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Women Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets 2008...

Solo road trips need planning...

If you are the kind of gal who likes to embark on solo road trips, advance preparation is the key to freedom. Learn how to change a flat tire. Get your oil changed. Map out your route. Find out if you will have cell phone service. Bring an extra car key. Check your vehicle's fluids. I have learned these lessons the hard way. It is easy to believe that car trouble only happens to other people, but someday it just might be you.

Carrie Visintainer is a freelance writer from Fort Collins, Colorado. Her latest travel essay appears in the Travelers' Tales "The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008" anthology.


Best English Comedy Show in Amsterdam...

On one of the liveliest squares in Amsterdam -- Leidseplein -- where 'anything can happen' (trust me on this one -- I once saw an elderly trapeze artist in his skivvies hovering above the outdoor café tables) is the improvisational comedy show venue called 'Boom Chicago', featuring comedy in English. Americans run the show, and what a hoot it is. Show titles for 2008 were: 'Last One to Leave the Planet, Turn Off the Lights'; 'Screw the Planet... Save the Oil!'; and in October/November, what else but: 'Bye Bye Bush!'.

Shirley Agudo is the managing editor of the guide to travel and life in Holland. Website:


I rented a small apartment in Palermo...

As a writer I have an ongoing conflict when traveling alone. Although my best stories seem to write themselves because I am a more engaging traveler, feelings of isolation sometimes creep in, especially in Italy’s lively social milieu. Alone in Palermo, Sicily, I allowed the buzz of Palermo’s Borgo Vecchio (Old Town) to catch my attention the first time I happened through. The afternoon hubbub felt like “people at home” in the neighborhood. So I rented a small apartment (PoliteamAffitti) where I lived for ten days. I cooked with the fresh ingredients available a few steps away in the mercato and, after the first shopping excursion, people greeted me as a neighbor. I still missed my husband and family, but I did feel like a part of the neighborhood’s life. I departed with a desire to return soon, and even now a piece of my heart waits for me there!

Mary Noyes is the author of Bologna Reflections: an uncommon guide. She has contributed to two Traveler's Tales anthologies -- A Woman's World Again and 30 Days in Italy


Fishing for a meal in Victoria, Canada...

Wandering around downtown Victoria, British Colombia, I was disappointed to find so many restaurants pushing steaks, burgers and beer, all at inflated prices with the U.S.'s dollars decline. Then I found Red Fish Blue Fish (, an earth-freindly local hangout inside a green and orange shipping container on the waterfront. (Look for the pink Customs House and walk down the steps.) The seating’s not fancy – just a few stools on the dock and a long counter facing the water – but BBQ wild salmon sandwich and the curry chips was one of the best $15 meals I’ve had. The bonus was the view of seaplanes landing in the picturesque Inner Harbor.

Carol Pucci is a travel writer for The Seattle Times. Website:


A shawl kind of lady...

I'm a shawl kind of lady. Shawls are one of the items I search for in markets when I'm travelling. They make great gifts under $10.00 to bring back for friends. They are light, they pack flat and take up very little room. I've collected them in all colors and designs. My favorites come from India, China, Mauritius and Mexico. Why do I like them so much? They can be a comforting pillow or a blanket as you travel. I keep one in my bag to combat the air-conditioning set on high in restaurants and malls. But, best of all they are a fabulous fashion accessory. One black shirt, one black pair of pants and five shawls gives you a different, smart look every day.

Evelyn Hannon is the editor of


Keep warm(er) without a wetsuit...

I thought the Pacific waters around the Galapagos Islands would be the same silky warmth as the Tahitian beaches. Nope – although we were on the equator, snorkeling amid the sea turtles, seals, and fantastically shaped reefs is downright chilly. Without a wet suit or a ‘farmer john’ suit, I substituted two long sleeved shirts buttoned tightly, and two pairs of long pants tucked into socks. It wasn’t as warm as a wetsuit, which takes up lotsa luggage space, but I sure could stay in the water longer than a couple of ‘macho’ men who tried swimming in their Speedos – I never saw anyone jump in, then back out of the water so fast!

Floridian Sandy Huff is an internationally published travel and outdoor writer, with over 1100 published articles in 120+ publications. Her book 'Paddler's Guide to the Sunshine State' covers 236 waterways around Florida, with tips on how to survive and thrive despite wind, sunburn, cross currents, and even alligators.


Bonus Book Box #6
Three Cups of Tea

A New York Times Bestseller and Winner of The Kiriyama Prize. In 1993 a mountaineer named Greg Mortenson drifted into an impoverished Pakistan Village in the Karakoram mountains after a failed attempt to climb K2. Moved by the inhabitants' kindness, he promised to return and build a school. 'The Cups of Tea' is the story of that promise and its extraordinary outcome. Over the next decade Mortenson built not one but fifty-five schools -- especially for girls -- in the forbidding terrain that gave birth to the Taliban. His story is at once a riveting adventure and a testament to the power of the humanitarian spirit.

Written by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin Website: Publisher:


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