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I just watched a video, a vlog by Rija Shrestha where she speaks out on her frustration of being a girl in a Nepalese society. A dejected Rija is speaking out for over nine minutes on this vlog, purely out of her frustration that she has not been able to convince her parents to let her travel with one of the biggest reasons stopping her being that she’s a girl. If she plans to travel with boys, that’s a no-go area and if she plans to travel with girls, that’s also a no-go area. Let’s not forget that Rija is also asking for girls to come forward who are in a similar position so they can help each other and possibly form a stronger travel group.

Rija shares about working from an early age and being responsible. This conflict of identity is something that I find common in the personal space that we call home and in the professional environment. Outside the four walls and outside the watchful eyes of the family, some of us are exceptional and show great leadership traits and at times, we are more than we think but as we come back to our personal family space, many of us lose all this and merely become this human who is and will always need caring and to be looked after. Every decision we take will be questioned and we will always feel like a child no matter what accomplishments and accolades we collect. I can only encourage, girls and boys, to be more action driven and to bring their personalities from the professional environment to their home.

Every family is different and I cannot encourage others to be like myself. Whilst many may say, “you’re a boy, it’s easy for you”, I believe that my elder sisters have made everything easy for me. They’ve always led the way and they’ve made it easy for me to grow up and do my own thing because they always did their own thing and never let anyone stop them… including parents. I believe that is the reason why at times I find it very difficult to engage in baseless conversation with relatives. As a family, we do not entertain ourselves with silly conversations and to suddenly face such dialogue from relatives is simply absurd to me. I trust myself and because working from an early age has given me the freedom to be mobile (in terms of finance), I make my own decisions when it comes to travel and I simply inform my parents. That is what I have been doing since the age of sixteen and it is only when it comes to long-term travel that I inform the family beforehand.

We’ll have commitments that will tie us down growing up and I realise that for girls, there may be more that will tie them down. Some may realise no matter how old you are, your family will always try their best to ground you… it’s all down to you regarding the next action you take.

On a lighter note, please keep an eye out on SherpaShah who organises the Solo Woman Travelers. I believe those platforms and community may be a space where the likeminded can come together and you, can create networks with other women and men to travel together. (Solo Travel Nepal – Official Website)

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