Happy International Women’s Day! I think everyone deserves a huge pat on the back after the year we’ve had.
I always love to see the supportive content posted online for IWD, but I think this year is especially important. So many women have achieved amazing things in such difficult circumstances and when Tina approached me, asking if I’d like to write something for her new website that was launching on IWD, I felt honoured!
I’ve been lucky enough to experience some amazing things in my life and they’ve all shaped who I am today.
I joined my local scout group when I was only 9 years old and I’m now an active Assistant Scout Leader as well as the other roles I’ve held within scouting over the years. I always say that if it weren’t for scouts, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Not only did I learn to become an independent young woman amongst other things, but I’ve met so many amazing people from around the world.
I would also argue that scouting is what started my love for travel. I’ve been to Switzerland, Iceland and France, just with scouts! Nowadays, I love to travel outside of the scouting association.
The summer I spent working at a girl scout camp on Cape Cod was my first time in America and I had the pleasure of working with some fascinating characters who I’m still in touch with.
Inter-railing across 8 countries between my second and third year of university was a real eye opener. My friend and I literally experienced the good, the bad and the ugly (and not to mention weird). But it left us with some hilarious stories!
Travelling is something I always look forward too; I’m forever saving road trip ideas and pinning locations on maps for future travels.
Sadly, COVID-19 meant the furthest I got in 2020 was a trip to the Isle of Wight with my parents and sister – no overseas travel for me! During the short summer period between lockdowns, I was fortunate enough to travel the short distance between my home and the Peak District for more local adventures.
I managed to get out for a few socially distanced hikes with one of my closest friends and on other days I took my dogs for company! Much to my excitement I was even able to go camping for a couple of nights in Hope Valley.
When lockdown resumed and restrictions were tightened, I finally caved and bought myself a paddleboard. I had wanted one for a while, having done paddle-boarding numerous times in the past. Buying the board meant I could still get out and enjoy the fresh air, adding a bit of excitement to an otherwise monotonous lockdown routine.
(Even my mum bought one so she could try something new during lockdown – and she’s not fallen in… yet!)
I’ve loved being able to get out on the water at the weekends and I can’t wait for brighter days ahead when I can hop on the canal after work.
When I’m paddling along, it’s lovely to see so many people out and about, enjoying nature. I think everyone has become more appreciative of their local environments during the past year. There’s definitely a larger feeling of community when I pass people.
I love that this sense of community is spreading despite COVID and is becoming stronger in other areas of life. Seeing the growing support for local businesses across the UK is astounding and we’re all reaping the rewards. As Editor of Luxury BnB, I’m hearing incredible stories first-hand!
Even though the pandemic has altered everyone’s lives in one way or another, there are plenty of positives that have sprung up throughout the last year. As a result, we can use this year’s International Women’s Day to celebrate all the amazing and positive things our fellow females have achieved during such an unprecedented year.
Did my final year at university go to plan? No.
Did I get to attend my graduation ceremony in Lincoln Cathedral? No.
Was I lucky enough to find a job I love in the middle of a pandemic? Yes.
I’m grateful for all the positives that have happened during the past year and I believe we should celebrate this International Women’s Day.
No matter how big or small, any positive thing you’ve seen or done in the middle of a pandemic is an achievement.
So here’s to all the brilliant women around the world – Happy International Women’s Day!