Songs of Ourselves: #IAmWanderful Women’s Day Selfie Challenge

by Ariel Goldberg

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard any of the following:

“Wait, are you sure it’s safe to go to that country?”

“Wow, it’s so brave that you travel alone.”

“How are you going to make time to date if you keep traveling?”

“What’s so special about a woman traveling anyway?”

At this point, gendered societal expectations seem almost commonplace to many of us (no matter how hard we try to dismantle them). If our friends aren’t dumbfounded that we’d ever even consider traveling (alone or not), our families are, at the very least, overcautious about our safety and questioning of our judgment.

And if not either of those, our experiences are erased or our desires policed.

Delia Harrington — Local Organizer, Wanderful & PR/Marketing Lead, Women in Travel Summit — Boston, Massachusetts, USA

This isn’t to say that doing things seen as stereotypically feminine or women-dominated should be shunned. On the contrary, there is power in choosing to do the things that others expect of us not because we feel that we have to, but because we want to do them. Just as there is power in choosing not to, because we don’t.

The gender gap grows steadily smaller, but at an increasingly slow rate. And in a world where women’s bodies are continuously colonized and subject to attempts at control, the very notion of a woman doing what she wants is radical.

Beth Santos — Founder/CEO, Wanderful & Creator, Women in Travel Summit — Chicago, Illinois, USA

This is what International Women’s Day is about. Autonomy for all, regardless of gender.

Today is International Women’s day. Today, and always, we celebrate each of our individual songs: the things that drive us, the things that are a part of us, and the things that make us Wanderful.

Anubha Momin — Writer, Wanderful & Programming Lead, Women in Travel Summit — Nunavut, Iqaluit, Canada

So, to you we ask: What makes you Wanderful?

Sruthi Vijayan — Writer, Wanderful — Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

We are part of a community of brilliance. Travelers, writers, explorers, teachers, entrepreneurs, seekers, and so much more. And we want to meet you.

The photos you see here are of our team. These Wanderful women work to make this community thrive and grow. We show you our faces and tell you our stories and sing you our songs, in the hope that you’ll do the same for us.

Alana Simpson — Local Organizer, Wanderful & Community Liaison, Women in Travel Summit — Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We are:

Women who challenge expectations.

Kortney Lapeyrolerie — PR/Marketing Committee Member, Women in Travel Summit — Greer, South Carolina, USA

Women who believe in something as big as all of us together.

Marissa Sutera — Executive Assistant, Wanderful & Sponsor Lead, Women in Travel Summit — Boulder, Colorado, USA

Women who conquer a world that tries to conquer us.

Char J. Stoever — Writer, Wanderful — Managua, Nicaragua

Women who show up for ourselves and for each other.

Ana Dominguez — Events Lead, Women in Travel Summit — Chicago, Illinois, USA
Demea Metcalf — Local Organizer, Wanderful — Irvine, California, USA
Laura Elizabeth Higgs — Local Organizer, Wanderful — Chicago, Illinois, USA

And so much more.

So, Wanderful women, what is your song?

Melinda Clemmer — Managing Editor, Wanderful — Ridley, Pennsylvania, USA

Use #IAmWanderful to sing your song and show our community (and the world) who, where, and what you are.

Download this PDF or handwrite your own “#IAmWanderful because” sign. Then take a selfie showing us why you’re Wanderful, and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag. We’ll be retweeting and regramming all week.

We can’t wait to meet you.

Featured image by Michael Hull on Unsplash.

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