SheTravels: the Conception of the Photo Essay

By July 13, 2015SheTravels
Sara Shirley, Sara Elisabeth Photography, Toronto family photographer, Toronto family portraits, Toronto kids photographer

SheTravels: the Conception

From Fear to Freedom: Embracing Change through Images

I fell in love with Spain on my first trip to Europe, when I was 16. I didn’t even go to Spain, I went to Italy and met a group of Spaniards in my villa. We met in Florence and parted ways. Fate brought us together again in Rome a few days later and we’ve been in touch ever since.

Since that time in 2002, I’ve been to Spain 4 times and have had 3 of my closest friends come to Canada to visit me. Two of my strongest friendships in the world are girls from Spain. I’ve been dreaming about living there since as long as I can remember. But something has always held me back.

Lack of support from my parents, lack of financial resources, ex-boyfriends, the Spanish economy…. these are all things that have held me back from moving. But the biggest obstacle: myself.

I’m afraid of making such a drastic change in my life and leaving “home,” which I consider to be Canada. It’s scary to change countries and dive into the unknown, especially when the country you come from is a pretty darn good one.

After 13 years though, I still have this deep desire to move there for a while and see what it’s like. I have this yearning to live by the Mediterranean sea and enjoy life with a group of people I feel very connected to.

Winter 2015 I spent a month in Brazil. Experiencing that type of culture again, in a place that has plentiful amounts of sunshine and that houses a passionate type of people/culture, reminded of how much I still yearn for Spain.

So I promised myself that this time I would do it. 

I’m still scared, sh*tless actually, to make such a big move and leave behind all that I’ve built for myself here in Toronto. But, I’m going to do it afraid.

Going through these emotions made me realise that sometimes we have to go after the things that frighten us. This is a universal experience and maybe not something we discuss often enough together. The idea for SheTravels was born to spur women to honour their fears by sharing their stories, inspire others and embrace change in all its dimensions.

Tonight we’ll be photographing/interviewing/videotaping SheTravels participants for the first time at the Centre for Social Innovation in the Annex. Hours upon hours of planning have gone into this project so far and we’re beyond excited/nervous to watch the project evolve.

SheTravels will be shared as a photo essay, a blog and a growing  Facebook community. Follow the journey and be a part of a community that inspires growth.

Join the Facebook group. Use the hashtag #SheTravelsTO. Visit the blog.

Project contributors/supporters: Sara Shirley, Shari Lash, Roxanne Bartel, Liam Kearney, Elham Araboff, Rubina Shaikh, the Centre for Social Innovation.

About sshirley

One Comment

Leave a Reply