The recent exploration craze taking over Millennials has done more than explode the travel-blog database online; it has also carved out a new tribe of dangerously fearless women.
In the '50s, women were homemakers. The '60s cemented our place as the central cogs in the nuclear family unit. In the '70s, women fought for their autonomy. From the '80s to the early 2000s, we have balanced corporate achievements with motherhood.
Now, the current woman waits for no one, marches to the beat of her own drum and creates her own life. Here are the reasons we traveling women are dangerous:
1. You can't shame us with your dogma. We think for ourselves.
Women who use their passports often also radically use their minds. Dogma is defined as a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. Basically, it's regurgitating someone else's point of view without questioning it.
Growing up, we were taught wearing modest clothing is commendable, and remaining a virgin for as long as you can makes you a demure woman deserving of marriage. We learned the naked body is shameful, and that it provokes strong reactions from men. It's best to just cover it up.
Seeking pleasure is selfish. Judging others shows your moral superiority.
While we were riding on the back of a truck in the middle of the Sahara or diving to the bottom of a waterfall in Chiapas, something strange happened. A turning point occurred, and the real world smacked us in the face.
Suddenly, we discovered that many things we were taught just didn't fit in with the lives we were creating while exploring the world. Fearless, traveling women believe finding your way in life is more authentic than regurgitating someone else's point of view.
Wearing clothing is completely optional. Judging others shows how small your mindset is.
The body is a temple, so treat it with the utmost respect. Share it only with those who feel the same way.
2. We march to the beat of our own drum.
Fearless, traveling women are continuously stumping corporate marketing departments. We don't care about fitting into size 2 outfits, wearing full faces of makeup or succumbing our brains to mind-numbing lists like "How To Please Him In Bed.” Instead of studying how to please someone else, we've researched and mastered how to please ourselves.
3. We choose our own paths.
Traveling women are redefining “normal." We've watched women around us suppress their happiness, wanderlust and zest for life to become the perfect Susie Homemakers.
Guess what? Disney lied. Susie Homemaker's life sucks.
4. We reject the already-made life.
Society's not-so-subtle messaging lures us into yearning for the dream world: a world decorated with white picket fences, three Apple products per person, two-car garages, decent-looking (but generic) husbands and two biological kids by the age of 26.
Instead, we choose to see 30 countries by the time we hit 30 years old. We will figure the rest out along the way.
5. We are changing the ideals of a dream life.
“Having it all” for the fearless, traveling woman means owning little, but experiencing as much as possible. We've redefined luxury.
We would rather live out of our backpacks while we see the world. Hitchhiking from Portugal to the South of France is more enticing than another night watching "Sex And The City" reruns, painting our nails and lamenting over our romantic lives.
6. Calling us your ideal woman is a turn-off.
The ideal woman has perfectly coiffed hair, flawless homemaker attributes and an extensive jewelry collection. Older women told us, “Don't cut your hair. Men don't like women with short hair. Having too many male friends will intimidate your boyfriend. Don't run with those wild girls. Men will think you're just like them.”
These sayings propel us traveling women to shave our heads, grow random dreadlocks and run with a motley crew of free-thinking women from various backgrounds. We are not ashamed of having male friends from all over the world.
We don't want to fit the exact mold generic Ken is looking for now because he will just cheat on us later. This is not our motive for living.
7. We are confident alone.
Being a traveling women means to sometimes travel alone. We no longer desperately wait for romantic partners to whisk us away on a dream trip.
We wait for no one. We research our own plans.
We realize our own dreams. We fulfill our own adventures.
Our bucket lists are filled to the brim. We empty them out and refill them without waiting for anyone's approval.
8. We choose exploration over staying at home.
For some unexplainable reason, sedentary men are attracted to free-spirited, traveling women like moths to flames. They see something wild, passionate and exciting in us. They ride the wave, momentarily sharing our enthusiasm for life.
Then comes the inevitable day when your desire for constant exploration becomes a burden. He asks if you could be happy in one place. He wants you to stop traveling and settle down at this very instant.
The fearless, traveling woman will love him and appreciate the wonderful time they spent together, but she won't slow down due to someone else's command. She will slow down when she is ready.
9. Relationships aren't the be-all and end-all of life.
Romantic novels and dramatic literature all drive home the same point: A life full of emotional ups and downs, heartbreak and sacrifices is worth it as long as you win the guy in the end. The fearless, traveling woman doesn't subscribe to such a narrow way of thinking.
While we welcome romantic relationships, we aren't defined by our partners. We are happy with ourselves to the core, and we refuse to settle for anything less than a twin flame.
We'd rather fall in and out of love as the tide changes than settle for someone who demands that we stop exploring. Besides, if the universe sent me 15,000 other fearless, traveling women to connect with, why should I stress about not finding the "right one?"
10. We love ourselves and our bodies. We are free.
We fearless, traveling women audaciously love ourselves just the way we are. We accept our flaws, and we learn to accept what is alive in others.
Every day on the road, I meet women who have freed themselves from the encumbering roles society has placed upon them. These women vibrate freedom, and they have a lust for life that Susie Homemaker only reads about in magazines.
We are all one another's soulmates, and we hail from every corner of the Earth. We book one-way tickets, skinny dip in the Baltic Sea, live in hippie communes and refuse to succumb to gender roles. We run through fields naked, uninhibited and untethered by the stifling opinions of others.
That is the dangerously fearless woman that travel creates.