She Advises From Scandinavia
I live in Sweden and I've just returned from my first visit to New
York in the United States. My advice to other women is: Get out there!
Travelling is one of the best ways to meet new people and learn about
yourself. Don�t think you have to be afraid of everything. If you
feel insecure about anything, just ask other people. That is what
I did. Also, listen to your intuition (inner spirit) because it will
tell you when it�s time to take another street or if the neighborhood
you�re in isn�t safe.
Josefin Andersson, Malmo, Sweden
Ed. note: Great advice Josefin, but please don�t
rely strictly on your female intuition. The concierge at your hotel
is one of the best resources regarding which parts of a city a woman
traveller should avoid.
Nodding Off Never Felt So Good!
I never travel without my inflatable neck pillow. As nerdy as it may
seem, this amazing device actually helps provide many hours of rest
on buses, trains, and airplanes, even when a Journeywoman is stuck
with an uncomfortable aisle seat. This pillow, available at most travel
stores, is really just an open, soft ring that fits around the neck.
Nodding off never felt so good!
Allison, Paris, France
Jar Openers: A Travel Bonus
When packing for a trip, check out your kitchen gadget drawer. I always
take along my circular, rubber jar lid opener. It�s perfect not only
for opening tightly closed jars when I picnic but also to plug hotel
sinks and bathtubs when regular stoppers are unavailable.
Carol Inger, Great Barrington, USA
Women's Craft Co-op and Sleeping Accommodation
Penduka is a women's craft co-op in Nambia, Africa. Their craftshop
has been converted from a former yacht club and is located in the
beautiful surroundings of the Goreangab Dam. Visitors can purchase
hand-woven baskets, wooden carvings, dishes, trays and quilted bedroom
furnishings from the women. Lovely table linens, rucksacks, bags and
wall-hangings are available as well. Penduka also offers accommodation
in five Backpacker houses, each with their own kitchen facilities,
or guests can stay overnight in one of six luxurious bungalows each
with two beds and their own bathroom facilities. Booking in advance
is necessary. Contact: Sandra Kimm, Penduka Project, PO BOX 7635,
Katutura, Windhoek, Namibia, Tel/Fax (061) 257210
Claudia, Milan, Italy
Ed. note: Tam Tam Femme is a network of women
in various African countries. They offer practical information and
support to women moving to an African country for a long period of
time, with particular regard to women travelling with their children.
Networking e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scan Your Important Travel Documents
Before setting out on your journey, have a friend scan and save copies
of your important travel documents on their computer. Then, should
all your important papers be lost or stolen, you can contact your
friend and have the documents e-mailed or faxed to you anywhere in
Kim, Walkabout Travel Newsletter, USA
Ed. note: Great, great idea!
Princess for an Evening in Heidlberg, Germany
If you go to Heidlberg, make every effort to see Heidlberg Castle.
One of my most wonderful summer evenings was spent there. I suggest
that you arrive around closing time when the crowds have thinned and
you can watch the city light up below. I had a delicious meal at the
restaurant overlooking the palace walls and then I walked around the
grounds imagining what it might have been like in the days of princesses,
ladies and lords.
Emily P., Berwyn Heights, MD, USA
Gifts for Children in India
When travelling in India, I suggest that you think carefully before
handing out presents to young children who are begging. Giving gifts
is fine if you have become friends with a child, or they have helped
you out in some way. However, simply passing gifts out your bus window
is not O.K. It almost always causes fights among the children as,
invariably, there are not enough pens (or whatever) to go around.
The constant pleas for "one school pen" that are chanted by kids who
think you carry a spare pen or fifty, begin to drive tourists mad.
Please, only give gifts where they are appropriate.
Danielle, Melbourne, Australia
Ed. note: There are so many different opinions
regarding this particular issue. When I was in India, I handed out
small bottles of shampoo to the children who were begging. What do
other Journeywomen suggest? Click here
to e-mail your opinion on this subject.
She Saves $$$ in San Francisco
If you're planning an extended visit to San Francisco the Fast Pass
is a great bargain. This Pass is currently $35 and allows you unlimited
use of buses, cable cars, streetcars and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)
for up to one month within the city. This sure saves digging for change
each time you travel, and you can even get discounts to some local
museums (such as the De Young and the California Academy of Sciences)
by flashing your pass when you pay your admission.
Brenna W., San Francisco, USA
Best Apple Pie in China
I would like other women considering travel in China to know about
this. One of the best off-route travels in the country is the journey
from Songpan (Sichuan Province) to Xiahe (Gansu Province). There�s
great horse trekking and...I found the best apple pie in the small
town of Langmusi which incidentally also provides numerous hiking
options to work off these apple-pies. The town of Xiahe is touristy
but still very nice and I promise that you're going to see more monks
here at any one time than you would in Tibet.
Eileen Chan, Singapore
She�s Nearly Mugged in Russia
I experienced a "near mugging" when visiting St. Petersburg. My advice
to other women? Don't wear your moneybelt around your neck or your
waist. Instead, wrap it securely around the calf of your leg and pull
your sock up over it. It's also wise, when traveling in this part
of the world, to leave your daypack at the hotel/hostel. Then, carry
"your stuff" in an old plastic bag, like the locals do. You'll be
far less noticeable and safer that way.
Kathy F., Texas, USA
Ed. note: Added advice on this subject is offered
by travel writer Lucy Izon, at www.izon.com
She says, �Be aware that women are sometimes groped on packed buses
to divert their attention while their waist pouch or backpack is being
pilfered.� Be ever watchful, ladies. Both pinched bottoms and stolen
wallets are not fun!