To some, my life might seem extraordinary. To others, I’m just a random person who crossed their path and nothing more.
Right, now I’m sitting in a Starbucks in London. Sipping on a coffee and typing out a blog post on my laptop. I just had a mediocre experience at Elan Cafe (more on that in another post) and walked down the streets littered with high end shops, peering at sparkly diamonds and clothing I’ll likely never be able to afford.
A girl from the ghettos of the Bronx, this is some achievement. No one would have guessed I could venture this far. Well not no one, but many wouldn’t have guessed this outcome for me. I didn’t really guess this outcome for myself. As a “poor” black female, how would I be able to travel and experience a life so distant from my upbringing?
With International Women’s day just around the corner, it’s made me think about the significance of that celebratory day and what it means to me as a “poor” black female.
International Women’s Day is March 8th. It’s a day marked on the calendar to celebrate the women’s right movement. A movement that helped awaken the world to the rights that females deserve and are inherent to us as people. Now, women all over the world still don’t have all of their inherent rights which is awful. We need to make more progress but the achievements we have made, they certainly need to be celebrated. Me personally, I’m celebrating how the women’s movement has impacted my travel life and all that comes with it (love, work, and more).
I’ve been to 14 countries to date. Many miles flown, lots of pastries eaten, countless streets that have been walked and experienced. Those trips have all changed me in small ways. Giving me a new perspective on the world and what I’m personally capable of, I love every one of my experiences (even those I may not have had the best time living). Most of those countries I traveled to were on my own and as a woman, that would have never been a fathomable idea without the women’s right movement.
I would have been stopped from going anywhere without a man. Or for that fact, I would haven’t even been allowed to earn the money to use to pay for my trips. I would have been barefoot and pregnant. Expected to make meals and clean. Maybe that is a hyperbole but I do think there would be a certain pressure on me. I’m currently not married but in a relationship. At my age back then, I think people would have thought me to be a freak to not be married now (I’m 28). And thinking I could fly on a plane all on my lonesome to a foreign country, forget it.
I’m glad that I can purchase a ticket to a new place on my own. That I can go into a shop and not be harassed for being alone (though truthfully, that isn’t always the case). That I can dress how I feel and make my own decisions without consulting with someone first.
There’s then that added element. The fact that I’m black that makes what I’m doing now even more awesome. As much as we want race not to be an issue, it still exists and people can be horrible. I never experienced too much racism (that I’m aware of) but I’m glad that I can travel as a black female to so many places.
Although there aren’t many faces like mine at the airport just yet, there is the opportunity to improve and increase more female faces of color. I’m happy that I can travel and that people have more of an open mind. I’m happy that I can assert myself in situations to earn more money or work in a field that may not have many people like me yet. I’m happy that I can be single or in a relationship or other. I can make my own decisions and see real results!
To hear about some more successful women celebrating – see this article here (I’m featured there as well).