July 22, 2020

What can I learn when I connect with other women on my travels?

Katie Shevlin, 55

“For me, travelling isn’t about rushing to take pictures of the ‘must see’ sights. Rather, it offers a unique opportunity to connect with local people. In today’s fragmented world, broken not only along political lines but by cultural identity, travel can bring us back together. Wherever I roam, I’m interested in learning about facets of human experience including:- gender, relationships, identity and race. Connecting with local women amplifies the fact we have common experiences in adolescence, as we struggle to find our identity. Women around the world are affected by gender based violence, although its manifestations differ in application. And citizens across the globe battle within their own communities to tackle discrimination and oppression, often at the risk of being ostracised themselves. I’ve met people in countries where their race or caste leaves them wide open to violence and ensures they’re unable to achieve social mobility. My entry is about Ana. It shows we’re not like ‘humpty dumpy’ even though we feel fractured at times. We’re actually made of the same stuff, a common humanity that can connect through our personal stories. When we tell one another our experiences with a good story, our listeners can walk with us.”

The Local Hero, 2020