This Feminist Footprints Travel Blog post is dedicated to my mother Sharon Diane Washington (1949~2019). She planted my first seeds of curiosity and traveled the world with and through her daughter.
After hours or days of brooding over an idea like a puppy with a sow’s ear, things often become clear to me. Suddenly, I’m like, “Whew! It’s time to get my first tattoo!” “Yes, I should move to New York!” “Of course, you should go back to school and finish your degree!” “Silly, it’s a no brainer, you should get your first passport and join your friends in Greece!”
The need, the certainty that it was time to quit the job I’d had for 12 years, leave the industry I’d worked in since age 16 worried me and worried me until one day it didn’t. One day I was drinking too much, unhappy, getting older by the minute and driving myself and those around with me crazy with my paralysis. And then the next day, in 2008, around age 38, I was like, “Oh snap! I’m going to start saving for my fortieth birthday, quit my job, and take an apartment in Paris for a month, travel around France, London, and Italy for a month, and then come back and get a job working in a women’s or Civil Rights non-profit. Just like that!
This year is the 10 Year Anniversary of that decision, which changed my life in quiet and noisy ways that I’m still figuring out, and for the most part delighting in.
I turned forty in March, but I didn’t take my trip until May of 2010 and so I’ve decided to dedicate the whole year to a series of stories centered around the trip. We will explore applying for a summer internship at the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women, discovering what it’s like to live in a Paris studio for a month, to lose…be robbed of your ticket to Rome, two credit cards, and trip itinerary, and getting off the bus in the dead of night in Florence, unable---tipsy and in heels---to find the entrance to my mountain top hotel. And so much more!
Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you so much for taking this journey with me. Here’s to life’s unexpected turns, even the ones that you worry like a puppy with a sow’s ear!
Be kind to one another, keep on traveling with a feminist eye, and keep on being Feminist AF!
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