How to Support Gender Equality

Although sustainability is a cause I care deeply about and was the focus of my last blog post, there’s another cause I support that falls into the realm of sustainability and ethics. Just as I care about how we treat the environment, I care about how we treat one another. With March officially designated as Women’s History Month, you’ve no doubt noticed many people wearing red or knitted and crocheted pink hats to show solidarity for the equal treatment of women. While I agree that it’s incredibly important to empower women all over the world, not just in developing nations, it’s also important to realize that we cannot have equality for women without considering men too. Men and women are both placed in roles and feel pressure to fit specific stereotypes. Even though we are currently encouraging and inspiring people to reach beyond their gender roles, there are still some areas where we are making our way through the complicated labyrinth of gender and society. How can we break the mold of gender expectations? Here are few ideas and steps I’m going to start taking to show how I support gender equality: Continue Reading ›

The Importance of Kindness During Travel

Getting ready for travel requires careful packing and making numerous checklists. Any experienced traveler will tell you what you shouldn’t forget: passport, tickets, money, snacks, first aid kit, and a camera. All of these items and more are incredibly important and should not be forgotten, but there’s always one thing we forget to bring with us: kindness. I’d like to think that travel can make us more tolerant and willing to assist others, but as posts from Adventurous Kate and Expat Edna will tell you, people are still close-minded and judgmental. I find this is true not only of travelers, but locals as well. Is there a way to make the world kinder? On Random Acts of Kindness Day, here are a few situations that have inspired me to think differently about how I travel and live: Continue Reading ›

World Hat Styles

A few years ago, I decided to embark on a rather unusual journey that involved nostalgia and days gone past. This journey didn’t have to do with my travels, necessarily, but with learning the art of millinery, or hat making. Making an hour and a half drive to Fort Collins for several months, I studied under a skilled milliner who showed me some tricks of the trade. Hat making might sound simple or easy, but this art form is anything but simplistic. Millinery requires great attention to detail and to my surprise I found the covering and decorative work to take much more time than the shaping of a hat. I admired the work behind millinery so much that although I don’t practice it anymore, I still write about it and want to convey the same admiration on National Hat Day. So, what better way to look at culture and travel than through hats? You might be surprised, but there are numerous hat styles out there, as this infographic from Venere.com shows: Continue Reading ›

Father’s Day Around the World

When you think of Dad, a few things probably come to mind: sports, outdoors and maybe a science fiction or action flick.  In terms of my dad, I always think of baseball, fishing and watching old classic Hitchcock films, western movies or Twilight Zone episodes.  Everyone has a different take on the iconic man in their life who taught them to never throw in the towel, get up again when you are hurt and gave them great advice (even when they didn’t want to hear it).  As it turns out, Fathers are celebrated throughout the world in many different ways.  To see how others recognize their Dads, take a look at a few events from around the world. Continue Reading ›

Cultural Appreciation vs. Cultural Appropriation

If there’s one thing I always strive for in my travels, observations of fashion and appreciation of art, it’s discovering and sharing the cultural meaning behind my experiences.  Cultural heritage, as you’ve seen from my previous blogs, is an important aspect of everything I have done in life.  Whether it’s my latest jewelry project, sewing endeavor or world adventure, I’m always seeking the story and meaning behind what I’m doing.  As I’ve been reshaping my blog and focusing more on culture, one concept came across my path that had me thinking about my past actions: cultural appropriation.  What exactly is cultural appropriation?  As it turns out, the question is incredibly difficult to answer.  The clearest definition I had gotten was from About.com: “. . . [C]ultural appropriation typically involves members of a dominant group exploiting the culture of less privileged groups.”  The definition got me thinking: Was my childhood involvement with local Native American groups at Pow-Wows cultural appropriation?  Have the craft projects I’ve featured on my blog been disrespectful to the cultures I gained the skills from?  When was I showing appreciation?  Or was it appropriation?  In order to gain some insights into how to decipher my future actions, here are a few questions I’ve found from other bloggers to help guide me and others when it comes to travel and fashion choices: Continue Reading ›