Guest blog By Megan Claire – her Blog is Where in the World is Megan Claire?
While I now travel with my husband, I have spent the last 7 years travelling alone, and as a woman I am a huge advocate for travelling solo. I was never willing to forgo a trip just because friends didn’t want to come along, and the experiences I gained from travelling solo have done wonders for my confidence and really shaped who I am today. Not only does travelling alone completely push you out of your comfort zone, it forces you to interact with those who you wouldn’t normally interact with. You’re free to wander at your own will, and don’t have to compromise your bucket list or itinerary to suit the needs of others!
While travelling alone as a single woman may have been a strange concept in the past, today it is very normal and quite common – everybody’s doing it! I have honestly never really found myself in a position where my gender made it harder or more inconvenient for me to travel; however challenges do still exist in some countries despite the world generally being more open to women who choose to travel alone. One such country is the The United Arab Emirates. Read more
Next summer, Rich and I will walk out our door in Seville, stroll to the train station with our rolling luggage, and board a train to begin a journey that will last several months and cover thousands of miles. No reservations, just a Eurail pass and an iPad full of information about possible destinations.
We’ll wend our way by easy stages through Central and Eastern Europe, winding up in Transylvania and some of the more obscure Balkan countries, seeking offbeat side trips and adventures, passing through just about every type of terrain and climate Europe has to offer. So how are we packing for this? I’m glad you asked.
For our big trip next summer, Rich and I will be packing a towel and an iPad – which is strikingly like the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy except that it doesn’t have “Don’t Panic” written across it in large, friendly letters (although I may add this along the way).
Like Arthur and Ford, we travel light. Rich always says: “The first rule of packing is to lay out all your clothes and all your money, then take half the clothes and twice the money.”
Karen McCann is an award-winning journalist, author, food critic and blogger who moved from the US to Seville in 2004. Her new book on expat life is called Dancing in the Fountain: How to Enjoy Living Abroad. “I loved this book,” wrote Lonely Planet. “I must have laughed aloud at least once in every chapter … The advice in the book is terrific.” Wanderlust has taken McCann to more than thirty countries, including many developing or post-war nations where she and her husband volunteer as consultants to struggling microenterprises. Her blog, Enjoy Living Abroad, provides stories of expat life, travel tips and tales of her journeys to some of the more obscure corners of the globe.
Guest blog by Nancy Hawker: I have met many women during my travels who have said they are too afraid to travel alone because they feel too vulnerable. There are special challenges, but there are also many rewards. Traveling alone empowers women by developing their independence and self-reliance and it presents the opportunity to develop intuition and ingenuity. I have learned many things about myself that I never would have learned, and met people I never would have met had I been traveling with a friend. I have put together a website with the purpose of encouraging all women to get out there and go it alone at least once. Nancy’s Blog: Women Travelling Alone Read more
Janice Waugh is publisher of Solo Traveler, the blog for those who travel alone. She has been quoted in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Toronto Star and many other media outlets. Her blog offers solo travel stories, tips, safety advice and destination ideas as well as a couple of free ebooks including ‘Glad You’re Not Here: a solo traveler’s manifesto’ This article was published in The Travel Word – click here to read it all
Should you travel solo?
Should you go to another country, or even travel within your own, alone?
Is it fun? Is it safe? Is it a holiday?
Janice answers a definitive Yes, on all counts! Read more
For years, friends have been telling me to write down my story. I haven’t felt like I’ve had much of a story but maybe I do. We all do. I’ve chosen the road less traveled. The road with rocks and holes and mud puddles. I’ve fallen down, gotten dirty, scratched up and hurt. I’ve always gotten back up and continued to laugh at myself the whole way through. Maybe my story isn’t much but it can be entertaining and I’ve learned so much about life and how to look at it from the journey I’ve chosen to be on.
My story is like all others – long. Usually, change in my life is inspired or driven by what I read. Books tend to have a heavy influence on manifesting my thought patterns into reality and action. This particular story starts back in 2005 when I was tired and feeling claustrophobic. I left my boyfriend, house and home to backpack into Victoria, B.C. on what I called a “Mecca” trip (inspired by The Alchemist). The result of which was for me to come home, pack up my Honda Civic with all my possessions and hit the road for New York City. But we’ll get to that later. This journey taught me a few things:
I’m not one to be tamed. I’m not one to bow down gently.
I’m a roamer who his learning to trust the journey.
Read on. Be inspired. Or uninspired. Laugh or criticize.
Think. Question. Embrace the life of an adventurer.
About Christine: I’m a 29 year old recently single girl originally from Seattle, Washington. I grew up in the woods and traveling and am somewhat of a roamer. I get antsy if I stay in one place too long. I love the outdoors and new adventures. I’m a curious soul. As you know, I’m planning to go to Honduras in a couple of weeks. Then, it’s a few US trips and I’ll be gearing up for a Southeast Asia trip for this summer. I’ll keep you posted on the Honduras developments. Just secured my backpack for the trip and have started getting the essentials together! Read Christine’s Blog here
A solo tour mostly around the Atlas Mountains
Jill Lundmark – solo woman cyclist – 728 km (452 miles) over 64 days
I was excited about going to Morocco and hoped some people would speak English. I’d felt isolated in Spain. Outside my hotel the market was going full blast. The fruit and vegetables looked superb arranged in piles, just a riot of colour. I got some bread and bananas then went looking for the tourist information. They directed me to the ferry ticket offices. The fare to Tangier was 32 euro for me and the same for the bike one way. I’d been carrying my bike up to my room in the hotels and was well versed in manouvering it so I did’nt think it was odd to get a lift up to the waiting room for foot passengers when of course it was a vehicle and belonged with the cars. I didn’t realise until I handed my ticket to the officer and he said ‘Where’s your bike?’ ‘Here.’ He led me to the window and said I had to hurry to get it in line with the cars. Read more
Iceland with a gym-damaged knee
Jill Lundmark cycles 589 km (366 miles) over 71 days
I read everything I could find about cycling in Iceland especially the excellent notes written by Iviehoff and the tours on crazyguyonabike. I noticed at work at a secondary school I was often dressed in two layers of merino plus a jacket while the students went about bare armed so I knew the cold was going to be a challenge for me. Accordingly I packed four layers of merino tops, merino long underware, thin black stocking tights, light fawn trousers that you could even wash in situ and they would dry fast plus waterproof trousers and a pair of knicks. In addition I had a woolly beanie, a balaclava, a skiing face mask, a scarf, two pairs of cycling gloves and another more waterproof pair plus two pairs of merino socks and sturdy shoes as well as my cycling shoes. Read more
Wanderlust Women Travel is another new (WordPress powered) website focused on women travellers, specialising in Italy (the author is Italian/American) and in particular has some great city guides – her tag line is Spirited travel for women with wanderlust Read more
Wild camping and hosteling from Stonehaven to Edinburgh
One of Jill Lundmark’s intrepid journeys 650 km (404 miles) over 21 days
My name is Jill Lundmark and I live in Auckland, New Zealand. My dream for years had been to make long-distance cycle tours. I’d read the books by women cycling alone across the Amazon, around the world, into the Himalayas etc. I wanted to do the same. Read more
Who wouldn’t want to travel the world over? Admit it, you’ve wanted to travel to far flung places, but maybe there’s something that’s holding you back. Perhaps it’s the expense, or getting time off from your job, or not knowing how to find the best places to go, or simply being afraid of getting in trouble. Traveling can be exciting, fun and educational, and you only need to use common sense to make sure you stay safe. If you’re thinking about planning a trip sometime soon, we have some expert advice to help you navigate your way.
26-year-old Kristina Wegscheider is an avid traveler and the founder of travel website for young women, Do It While You’re Young, which strives to break down the barrier stopping most young women from traveling abroad. She spoke to website Crushable about her own experiences — having traveled to nearly 50 countries and trying to blend in as a 6-foot tall blonde — and gave them some ideas for tips and tricks to use along the way. Read more