By Jessica Dupree
Grief, divorce, and a history of unstable relationships sent Entrepreneur Shay Shane over the edge and all across the world. From brave hikes up the world’s highest mountains to peaceful moments in meditation on crystal clear ocean fronts around the globe – each experience brought her closer to healing and emotional stability.
Inspired by her desire to expose black women to the healing power of traveling, Shane founded “Black Girls on the Go,” an international membership-based empowerment organization for Black women that facilitates sacred “TTraVsperiences” globally to help women heal.
“I found that when I traveled to a foreign country and navigated throughout the world where I didn’t speak the language, I was able to tap into strength and power that I didn’t know I had. I felt very independent. Having experienced those feelings while traveling abroad, once I came back home the things that I had to deal with here in the US were minor in comparison to what I experienced when I traveled overseas,” Shane tells Heart & Soul.
Memories of being abandoned by her mother and losing the three sisters that raised her left Shane carrying grief and depression. After becoming a 16-year-old teenage mother, she longed for centering as she often felt the weight of the world on her shoulders throwing her off balance. Acknowledging that she still copes with depression every day, Shane is not defined by her circumstances. The business mogul who was raised in efficiency with 7 people turned her passion into profit and built a million-dollar business from the ground up.
“Traveling has always been a form of therapy for me. In addition to talking therapy, I also travel to get the space for more clarity to get away from all the stress that I was feeling from life. When you’re working and you have a job, the traffic, the rent, and the mortgage – it’s a very stressful lifestyle.
Just to be able to turn it off is very important, being able to walk away from that is important. Travel is very important to me and not being able to travel has impacted by therapy,” says Shane.
These days Shane empowers black women to live their best lives and overcome grief and depression through transformative travel experiences that feature therapists, counselors, and ministers who are equipped to address the emotional needs of the women who travel with us. The multi-generational trips attract women of all ages, from 28-82. The women have life-changing conversations with other women within the group as they share their stories, connect, and heal together.
Shane sat down with Heart & Soul to discuss therapeutic travel experiences and entrepreneurship.
On your spiritual journeys, how do you define being centered? How and when does a person know when they are healed?
I think for everyone it’s different. I know for me and one of the things that I encourage people to do is that all journeys are not meant for everybody. When we travel sometimes, we want to take others on our journey however we – some journeys we need to take alone so that we can get the healing that we need. It may not come in the middle of the journey, you don’t know when it’s gonna come, how it’s gonna come, or who it’s gonna come from but being open to the journey is what’s important.
You’re known for having therapeutic travel experiences. What specific activities do you incorporate that address and engage women while traveling?
One thing that I do is share my own story, I’m very transparent about having dealt with grief, divorce, and bad relationships. I had my 1st child at 16, I was abandoned by my mother, and I lost 3 sisters who raised me. So for me, having relationships with black women is very important. On our travel experiences, we address the conversation about the lack of trust among black women and work to develop friendships and trust that most black women have never had with each other. We form a sisterhood and become good friends with women that we just met because we realize how important relationships among black women are.
You’ve been transparent about depression that stems from childhood where you didn’t feel worthy of living. What have you learned through traveling the world and seeing different people and cultures (influence of) that helped you combat the feelings of unworthiness?
I’ve learned that there’s someone worst off than you are and in the worst situation than you are in. I’ve also learned that you can help someone else and for me sharing my story helps other people. One of the things I realized is that I needed to bring experts with me to help guide travelers through the emotional pain the often surfaces when sharing stories with other women. There were things I wasn’t equipped to deal with as we grew so I now travel with licensed therapists, counselors, and ministers.
In Shane’s world, trips around the globe provide therapy that heals the soul and she uses her platform to bring emotional stability to thousands of women on their journey to find meaning, peace, and wholeness through traveling.