Hello and a warm welcome to my blog!
What all this about? It’s about hiking and about the power and strength and confidence to do whatever you want!
For me as being born ’81 to an east German mother equality was never a big issue. Both my parents always worked , were equal, my mum even has a higher education degree then my dad, but that’s never been a big deal. I grew up never questioning my ability to do whatever I want to do. I always felt equal, I acted equal – some people might even call me uber-emancipated. But I am definitely not. In my point of view women can do whatever men do, society just grew different expectations towards different sexes.
Then, when I was turning 23, I started to travel excessively. To some so called first world countries first, other, maybe in some ways more challenging countries like Kyrgyzstan or India later on. There I figured that equality between men and women literally does not exist.
In some regions girls were not sent to school but have to help on the land growing crops.
In some places girls were married to an elderly man that their parents choose.
In Central Asia it is still a common habit to kidnapp girls and then marry them.
Girls in general don’t get the same attention than boys do.
Girls don’t get the same education as boys get.
…. but thats not just limited to the 3rd world countries. In the so called industrial countries girls face certain expectations too. Always take care of your appearance, be a good-looking sweet female and a caring mother and wife.
Since travelling I cannot count the times anymore how often I have been asked how I could even dare to travel all by myself.
Countless times I am told how brave I am that I travel all by myself. That was always meant in a flattering way, but I doubt people would have asked the same questions and comment the same way on a guy travelling all by himself.
Yes, it is an issue. And yes, we girls can do whatever we want to do!
We should not let put that seed in us that we cannot do things.
I travelled a lot, still do more than ever before and I never faced extraordinary dangerous situations, sometimes I faced verbal sexual harassment (“cat calling”), but I am strong and confident enough to stand these situations. Things can actually happen everywhere. Not just at home we have to use some common sense but in other places too.
With my hikes, – as well the day hikes as the long distance ones, with my little climbs and adventures I want to encourage, empower and inspire more women, ladies and girls of no matter which age to go outthere, go out of your so called comfort zone, do all those things you are dreaming about to do but never dared doing and encourage to “don’t give a shit” about what others might think or even say about that.
So go out, face your fears, push your very own boundaries, overcone those annoying expectations from others. Only you are the one person you should focus on. Explore the world … and not just that, explore yourself and grow with all these new experiences. When I can do that, everybody can.
For that you don’t have to cycle the length of Africa. Just start doing something, little adventures, day hikes, cycling trips, explore your surrounding and learn to actually say no when you want to say no.
So, have fun go through my texts, take a look at some pictures, and don’t forget to listen to what other long distance hikers have to say in the “Wanderwach & Kaffee” podcast. Stay inspired and inspire others.
Happy Trails Mareike AKA CareFree.