Are you getting ready to go home after weeks or months on the road? Have you just returned from your backpacking journey? Or maybe you're wondering what things will be like when you get home - and want to hang on to that 'travel feelin'...
Re-entry can be daunting but you CAN make those memories last - and last with a few simple strategies, which I'll share with you below.
Women on the Road NEWS: Contents for Issue #24
7 Failsafe Strategies to Hold On to that Backpackin' Feeling
Join a travel forum and talk about travel
Why not share your travel memories by helping others plan their own trips? My favorite is BootsNAll. I also visit Aardvark Travel and TravelPod, to name just two of the hundreds out there. (For more, check out my page on Best Travel Forums.) Lots of women would love to do what you've done but don't dare - help them overcome their fears!
Host a travel rave
Maybe not quite a rave, but call everyone you know who loves to travel - and talk travel. Share travel stories, talk about your next trip, and if you haven't already bored everyone silly, talk about your most recent journey. Pull out your pictures, light up your computer screen, and dust off those Mozambican CDs everyone is bound to love...
Document your memories
This trip may be over, but you'll want to relive it again and again. Make sure you've documented it properly. Print out your blog entries and put them in a binder. Paste in the various postcards, grains of sand and fallen leaves you've been saving just for this. Log onto your travel blog and write a final entry - tell everyone what it felt like coming home and how you dealt with . Put your travel clothes at the front of your closet and if you get nostalgic for the road - you can always pull them out and put them on for an hour or two!
Start a group or page for all the friends you've made
Long-term travel means meeting dozens, even hundreds of people, many of whom become friends. Get in touch with them. Are they still on the road? Where are they? Did they have the same readjustment problems you did? Exchange ideas, reminisce, find out where they're going... but be careful - too much of this and you just might be heading out again soon!
Stay in touch with the culture
Just back from Africa? Head off to a club for a night of Senegalese drumbeats. Returned from Asia? Time for a Thai or Vietnamese meal to hang on to that far Eastern feeling... Just make sure it's authentic and local, with all the sounds and smells of the world you left behind. And speaking of sounds, why not hang onto those hard-earned foreign words you fought so hard to learn? Take a language course or go to a foreign film. Join the Alliance Francaise in your city, or seek out local cultural groups. Stay hooked in.
See your world, one street at a time
Travel doesn't have to mean getting on a plane: you can just as easily travel down the street. How well do you know your own neighborhood, your city, or your region? Chances are you may be more familiar with Paris or Bangkok than with your own hometown. Imagine if one of your travel friends came to visit: what would you show her?
And if all else fails... start planning your next trip
Pull out your atlas, start checking into the forums, read the travel blogs. Where to next? Time to take a peek at Central Asia? Been dreaming of Patagonia but it's always been too far? Tired of backpacking and ready for some leisurely city travel? Is it time to volunteer your services to the less fortunate? There's nothing like research to throw off those post-travel blues and get your nomadic juices flowing again, plotting and planning that next grand world tour.
What's New This Month on Women on the Road, the Website
The ideal destination for solo women, whether you're an experienced traveler or a first-timer.
What Were Last Month's Most Popular Pages?
Travel Packing List
Cheap Ways to Travel
Travel News From Across the Web
Top Green Cities
7 Memorable Treks
6 Breathtaking Scenic Drives in Asia
For food lovers
Local Foods in Guadalajara
The Ogori Cafe: Surprise, Surprise!
How to Have Breakfast Around the World
Coffee Culture Around the World
Chocolate Roundup 2
Big Fat Greek Food
The Road to Kassala
Historic Travel with Isabella Bird
Matrilineal Islamic Society in Sumatra
Detroit's Abandoned Art Deco Skyscrapers
Georgia, the Country: Where Wine was Invented?
The Saturday City: Barcelona
Resources for Berlin Travel
The Majestic Masai Mara
Birdwatching in Taiwan
Galapagos Island Slideshow
12 Tacky but Terrific Things To Do in London
French Tourists Still the Worst?
Love to travel solo? Rekindle the memories with a new - and free - e-book!
My friend Janice Waugh has just edited a wonderful book - it's a pdf file you can download - called Travel Alone and Love It!, yours absolutely free! Enjoy the great solo travel stories, and while you're at it, please take a sneak peak at my article, "Lost in a Mozambique Minefield".
Cause of the Month
(Dis)Honor Killings: When Women Die for Someone Else's Honor
Imagine a world in which you can be killed if you rebel against being forced to marry a man four times your age, if you take off your veil, if you fall in love (even at a distance), if you ask for a divorce, or if you simply have an unknown phone number on your cell or fail to serve a meal on time. And imagine being killed by those you trust the most: your father, your brother, your uncle - sometimes even with the support of your mother or sister.
For thousands of women around the world each year, this betrayal is reality. This is the world of 'honor killings', where women are killed by family (or bounty hunters) because they have brought dishonor on their relatives.
According to the United Nations, honor killings have taken place in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda and the United Kingdom. There is plenty of documented evidence that honor killings have also taken place in Australia, Canada, Palestine, and the United States.
At times, honor killings are based on perceived religious beliefs, even though Muslim scholars have said there is no basis for these murders in Islam; at other times, they are about tradition. Either way, they are about the subjugation of women, about women being seen as the property of men, as commodities which can be bought, sold - or discarded like garbage.
Few ever get punished for killing a woman for honor. Even if someone is arrested, many countries consider this a crime of passion or a 'justified' murder. Some killings are condoned, and some are outright supported. Mothers are even known to side with their husbands at times, wondering if their daughters were wrong, or placing their husband's honor above their daughter's life.
Girls may be given the option to commit suicide rather than be killed - and some do. The media regularly carries stories of self-immolation, where women set themselves on fire, because they believe they have no choice. At times, honor crimes are camouflaged as accidents, which makes them hard to investigate.
Sadly, the situation is getting worse, not better, in spite of the many campaigns being waged against honor killings. Few laws exist, and the severity of punishment in most cases doesn't come near to matching the crime.
For more information or to get involved
Campaign to Stop Stoning and Killing Women
Some national campaigns
Wake Up Campaign in Pakistan
Feministing Campaign in Turkey
National Jordanian Campaign
Palestinian Center for Human Rights
Closer to home
Honor Killings in Canada
Honor Killings in the UK
Honor Killings in the US
Honor Killings in Australia
Next Month in Women on the Road NEWS?
How to spend Christmas (for those of you who celebrate it, of course) on the road when you're far from your loved ones and maybe just a little bit homesick.
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Happy travels! Leyla