The Breakthrough Voice 2nd September, 2019

Why Traveling Matters For Women: A Personal Story.

Travelling has always been my best memory and my ultimate desire. It’s been a part of my wish list every year, it all came inside of me when I was a kid and my father used to tell us all the fables, of times when he went on family trips. How it’s a tradition in middle class families to travel to different locations during vacations, and how that stays with every child differently. To me it came naturally, I knew I loved mountains over seas, snow over rains, terrains over plateaus or maybe it was natural because my father loved mountains, I have visited his all-time favourite hill stations and I can’t disagree with how angelic these places are.

Travelling to me, has always been more of an escape, a place to rest and get back to my mind and soul. How good it is to be at a place where you can actually breathe, and feel different and illuminated. It is such an experience, adding a lifetime of learning lessons and memories. It’s that beguiling thing we can use to actually understand life, the world and, most of all, ourselves. I have been told that if you want to know the world and yourself, if you want to learn things, you can either do it with books or by travelling.  I choose travelling above all, not just because it’s more interesting but also because it fascinates me. It actually allows me to be a part of this world and this society and to experience and observe things so differently; an experience that I don’t think books can give.

The idea of travelling alone is difficult for women, and has always been as long as I can remember.

 I remember how much I use to wonder why we do not follow Google’s suggestions over the places one must visit. Travelling is more about exploring to me. I wanted to be a traveler, a wanderer. And above all, I want to be happier in life and this is the immense pleasure I receive while travelling. But I couldn’t relate to the idea of it being a profession, especially for any women. It was hard for me back then to think of and even now. 

We need to make a note of how we see largely men making travelling their profession, and for that matter, how we don’t even see many of our female women going on solo trips or even on a girls’ trip. The idea of travelling alone is difficult for women, and has always been as long as I can remember. We can call ourselves progressive but that is not true; not until we allow women to experience and learn all the beauty that lies in travelling. It sickens me how travelling is controlled and narrowed for us, simply stuck in this model of patriarchy. Of late, I’ve seen a few women smashing these structures and travelling to all the beautiful places with all their vulnerabilities, and admiring it as never before. I am just nineteen, and I now want to be whom I wanted to idealize. 

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