Independent Women Challenging Perceptions and Breaking Barriers

Independent Women Challenging Perceptions and Breaking Barriers Independent Women Challenging Perceptions and Breaking Barriers

Our Columnists


From the editor : Maura Curley

Our contributing columnists are women who have pushed beyond what they ever thought possible or even probable. Sometimes they do what may seem impossible.

Like all of us, they  have certainly felt fear, but by confronting  this demoralizing demon have expanded their options and grown wise.

They are different nationalities, and ages with varied experience. 

 All have compelling stories to tell.

I'm excited to share them with you.

Elaine Lalonde  hiking Mount Everest.

Elaine Lalonde

Elaine is an adventurer who believes travel is  our best teacher. She is a solo trekker who eats, sleeps, and socializes where locals do.

Elaine began her life of travel  at nineteen, when she took a break from university to spend a year in London and Paris.    She took a hiatus from travel when raising a family but  still desired to explore other cultures. Eventually she ended up living in the Caribbean. Then, she  explored Tibet, Mongolia and Nepal where she has hiked the high Himalayas.

She has taught English to young children  in China   and climbed Mount Fuji in Japan.

Some of her favorite countries are Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Burma, where she has led tours.

Elaine  is Canadian by birth but a citizen of the world. She  believes  the best place to be is in "the  present," writing  "Excitement and adventure are all around us - no matter where we are." 

Below  some  travel  photos from  Elaine Lalonde 

Elaine sipping a glass of ruby port in Porto Portugal.

Sheila Glendinning

Sheila  is a native of   the United Kingdom, and  uses  England as a base for her  European adventures.  Last year she traveled solo to Poland,  Hungary and the Czech Republic. She also  spent three months living alone  in  Spain, where she says she " met some amazing people and learned a lot about myself. " 

Closer to home she uses local ferries to island hop off the West coast of Scotland.

Sheila studied  ballet , dances salsa and bachata now,  and  is thinking about taking up Tango.
Always active,  she played  netball for her county, has done sport parachuting,  and  swims, practices yoga and cycles - though not all at the same time!
She is also a Buddhist who  says she  has learned from modern Buddhist teachings  and meditation  
" that my happiness depends on me , not the perfect partner or career, the biggest car or a beautiful house."  

She observes:  "It’s how I react to a situation ... not the situation itself that matters most. ..even if I have wanted to nip a few people from time to time.."

She adds " Being alone is vital to my spirit.  I need to be independent,  to deal with challenges as they arise and feel  achievement when successfully navigated.  This empowers me..."


Guest Columnist Jane Hudson

Jane is what the Scottish  call s " a highlander" from the Black isle, a peninsula on the east coast of Scotland. Now that her children have grown she says she is  finding her "travel wings." Jane  works as a home support worker in her local community and says " Everything happens for a reason-good or bad. We will get through it no matter what."

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Why we matter

Why we matter


Why we matter

Why we matter

Why we matter

Any woman with a sense of  global  history or even her own, knows that women have often been referred to as "the other half." Truth be told, the role of women in the world  has been  undervalued and  overshadowed, though  we  have made stunning contributions to our societies.

In her book  " Bad Girls  Throughout History :  100 Remarkable Women  Who Changed the World,"  Author Ann Shen  sketches of  an amazing array of  female energy  through generations. These  include  activist and abolitionist Sojourner Truth, Nobel  Prize winning Scientist Marie Curie,  and Joan Jett, godmother of punk music.

Shen  says these women were " bad" in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for all  all who followed.

Yet too  often we  must  fight to simply be  heard. In the process  we can be categorized and demonized .

A lone woman- whether she is flying solo by choice or circumstance-is still  a bit of an enigma, 

it's time to change this,  and to  share and celebrate our beauty, wisdom, power  and potential.

                                                              -Maura Curley

  • Maura Curley, founding editor, is a seasoned journalist. She has written for publications in the U.S, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe.