A Week With Samantha Runkel: The Maternal Wisdom of the Himba Women

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The Himba are a semi-nomadic, pastoralist tribe in the northwest corner of Namibia bordering Angola.

You can read the story of their journey, and what Samantha learned about the maternal instinct of the Himba women here. Samantha, Michael and their 8-month old daughter Sia traveled to Namibia for one of Michaels shoots as a travel photographer.

This isn’t a story just for Mothers, it’s a story for all of humanity. Husbands, brothers, uncles, aunties. Everyone should read it because community is such an important, and necessary thing for raising children.

This is one of Samanthas stories that really struck a chord most for me personally. As Americans, we are some of the least traveled in the world, and rarely do people travel to obscure destinations with their children. Fear from the very acute news headlines, fear of disease, fear of everything.

When I saw these photos, I knew that Sia would be absorbing all of these incredible cultures and integrating them into her growth as a human being.

With every stamp in my passport, my eyes are opened to a new way of living and culture. I didn’t have the luxury of traveling until I was well into my 20’s, but once I started I couldn’t stop. I always believed that travel is critical for children to understand perspectives outside of their own myopic views at home. Travel breeds empathy, and empathy changes the world.

Travel is a financial luxury in many way, sure. But you can travel outside your zip code, to another town. You can travel into another culture through art and movies. Watch a documentary on a culture very different than yours vs. The Real Housewives of Orange County.

Go to a cultural festival in your home town. Just expand the content you consume to include people and places very different than you’re used to. I promise you’ll feel like you’ve traveled somewhere new, and you will start to soften to the beauty of the world.