Woman Wednesday: Jaycel


Q and A with Jaycel from Papua New Guinea, living in England, UK

“I remember one of my uncles discouraged me to take up law as he believed it was a male’s profession. I did not let that crush my spirit and dream of becoming a lawyer. I proved him wrong.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I love helping people in whatever ways I possibly can and reading and watching inspirational or motivational quotes or videos, gardening, cooking and baking. Family time is important to me. I love spending time with my husband and my three-year-old son, my family, my extended families. I like discovering new adventures and traveling! I am an outdoorsy person, so I just love nature because it makes me feel refreshed and helps me think clearly. I have a career in law, but I was always passionate about venturing into the entrepreneurial world. I guess my profession aligns with my interest of helping people. I wanted something that I could do from the comfort of my own home, which is what I’m currently working on. I mentor and teach people to work online.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was the second born of six children. Since my elder brother was adopted, I was seen as the older one and looked out for my other four siblings. Our parents were average hard-working people who sacrificed a lot. They did not have so much money, but they had enough to make sure there was food on the table, enough to buy our necessities, and enough to put us all to school. What they really wanted was for us to get a better education and excel in life. Seeing how much my parents had sacrificed really pushed me to study hard and do well in my primary school days to high school and eventually to university. I was fortunate to be selected to university amongst the top students around the country and completed my bachelor of law degree (LLB). Coming from a society where women were seen as inferior due to cultural and ethnic beliefs, I really wanted be the voice of the voiceless and prove that women can take up any role in the society. I remember one of my uncles discouraged me to take up law as he believed it was a male’s profession. I did not let that crush my spirit and dream of becoming a lawyer. I proved him wrong. My parents, especially my mum, had the greatest impact on my life. She pushed forward in life no matter what obstacle she encountered. She always believed in me even when sometimes I did not believe in myself.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: The most valuable thing I’ve learned is to never trust anyone but yourself. I’ve watched people go from being someone I loved, trusted, and looked up to…to being people I never speak to or even want to talk to ever again. I’ve experienced so much deceit, lies, manipulation, and disgusting behavior from people I thought I knew and cared about; it broke my heart. I had experienced the worst relationship in the past to being conned and deceived by my own friends whom I trusted. That’s why I’ve learned not to ever trust anyone but myself. I’ve faced so many challenges in life. I’ve learned that life can be messy and painful sometimes, but always learn to be focus on what you can learn from these moments and become stronger and smarter. That’s the only way to keep forward. Do not let other people’s negativity or opinions discourage you from what you truly want in life. You can conquer anything! You just have to have that self-confidence to deal with whatever life throws at you. You are responsible for yourself and no one else is. Always be yourself. If you want to be happy, you go to work for it.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means standing up for yourself and for the voiceless. It’s about empowering other women about anything really. It’s about women being accepted and recognized in leadership roles and given the same or equal treatment and respect.

MORE FROM JAYCEL: I’ve paused my career for a while to concentrate on my online business. I mentor and teach people especially moms to set up their own online business.


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Woman Wednesday: Kate B., Travel

Q and A with Kate Bittle from Myersville, Maryland

“There are always affordable places to move to in each country.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: After over five years of living abroad, I’m finally coming home! A lot of people ask how I made a life of traveling; well, I’m finally here to provide you with some answers. I’ve been lucky enough to live three years in Vietnam and two years in Portugal as well as travel to twelve different countries along the way. But the real question is: how? Especially for me as a recent graduate with the inevitable loan crisis that hangs over many of us. I know I’m not alone here. My goal is to help people travel around the world by presenting traveling opportunities and ideas for young solo travelers.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I never would have guessed that I would spend five years abroad after arriving for my first solo trip in Vietnam. As a child, I grew up taking summer family vacations in the states, which consisted of long car rides while being picked on by my older siblings (Yes, I am the youngest child). During my junior/senior year of university, I tried to study abroad, but that’s when they told me that I would have to be taking general education or what we call “freshman year classes.” WHY DIDN’T THEY TEACH ME THIS THE FIRST DAY? This pretty much meant that I would be traveling abroad for school and paying this extra semester to not excel in my education at all. NONE, so I decided against that idea. After graduation, I was ready for an adventure, but I couldn’t figure out where to start. That’s until I decided to send a message to my friend who was living abroad in Korea. She asked if I wanted to join them living in Vietnam. It seemed crazy to head to a new place without a job and very little savings, but of course, I said yes. This was the best decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t grow up knowing I wanted to travel, but traveling made me realize my dreams.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Today, I will be your travel guide and try to sum up everything I’ve learned in the last five years. To even start traveling, you must envision where you’d like to be and the lifestyle that you want to achieve. There are opportunities all around the world, so stop and do research about all your ideal travel destinations. Next, there are different opportunities presented in each destination. From my experience, teaching English in Vietnam is an amazing opportunity but not as much in Portugal. Look at the job market in each area or secure a remote job before you leave. Travel research will become your new best friend.

The third thing I would like to share is that there are always affordable places to move to in each country. Don’t overpay to travel; if you want a nice and expensive resort, then hell yeah, go for it. But if you’re a solo traveler like me, then book the hostels, find the shared apartments, and make new friends. I once lived in a five-bedroom shared house in Vietnam which had its own private pool and a six-bedroom shared apartment in Portugal right near the city center. My flatmates at one point were from Poland, Brazil, France, Canada, Portugal, Tunisia, Czech Republic, Italy, and the USA. Make new friends and learn about each culture! That’s a part of traveling! My last tip for today is if you put yourself out there, doors will keep opening for you. Okay, let’s pause for a minute, do you know anyone who is traveling? Have you asked them what they’re doing? New people recommend new ideas and before you know it, your life is filled with new traveling opportunities.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means the freedom to do whatever you want as a woman and to be an equal. This topic is brought up a lot when traveling. Here’s just some food for thought: Do women of different race get the same opportunity to travel and work in each county? Of course not, but as we push for equality in the workplace, we hope the world will change its views. Also, do women have the same safety as men while traveling? Of course not, but as we push for the non-objectification of women, we hope the world can be a safer place.


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Woman Wednesday: Fabi

Q and A with Fabi from Caracas, Venezuela, living in Miami, Florida

“I believe that the most impactful thing a business can do is get massive clarity on their brand message.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: The things I am most passionate about are my business and my family. I am a mom of 3 little girls (6, 2, and 4 months), and I love spending time with them and my family. In terms of my business, I am EXTREMELY passionate about what I do. I love my clients and showing up, giving value each and every day.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I actually had quite a unique childhood. I am from Venezuela, but I spent my childhood travelling all over the world. My dad worked in a multi-national company and they moved us around every 2 years. I lived in Brazil, Venezuela, Spain, the US, and India and traveled extensively through each of the different continents. This DEFINITELY was super impactful for me because it allowed me to learn to adapt to different cultures, which is something I believe I do every day when I work with my clients. I believe I’m adapting to their cultures and personalities as well. It has also given me a truly broad perspective on the world.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I have tried all the marketing tactics and strategies you could ever imagine. I believe that the most impactful thing a business can do is get massive clarity on their brand message. What this means is understanding who they are, who their audience is, and the outcome they deliver for them. When you know this in your gut, it allows you to show up with magnetism to all that you do. You attract people in a different way because it means you are able to make deep connections with your audience.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I have always believed deeply in equality and it’s one thing I have always stood for. I don’t live in a traditional household. I am the primary breadwinner for my family, I have 3 daughters, and my husband works for me. I want my daughters to see that anything is possible for them as well.


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Woman Wednesday: Maura


Q and A with Maura from Venice, Italy, living in Raeford, North Carolina

It is pointless to regret the past as we cannot change it. All we can do is understand that it is a piece to the puzzle.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am quite eclectic in my interests, but I have always loved art in all its forms. In Italy, I had a band, and I have sung for several years and considered photography a hobby for a long time. I have always been fascinated by street photography because its extemporaneity freezes reality in a limbo between what the photographer sees and what it really is. When I moved to the US, I did not have the chance to go back to music right away, but the urge to create was very powerful. I started painting portraits and had my first exhibition at the Art Walkabout of Fayetteville, NC. My craft then eventually evolved into digital drawing, portrait photography, and now I am mixing all these skills I have learned into a mixed media style.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in Italy, not too far from Venice. I studied languages in high school and then graduated in psychology in college. Art run in my family blood: my younger brother is a very talented illustrator, my uncle a painter, and my grandfather used to play the organ, teach music, and was also painting oil landscapes as a hobby. I remember being fascinated by the smell of the oil colors. He was very creative.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I was not exactly a straight A-student growing up as I have always focused more on the subjects I loved the most and struggled to focus on the rest. I have often felt that I could not 100% fit anywhere and like I was an underachiever. That made me very insecure for several years, and I think that it limited me in many ways. I have come to realize now how much power our mindset has over what we can achieve. I am saying this because I want people to understand that our past mistakes and insecurities are part of our evolution as individuals as long as we learn from them. It is pointless to regret the past as we cannot change it. All we can do is understand that it is a piece to the puzzle.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism to me means equality. To quote Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “Everyone should be a feminist.” Our value as individuals should not depend on our gender. It is important to keep pointing out that there is still a gender inequality that affects women. This is why we call it feminism, and we do not talk about human rights in general.


MORE FROM MAURA: I am currently working on a mixed media exhibition. The subjects are all women of various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds and various lifestyles, experience, and interests. My goal is to help all women to find the confidence and the love for themselves—regardless of their appearance. I want to fight the concept that we need to fit a stereotypical idea of beauty to appreciate ourselves and feel beautiful. As soon as I started sharing my idea, I have received wide support from other women. I think it is amazing to see how we can work together to elevate each other. It revives your faith in people.

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Article on Maura, click here.

Woman Wednesday: Cynthia


Q and A with Cynthia from Malta, Europe, living in Ibiza, Spain

“Don’t let go of your vision.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My passions are wild and colorful. Travel has been my first passion, and although I’m traveling less currently, this is when I feel most alive. I have been passionate about using our full potential doing what we love, since very young. Coming up with creative ideas for the sole purpose to experience wild breakthroughs is my ultimate enjoyment. I have been immersed in yoga for the last 20 years, and this deep connection with oneself started from here.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Although I had a happy childhood, things turned less so in my 20s when my parents separated. I was brought up in Malta in a very academic school with not much outlet for creative space. Even though I was left to explore my love of travel and adventure since very young, my dad supported me in more masculine subjects which led me to years of soul searching, “what shall I do with my life?” One example was both my sister and I studied piano. She was an excellent pianist. I wasn’t, or shall I say, not in the strict way I was taught. Studying piano frustrated me immensely, but I still had to sit for one hour per day studying excruciatingly boring scales. My parents talking about my frustrations to friends and family certainly didn’t help with the “something is wrong with me” implications of this. I now know (after much digging in and searching inwards), this was all meant for me to lead me to this path of transformation and spiritual awakening and helping others do the same.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: For years, I struggled to see who I truly am. Being in a masculine role since I was very young, I lost touch with my feminine (but powerful) side. This led me to choose a career in banking that was soul-sucking and took me a very long time to realize I’m actually a creative person. I am now so passionate about helping women find their purpose in life and, with their zone of genius, they can create wildly successful businesses, creating the income and impact that they desire (whilst still managing a family). Even if you’re stuck for years and years, don’t let go of your vision to create your mission.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: OMG! It is such a broad term in my opinion. Feminism for me is the women rising above and beyond their minds. I still feel that mum and dad have their place in the household and to a certain extent during childbearing years, his might be unavoidable. But we women need to rise above societal norms of “he can’t take care of the kids and house all by himself” whereas it’s totally fine for women to. I’m still so disappointed our partner/husband earns more than us, and we accept our role as a housekeeper instead of a rising Goddess. This is the time for more women to make more money, so we can make more impact and create communities.


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