“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all people cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” Maya Angelou
In a world where equality has become the “It” term and where female empowerment dominates headlines, campaigns, social media feeds, and news around the world, empowering our daughters at home seems to be a responsibility that we cannot escape from.
When we think about women equality and girl empowerment our minds drift to protests, reformed laws, and hashtags on Instagram or Facebook. But the reality is that giving our daughters the tools they need to be “empowered” can easily be done at home.
While books and education are the backbone of making girls around the world stronger and more confident, one of the most liberating ways I have found to empower our daughters is through travel.
As soon as the idea of a new trip is born, my daughter and I start planning. We plan every detail for an unforgettable trip and family experience. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t travel by ourselves or at least we haven’t done so yet. Our boys come with us, but most of the decisions are made by us girls. The men of our house tag along supporting us.
Through travel, I have discovered that this process of having to make decisions allows my daughter to trust her gut and her instinct. As such, she becomes more in tune with her emotions and thoughts.
So are you inspired to give your daughter the chance of empowering herself through travel?
In case you still doubt it, here are seven ways to empower our daughters through travel in a fun and meaningful way. Let’s get started!
Self-Discovery Through Travel
To begin with, travel is a great resource. It allows us to learn about the people, culture, architecture, and history of foreign lands. It is also a powerful tool to help girls learn more about themselves, their wishes, goals, and tastes.
My daughter is becoming more aware of the places and people that inspire her, the foods she enjoys the most, the career path she wants to follow, and the power of connecting with other girls around the world. As insignificant as it might be, my girl can already decide what to eat and wear based on the many distinct ingredients, textiles, restaurants, and markets she has visited at her young age. She is without a doubt a more self-confident girl.
Empathy and Community Through Travel
All these years of travel have made an important impact on my daughter’s socialization skills. She has developed a sense of community that grows as she connects with girls from other countries.
Traveling to less advantaged parts of the world helps us recognize the many opportunities available to enrich females with fewer resources in different cultures. Every trip becomes a chance to plan for the future, not just for the girl who travels, but also for the girls my daughter meets along the way. Have you ever thought about how travel can inspire our girls to do more for others in the future?
Physically Healthy Through Travel
All members of our family love to eat! When we travel, we try to experience the different cultures through the many delicious meals and drinks offered by the locals. I must confess our children are very adventurous in that matter. Since many calories are consumed, we include physical activities on every trip. It can be hiking, swimming, and paddle board – the key is to make it simple and budget-friendly.
As a result, my daughter joins me in the planning of all our excursions. We also inform ourselves about safety and conservancy policies in nationals parks, beaches, and city parks we visit. Once again, I see my daughter taking notes and feeling so self-motivated to do all this on her own when she is older.
Business Opportunities Through Travel
Every trip is a possibility to give my girl the chance to make a living out of traveling in the future. If exploring the world fascinates her, she could turn her passion for traveling and learning languages into a lucrative business. In consequence, I am granting my daughter with more preparation for her professional future even beyond regular education (school, college) and learning language experience.
Nowadays things are different from before. I remember growing up with the fixed idea that to be successful all I need was to finish my bachelor’s degree in one of the “lucrative” careers my parents suggested. However, being an expat has shown me that change is the only constant in life. Therefore, it is indeed necessary to have different tools to develop professionally in a variety of ways. I want my daughter to have the power to be and do whatever she puts her mind to.
Information and More Conversation Through Travel
We all know that the search for the perfect beautiful woman has been a constant throughout history. We all know that looks matter. But in a world where appearance seems to determine our vote, chances of getting a job, marriage, and social status, I refuse to let my girl grow up thinking that being “pretty” is all we need to “catch” the perfect man, land a dream job or empower other females around the world.
On the contrary, I want my daughter to have enough relevant and interesting information to contribute to the conversation whether on a first date, at a dinner party or during a job interview. Travel offers plenty of facts, stories, and anecdotes to share with relatives, friends, colleagues, and classmates. Usually, my child puts together a short presentation about her trips to show her friends at school interesting facts about the place we just visited.
Experiencing Joy Through Travel
While spending the summer in Indonesia two years ago, we realized how valuable a single smile was. We also knew how important it was to appreciate the goodness of every place we visit. My daughter and I stayed in a small house in the middle of rice paddies far from the touristic areas. We walked to buy food and hygiene products. Our neighbors for that time didn’t speak a single word of English. We relied on our smiles to communicate with them. We smiled to say good morning, we smiled to wish a good night.
It was a magical experience to see them smiling even though they lived in very poor conditions. This was an eye-opening experience for my children. This trip inspired my daughter to live life with joy. She tastes every experience to the utmost and reaches out to others without fear of diversity and newer places.
Learning to Love Through Travel
Last but not least, travel has given my girl and my whole family the power of always being in love. In love with distant places, in love with other cultures, in love with differing people, and in love with their lives. Travel has empowered my sweet and strong-willed child to feel at home everywhere she goes.
Because the world is hers to take.