DELIGHTFUL DAY SPAS IN UBUD, BALI -- writes Therese in Yokahama, Japan -- I originally went to Bali for six days but stayed for 13 after discovering their excellent but reasonable day spas. My favorite was Beji Ayu, a lovely, small, locally-owned spa. They offered fabulous 90-minute Balinese oil massages for about $15 US. I loved their oh-so-quiet location along with the gentlest Balinese traditional music they played. Beji Ayu is a calm place where you are able to treat yourself to many massages, facials, and traditional body scrubs administered at prices which will keep you smiling. Website: http://bejiayu.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: One of our readers submitted an article called, 'She Absolutely Loves Bali'. If you're heading that way it may provide some resources for you. Also, just in case you haven't read the book, 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert, pick up a copy and read about her adventures in Italy, India and Bali, Indonesia.
TESTING LOCAL CUISINE IN SALVADOR, BRAZIL -- writes Eve from Salvador in Bahia -- It's always difficult to come into a new town and not know which restaurants are going to be reliable. A friend in Salvador told me that I must try the fresh fish stew (moqueca) in a restaurant called Uau in the district called Pelourinho. The restaurant located on the second floor at Rue Gregoria De Matos 36 is made up of several rooms above street level. They serve typical Bahian cuisine, the food is excellent and the service impeccable. As appetizers to the stew we ordered soft grilled white cheese drizzled with molasses. Then the stew (white fish and shrimp) arrived served over rice. Oh my goodness the tastes were absolutely terrific. The generous portions were more than ample -- one bowl served three of us. I recommend this spot very highly!
MODERATE WOMAN-FRIENDLY HOTEL IN PARIS -- writes Thelma in Canada -- As a former travel writer, I highly recommend the Hotel College de France in Paris. They are extremely warm and welcoming, speak English (and other languages), and the rooms, while not huge, are clean and pleasant (in October I had a room on the top floor with a little table and two chairs on the balcony). This place has lots of character, and great views, always a plus in Paris! Every room features a toilet and a bath or shower, and the invaluable hair drier. Rates for single occupancy at 87 euros per night including taxes were very workable. Hotel College de France is located on the Left Bank, two blocks from Notre Dame Cathedral, and is family owned and operated. Address: 7 rue Thenard, 75005, Paris. Phone: 0143267836. Website: http://www.hotel-collegedefrance.com
P.S. Here's another little tidbit. On the same street as the Hotel College de France Hotel there is a moderate restaurant called, Le Preverre (www.lepreverre.com). I ate there several times. It's the kind of place where a client can, and often does, tuck a large cloth napkin into his shirt to protect himself from flying sauce. It's relaxed, but with white tablecloths and good food.
DON'T FEEL BAD IF YOU FEEL BAD -- writes Gail in Charlotte, USA -- I have found over years of solo travel that the day of my arrival at my destination is always the toughest. I tend to feel lonely, a little frightened, and often end up doubting the sanity of my decision to travel alone again. In order to head off those early trip blues I bring along a favorite snack treat from home, eat it upon my arrival at my hotel, take a refreshing shower, and then head out for a walk. It helps me to get to know the area where I am staying. It keeps me from basking in loneliness in my hotel room, and it provides me with a breath of fresh air in my new home away from home. By the time the following morning rolls around, I am usually feeling more than ready for a brand new adventure.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Want more advice on ways to fight loneliness? Read what other JourneyWomen have prescribed.
A SPECIAL PLACE TO STAY IN DELHI -- writes Nancy in Stoney Creek, Canada -- I have travelled to India on 15 different occasions; each time I make Delhi my port of entry or departure. The company that I deal with when travelling in India owns a small hotel in Delhi. They built it for people like me. I needed a place where I could feel comfortable and safe while I adjusted to all the excitement that is going on outside the door. I have used this hotel since it opened. It is not your typical hotel, there is no swimming pool, huge reception area or places to shop. I like to say it is a private international hotel. They say it is a "Guest House". The location in the Karol Bagh Market is perfect. I think that if you are looking for an inexpensive but special place to stay you won't go wrong at 'The Baja Indian Homestay.' Website: http://www.indianhomestay.com/
MAKE SURE YOU ARE DRINKING SAFE BOTTLED WATER -- writes Terri in Buenos Aires, Argentina -- Just a word of advice from my many years of traveling with the Foreign Service. I've been stationed at seven posts, some of them real hardships, and our doctors always recommended getting bottled water 'with gas'. Something about the carbonation process killing the bacteria. Also carbonated water is much harder to forge (top must be secure or bubbles escape) so you can almost be sure it is not plain tap water bottled in some dirty, shady location.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Last month we published Dr. Mark Wise's helpful article, 'Delhi Belly and Me: A Gal's Guide to Travellers Diarrhea.' Click here if you haven't read it yet.
Our nicest media coverage in 2008...
Thanks to journalist, Marcia Kaye for the lovely cover story of Journeywoman published September 2008 in the magazine, Canadian Association of Retired People. Click here to read.
Thanks to Martha Chapman, resident travel expert for Global National Television. We loved her excellent report on Journeywoman.com
We are extremely grateful for all this lovely attention. We know it can only make our Journeywoman Network bigger, stronger, and better.