How traveling empowered me

How traveling empowered me

 

Question: What is the most empowering thing you have ever done?

For me the answer was a tie:

1. Giving birth to my sons

2. Breastfeeding them

I had completely different birthing experiences with my children, but breastfeeding was relatively easy for me. I was very fortunate. Breastfeeding and childbirth made me feel powerful as a woman. To know that you have created a human life and then proceed to nourish that child with the body from whence it came is really, really cool. The human body is AMAZING.

The downside to breastfeeding is that it is somewhat of a hot topic in the United States. Overwhelmingly I have been greeted with support, but there are many women who haven’t been as fortunate as I have been. Some women are told to cover up, we are marketed products to conceal ourselves and shield others from witnessing a very normal and very powerful part of motherhood and infancy.

Why? Don’t ask the French, Spanish, Italians or Germans. They don’t know why it’s an issue either….

As we continued to travel I continued to become a more confident and empowered woman because:

  1. I could walk through the streets of Barcelona at night by myself or with my children without the fear of who might be lurking around the corner.
  2. Despite being warned of the turbulence abroad and constantly being on the receiving end of cautionary tales about robberies and terrorism, we were always safe.
  3. There were no cat calls, no gawking at my breasts, no staring when I fed Griffin.
  4. No one told me to smile if I looked pissed off.
  5. I felt confident in my own skin because so many other women of all shapes and sizes were confident in theirs.

Does the same happen to every women who travels? No. But I needed to be reaffirmed and reprogrammed to understand that the behavior that is so recurring back home isn’t the norm elsewhere in the world.

I needed the French to show me that just because you aren’t constantly apologizing for bumping into one another or scowling, doesn’t mean you are a mean person. It took quite some time for me to realize that I didn’t need to smile at everyone who passed by.

Most importantly of all, traveling gave me the power back as a woman and my experiences gave me the confidence to move boldly through the world no matter what. I am so fortunate to have been able to see how other women move through life in so many different cultures. I honor their confidence and bravery in my daily life and cherish the moments where I was able to see the world differently and learn from it instead of meeting it with resistance.

So I’ll leave you with a little piece of advice:

Go boldly into the world. Travel with an open mind and a strong will to learn. Teach others about the times you felt empowered. Let those experiences live inside your soul for the rest of your life and pull from them when you need reaffirmation or don’t know what to do.

Do what empowers you, no matter what.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. loving all of you!

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    • Right back atcha Liza!

      Reply
  2. This is awesome! I don’t have kids yet, but I feel like when I do I will probably be that shy one when it comes to breastfeeding in public. You are very inspirational for when I do become a mom. I agree that it is important to be confident in our bodies. Thanks for this!

    Reply
    • Wow! Thank you so much for your kind words! Wishing you all the happiness <3 <3 <3

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  3. Love this “Go boldly into the world. Travel with an open mind and a strong will to learn.” Very well said. We are only on this earth for a short time, make the most of it. Live!

    Julie
    http://alohalovely.com

    Reply
    • Thank you Julie! <3 <3 thanks for reading!

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    • I love this too! Also the thing about not smiling all the time, haha!

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  4. I think we should always be ourselves, even when abroad!!!

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  5. Very well said. Couldn’t agree with you more. Travel can change us in many ways. Sometimes forever. P.S. You are stunning!

    ❥ tanvii.com

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  6. You are so real about this post. True, there are too many issues beyond our control already so we should be empowering each other. I admire you for still being able to travel and parent your sons at the same time. 🙂

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  7. All of the yes to this! I hate that this is still an issue but it must feel like an amazing breath of fresh air to escape all of the negativity! Keep on with the girl power 😉

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  8. I love that traveling gave you power and confidence as a woman. I also love your picture when you breastfeed your kid! Such a lovely and empowered post!

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  9. I love this message. I’m definitely a lot more self-assured after three years of constant work travel. It really can bring out a whole new side of a person.

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  10. Asia is very similar. I nursed my son in 9 different countries and only twice did I ever run into any negative comments…both from Western men. Here in Korea old ladies used to come up to me to tell me what a good job I was doing. Many of my female friends back home did not have such a positive experience.

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  11. As a Brit, I really don’t see the big deal about breastfeeding, but in the US it seems like such a ridiculously and unnecessarily hot topic. Glad you found some respite in Europe!

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  12. Awesome post! I never had any negative experiences breastfeeding in public (in the UK) and it makes me cross when people do. Travel is the great educator and empowerer xx

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  13. A great way to explain how such a normal thing can be so different wherever you are in the world! Good for you putting it out there as well.

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  14. Being a German, I am always amazed at the publish pressure that is put on people in the US by themselves. So many limitations!
    I am glad that you managed to use your travels to break out of that shell.

    Happy continued travels!
    C

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  15. People who travel are often open minded, that’s what I love about travelling. You just get to know all those diversities of the world and learn to respect differences, and you find yourself along the way as a result. Glad that you did! 🙂

    Reply
    • Absolutely! Traveling has made me a better mother 100%!!!!!!

      Reply

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