Kyra Peralte, a mother of two from Montclair, New Jersey, began keeping a diary last year to help cope with the effects of the pandemic. She then dropped her journal in the mail and sent it to a stranger.
Peralte wrote about the struggles of balancing work, marriage and motherhood while also dealing with a global pandemic.
She found writing to be helpful and wanted to know how other women were doing during such a trying time.
“I wanted an interaction that felt human, and it feels very human to read someone else’s writing,” said Peralte.
She created a global community through “The Traveling Diary.” After one year, seven notebooks had circled the globe, from Canada to South Africa and beyond.
Peralte found her first pen pal through a Zoom conference for entrepreneurs. She piqued the interest of a woman from North Carolina when she mentioned the diary.
From there, women around the world began signing up to share their stories. “Everyone approaches the blank pages in their own personal way,” Peralte said.
One contributor said that it was fascinating to know that others were in the same moment in time but living such different experiences.
Another woman from Australia wrote, “Working with the setbacks. Not against them. Patience and gratitude. It’s a dance. Life is moving and we can stomp our feet in rejection, or we can gracefully embrace the mess, tidying as we go.”
The group of women met for the first time recently, virtually. “It has really evolved into a community,” said Peralte, who often hosts Zoom meetings so the women can get to know each other more.
Some women have even become close friends. Peralte hopes her idea affects all the people involved as much as it has her.