Today is International Women’s Day. Not only is it a time to look forward and work towards equality of the sexes, it’s a time to celebrate all the amazing achievements of womankind.
There have been some truly inspirational female travelers in history alongside the guys. From Nellie Bly who decided to go around the world in fewer days than Jules Verne, and published ‘Around the World in Seventy-Two Days’ when she made it. Such sass. And Jeanne Baré: the first woman to circumnavigate the world, and she did it all disguised as a man.
Fearless women have accepted life without boundaries for centuries, and it’s time for us to do the same. Here are ten reasons why you should travel the world (or a small section of it, at least) as a strong, independent woman in 2016.
- Expand your horizons. Problems back home can be put right back in their place when you realise that they’re just one tiny part of a huge world.
- Become more understanding. When you can understand a whole different culture, you can understand the people in your lives a lot more easily as well.
- Be less afraid. Walking down that slightly dodgy street near your house after a night out feels a lot less creepy when you’ve navigated yourself across an unknown city in a foreign country in the early hours of the morning.
- Be more confident. Travelling can be incredibly nerve-wracking and there are regular moments where you’ll have to take a deep breathe and plunge into an unknown situation. Once you’ve got used to that feeling, you can translate it into everyday life as well. Your friends list will be expanding in no time thanks to all the new people you’ve approached.
- Know who you are. There’s nothing like a seemingly endless train or bus journey to embark upon some introspection. Embrace being inside your own head – there’s no-where else you can go, after all – and you’ll probably figure out a few things that you didn’t realise before.
- Feel invincible. If you can navigate yourself across a foreign city and somehow find the proverbial needle in a haystack that is your accommodation in a sea of hotels and restaurants then your hometown suddenly feels impossibly easy… And also dull, so be prepared for more life-changing decisions when you return home.
- Do something outside the box. Your whole life you’ve gone from school to college to uni, doing what is expected of you and following a set path. Travelling doesn’t have a set path, so take a step and see where you can end up. Wherever it is, you’ll only be there because you decided to be.
- Appreciate what you really have. When you’re listening to someone snoring so loudly that it can probably be heard from the next continent, you’ll start to appreciate how lucky you are to have a cosy bed in a quiet room back home. While you’re falling in love with new places, you might just fall back in love with where you’re from.
- Turn off the world. Even though I adore spending time on twitter, social media can make you compare yourself to others and always try to present a version of yourself that could be too good to be true. Turn it all off when you’re travelling, just stopping to check in with your nearest and dearest to tell them what’s happening.
- You can. You won’t always be able to walk around a city all day in extreme heat, carry a backpack from country to country, or have the financial freedom to uproot your life. Make the most of it while you have it.
Are you feeling inspired? I definitely am! Now where shall I go to next…