A Celebration of Women – International Women’s Day

 

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), and it is celebrated on 8 March every year commemorating the movement for women’s rights. First observed on 28 February in New York the year 1909, it was confirmed at the 1910 International Women’s Conference that 8 March would become an ‘International Women’s Day’.

Each year there is a different UN theme, this year it is The Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives. IWD is an official holiday in several parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Cambodia, China, Russia and Turkmenistan. Countries such as Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Chile celebrate the day, although it is not a public holiday.

team-motivation-teamwork-together-53958.jpegThis years campaign is heavily focussed on #PressforProgress – on global activism for equality for women – heavily fuelled by movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp (amongst others). The world is aiming for gender parity and shockingly, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings suggest that gender parity is over 200 years away!

#PressforProgress is a call for us all to motivate and unite each other, our friends and colleagues, our communities to act, think and be gender inclusive For more – read here.

There is no denying that the last year has been tumultuous in terms of the struggle for women’s rights. You only need to observe the inauguration of Donald Trump, the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the rise of #MeToo & #TimesUp campaigns to understand the significance of this years IWD.

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A little snapshot of the IWD which I have found really interesting is below:

  • In 1010, Clara Zetkin became the first person to table to idea of an International Women’s Day
  • Later in 1910, 100 women from 17 different countries gathered to formally establish IWD and in 1011 when this occurred, more than a million people rallied in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland for women’s voting rights
  • It was officially declared by the UN in 1975.

So why do we need to keep celebrating it now? Surely women’s rights have improved? Could this really be as prevalent as it was 108 years ago? The answer is yes. We continuously need to mark this event because although huge progress has been made, much more needs to be done.

pexels-photo-567633.jpegThe income of female workers worldwide is predicted to continue lagging behind males for another 70 years and it has also been suggested that the gender pay gap will not fully close until 2186.

One in three girls in the developing world is married off before her 18th birthday and more than 140 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation. Two thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world are female and only 7.8% countries in the world have a female head of government.

For me, being a feminist means respect and an aim for equality – at the core of it it is the struggle to end oppression. I am fortunate enough to live where I do, be in an equal and loving relationship and hold both a Degree and a well-paying job. In 10 countries, women are legally bound to obey their husbands and only 76 countries have legislation that directly targets domestic violence; with just 57 of them including sexual abuse.

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This year I have donated to the UN Women National Commission of Australia – Link is here.

  • $48 you can help provide food for a woman living in a shelter for a month.
  • $98 can deliver a young woman’s leadership program.
  • $156 can ensure women have access to legal services.
  • $456 can provide financial and literacy and business training for three women to create sustainable enterprises.
  • $873 can support a safe hour to protect women from domestic violence.

IMG_8750This International Women’s Day, let’s continue to empower each other and work together to ensure women are safe from violence and have choice and opportunity.

Happy International Women’s Day!What do you wish you could change for women in today’s world? I would like to see everyone in this world have access to mental health care.

Some of the beautiful ladies in my life, at my Hen’s Night ❤❤❤.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

x C x

A love for travel <3

One of the most amazing things to occur after you have been planning and saving for a trip after many months/years is when you arrive at your destination. You are no longer glued to that photo somebody else took and which you downloaded or screen-shotted many moons ago. You are there. Finally.

And you know what? Nothing is more beautiful than that moment. I say this a lot, but honestly the most breathtaking moment I have ever had whilst travelling was when I was in South America and I saw Machu Picchu. Anyone who knows me, will vouch for the fact that I am rarely without words, but Peru…Peru silenced me. I had planned the trip for almost two years with my girlfriend Jemma and to finally be there was just amazing.

The first time I knew I wanted to explore the world, I was not quite six years old. I had the most vivid dream. I was exploring waterfalls and caves with my Dad, I think we were in Africa or Asia (or whatever combination my brain had concocted at such a young age). When I was telling Dad about our adventure and he told me I had just been dreaming, I actually thought he was having me on. How could I have dreamt something so detailed? Also, how was I going to deal with the disappointment that I had not been there?

I became obsessed. I WAS going to travel the world. One day. When I was six we went on our first overseas family holiday, to Bali. I have really lovely memories of this trip. Catching the plane with my family, coming across people who neither spoke English or Anindilyakwa, as was spoken on Groote Eylandt where we lived. It was one of the most exciting weeks of my little life – so many beautiful things to see and smell and taste, people to meet. Amazing!

I came home with braids in my heart, a hundred new stories to tell the kids at school and a burning desire to travel. Being a mining brat, I had the ability to see a fair bit of the top end and east coast of Australia, because we typically moved every two years for Dad’s job. I used to pour over and harbour any travel articles I could get a hold of and I wished for a subscription to the National Geographic magazine for years and years.

Then puberty happened. High school. Jobs. Wagging School to go to the beach. Parties. The usual. Sure enough, by the time I was 17 I had planned my next big adventure, I was going to live in London and work in a pub, like nearly every third or fourth Aussie at the time. I went to uni instead.

Then I dreamed of teaching English in Japan, which then changed to working in a ski field in Canada, then back to possibly landing a job in the UK. Then I changed jobs, changed degrees and decided to travel on leave instead.

I must have planned three or four big trips which never came to fruition. I always had friends with the best of intentions, but when it came down to the crunch, they just were not willing to part with ever spare dollar to save it for a holiday. My friends didn’t want to wear the same clothes all year, miss out on parties and dye their own hair. Which was completely fine, my dreams didn’t need to be my friends dreams!

Eventually at 23 I decided to bite the bullet and just go away on my own. I had my sights set on South America. My Mum gave me a firm and resounding “NO” to her 23 year old daughter running off overseas on her own. So instead, at the pleading of Mum/Friends/Employer, I booked myself onto an arranged Contiki tour instead.

This would turn out to be one of the best decisions I ever made, I met some amazing people, experienced the high of travel I had been seeking and knew that every sacrifice I had made in the past was worth it :).

I am pretty sure I would have had Dad over my shoulder (who had since passed), carrying me along my journey – remembering the five year old who animatedly “remembered” an international adventure all those years ago xx

When did you know you had fallen in love with travel?

x C x

Our 2018 European Adventure

Hello everyone!

First of all, a massive thank you to you all for your continued support and interest in my page. This page was started many years ago, as a form of a travel diary. A place to share my past adventures and connect with other like-minded bloggers.

In October of last year, I decided to start a separate instagram page Courtney Gaye Travels. This was my little space to share photographs and moments from my past travels. I am really pleased with the way it has gone. I have connected with some amazing people, found some incredible accounts and have had the amazing opportunity to find this incredible community of people with whom I have been able to seek inspiration from.

IMG_9206At the moment my page mostly shares older posts and photographs, however I am hoping this will continue to develop and to grow. I love sharing and connecting with others.

I am a proud Brisbane girl, I have lived here for over half my life and I cannot see myself living anywhere else. I was married on my beloved Brisbane River in 2016, work in the Brisbane CBD and try to spend as much time as possible exploring all that this beautiful city has to offer.

My Husband and I met when we were both away for a weekend, we took our first overseas trip together in 2014 and became engaged in New York City. We spent the first six months of our relationship findings pictures of places we wanted to explore and sending them to each other, slowly but surely building our bucket list.

This year we will be ticking off quite a few of these bucket list destinations, during our European adventure. I have decided that I would really like to share these adventures with everyone.

I hope to hear from you on this platform, or through instagram and even via email. I have a facebook page as well, if that is more to your liking. Either way, I am here to connect with people and I am so excited to see your journeys and learn from each and every one of you.

Thank you for your follow, see you out there :).

Courtney Gaye

x

San Francisco – the end of our West to East Coast holiday <3

Newly engaged and with frozen ears, noses and toes it was time to say goodbye to beautiful New York City and head back to San Francisco. We had a further two nights booked back in the Golden City, before we were to start our long journey back to Brisbane.

With only two nights left and after a day of travel flying from NYC to SanFran, we made our way to our hotel in the longest possible way. Accidentally I had misread the map on my phone. We had caught a public bus towards our accomodation but got off the bus far too early. I then thought it was only a few minutes to our hotel, walking. We took the opportunity to stretch our legs after the flight…but we forgot about the hills (how could anyone forget about SanFran’s beautiful hills?!). Poor G ended up pushing our suitcases up over hills until we found our hotel. Anyway…

Rather than stay downtown, we decided to stay in the Mirena District and booked the relatively inexpensive Marina Inn. With only 7 minutes to walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, free Wi-Fi, free continental breakfast and cute rooms, at $250 for two nights, it was the perfect space. It is listed as only 2/3-stars, so I am convinced the hotel ratings in USA are less generous than here in Australia, because the hotel was clean, comfortable and nice!

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Like with all holidays, by the time you get to the last few days you are exhausted and going home is bittersweet. We managed to find some delicious sandwiches, snacks and a few drinks and had them back in our hotel room and I somehow roped G into watching KUWTK with me.

The most noticeable thing was the temperature difference! I was laughing at the fact that only one week before, I had been head to toe in winter woolies and then after NYC, we were in singlets and thongs (flip-flops, not knickers).

On our last full day in SanFran, we decided to head back to Fisherman’s Wharf. We wanted to go back to Ghirardelli and buy some chocolates for our parents (yum!). We also decided to hunt down Lombard St and it was so worth the beautiful walk. The weather was gorgeous! We even finished our day with Clam Chowder at and also had a wander through Boudin’s Bakery. Boudin’s Bakery is a must-see, and their delicious traditional New-England style clam chowder served in a sourdough bowl – yum! DSC03191We made it back down to Pier 39, had ice-cream, bought a tonne of lollies to take home and bought gifts for our loved ones. Our last day was very relaxing, we were soaking up the newly-engaged bliss and walking around San-Fran’s beautiful streets and enjoying the weather.

Soon enough, our journey was over. It was time to head home. We had shared such an amazing holiday. We had planned this trip with one another for around a year, had worked really hard, saving every dollar we had for our experience. It was so worth it, and then some. SanFran & NYC will always be two of my favourite American cities and was so magical being able to experience it with the love of my life and to come home even more committed to one another!

It was time to go home and start saving for the next adventure, and to start Wedding planning!

Thank you for reading!

x C x

 

MEET ME IN NEW YORK <3 (NYC, PART 3)

 

With only five days in New York, over the New Years period during winter, it is not possible to see as much as you would like. However, our last couple of days in New York, were…magical! This post is a little bit longer, but I promise it’s worth a read til the end 🙂 <3.

We made sure to check out the Rockefeller Centre, to visit the large Christmas tree and also watch tourists on the beautiful ice rink at Rockefeller Centre. This gorgeous ice rink, formally known as a ‘skating pond’ came to creation in 1936 and can take up to 150 people at a time. We were happy just watching the skaters and enjoying our Starbucks creations and looking at the tree!

Speaking of Starbucks, now I know it’s commercial, however you have to forgive me. I am an Australian, Starbucks has always seemed like this iconic American thing – also there seems to be one on every block?! I was a big fan of the Pumpkin Spice (G HATED it) and the Peppermint Mocha and G liked the Gingerbread Latte.

After the tree and our caffeine injection, we decided to make our way down to catch the subway from Rockefeller Centre down to Brooklyn Bridge, we didn’t have enough time to walk across the entire bridge, but did walk about a third of the way out! What a view! So beautiful and so many people, thankfully we are quite tall so were always able to get photos without too many people in the background (where we could). I also twisted (kidding!) G’s arm into eating a cheesy, delicious street vendor while we were there.

After Brooklyn Bridge, we explored the Trinity Church, which is amazing – did you know the oldest grave there dates back to 1681 (a child, Richard Churcher whose gravestone is the oldest carved gravestone in New York City)? Also, it was the tallest structure in the United States until 1869, can you believe that?! As a comparison, our country first had colonies established in 1788. Trinity Church has these beautiful big bronze doors dating back to 1893. I recommend having a walk around the graveyard, see the dates on them and the craftsmanship on this hand-carved headstones.

We had a quick look around Wall Street, tried to get a decent photo with the Bull (fail), saw another Christmas tree (win!) and made our way back uptown to Times Square. We did stop at a coffee shop which had an amazing selection of goodies. I had a delicious red velvet cupcake (my favourite) and G had a cannoli.

We had bought tickets to Lion King on Broadway and it was honestly the best $300 we could have spent. We were seated up in the Mezzanine of the Minskoff Theatre. The show is unforgettable, visually stunning and I could feel the beat of the drums up from my heels, through to my chest. Such beautiful performances and powerful voices! The set design, costume design, orchestrations and music director are to be applauded.

On our second last day in NYC, we decided to try out the Staten Island Ferry, so we could see the lady in the water herself. It was very cold and very windy and fortunately as we came out of the subway and made our way to the ferry terminal – it SNOWED!!!!  Visibility was poor but the ferry ride was fun and we were just able to make our the Statue of Liberty. Who cares, we had been snowed on! (mass excitement ensued).

One of my girlfriends from high school, had been living in Connecticut when we went on our trip and she drove in to take us to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Brooklyn. Oh my goodness- American’s know how to BBQ, well done you guys! I think G had an out of body experience with the food. It was amazing! My friend also spoiled us with a bag filled with American treats, who knew chocolate covered potato chips existed?!

Although we were sad our amazing time in NYC was coming to an end, our very last day in New York, was very special indeed!

G and I had planned to go to Serendipity 3 on 225 E 60th Street – we had both heard all about the frozen hot chocolates at this old-school and movie famous dessert destination. Serendipity looks like the inside of something out of Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree lands – colourful, sparkly, and jam-packed with pretty artefacts and the smell of delicious food. We actually made our way there relatively early, as we had heard about the lines. we both ordered burgers and fries and we both ordered frozen hot chocolates – I had wanted to split mine with G – he had told me to bugger off :).

This amazing drink/meal/chocolate dream has been a favourite for over 50 years. It has 3 ounces of chocolate (milk or dark), hot chocolate mix, sugar, milk, and ice, whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Delicious! Far too much food for one morning, but delicious. In our sugar high, we wandered back towards Central Park for a wander, to try and walk off the sugar!

G wanted to go back to the little hut we had been in a couple of days before hand, overlooking the lake and Bow Bridge. As it was our last day and there was still so much to see, I was a little frustrated about going somewhere we had already seen. Still, G was persistent. So we went back to the little shack and sat down and after looking across at Bow Bridge and turning back around, I found my wonderful boyfriend, on one knee and a gorgeous diamond ring in hand! How he managed to keep this a secret for our entire trip is beyond me!

The proposal was only slightly interrupted by the Russian woman near us screaming abuse into her mobile phone, which I happen to think added to the experience :).

We went and ordered a celebratory margherita pizza and a bottle of champagne from John’s of Times Square, a cute little 1929 village pizzeria in midtown at 260 W 44th Street.

It was overwhelmingly romantic, super cute, very us and a really nice moment between the two of us. Proposed to in Central Park, on our amazing holiday – what more could a girl want?

New York, you are beautiful and I am so blessed to have had so many amazing experiences with you there by my side!

Thanks for reading!

x