Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tedx Montreal Women

I attended TedxMontrealWomen yesterday and while this post isn't about travel, it's about women empowerment. The theme for this event was inspired by Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, and asked us to think about what we could dare to do.

The event was sold out and 800 women (and a few men) filled the Imperial Palace to capacity. The line up to get in was around the block when I showed up just before 9am and I got a seat in the first row of the second floor balcony.
A photo posted by K Bron John (@kbronjohn) on
 I took notes for pretty much every talk, which covered everything from health and nutrition, to disability and the environment. Everyone was really inspiring. I can honestly say there were no bad talks! What I was also happy about was no one shied away from the "F-word" - and by that, I'm talking "Feminism"! It always annoys me when people declare they're not feminists for one reason or the other, but that didn't happen with anyone yesterday. Our feminism, our womanhood, our power - they were all embraced!

I want to leave you with a few key points from Angela Lee's talk, titled Be A Bias Breaker, because I think they can also be applied to travel.

1) Women need to nudge each other in the right direction. We need to encourage and inspire each other. Everyone needs a little nudge every once and a while to get moving or keep trying. Don't be the voice of doubt in someone else's head. Offer up possibilities and opportunities.
I hope that is something I accomplish with this blog!

2) Pause and check our biases. Is there something holding you back from achieving or going after what you want? Is there an unconscious bias at play where you think, "women can't/don't do that!" Sit and think about your beliefs. Are they valid? Are they true problems?

3) Share stories of stumbles. We all hear success stories, but rarely do we hear all the steps (or missteps!), attempts and failures along the way. Let people know where you messed up so they can learn from it. Also, let them see that the path isn't always easy, but it is surmountable.

Of course, these points can be applied to pretty much any situation, but for travel - especially solo travel - I think women have to do these three things to take the plunge and do it. We break down barriers and biases to do it and I think we should take a moment and acknowledge we have dared greatly.



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