As I travel the world with my daughter, I’m always trying to find positive female role models for her to look up to. As a strong supporter of women travel, I know that teaching girls to be fearless travelers starts at a very young age. For me, I’m trying to do my part by bringing my daughter along on our world travel journey.
This post was updated on December 13, 2019.
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Making women travel the new normal
When I was a young girl, the idea of a woman traveling around the world was somewhat foreign or different. Women didn’t often travel around the world. And they definitely didn’t do it alone. The world was too dangerous a place for a woman. But of course, we know that’s not really the case.
Back in college, one of my favorite travel memoirs is Tales of Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman. Reading her story inspired me to travel on my own. These days, women travel has become the new normal. The internet overflows with stories and blogs about women traveling around the world. Women are making waves in world travel, and becoming role models for girls.
Why role models for girls are important
For a young girl, having strong female role models is so important. They show her what women are capable of doing. They inspire her to reach for her dreams. Most of all, female role models help girls see that there is more than one way to live your life.
While here in Mexico, we’ve been spending a lot of time with other traveling families, and I am amazed at the mothers I am meeting and getting to know. These are women who are working to support their families while they travel. They are women who are dedicated to teaching their kids the values that are important to them. And they are women who lead others in finding their selves, identities, and worth. All of them are showing their children, girls included, that travel has a place for women.
As a mother to a girl, I know that I am the biggest role model for my daughter. She sees how I interact with the world. She learns what is appropriate and not appropriate by watching what I do. And whether I like it or not, she copies my behavior. If I want my daughter to be a strong and confident girl, I know that I need to act like a strong and confident woman! This goes beyond travel, but just life in general.
Encouraging women travelers to become female role models
As I continue to write, I am understanding that one of the roles I play as a blogger is to help encourage other women travelers to become female role models. Despite the rise of women travel, the general perception remains that the world is a dangerous place for a woman. Women and girls still hear that they need to be wary of the world, rather than embrace it.
It’s important for women travelers to break this perception. After traveling solo in ten countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe, I am learning that much of this fear is unfounded. True, there are places in the world that are dangerous for women, but not every place is dangerous.
As a blogger, I am working to dispel the myth that the world is full of dangers for women and girls. I am showing other women and mothers that we don’t have to give in to societal and media perceptions of a particular place. And I am showing women travelers how to be a role model for girls.
Taking part in the Women In Travel Summit
Back in 2016, I attended a conference geared towards women in travel. It was called the Women in Travel Summit, and it was organized by a company called Wanderful, a homesharing network for women travelers. I was so thrilled to be at that conference.
For the first time, I was surrounded by women like me, women who didn’t let fear get in the way of their love for travel. I loved WITS so much, I came back for the 2017 conference!
And in 2019, I led a panel at WITS on how to raise global travelers. My fellow panelists were all mothers and bloggers, like me. And they all understood the importance of being strong female role models.
Do your part to change the face of world travel
Societal perceptions are not going to change overnight. Girls and women will continue to hear words of caution when they travel, rather than words of encouragement, unless we actively work to change that behavior. If you’re a woman in the travel industry, whether you’re just starting out or have been in the field for years, the Women in Travel Summit is a great place to connect with other traveling women.
Even if you can’t attend WITS, you can also do your part to change the face of world travel by simply traveling more. Go out into the world with your family. Show others that women can be just as confident of world travelers as anyone else!
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