In 2016, Caitlin Murray and Jess Horton founded Purposeful Nomad with the vision of providing meaningful travel experiences for women looking to venture beyond tourist-to-traveler status.
Purposeful Nomad strives to offer destination-exclusive trips that combine adventure, soul renewal and social responsibility. Through carefully crafted itineraries and strong connections with local community leaders, they strive to provide destination-exclusive trips that foster adventure, soul renewal and social responsibility.
Meeting Local Women Leaders
Travel can be one of life’s most thrilling experiences, yet it also has an adverse effect on those and the environment in the places we visit. That is why it is so essential to take steps toward sustainable travel – to maximize enjoyment while respecting local cultures and environments.
To achieve sustainable development in your community, connect with local women leaders. By speaking to them, you can learn more about their work and how you can support it when traveling abroad.
Some companies are taking extra measures to ensure their tours and excursions benefit both people and environment in the destinations they visit. For instance, ArchaeoAdventures employs female guides on its Middle East and Northern Africa itineraries, as well as supporting local women-owned businesses wherever feasible.
Seven Women also offers cultural tour programs that connect visitors with grassroots organisations in Nepal. As well as advocating for sustainability, the company also works to highlight the work of disabled and marginalised women by training them as tour guides and workshop facilitators.
These tours give tourists an inside look into the lives of locals and show what meaningful change can look like in developing communities. Furthermore, they serve as a platform for international guests to engage with locals and share their own stories, which in the end helps empower those communities.
Women who can build and nurture relationships with their peers often have more opportunities to find employment and progress professionally, particularly in countries with high levels of inequality and unemployment.
Women are increasingly seeking ways to connect with other professionals and pursue opportunities. This has often resulted in the creation of community groups that discuss specific issues or topics.
In Papua New Guinea, where violence is common and women often lack access to safe transportation options, UN Women’s Safe Public Transport for Women and Children programme has created a bus specifically for them that includes tracking systems and three uniformed crew members. Not only does this enable women to safely get around town but it also gives them more economic opportunities within their communities.
Creating Opportunities for Women
The tourism industry is in a unique position to empower women. It provides access to various skills and jobs, including higher education and leadership development opportunities that may otherwise remain unavailable in other sectors. Furthermore, tourism plays an integral role in meeting some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): End Poverty; Zero Hunger; Health & Well Being; Quality Education; Industry Innovation and Infrastructure.
The UNWTO has developed an Action Plan on Gender Equality in Travel and Tourism that outlines concrete steps to empower women across the sector. It calls for increased female representation as workers, managers and leaders within this industry.
Though tourism can have a beneficial effect on women, many obstacles still remain. Women often work in lower-paid and less respected jobs with fewer opportunities for advancement and experience discrimination and abuse at work. Despite these positive effects, women still face many obstacles.
These obstacles have a detrimental effect on women’s economic and social status. The sector can play an important role in resolving these problems by working with governments to implement policies that promote gender equality, women’s entrepreneurship, and empowerment.
For instance, the Youth Employment and Society Development initiative emphasizes how youth can help address issues impacting women and girls in the tourism industry. This includes providing them with job opportunities, encouraging female entrepreneurs, and offering mentoring experiences.
Another way to support women-led businesses and projects is by purchasing products made by women, either directly or through donations. This approach works especially well in destinations that emphasize local culture since this can open up a range of community-based businesses to tourists.
When visiting an artisan market, look for a local company that works with artisans to improve their living conditions and generate income. These businesses typically share profits from sales with their surrounding communities.
For an alternative approach, seek out an organization with a direct connection to your destination that is also affiliated with your tour provider. Doing so will give you peace of mind that they are making a real impact on the people and environment you are supporting.
Supporting Women-Owned Businesses
Female entrepreneurs account for more than 11.6 million businesses, contributing a total sales revenue of $1.7 trillion, making them powerful forces in the economy. Their influence over economic, social and political circles is undeniable.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 – the global economic crisis that hit last year – took its toll on female-owned businesses. Studies show they are recovering at a slower rate than businesses owned by men, yet support is available for these small business owners as well.
The National Association for Women Business Owners (NAWBO) provides resources, advocacy and networking opportunities to support female entrepreneurs as they build their businesses and progress within their careers. Furthermore, NAWBO works towards creating a culture of gender equity in business operations.
Around the world, there are numerous organizations providing mentoring programs, training and micro-financing to women entrepreneurs. These non-profits play a pivotal role in shifting business cultures and creating an optimistic future for women and their communities worldwide.
In the United States, there are numerous Small Business Development Centers that offer free or low-cost business assistance to women entrepreneurs. These organizations provide a range of services such as loans, marketing/social media advice, financial coaching and more to both new and established businesses alike.
When traveling, make a point to support local businesses by purchasing from them. Not only does this boost their visibility and reputation, but it also demonstrates to other potential customers that you care about supporting their community.
You can further enhance your visibility online by leaving reviews for local businesses. Statistics show that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations when making purchasing decisions.
Another way to support female-owned businesses is by donating or volunteering your time. Organizations like Women’s Global Empowerment Fund offer assistance to small enterprises in developing nations, helping them sell products, produce food, cook, and clean.
These women-owned businesses are essential to the local economies of their regions, offering jobs, services and education. Their efforts contribute to building strong communities and guaranteeing the long-term health of their country.
Purposeful Nomad offers trips that promote women’s empowerment through sustainable travel. Their trips are led by experienced female travelers with extensive connections to local women leaders and communities, and they conduct extensive research before inviting groups on a trip. This ensures each group of travelers leaves an impactful mark in its destination.
Traveling with Purpose
Travel has the capacity to broaden your perspective, lead to new insights, ways of thinking, and an enhanced sense of purpose. In turn, it can inspire you to make important decisions and take steps towards improving your life.
No matter the purpose of your trip, from exploring a foreign country to volunteering or learning a new language, you can travel with purpose. All it takes is having an objective in mind which will provide direction and keep you motivated.
Travel with a purpose by supporting social businesses abroad. Tour operators like G Adventures and Grassroots Volunteering offer tours that support community-based initiatives like fixing septic tanks or working on local farmland.
A sustainable tour typically includes activities such as visiting markets, purchasing food from farmers and dining at family-run restaurants. This is an excellent way to support the local economy and connect with its people.
Many of these trips provide skill-sharing, such as cooking or painting classes, and are an excellent way to become involved in your community. Furthermore, they give you the chance to form friendships with women from around the world.
Caitlin and Jess founded Purposeful Nomad with the vision to create life-altering experiences for women who travel, as well as those in their local communities. Their drive to promote sustainable travel was spurred by several transformative travel adventures that left them feeling motivated to make a difference.
Purposeful Nomad trips provide women with access to ethical communities and organizations, providing a secure environment where they can explore their personal and spiritual development. This is especially helpful for women who may feel vulnerable or uncomfortable traveling alone.
Additionally, group trips offer women the unique opportunity to share their stories and experiences with other travelers in their group. This fosters a sense of community and camaraderie that would otherwise not be possible on solo excursions.
Traveling for a purpose can be daunting, but if you are willing to put in effort and research, it can be an incredible experience. It’s an opportunity to meet people from around the world and form lifelong friendships.