I'm back from three weeks in Malaysia, at least half of which was spent on the island of Borneo, in the state of Sabah. If you've never been there you're in for a surprise - it may not be what you thought at all! For a sneak preview of my Sabah coverage, check you my homestay with a local family at Misompuru and my adventures spotting wildlife along the Kinabatangan River. Sabah is at the other end of the world for me but it will get a return visit - I loved it!
Now back to chocolate because yes, we're smacking our lips again. Our wonderful guest editor Kaleena Quarles has pulled together a second chocolate issue (see the first one here) so keep these two safe for a cold-weather day.
I also wanted to share some big news... Women on the Road News is changing! Some of you have been subscribers since our first issue in 2007 and it still looks the same today. It's time for a spruce-up and a face-lift. So, by Christmas, you should see something vastly different.
I'll be switching email platforms (that means more photos and better design), and looking at things like length and frequency (if you have comments about either of these just press Reply and let me know!) You'll also have to re-subscribe: I'm letting you know now so it doesn't come as a surprise.
Stay tuned - I'll keep you fully informed along the way! And now...
Women on the Road NEWS: Contents for Issue #66
- Chocolate Travel - The Sequel
- Women on the Road Recommends
- Connecting with Women on the Road
- Travel News from Across the Web
- Cause of the Month: Water Scarcity
The Rough Guide to Malaysia is the book I used before and during my own trip and it served me well. I especially appreciated all the background and history, which gave me a great grounding before arrival. Anyway, I've always liked Rough Guides - they somehow seem more 'real' than some of the other guidebooks (but don't ask me why - it's just a personal preference!)
Books for Solo Women Travelers
Continuing in the top spot are my two favorite ebooks to help you get on the road.
For those of you just starting to travel, The Art of Solo Travel is an absolutely essential travel companion. It's snappy and vivid and fun and shows you the way if you're traveling solo for the first time.
Those of you who have passed the 30 or 40-year mark but still love to travel independently (NOT with a big tour group) will enjoy my own Women on the Road: the essential guide to baby boomer travel, whether you're about to leave your hometown for the first time or you're a veteran on the road. I'll help you decide where to go, how to save money, what to take and when to travel, how to stay healthy and safe - pretty much everything you need to know to see the world. (If you've already read it I would love it if you could leave a review over on Amazon.)
If you love moving pictures and want to make travel videos you can be proud of, the Essential Guide to Travel: Tips, Tricks & Advice on Getting the Most from Your Adventures by my good friend Lisa Lubin is the best you'll get. You'll be getting advice from THE expert: Lisa is a television journalist and producer who has won THREE Emmy Awards for her broadcast work. (She's also just written a great travel primer called The Essential Guide to Travel - solid, practical, actionable advice. That's Lisa!)
Housesitting - or traveling for free!
Fellow bloggers Pete and Dalene Heck have put together the ultimate housesitting resource called How to Become a Housesitter and See the World. And they're experts because they've been paying their way on the road by housesitting for years. Now, they're sharing everything they know with you! So if you've ever wanted to travel and live in the lap of luxury while you do it, you have to read this.
Walking Chocolate Tours
London: This walking tour through London is the city’s original Chocolate Tour and will introduce you to hard to find places and help demystify the differences between different types of chocolate. Best of all, it includes lots and lots of samples.
Melbourne: With a variety of tours to choose from, Chocoholic Tours offers a chance to learn about the histories of the family owned chocolate shops and sample truffles, ice cream, and other mouth watering chocolate delights.
Philadelphia: On this city’s chocolate tour, you’ll learn about the history and health benefits of chocolate, and the history of the city of Philadelphia and its neighborhoods as you savor America’s favorite flavor. Join a public tour or reserve a private tour for your family, office, bridal party, or other group.
Geneva and Zurich: Kerrin Rousset (author of the award-winning blog MyKugelhopf.ch) runs intimate chocolate walking tours in both these cities. Switzerland is well-known for its chocolate and this gives you a chance to sample some of the best - and some of the rarest.
Chocolate Cooking Lessons
Chocolate Classes: Boston Chocolate School is the sweetest education you’ll ever get, offering a gourmet chocolates class, an evening of chocolate and wine, and a workshop in the art of chocolate tasting.
Chocolate Pudding Workshop: Although a professional school of food and wine, Leith’s in West London offers a workshop for enthusiastic amateur cooks who love chocolate puddings, but are looking for new ideas and inspiration. The techniques covered include making meringues, mousse and a rich chocolate cake, along with ideas for presentation.
Chocolate Dipping Class: Seattle’s Oh! Chocolate regularly hosts Chocolate Dipping Classes for those who want to know more about their favorite indulgence and for those who just want to “play in the chocolate!” Learn facts about varietal chocolates and cacao bean percentages, and during the “hands-on” segment of the class learn to temper and dip in chocolate to create professional looking chocolate.
Unique Chocolate Flavors
If you like trying strange and unpredictable flavors, have a look at:
15 Chocolate Flavors You Need to Taste Before You Die
Best & Worst Foods to Pair with Chocolate
Unique Chocolate Covered Food
Chocolate isn't just dessert: it's used often in mouth-watering savory dishes. Think mole enchiladas, chocolate chili con carne, chocolate baba ghanoush, cocoa BBQ steak rub, chocolate pasta with cream sauce - the possibilities are quite endless!
These websites provide recipes and ideas for delectable chocolate meals:
Pinterest Board of Savory Chocolate Dishes
Savory Chocolate Recipes
More Savory Chocolate Recipes
I'll bet you didn't know that...
The first recorded death by chocolate took place four centuries ago in Chiapas, Mexico? The church forbade Spaniards - many of whom were addicted to chocolate - from eating or drinking during religious services. The bishop responsible for the ban was found dead... from poison mixed into his daily cup of chocolate.
The biggest bar of chocolate ever made was created in the Italian city of Turin in 2000 and weighed 5,000 pounds.
40% of the world's almonds are used to make chocolate.
40% of the world's cocoa comes from Cote d’lvoire in Africa, even though it originated in Central and South America more than 4,000 years ago.
The largest cuckoo clock made of chocolate is in Germany.
The Swiss eat more chocolate than anyone else: 22 pounds per person per year.
A 60-year-old Hershey bar left by Admiral Richard Byrd at the South Pole was still edible after all those years.
And a few more fun chocolate links
Check out National Geographic’s Top 10 Places for Chocolate
You can even read a Book About Chocolate!
Always have a dose of chocolate at your fingertips with these 5 Decadent iPhone Apps for Chocolate Lovers
If you enjoyed this newsletter, then please tell a friend about it!
15 Moments That Define a Road Trip
Free Accommodation with Volunteering
10 Volunteer Opportunities for Free Travel
Responsible Travel: Questions to Ask your Travel Company
Create your Own NGO and Give Back to the Community
Ten Best Places to Live to Avoid World Conflict
15 Most Magical Places in the World
The 10 Most Dangerous Roads in the World
Stretching Your Travel Budget: Making the Most of $20K
For food lovers...
...and lovers of other arts
If You're Visual
Water scarcity is one of the world's leading problems and affects more than 1.1 billion people.
In fact, more people die from dirty water and poor sanitation than from all forms of violence.
Every day in rural communities and poor urban centers throughout sub-Saharan Africa, hundreds of millions of people suffer from a lack of access to clean, safe water.
Women and girls especially bear the burden of walking miles at a time to gather water from streams and ponds - full of water-borne diseases that make them and their families sick. Illnesses, added to the time lost fetching water robs entire communities of their futures.
What You Can Do
You can support one of the organizations that builds wells, dams, pumps, and rain catchment systems or provides sanitation facilities and hygiene training.
You can donate, shop in their stores, organize your own fundraisers, or work on projects to raise awareness of the issue—or you can even drink wine to support the cause!
Amber Lamboo will bring you... Royal Tourism (yes - tourism about royals!)
© Leyla Giray. All rights reserved. Women on the Road™ News is published monthly. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.