Creating Our Own Paths: My Experience at the 2018 Women’s Travel Festival

The annual Women’s Travel Festival is so much more than an industry event for networking and brand promotion: it truly brings together women to inspire and empower them, and connect them through travel. As an outsider to this world, the event was a personal turning point for me that showed me how much there was to offer in travel. I’m a full-time makeup artist, and my interest in adding some travel into my life and business is what brought me to Around the World Beauty. Our founder, Stephanie Flor, encouraged me to try this event out to see what doors it could open for me. I was amazed by what I walked away with!

At the Travel Festival, I was surrounded by women who viewed travel not only as a priority, but something necessary to their well-being. While some may view travel as the occasional vacation, they viewed it as something vital, and without it they would lose their sense of purpose. The drive, dedication, and passion these women had for travelling was truly inspiring. Listening about their life journeys, and talking with them about how far they’ve come, uplifted and motivated me to take on my own life goals with more perseverance. While their success might appear easy to some, all of these women had built their careers from the ground up. While they encountered struggles along the way, they persisted, and their stories left me in awe.

The women all shared a love of travel from a young age, and always had an urge to explore more and see more. With determination and resourcefulness, they turned their passions into thriving careers, that allowed them to travel not only for personal fulfillment and thrill, but share their passion with others. The speakers at the event were particularly inspiring, like Kellee Edwards, who pursued her dream all the way to the Travel Channel. With her own show “Mysterious Islands,” and as a Co-Host on “The Trip,” Edwards talked about how conquering some of her deepest fears and staying focus helped land her the job of a lifetime. Other entrepreneurs from the event had turned their love of travel into unique tour companies, with a focus on women travelers. There were too many badass women to name them all, but a few of the most inspiring were the women from WHOA (Women High on Adventure) and CEO Evita Robinson of Nomadness Travel Tribe. I was so proud of these ladies, who were creating new avenues for women in the world of travel. I felt so luck that women have more outlets than ever to pursue dreams of travel, created by women for women.

The main thing that stuck with me after the event was to not be frightened or shamed out of traveling alone as a woman. If you’ve ever thought about traveling alone, I’m sure you’ve heard an earful from friends and family about it: that it’s not safe, that if you’re a wife or mother you’re selfish for wanting to travel. If you’re too old, you’ve missed your chance (How many times do you hear ‘Travel while you’re young!’), and if you’re too young, you’re jeopardizing your career. Libyria Jones (@wanderwomaninc) said that all those “Travel while you’re young – now is the time to do it, while you’re young and single” sayings were pure peer pressure noise that you had to tune out. As if when I’m not young and single, seeing the world is no longer an option! There is always an option to travel somewhere, meet someone new, to taste, experience, and learn. Don’t ever think you’ve missed your chance or shame yourself into missing opportunities to enrich your world. There are so many roadblocks that we put up for women traveling alone, and we can’t allow fear and peer pressure to stop us from pursuing our dreams. It’s your life, so go live it!

Founders of Women’s Travel Fest @KellyLewis @BareFeet Mickela Mallozzi #GirlSquadInspiration

Rockstar Panel on Travel with Oneika Raymond and Carol Cain Traveling Jules, and Dining Traveler

“Panel on “How to Make it Happen with industry shakers”

Written by: Rachel Estabrook

Editor: Mallory Huron

Media by: Rachel Estabrook and Womens Travel Festival Images

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