I tailored the end of my France trip to coincide with the presidential election. In other words, I tried to be in a larger city so I could watch the results with other like-minded people, expats and interested French folks (which was pretty much everyone).
I had sent my vote in weeks earlier by absentee ballot and now I was fortunate to join some fellow couchsurfers in Lyon, France at an all night election party. Since it’s a six hour time difference from here to New York… we knew we were in for a long night. We were totally exhausted and the CNN International coverage didn’t help us stay awake – even with their odd ‘beam me up Scotty’ style of hologram journalism (a bit over the top for me) – but by 6am we were cheering and applauding with the crowds in Chicago‘s Grant Park for a new United States and hopeful for a changing future.
I heard some great things from my friends back home in Chicago and wished I was there to bask in the positive energy of the city.
From an email of a friend:
“Yea, it is a little Obama crazy. It’s fun. It just really feels positive. When you’re walking down the street, and people pass you by, you can feel that positive energy coming off people. It’s like walking around on that first beautiful day of spring and everyone has this underlying sense of happiness. It is like we all did something REALLY, REALLY GOOD, that we weren’t supposed to do, and we got away with it. It’s a fun feeling.”
From another friend’s blog:
“I’m so proud of our country today. We might not have been in Grant Park, like many we knew were, but I think there was celebration no matter where you were in Chicago. At the bar people were cheering like crazy, cars were driving by blaring their horns. Everyone was so happy. The front door/windows were open because it was such a nice night and people were lined up on the sidewalk watching and listening to Obama’s acceptance speech. …I want to remember where I was and what it felt like when our country made history and finally made a positive decision for its future.”
Check out this amazing website with the headlines of newspapers from around the world on November 5th.