. Foolish to some, inspiring to others,” the post reads. “It's impossible to please everyone.

“And the more we try to separate living into binary metrics of do's and don'ts, the more we isolate ourselves from the point of life. To live. To feel and follow our hearts. To be fully alive, not for anyone else's experience but our own.”

Screenshots of the post’s description were shared on Twitter where Brathwaite quickly drew ire about her trip and rationale. 

Screenshots of the post’s comment section were also shared and while most were in support of Brathwaite’s travel decision one user was less accepting.

“This is so tone-deaf, selfish and lacking in empathy,” wrote Amelia Wild. “Just say that you wanted you to go on a vacation to spite the current pandemic and don't shroud it in the language of quote ‘wellness’ to avoid personal agency in your decision-making. Going on a vacation does not require courage.”

In the post Brathwaite referenced spending $500 in negative tests, 13-hour masked travel days, and mandatory quarantine periods upon her healthy return home. 

V.I.A. reached out to Brathwaite for further comment but did not receive a reply.

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