|participating in the making of an International Women’s Day banner at my university|
I know this is a bit of a touchy subject, especially for those with daughters and granddaughters, so please bear with me and hear me out. This post goes hand in hand with another that will be coming out in the next few days.
The look of horror or exasperation on peoples faces when they find out that I do most of my traveling alone are faces that I wish I could take picture of to show them later on. It’s actually quite amusing in my opinion. There is a HUGE stigma about traveling alone being dangerous, and it increases tenfold when it is a woman doing the traveling. I understand the fear, as one takes a huge risk by being in another country where they don’t know anyone, don’t know the city or the area that they’re in, and don’t know the language in case something were amiss. However, I think it is time to have a little bit more trust in the women who choose to go out and explore. Women are not stupid. We know that we typically face greater challenges than men, especially outside of the US in areas that may not be quite as progressive as our country. At home, we are taught from a young age to be aware of our surroundings. If someone is walking too close or seems to be following you, cross the street and continue walking-never let them follow you home. If you are out at a bar or any social function, never let your drink out of your sight and always travel with a buddy if you can. Don’t leave with strangers. Carry your keys in between your fingers, or have some sort of weapon or deterrent on your person. These lessons that we have learned are not left behind on the tarmac when our flight leaves. Trust that we have paid attention for the past 10-15 years.
It is truly baffling to me the amount of girls and women who I have spoken to who tell me that their parents/family/partner would never let them travel like mine do. No disrespect meant for anyone, but no one owns you, especially if you are over the age of 18. Sometimes in order to live, you need to disobey some rules. Sure, it can be nerve wracking, but freedom is something that is yours and yours only-don’t let anyone take it from you. Live how you want to, not up to the expectations of anyone else, because you will never find true happiness in doing that.
So many people believe that the world is inherently bad and often let the fear of something bad happening stop them from going out into the world, outside of their safety net at home. There is nothing wrong with being afraid, as yes-bad things DO happen. However, it isn’t fair to those who choose not to let fear control their lives to try and dissuade them or outright try and stop them from seeing the world how they want to see it. The world needs more people who try to see the good in the world and the good in people around the world, instead of blindly listening to governments and media that tells us otherwise.
For those girls and women, young or old, remember one thing-the world is ours.
Love and light,