It is Sunday morning. This is my time to glance over the papers and scroll through Facebook with a coffee to see what is happening in the world.
While the papers report the same old rubbish in their casually catastrophic tone, a different story emerges through social media. Illustrated through a series of status updates and selfies is a very clear trend of women ‘out there’ in the world, each on an adventure of their own creation.
It was impossible to ignore. Among the clusters of pregnancy pics and fresh baked babies, there was an abundance of women doing something else, solo.
Of course this could be isolated to my sphere of influence only, but it got me thinking—why does it appear that more women are choosing to take off, fuelled by wanderlust and a burning desire to up and disappear?
Just tell society and their expectations to go fuck themselves. If more women did that, we’d be better off. ~Cheryl Strayed
It wasn’t so long ago since I quit life as I knew it to step into the unknown. Before I left, I was terrified about letting go. I felt isolated and alone. Still, one day I just said ‘Fuck this’ and went on my own “Wild” meets “Eat, Pray, Love” trip around the world.
And once I took to the road, I met an abundance of women feeling the same! Somewhere between juggling the groceries, the job, and the solo mortgage repayments, we all felt so squeezed that the only solution was to slip through the cracks, rather than compress completely.
You see, we are brought up to believe that certain things should make us feel satisfied and fulfilled. We are sold a dream.
Despite the feminist movement, or perhaps because of it, there is a certain expectation on women that having it all will deliver us to bliss. Yet, somehow, the picture perfect life—that fairy tale dream of the college degree, the career, the comfortable home, the caring spouse and the kids—falls short.
Either that or it doesn’t manifest at all, despite all of our intention setting and positive affirmation recitation, so we’re left disappointed and utterly disillusioned. The banquette of options laid before us simply isn’t enough.
We travel to seek our own truth and return to our true nature. ~Katherine Smith
Feeling burned out and abandoned, we’d decided to take off in search of space. In that space, we discovered something precious and profound. The truth is we take off in order to be free and step beyond the boundaries of who we know ourselves to be.
The following things are only some of the miracles we encounter when we go on journeys of self-discovery.
1. We navigate by our intuition.
On the road, away from the opinions, well meaning advice, and conditioning that has kept us pegged to a particular way of thinking, we start to think and feel for ourselves. We rediscover our intuition: that innate intelligence and knowing, and learn to trust it.
2. We discover nature.
We turn our backs on roads paved with concrete and crave to get off the beaten track. In going off grid, we learn about a world that isn’t under the dictatorship of man and discover one that dances to its own rhythm.
3. We see things differently.
Immersing ourselves in other cultures means we learn that there is more than one way to live. We see that the ways we’ve known aren't all there is, so we start to adapt, see things from multiple perspectives, and learn that often, things are just a matter of perspective.
4. Friendships run deep.
We meet people from a more vulnerable, open place which brings deeper dimensions to the connections we develop.
5. We see ourselves for the first time.
Away from what society has allowed, we drop the expectation, let go of who we think we are supposed to be, and embrace who we truly are.
6. Syncronicity speaks to us.
We begin to notice the interconnectivity of all things and how seemingly unrelated incidence delivers us exactly where we need to be.
7. We heal.
Suddenly, in the silence and stillness of our own being, we have space to heal all the things that have hurt us, that we have resisted and repressed.
8. We find the Divine Feminine within.
We embrace all of these qualities gratefully and realise that being a woman is about being both soft and strong, venerable and vulnerable.
Even if you can’t get away for months at a time and do something as wild as in the film “Wild,” even a week away from it all can be incredibly revealing and provide you with the chance to rest and recalibrate. These trips help us to break free and empower us to be who we’re meant to be.
Journeys of self-discovery make us understand what it is to survive, what makes us come alive, and what we need to flourish and thrive.