Badass Women All over the World: Geraldine DeRuiter from The Everywhereist
Badass Women All over the World - Geraldine DeRuiter
Interview with Geraldine DeRuiter from The Everywhereist
While chronicling her globetrotting adventures with her husband Rand, Geraldine DeRuiter, the force behind The Everywhereist, is at times cheeky, at times brutally honest, and always relatable. You will find yourself laughing along as Geraldine expounds upon the dangers of hotel magnifying mirrors or dreaming about a trip to Italy as she describes the scenic but scary Amalfi coast. In 2011, her site was named one of TIME Magazine’s top 25 blogs of the year.
Her stories inspire us to never lose our humor in the darkest parts of travel - and life. In 2012, she had brain surgery to get a tumor removed, which she named Steve (“Fucking goddamn miserable piece-of-shit Steve” to be precise). With humor and wit, she gets real about dealing with an unknown future. The Everywhereist is different, honest, and personal, which is why Geraldine is part of our list of Badass Women All Over the World.
What are your favorite topics that you blog about? What is your usual angle?
This is such a hard question to answer, because I feel like my blog really doesn’t cover one topic. Ostensibly it’s about travel, and some of my favorite posts have been tangentially about that, but I’ve also written about feminism and cinnamon rolls, my relationship with my husband, my love for my favorite town, and countless other things.
Geraldine, TIME magazine called your blog “consistently clever”. You have been blogging for quite a while now - has that expectation changed the way you travel or the way you perceive it?
It has definitely given my travels a focus that they lacked before. Now, when I visit somewhere, I start thinking about what stories I can tell about that place, and what would be interesting for my readers.
You just recently wrote a blog post about writer’s block. Do you have a form of ritual that helps you out?
I wish I could say yes, but honestly, it’s tough. One thing that I often do is set a timer, and force myself to write. Even if nothing good comes from it, even if I’m just typing nonsense, I find that the exercise at least helps my brain get into the writing mode.
Have you ever tried solo traveling? What do you think about women traveling solo?
I seldom travel alone, simply because I enjoy traveling with people I know. I obviously think that women can and should do whatever they want, but also accept the reality that we have to take a lot more into consideration when we’re traveling alone than men do. That’s not right. It’s just how it is.
What advice would you give your younger self for the future (and maybe our young readers, as well)?
I would remind myself that no matter how lost I got, I always found my way.
In your favorite things, intersectional feminism is listed second. What does that mean to you? Could you explain the term in your own words?
In my view, intersectional feminism means that for many women, there are a multitude of ways in which they are discriminated against, and we need to be aware of all of those things to truly understand and empathize with their experience, and be good allies for them. For example, a woman of color doesn’t just deal with sexism; she deals with racism as well, and those two forms of discrimination are so intertwined that we can’t look at each of them separately. We need to acknowledge both as part of her experience.
Did you experience specific situations that made you become an intersectional feminist?
I think the more I became aware of the privileges that came from being a white, cis-gendered, able-bodied woman, the more I realized that feminism needs to be intersectional. I’m truly fortunate to have friends that help me become aware of my own privilege and help me see what other people are going through.
Finish these sentences:
- I would always go back to... Ashland, Oregon. It’s where my husband and I were married and it’s my favorite place in the world.
- My scariest travel experience was…: I haven’t had too many scary travel experiences (fortunately) but when I was in Cambodia, we decided to rent bicycles and ride to Angkor Wat. I’m terrible on bikes, but I was riding on a busy road and alongside scores of wild monkeys. It was delightful, but I was convinced I was going to crash into a bunch of them.
- The best dessert I have tasted while traveling would be... any of the 5,000 pastries I ate in Paris.
- If I had a mantra it would be... “You’re only a cab ride away from knowing where you are.”
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We are a team of four feminist travelers coming together from different parts of the world to share with you what we have learned from traveling, living, loving, and exploring all over the world. Join us and tell your story about female solo travel, relationships, mental health, city guides, or whatever else comes to your mind.