WCW: Laura Oxley

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December’s WCW is a special traveling sista. The Women Crush Wednesday hashtag and social media trend is nothing new. But I am trying to reclaim that title not just for half naked celebrities or women you actually know nothing about. The women I crush over are using their womenhood, their voice and their passions to make our world brighter. I have some incredible women in my life so I am honored to share them with you. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.

Meet Laura

Montreal

The crazy part is…I met Laura online in a travel group and reached out to her for some advice about New Zealand. Remember when I told you to meet strangers online.. I meant it. She quickly became one of the most helpful online pals I’ve ever met! She was so thorough and genuinely wanted to help me enjoy my time in Auckland. I was and still am very grateful. She ended up being Canadian but she moving to the U.K. so we kept in contact and are still in the process of meeting IRL. She interviewed me for her blog and I feel as if I’ve gotten to know her so well through her blog, her social media presence and bonding over expat struggles.  I’m so grateful I met you Laura and I can’t fricken wait to meet up IRL soon!! I’ll let her take it from here– just by her answers it’s clear to see why I like her so much!

  1. What do you think makes a woman worth “crushing” over?

Confidence. Someone who knows who she is and really doesn’t give a Sh*t what people think about that (one way or another). I think society makes it hard for women (and men too) to be who they really want to be without the stigma of “is that what the norm is?”. So I have so much respect for women who are so unapologetically themselves in every situation.

  1. What did you do for a living? What was the most challenging part about it?

Dare I say a little bit of everything? When I’m not busy trying to build up my blog & create an online life ,I’m working as an event coordinator for a tourist attraction in the South of England. But I’ve done everything from hotel operator, hostel receptionist, to executive assistant. My background is in travel and tourism so the companies I end up working for are usually in that industry so I can keep that travel vibe going even when I’m not travelling. Currently the most difficult thing in regards to work would be trying to get hired when you’re in a foreign country. I’ve had many experiences of not being hired or even interviewed because I wasn’t a resident of the country. Very frustrating!

  1. Who are three women that you look up to and have inspired you the most in your career/life ?

There are so many impressive role model ladies in the world these days, but I find myself looking up to those who go after what they want most in life. Those women who take life into their own hands and create their own opportunities and dominate. With trying to build a following on social media I find myself being drawn to accounts and influencers who keep it real and share their lives without filter & want to help the world. @Erinoutdoors & @womenwhoexplore (Jenny & Lindsey) come to mind right away. And outside the professional world my mom is my #1 fan (and she’ll probably get teary reading this) but I don’t know if she truly knows that I’m hers. She’s the coolest, most supportive, and loving mom ever. Not disowning me every time I move to new countries.

  1. What is one topic you wish more women knew about on a global scale? Why?

Mental health. I truly believe that there are not enough resources available to people (men & women) to obliterate the stigma that exists behind mental health awareness. I’m a huge supporter of organizations who are trying to break the stereotypes & walls to get people to ask for help. I have struggled in the past feeling bad or guilty about the feelings I was having and wondering why I wasn’t happy, comparing my life to this around me and feeling helpless because I truly felt like everyone else around me was judging me because I didn’t have it all figured out. Mental Health is just as important, if not more important than your physical health. Self care is something everyone should practice, taking mental health days should not be looked at skeptically but approved without question. It needs to be talked about loudly & often to break the stereotypes.

  1. What advice do you give to women who feel that they are constantly surrounded by drama in their group of friends?

Is it bad that I laughed a little when I read this? This was me 100% for a long time. I seemed to be in the midst of the drama even if it wasn’t about me, I was drawn to it like moth to a flame. I wanted to know everything about every high school drama that happened, I even think someone called me Gossip Girl once because I seem to know every little detail (true or not). Then I left high school & realized how trivial it all was. The people around you weren’t necessarily your friends, they just wanted to know what they thought you knew. The drama grew old and immature. I realized very quickly when I was in college how much I really just didn’t care for it. I wanted a drama free life, and sadly that meant cutting ties with people in my life or seeing them less. If you truly want to have less drama in your life, try to pinpoint where it comes from, and if it means avoiding certain social situations or people then thats just what has to be done. If those people are truly your friends, the drama will fade & the friendships will stay. If not, theres nothing wrong with finding new friends and new groups to be a part of. Do what is best for you, not everyone else. It’s your life after all.

  1. Do you believe being a strong woman with a passion for her career takes away from a woman’s ability to be a loving partner/mother/friend/sister ?

Absolutely not! I am not a mother, or a partner, but I’m a daughter, a sister & a friend. I have married friends, with & without kids. Some of those social media influencers I respect and admire are mothers and it really does nothing but increase their passion for what they do because they want to show their children what it’s like to be truly passionate about something in life. If your partner is not supportive of the work you do, then they may just not be the one for you. The people in your life should support you, challenge you, be proud of you & vice versa. If there are people in your life who don’t do those thing or feel those ways for you then it’s time to sit down and re-evaluate them. The people in your life should be your biggest cheerleaders for doing what you love most, you’ll want them there to celebrate your biggest victories and to be there to be the support when and if things go downhill.

  1. What is something you are really excited about currently in your own life?

My new job is something I’m truly excited about. It’s a role I’ve been wanting to get into for a long time & have worked hard to prepare for. At the moment is a temporary contract and I’m just trying to learn as much as possible during the time I have. The motivation I’m feeling from this job & the team I’m working with has leaked out into my personal life, and feeling really excited about working on my blog & getting my name out there to create more engaging content to share with the world.

  1. Why is self love an important part of being a modern day woman?

Because the World can be a little lacking in love sometimes. Because life gets hard, and no matter what every now & again we all care a little too much about what people think or say about us. Because before we can really love someone else the way they deserve we need to love ourselves. I’m very much aware of how cliche that sounds, and I have a hard time believing that exact thing myself from time to time. I want to be the best version of myself, to be confident, to inspire others, and if I don’t feel that way about myself I find it very difficult to show that to others.  They say that the vibes you put out into the World will attract the same vibes. So if you’re sending out confident, self love vibes the world will reward you with showing you the same.

  1. If you could have a lunch date with any woman on the planet, who would it be?

OU! This is a great question, but definitely a tough one. Celebrities, musicians, travel advocates, the list goes on and on. But I think the woman I would give anything to have lunch with one more time would be my nana. She passed away when I was in elementary school, but I think a lot about what she would think of the life I’m living now. So I would love to sit down and pick her brain and just spend one last meal with her.

  1. How can anyone reading this keep up with you and what you’re doing in the future?

I can be found any number of ways on the world wide web, to keep up with where I am and what I’m doing come visit me at any of the following…

Website / Blog: http://shewhowanders.wixsite.com/wanderwithmeI

Instagram: @shewho_wanders

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shewhowanderstheworld/

Twitter: @she_whowanders

Bonus Question: What is one question you have for me? What do you wish you knew five years ago that you know now?

Great question. Five years ago I was 22. I was in graduate school at WVU getting my Master’s in Education– student teaching full time, going to classes at night and working part-time. I wish that I knew it was okay to question my career choice. I wish that I knew it was okay to ask for help. I wish I knew it was okay to stop drinking and it didn’t make me lame, old or anti-social. Most of all I wish I would have known everything that made me different and unique would become the things I loved most about myself and what others respected the most. I don’t know if that’s just growing up or it’s because I chose this untraditional path for my life after university- traveling and living abroad, pursuing my creative endeavours and starting my own business. I don’t regret one second of my journey but I would tell my 22 year old self to stop questioning herself so much and just follow her bliss.

Wow! Thanks so much Laura. Our shared passion for mental health and travel is one that still excites me just reading your interview over for the fifth or sixth time. Cheers, to you my dear. Keep putting out your vibes into the world, we need them.

Paris

Here’s to women worth crushing over all over the globe. ❤ xxx

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