“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” — Madeleine Albright
“I want to see the world.”
Once these words are uttered from your lips you can feel the judgment. Your mother’s friends, your father’s co-workers…they’re all looking at you with a sense of hesitation.
This isn’t what you’re “supposed” to tell people who ask what you would like to do as you begin this journey of life. You’re a woman. Don’t you want to have children, find a husband, or buy a home? Don’t you want to work your way up the professional ladder so that you can earn less than a man in the same position? Don’t you want to stay here in America? What else could you possibly want?
People that have never traveled abroad and immersed themselves in a culture will never understand. They won’t understand your desire to go somewhere where no one knows your name. They won’t understand how you could sleep on a metal cot for three months and be happier than you’ve ever been in your king size bed in the city. And they certainly won’t understand why you are embarking on a journey without a man by your side.
As women, we have enough speculation surrounding us on a daily basis. We don’t need to add to this.
As women, we need to support each other, both at home and while we’re traveling.
We understand what it means to feel completely euphoric at 8 a.m. and be in tears by 12 p.m. We understand why it’s so important to always have chocolate on hand, or a healthy collection of rom-coms ready for our viewing. And we understand the feeling of satisfaction when we change the tire on our car all by ourselves.
It is absolutely essential that us women stick together. We need to support each other in travel and in life.
So the next time you hear of a woman embarking on a solo journey to find herself, or the next time you hear of a woman struggling to find herself- step up. Be the woman that will make us women proud.
This journey through life isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s pretty rocky, but with each other’s support we can find a path through all the rocks.