by DI BOWLES
It sounds obvious but I first realised women have the same priorities and desires when I went on my own “Eat, Pray, Love” trip around the world. It started in the same way as Elizabeth Gilbert’s trip in the book – completely self-absorbed. I had been moving up the corporate ladder in the US. But I needed something more, something bigger in my life.
So, I sold my house and headed out on the backpacker trail. I was fascinated to find that the women I met in each country I visited all talked about the same things. I met a wonderful woman in Nairobi, and our conversation ended up with her telling me about her boyfriend. “Does he love me? Will he ask me to marry him?” I remember so many nights with my girlfriends and a few glasses of wine talking about the same thing!
When I reached India, I met a group of women who were talking about how they wanted a better life. But they were most passionate when they talked about wanting to help their children to get more schooling. They didn’t want them to live the same way they did – just trying to get through each day.
In Thailand I was invited to dinner with some amazing female entrepreneurs and after talking a bit about business the conversation turned to how hard it is to find a good pair of jeans! How many times have we talked to our friends about that?
Then it was off to Indonesia. In Sulawesi I saw the sea gypsies – people who live in small bamboo huts in the ocean and use Coke bottles as goggles for fishing. This was the moment when I started thinking – how are their lives like this, and how do I have all the creature comforts in the world?
My trip had become more of a discovery about what life was really about – not just nice beaches and the next “cool” place to visit. I realised I had won the “lottery of life.” Where I was born had given me all the opportunities in the world, and I owed a big thank you to my parents.