My return to the road this past month reminded me how much I enjoy spending time behind the wheel. From the happy nervous day before departure packing to the journey home, I am a motion creature, nationally known, travel diva coming to a town near you. Fated to this particular character attribute, I am an American Road Warrior.
The life I lead in interesting in a number of ways and don’t worry, I’m not about to lay out a laundry list of how. But I do want to share one aspect that I reflect on quite often. Well meaning followers periodically ask me the question,
“Where is your husband during all of these travel adventures of yours?”
“Are you ever home?”
I know the questions come from a place of genuine concern but they tickle me nonetheless and here’s why:
1. Men who travel for work don’t get asked these questions nearly as much as women do.
I believe this speaks to an aspect of our culture where we may be comfortable with the notion of women choosing to work outside of the home but we are not used to the idea of a woman doing a job that necessitates her being away from home for weeks at a time once she marries.
2. We still view solo travel to be more dangerous for women than men.
I have observed the truth of this notion in discussions with other women travelers across an array of travel discussion boards. The thing is that there are so many ways to safeguard oneself while traveling and these measures are equally useful for both women and men.
(If you’d like for me to share some of my tips and tricks, drop me a note in the comments section.)
3. Lots of people are intimidated by the idea of traveling even when they really want to travel and see new things.
This is the one that saddens me to no end. Being born into a family that normalized frequent travel and exposure for me before the age of 2, travel is as native to me as fish are to the ocean. I cannot fathom a world in which I was not an explorer. My appetite for new experiences is quite literally insatiable and I delight in helping people overcome their discomfort with travel because I believe travel helps us to become the best versions of ourselves.
So, if you see me stopped at your friendly neighborhood Loves during one of my road trip pit stops and waiting in line for my Subway sandwich, believe me when I say I won’t be offended if you say, “Hi”. A willingness to engage in conversation with people from all kinds of backgrounds brings us closer to being able to get along and I am determined to hold up my end of that conversation.
How about you?
Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.