“I want to do it because I want to do it.” As simple as this sentence seems, it needs often a lot of courage to do what you want to do. Courage to stand up for your rights, courage to do what your heart tells you to do, courage to be different, courage to set your goals high. Amelia Earhart wanted to do all this, simply because – as she put it – she wanted to. An aviation pioneer and a bestseller-author, Earhart was also a women’s rights activist. It was in 1920 when she first down sat in a plane for a ten minute flight. “By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground,” she said, “I knew I had to fly”. During a time when most women stood in the kitchen and played thegoody goody housewife , Amelia decided to become a pilot and simply do what she wanted to do.

Only after that first time on a plane, she began taking flying lessons from another female pioneer aviator: Anita Snook. Amelia had to work hard to earn enough money for the lessons and they say she worked in 28 different jobs – photographer, truck driver, stenographer – in order to fulfill her dream. In 1922, Earhart flew her own airplane, a second-hand bright yellow Kinner Airster biplane, to an altitude of 4,300 m, setting a world record for female pilots. This was just the first of many records to come. It was in 1928, when she was the first women to fly across the Atlantic, if only just as a passenger. Four years later, at the age of 34, she set the record she became famous for and flew all the way from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland across the Atlantic to Culmore, Northern Island. Solo and non-stop. And back round trip.

Fuelled with ambition and enthusiasm, she eventually decided in 1937 to fly around the world. Having succeeded for nearly 3/4 of the trip she suddenly disappeared on July 2nd. Her body and plane was never found. “It is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.”, she once said. And she was right. But she also said: “Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.”

Amelia Earhart was an inspirational woman. What we can learn from her today, is to set our goals high and to believe in ourselves. Whether it is to travel the world, do something outstanding or just to be the person your heart tells you to be.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”

Amelia Earhart 1897 – 1937 (a true Travelette)

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