– Anne Frank
Annually, International Women’s Day is held to celebrate every and all achievements and progressive milestones that have been accomplished by women. It commemorates the many steps we’ve taken forward towards diversity and gender parity, and serves as a call-to-action for a continued rally for gender equality and women’s rights all around the globe. This year, the IWD theme is Choose to Challenge. It pertains to the choices we make day after day, in that by taking charge of our thoughts and actions, we can all do our part to engender change and create an inclusive world.
Our founder, Krystal, shares her reflection:
“How can we make the world a more inviting and enlightened place? This is a question we ask ourselves constantly at Blue Sky Escapes.
In these unprecedented times, I believe what has kept us — a predominantly outbound travel company — in business today has been our team’s culture of curiosity, reflection, and deep concern for both our inner and outer worlds. We’re unafraid of taking on new challenges, and believe in making small, 1% improvements each day in all initiatives we give our energy to, as what may be perceived as tiny, minute shifts each day can lead to the big results.
Oftentimes, our pursuit of delivering an emotional impact or facilitating a positive shift in the deeper layers of a person means drawing others out of their comfort zones and into an experimental space where they can gain new perspectives, and emerge a little more intentional and reflective. Indeed, the only way to know you’re growing is when you’re stretched beyond the realms of the familiar. In this respect, this year’s IWD theme of choosing to challenge resonates very much with me.
More importantly, as a team, we are deeply inspired to live and grow together in the spirit of Ubuntu, an African philosophy and way of life which loosely translates to ‘I am, because you are.’ Ubuntu captures the essence of oneness and a shared humanity, where every single action on our individual parts has an impact on those around us, far and wide. As solo individuals, we form part of an intricate ecosystem and wider consciousness at play.
This IWD, I’m feeling heartened and especially proud of how far we’ve come as a society in embracing the notion of a shared humanity and taking steps towards a kinder, more inclusive world.”
To commemorate the day, we’ve invited a few strong, exceptional women, without whom many wonderful initiatives would not have been possible, to share their thoughts about International Women’s Day and the female figures they’ve met on their travels who have inspired them.
“International Women’s Day is a time to share the stories of women and what they are doing to make the world better for other and future generations.”
— Elaine Kim, Co-Founder and CEO of Trehaus and Crib
“International Women’s Day for me is most vividly described by the vision behind my work at Elevate.RA. It’s to invest in empowering our young girls of today, to ensure they grow up to be the strong future leaders of tomorrow. This begins with dismantling previously held beliefs or notions about the limits set upon our girls. Then, we must equip them with the tools they need to feel empowered, so they can rise to limitless achievements. To me, this is true girl power.
To me, what strong women are, are those who build one another up rather than bring each other down through the superpowers of empathy, and kindness. I also believe in illustrating the value of love – loving oneself to then spread the same love onto others. Understanding then that once we love who we are, the power we withhold to be what we want lies within us and that with hard work, dedication, and commitment there is no stopping girls and women to be whoever and whatever they dream to be.”
— Ramita Anand, Founder of Elevate.RA
“To me, International Women’s Day is all about “Embracing Your Best Self”, and is a time for empowerment and inspiration. At Skin Inc, we understand that the skin is affected by one’s feelings and how much rest they’re getting. We’ve just gone through all the stresses and challenges that 2020 brought, and mental wellness and self-care is now more important than ever. International Women’s Day is the perfect time for all women to refocus on themselves, their strengths, and all that they are capable of.”
— Sabrina Tan, CEO & Founder of Skin Inc.
“International Women’s Day is simply a reminder of how we, as a humanity, can honor the feminine every day. It is a celebration of the innate wisdom, strength, resilience and beauty of women. It is a remembering of all the tribulations, trials, hardships, persecutions and injustices that our mothers, sisters and daughters have endured from time beginning. It is a consecration and honoring of the birth of mothers that has carried each and every person within their womb to evolve into the humanity we have today. It is an invocation of empowerment, for the feminine to rise into her sovereignty, autonomy, wisdom, magic, resiliency and beauty. It is the proud recollection of herstory and the importance of this aperture when we reflect upon the steps that have brought us to where we are today. This is much more than a single day of celebration; it is the song of our wild feminine hearts and the tapestry of sovereignty that we weave together.”
— Amber Sawyer, PhD, E-RPYT, Founder of Embodied Woman Yoga
“International Women’s Day is a time to appreciate and celebrate how far women have come in having the confidence and courage to pursue our dreams, and also a time to reflect upon how we can do better to help lift more women up in this journey.”
— Rachel Lim, Founder of Love, Bonito
Elaine: “The non-profit social enterprise I co-founded, CRIB Gives Back, organizes a trip called Holiday for Hope where we bring our little ones on missions to support the underprivileged in Cambodia and Nepal.
One of the most inspiring women is the founder of one of the orphanages we support in Nepal, who uprooted her life to set up the home in Kathmandu to provide shelter, education and a future to hundreds of abandoned orphans who have passed through the doors. One girl I’d met in the home is now headed to Medical School!”
Ramita: “Without a doubt, the woman who has inspired me the most has been my own mother. She embraced life to its fullest, finding joy and laughter in even the most mundane of activities and inspiring me to be curious and work hard to achieve my best. Her commitment to education and learning through travel, cooking, storytelling, and reading has given me the strong foundation from which I built all my own aspirations. I keep her message of never stop believing- even in miracles, close to my heart and wish to emulate her compassion for others, dedication to her work and family.”
Amber: “Without any hesitation, my incredible, endearing, heart-centered, wise, beautiful, biodynamic midwife, Red Miller, has inspired me to go down the empowering path of supporting other women through life transitions and stages. I have met many inspiring women on my travels around the world, but this bright being appeared in my life while living in Singapore. The support she gave me during my pregnancy and birth was so profound, and so impactful, that a seed was planted for a larger dharma of returning that support to other women. My life path exponentially evolved after meeting Red, manifesting a path of creating safe spaces for women to connect to themselves and to each other, to create modern villages, to journey with women through pregnancy, birth and into motherhood, and to empower women through all phases of their life from menarchy to menopause.”
Sabrina: “It would have to be Lindy. I was inspired by her positive energy and her being a good sport. Despite feeling seasick when we were in Ibiza, she continued to push on to take a yacht trip and to explore another island with the team.”
Rachel: “I remember meeting Linda, a 74-year-old American in South Africa and I was completely inspired and blown away by her zest for life, hunger to explore and learn something new every day, and how genuinely interested she is to get to know my (and many others in the tour group) stories. I’m truly inspired by her and will always remember my encounter with her as she was a reminder to me to be present in my journey and to appreciate the here and now.”