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Do you ever feel the urge to leave it all behind and start your life over - at least for a little while?
That feeling hit me at 43 in what turned out to be a mid-life crisis the size of a minor planet. There wasn't anything terribly wrong with my life, but there wasn't anything hugely right, either. I had a decent job (but I was bored and unchallenged), a dead-end relationship (I was fed up) and itchy feet.
So I did something about it: I took off to see the world.
I'd been traveling all my life, much of it solo, much of it as a journalist, but never for more than a few weeks at a time. This would be different.
I spent a year researching before I left but sadly, I found almost nothing about women's travel, let alone solo travel. This was before the internet made information so widely available. Yet women, sadly, need to be more conscious of themselves and of their surroundings when they travel, especially if they are on their own. The world is not a perfect place and if we plan to navigate it on our own, we should be as prepared as we can be on all fronts - safety, research, knowledge - and anticipation!
After spending more than three years on the road, when I came home I decided to document what I'd learned so that other women could travel on their own, with confidence and without fear.
This website is the result! (If you're curious about what powers this site technically, click here.)
Women on the Road is for women who are curious, smart, enterprising,
enthusiastic, inspired or dynamic - women who want to see the world on their
own terms, usually solo (though someone might occasionally tag along) but
Women on the Road is for women who are ready to take one big fat bite out of life and smack their lips in glee afterward.
When I first started to travel on my own many years ago, independent travel was mostly for men. So was travel information.
But we are different!
We need to be more careful at night. We have to fight off more unwanted attention. And we may be (often wrongly) perceived as more vulnerable.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I've been around the world on my own several times and I didn't have the hands-on information I needed to stay safe, travel smart or simply get from A to B.
My first solo outing was at 15 (my parents were not amused) when I 'escaped' from my home in Spain, where we were living then, to Morocco. I managed to stay an entire day before my father tracked me down and marched me back.
At 43, I took off again, this time for longer. I traveled across Africa and Asia, with a additional jumps to far flung places like the Baltic states and Cuba.
Would I do it all again? Absolutely!
Would I do it differently? Absolutely!
Are you a woman...
If you'd rather receive your women's travel tips and strategies right in your email, Women on the Road NEWS will deliver it to you the first Tuesday of the month (and you'll also get the list of '9 indispensables' I always travel with!)
Women on the Road NEWS shows you how to:
When I started to travel I had little guidance specifically aimed at women. We were just a page or two in the general guidebooks.
Things may have changed - but there's still plenty of room for improvement.
Remember - Women on the Road is a website written by a woman, for women!
I was terribly insecure when I first started traveling solo: I had no woman-friendly travel advice (other than Don't go there!), no lists, no real plan, and very little money. I just trusted things would go well. They did - but they might not have.
Today I know better. I understand the importance of finding out as much as I can before I leave and of coping with the unexpected once I'm away. I'd like to share that knowledge with you - that, and my love of 'the road'.
(and I'll make sure to send you the List of 9 indispensable items I always take with me when I travel)