Gloria Steinem

When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel. Taking to the road--by which I mean letting the road take you--changed who I thought I was. The road is messy in the way that real life is messy. It leads us out of denial and into reality, out of theory and into practice, out of caution and into action, out of statistics and into stories--in short, out of our heads and into our hearts. 

I had an itinerant childhood. When I was a young girl, my father would pack the family in the car every fall and drive across country searching for adventure and trying to make a living. The seeds were planted: I realized that growing up didn't have to mean settling down. And so began a lifetime of travel, of activism and leadership, of listening to people whose voices and ideas would inspire change and revolution. Watch this for a good overview of my life.

There is  so much  you  can read and  listen to about me on line. So I share with you an Afterword from My Life on the Road and how it impacted me.

"As I write this, I’m fifteen years older than my father was when he died. Only after fifty did I begin to admit that I was suffering from my own form of imbalance. Though I felt sorry for myself for not having a home, I was always rescued by defiance and a love of freedom. Like my father for instance, I’d convinced myself that I wasn’t earning enough money as a freelancer to file income tax returns, something I had to spend months with an accountant to make up for. Like him, I’d saved no money, so there was a good reason for my fantasy of ending up as a bag lady. I handled it just by saying to myself, I’ll organize the other bag ladies. 

Finally, I had to admit that I too was leading an out-of-balance life, even if it was different in degree from my father’s. I needed to make a home for myself; otherwise it would do me in, too. Home is a symbol of the self. Caring for a home is caring for one’s self. Gradually, the rooms that I had used mostly as an office and a closet were filled with things that gave me pleasure when I opened the door. I had a kitchen that worked, a real desk to spread papers on, and a welcoming room where visiting friends could stay, something I’d always wanted as a child when I was living with my mother in places too sad to invite anyone. Though it was a little late after fifty, I even began to save money. 

After months of nesting—and shopping for such things as sheets and candles with a pleasure that bordered on orgasmic—an odd thing happened: I found myself enjoying travel even more. Now that being on the road was my choice, not my fate, I lost the melancholy feeling of Everybody has a home but me. I could leave—because I could return. I could return—because I knew adventure lay just beyond an open door. Instead of either/or, I discovered a whole world of and. 

Long before all these divisions opened between home and the road, between a woman’s place and a man’s world, humans followed the crops, the seasons, traveling with their families, our companions, our animals, our tents. We built campfires and moved from place to place. This way of traveling is still in our cellular memory. Living things have evolved as travelers. Even migrating birds know that nature doesn’t demand a choice between nesting and flight. On journeys as long as twelve thousand miles, birds tuck their beaks under wings and rest on anything from ice foes to the decks of ships at sea. Then, once they arrive at their destination, they build a nest and select each twig with care.

I wish the road had spared my father long enough to show him the possibilities of and instead of either/or. If he’d been around when I finally created a home, I might have had something to teach him, as well as time to thank him for the lessons he taught me. I wish my mother hadn’t lived an even more polarized life of either/or. Like so many women before her— and so many even now—she never had a journey of her own. With all my heart, I wish she could have followed a path she loved. 

I pause for a moment as I write these words. My hand, long-fingered like my father’s, rests on my desk where I do work I love, in rooms that were my first home—and probably will be my last. I can go on the road— because I can come home. I come home—because I’m free to leave. Each way of being is more valued in the presence of the other. This balance between making camp and following the seasons is both very ancient and very new. We all need both.

My father did not have to trade dying alone for the joys of the road. My mother did not have to give up a journey of her own to have a home. 

Neither do I. Neither do you."

My home today continues to be a meeting place for good friends and like minded women who believe in a world of equality for all. 

Just a Few of the Books By Gloria Available to YOU
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