Today March 8th marks International Women’s Day around the world.
Even though it is a day to celebrate all my female counterparts, it is only a day of the year to recognize the important roles we play and the contributions we make every single moment.
I honestly still don’t think it does any justice or just because it is our special day does it change current (and some quite difficult) situations or conditions that many of them are dealing with at the moment. There’s so much more to be done and we need as much help as possible! It’s always work in progress as they say.
Now I was just reading this interesting article written by one of my all-time favorite authors, Liz Gilbert, about a specific time in her life when she got away from it all and traveled to the other side of the planet in order to find herself and forget about the entire ordeal she was going through at that time. Little did she know that even on a smallest island, her life would be transformed…FOREVER.
We human beings are social creatures and we cannot be too far or too isolated from other humans and we need contact or interaction in order to survive and go through whatever it is that we are facing. As they say: “Together, everyone achieves more”, never underestimate the power of two.
During my many (mis) adventures around the world, I had the enormous privilege of encountering some phenomenal women who were put on my path for a very specific reason.
I just think that they were blessings from above and they appeared out of the blue in order to teach me very important lessons and also make me believe in the higher power, the almighty who is always looking after me wherever I may be.
If I stop to think about it, I can give you examples of 3 inspiring and exceptional ladies. I received help from above and they are the ones that clearly were remarkable.
I’ve already shared with you one of those stories in Random Acts of Kindness during Travel, when I was sent to Osaka, Japan to get my working visa.
Photo credit: Cegoh
I stood there in awe in the middle of an über crowded subway/train station not knowing where to go.
Photo credit: PDP
I turned around and stopped this lady in the middle of the sea of people and showed her on the map where I needed to head next. Not speaking or understanding a word of English, she took my hand and brought me to the right platform where she waited for the train with me. Once I got on, she waved good-bye and disappeared. If that wasn’t an angel in a human form, then I don’t know anything 🙂
What did it taught me?
Do NOT be afraid to ask for help and also trust, there are really good-hearted people in the world and it doesn’t matter if languages, color of skin, culture are a barrier.
The second example was this airline employee who clearly went above and beyond the call of duty, she offered Exceptional Customer Service which made her stand out from the thousands of other employees working that day.
I was coming back from my one month holiday in Central America with my family and we had to transfer airplanes at Miami International Airport.
Photo credit: stocksnap
I realized upon landing that we were already late and we would miss our connecting flight. Thus as soon as I was at the gate, I asked a customer service representative if she could assist us and explained to her the situation.
She was attentive, truly listened and made decisions pretty quickly by consulting her colleagues and superiors. That already was impressive as to how she organized her thoughts and coordinated the actions that needed to be taken.
She personally made sure that we made it to our gate; therefore we followed her through the moving walkway
Photo credit: Hans
until we reached the Customs Area an after which, she called for an electric car (buggy) at the airport (for my family members and I) so that we could reach our final gate in the fastest time possible. Believe it or not, we made it with only a few minutes left for boarding and I even got the time to buy drinks because that was quite an adventure in the airport!
Of course I thanked her and asked for her information so that I could write a letter to upper management and let them know what she had done for us. As they say, honor to honor is due!
Until this day I remember it very vividly, as if it happened yesterday.
One must be a great listener, be quick to decide and analyze the situation in an instant. One must remain calm and confident and trust that everything will work out for the best and that’s precisely what happened. I firmly think she is the embodiment of excellence and the way she handled the situation is simply admirable. Grace under pressure indeed!
The third example and last example of a woman who truly inspired me, and I respect her even more, is Rebecca Rothney, founder of Pack for a Purpose
which is an international organization that helps students in need by allowing travelers (of all walks of life)to make a significant impact and contribute 5 lbs (2.27 kg) of school supplies or reference materials and bring it in person to the institution of their choice at their holiday destination.
As you know, I am a foreign languages teacher, thus education means the world to me. If I can help in any way possible, by any means I will do it. Prior to my trip to Costa Rica, I had learned more about the program and decided to leave some space in my carry on and bring some school materials to give back to the school the hotel I was going to stay in helps. Little did I know that I would be changed and impacted in the process!
I may have received excellent education in some of the best schools where I lived but nothing; absolutely nothing prepared me for the humbling experience I was going to live.
The school I visited was far away from the city and in a remote area where migrant workers (from foreign countries) live and work which is near the fruit and vegetable plantations.
I learned that children must walk quite the distance in order to get to class and one even had to be dropped off by his father every day as they travel by motorcycle.
The school, which is very simple at first sight,
is where approximately 10 students from 1st to 5th grade (mixed!) learn together and one teacher is at the helm and makes sure he shares his knowledge with all of them on a daily basis.
How do they do it? Patience, determination, certainly perseverance but above all, blind faith that things will work out for the best. Surprisingly enough, it works and has worked for years now.
Life lesson learned that day?
It does not matter where you are or what you have. Bloom right where you are planted and make the best of what you’ve already got!
I will not lie to you and tell you that my pride took a whip that day and promise myself to appreciate every single thing, good or not so good that is happening in my own life.
There are people who are happy with little and there are people with a lot that are not happy. It all depends on our attitude and the best way to go is just enjoy what we have, who’s around us and GIVE back as much and as often as you can!
There is no better feeling at the end of the day than knowing that you brought a smile or made someone’s day by contributing if only a little. For that I bow down to Rebecca and her organization touches many lives around the world!
So there you have the examples of 3 exceptional women met or learned about during my travels around the planet.
Now I turn it over to you!
Do you know any exceptional women in your life right now
or met any that changed your life in some way or manner?
Tell us all about it in the comments.
Until then keep supporting us!
Tashi Delek, All the best