WOMAN WEDNESDAY With Jordana – The Velvet Underground Shop


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Today we have Jordana from @storiedlandstravelJordana is a mother, travel expert, writer and anthropology enthusiast. Her pronouns are She/Her/Hers. Prior to the pandemic, Jordana was traveling a few times a year and sending her clients to some of the most far flung places on earth. Her company Storied Lands Travel specializes in culturally focused trips for luxury seeking xenophiles. But once travel for Canadians came to a grinding halt, she put her company on cruise control and went back to copywriting. She writes for over 75 life coaches, travel professionals, and educators across North America, Australia and the UK. Growing up in a military family that worked hard and travelled often, experiencing diverse cultures, ways of life, foods, languages and stories had a profound impact on her. She put herself through university in her early 30’s, studying cultural anthropology and Indigenous languages at the University of British Columbia.

Aside from writing, studying culture and evolutionary biology, she loves designing and sewing her own clothes, photography, participating in panels about diversity and inclusion, and above all else, enjoying motherhood. Is there anything this woman can't do?? When she isn’t creating content for brands, podcasting or mentoring fellow travel advisors, she’s spending time with her 3.5 year old son.

Here’s our chat with her.

1. Where’d you grow up and where do you live now?

A few places actually. I was born in Vancouver, and spent part of my life on a military base in Esquimalt on Vancouver Island, then a short stint in Winnipeg (on an air force base) and then back to the West Coast where I spent my high school years in North Vancouver. I am currently a settler on the unceded, traditional and ancestral lands of the Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh Úxumixw, Lil’Wat, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam people.   
2. What is your definition of strength?
The ability to feel empathy, be vulnerable, and fail spectacularly without letting any of that diminish who you are as a human. I think over the course of a human lifetime, strength is going to manifest in countless ways, we’re just not always aware that its strength we’re demonstrating. 
3. What is something that’s important to you now that never used to be?
You don’t always have to forgive to move on with life. I had spent the better part of my life being told I had to forgive transgressions, forgive traumas inflicted on me, and forgive individuals who purposely brought perpetual pain into my life. I chose to unburden myself instead. I stepped outside of my victim hood, took my power back, and realized that in some cases, forgiveness is something that is earned, not just given. Those who chose not to earn it, did not deserve to be forgiven nor be a part of my life. 
4. How would you describe your style?
If you caught me out and about with my pre-schooler, you wouldn’t think I had any sense of style, LOL! But I do love dressing up. I live in a small town, but I’m a city girl at heart. I’d call my style ‘urban thrift chic’. Most of my wardrobe is made up of fun finds scooped up in second hand shops from my around the world and from my hometown of Vancouver, and from the closets of amazing Mamas in my community. I also have a few pieces that I’ve upcycled or designed and sewn myself. I have an earring obsession (the longer, and more dramatic, the better), and even though I live in the mountains, I refuse to abandon my highly impractical but beloved heel collection
5. Favourite food to cook at home?
Creole, Chinese and Middle Eastern dishes are some of my favourites to make (and eat!) They remind me of my travels, and I love how the aromatics fill my home. 
6. What’re 3 books on your bookshelf?
The Long Walk to Freedom (Nelson Mandela), The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (Richard Dawkins), Salt. (Nayyirah Waheed)
7. What’s something you want to accomplish in the next year?
A few things actually - I’m hoping to launch a marketing company that creates content for BIPOC travel professionals and their clients. For far too long people of colour and the LGBTQ2 community have been ignored and worse, discriminated against in marketing campaigns and materials. The travel industry has been white-washed and I’m hoping to contribute more diverse and inclusive content to change the narrative that folx of colour don’t travel. 2. I’m hoping to finally launch my hosted trips to Sri Lanka in 2022 & 2023 and finally 3. I’m hoping to land some epic guests for my podcast, Across Storied Lands which will be taking a deep dive on modern and traditional cultural issues. 
8. Tell us something people would find surprising about you.
My father served in the Canadian Infantry for twenty years and he inspired me to start a degree in International Relations with the hopes of working for the UN one day. But a couple of anthropology profs convinced me to go a different route. My goal is to get a Master’s and PhD in the next ten years. 
9. Favourite movie?
The Colour Purple 
10. How do you want people to remember you?
First, as a dedicated mother. My 3.5 year old son is my greatest joy, motivator, source of laughter, and teacher. I also hope my community remembers my propensity for laughter, my kindness, my work ethic, and for making time to hear and understand the human story.
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