Journeywoman Winter Newsletter
December 2019


This month's theme is Memories and Rituals: what we do to build community, to spark joy. When I took the helm at Journeywoman, I inherited a rich, vibrant, engaged community of women travellers built and nurtured by Evelyn Hannon. She – and you – could give a masterclass in building community. And so you have -- thank you to those who shared your stories about transformation with Amanda Burgess, our multi-talented Editor. Amanda has spent the last few weeks interviewing chefs, sommeliers and women travelers who generously helped us create an issue focused on new holiday memories and rituals.

I also want to give a big virtual hug of gratitude to the 1,500+ Journeywomen who completed our website survey and the hundreds of you who sent me your ideas. I heard you loud and clear: Our website has amazing articles and tips, but information needs to be easier to find and read. I'm so excited about our new home – it will be highly accessible, easy to read and easy to search. It will be a hub for your stories, your tips and a safe place where we can share our ambitions, challenges, fears and accomplishments. We hope to have a new website up early in 2020 – stay tuned for updates!

The holidays have always been a special time for me to create memories. While I love being home, the real excitement starts when we travel, usually starting on Boxing Day. For the past several years, I've spent my holiday in different countries, like Thailand, Portugal, Spain, Argentina and Morocco, eager to learn new traditions and rituals. I've counted down the seconds to a new year in Barcelona and Cadiz, lucky grapes in hand, wearing the traditional red underwear. I've spent New Year's Eve in the Sahara Desert, snuggled in blankets in front of a campfire, singing songs with people from around the world, in every possible language. In Argentina, I've watched fireworks explode over Buenos Aires at midnight and by the afternoon stood on the shores of the Beagle Channel at the End of the World, El Fin del Mundo, in Ushuaia. This year, we will create new memories in Puerto Rico. Understanding its Spanish traditions and appreciating its resilience after Hurricane Maria is fascinating to me. We'll be volunteering and meeting with women entrepreneurs to understand how we – and the Journeywoman community - can help.

Carolyn Ray, happy holidays

As I reflect on Evelyn's legacy, I have a confession to make. I thought I was prepared for this. But being welcomed so warmly and supportively by this community has sparked a level of joy in me that I didn't know was possible.

Thank you for being part of my family, and sharing so much of your life with me. From my family to yours, I wish you a wonderful holiday and the happiest New Year!

With gratitude,

Carolyn Ray, signature

Memories and Rituals


Our December Holiday issue theme is Memory and Rituals: what we do to build community, to spark joy. The experiences we share. The things that hold our memories and transport us when we encounter them. We'll also explore how food, wine and other sensory experiences can help us relive our travel experiences. Thank you to all the Journeywomen who reached out with their stories.

We have four exciting feature articles for you:

  • A Very Global Holiday: Infusing a taste of your travels into your holiday meal can spice up your traditional menu, bringing back memories and creating new ones. To give you some inspiration, we called in a expert panel of chefs and a sommelier with diverse backgrounds and cuisine specialities. Click!
  • How Has Solo Travel Transformed You? Let's face it – as much as solo travel is life-affirming, it can also be deeply uncomfortable. It pushes us out of our comfort zones, out of long-held perspectives, and rocket launches us on a journey of self-discovery, growth and transformation. In this article, we share the stories of our Journeywomen sisters. Click
  • A Call Through the Blood – Exploring Your Roots: Have you ever traced your roots or gone on a journey to your ancestors' lands? We share the stories of Journeywomen who have done just that. Click
  • Guest blog: Embracing La Pura Vida: Journeywoman Andrea MacEachern shares her story of following her intuition down a street to a smoothie bar in Costa Rica, where she learned a vital lesson. Click!

HOT TRAVEL TIPS: As a super special treat this month, we are featuring sustainable packing and travel tips from the lovely Sue Servos, who you can follow on Instagram at @tipsbysue. I promise you will rethink what to pack in your carry-on bag – and how! We will continue to feature travel tips from our community every Tuesday on our social media channels, so keep those tips coming!

INTRODUCING – MZADVENTURE! Levity is the spice of life, and we want to make you laugh and smile as much as we want to make you feel and think here at Journeywoman. For our ne humour column, MzAdventures, we want to hear about your hilarious travel fails, crazy occurrences and best-ever stumbled-upon travel hacks. Here's one to get things rolling!

  • Travel Hack: Bring Peppermint Oil for Pest Control: "I brought some essential oils with me on a solo trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. Lavender to spritz on my bed, tea tree oil to disinfect wounds, peppermint to rid places of bugs. Well, I opened my suitcase and saw the entire bottle of peppermint oil had spilled. The smell was getting everywhere. There were ants, and I'd seen a cockroach outside my door almost as big as a size 5 shoe. Those ants went marching two-by-two up from the drain and out the door in their own conga line. I didn't see one bug in there the entire month I spent there – and there was an inch space between the bottom of my door and the floor, and the windows were without screens and always open." – Brenda, Toronto

JOURNEYWOMAN BOOK CLUB: This month, do we have a treat for you! So many of you shared your book recommendations that we put all of them into a list – by country – to help make holiday gift-giving easy! From Botswana to Greece to Spain, we've got you covered in our Holiday Book Lovers List.

Here are two Journeywoman recommendations to whet your appetite:

  • Marybeth from Fort Worth, TX says: "I have read all of Victoria Hislop's books on Greece: The Island, The Thread, The Sunrise, Cartes Postales from Greece, and most recently Those Who Are Loved. All are based in history with a fictional story intertwined in the narrative. They are a wonderful read and very informative. Do check them out."
  • Lynne says: "A book that I read recently inspired me to start travelling again, to start changing my lifestyle, to start living just for me: My Ikaria by Spiri Tsintziras is a story of a journey, not only to another country but a journey to gain the knowledge to make dramatic changes to the author's life. Along the way she also brings about change to the lives of her family members."

Journeywoman meets Judy Blume in FloridaDESTINATION FOCUS: KEY WEST, FLORIDA: Key West is best known for Hemingway, but did you know that there are more Pulitzer Prize winners there than any other city? Join me on a walking tour hosted by the Key West Literary Seminar and a very special trip to Judy Blume's bookstore!

The Turtle Hospital rehabilitates 2,000 injured turtles a year, saving them from boat strikes, water pollution and marine debris. Find out what you can do to help these ancient mariners.

HOT TRAVEL DEALS: Perfect gifts for the female traveller on your list! We have travel deals for female-friendly, walking and culinary tours to Bali, Kenya, Belgium, Morocco and the Netherlands.

  • BABES IN BALI TOUR-- July 19 – August 2, 2020 (perfect for teachers!) Want to explore Bali but don't want to deal with big groups that can't deeply experience the magic, people, and unique culture like a small group can? Then you've got to join renowned Bali expert Cathy Gotfried (33 times to Bali!) as she WOWS you while exploring all her favorite and secret places! Culture, spirituality, spas, yummy food, divine shopping, ancient temples, glorious beaches, breathtaking snorkelling and gorgeous hotels are all part of what Cathy has to share with you. Contact: ,+1.403.278.4084, /
  • RETREAT ON YOUR FEET: Slow Walking Journeys (Italy 2020): May 10-21, 2020 -- Join seasoned pilgrim, author and artist Amit Janco, on an innovative and unforgettable walking odyssey through Tuscany. Enrich your slow-moving days on the Via Francigena with an exploration of your creative impulses... and gelato! Includes a day trip to Leonard da Vinci's birthplace. Maximum of 8. Details: Contact:, (Un)Bound, Together: A Journey to the End of the Earth (and Beyond),
  • "This trip should be on every woman's bucket list." Forbes
    FEBRUARY and JULY 2020 – A luxury adventure for a woman's heart! USA TODAY Top 10 Tours for Women
    Get away from it all! Walk in the footsteps of a Nobel Prize nominee, elite visionaries and colorful village women, while enjoying premier hotels and excellent cuisine. Immerse in a spirituality where time slows and life is savored. Set out on several safaris in unspoiled natural beauty. Enjoy local art and culture. Expect concierge services by host, Linda Higdon, who has worked 17 years with Kenya's women. Enjoy exclusive access to people and places not found anywhere! Renew with time just for you! Rest easy, knowing English is spoken. We welcome you at Nairobi's airport, then whisk you away to your elegant historic hotel. Early Bird BONUS SAFARI included. (TWO spots left for February tour).
    Take a virtual tour now! / Write:
  • PACK A FORK! ~ Unique Cultural & Culinary Adventures: 2020 small group tours include Belgium, The Netherlands & Copenhagen (April 17-30) and Morocco (September 17-30). Save $100 on a single room when you mention the word JOURNEYWOMAN when registering. More tour details at, Contact:
    Belgium, The Netherlands & Copenhagen:
  • EMBRACING YOUR SELF: A SACRED JOURNEY TO BALI -- June 14-21, 2020; Mind/body/spirit women's retreat at BagusJati, staying in luxurious villas surrounded by lush gardens in the highlands outside of Ubud. In addition to circle time and yoga, we will journey to a traditional Balinese village, visit magical Ubud and participate in a purification and blessing ceremony at a nearby temple and waterfalls. Contact:,
  • Visit our Women's Travel Directory for more Female-Friendly Tours!


    HAVE YOU EVER LOST YOUR LUGGAGE? ReboundTAG is the first microchip luggage tag that works in all airports worldwide. Showcased by Lufthansa as a way of preventing lost luggage worldwide, it has won many accolades, from the Business Travel Show awards to the Amazon Launchpad Program for Amazon's most innovative products. Get the 20% Journeywoman discount with the voucher "Journey20" at

    SAFE, LIGHTWEIGHT TRAVEL JACKETS: It's hard to enjoy travel when you have to be on your guard against con artists and thieves. Global Travel Clothing has the perfect jacket for women travellers, with two hidden pockets that are the right size for a wallet, passport, or money clip. Get the 10% discount here!

    NEED A PLACE TO CLIP YOUR BAG? #1 rated Clipa holds bags and backpacks then closes back into a bracelet automatically. 1.6 oz. Holds 33 lbs! Works in dozens of places, including rails, carts, doors missing a hook, tables. See it here: and snap it up for holidays. Reg. $15.99. Sale on NOW + FREE U.S. shipping + freebies. No promo code, no minimum order!

    NEXT ISSUE: FEBRUARY 2020: Our Winter Thaw newsletter theme is Serendipity. The happy accidents that lead to amazing travel experiences. Learning to dance in the rain. The world's most optimistic countries and what we can learn from them. Look for more on this in January!

    KEEP SENDING YOUR IDEAS AND TIPS: We love hearing from you. Tell us if you used any of the recipes, gifts or books to make your holidays memorable. Our full editorial calendar into 2020 is posted here. Email: Please don't forget to include your first name and the city you live in.

    UPDATE YOUR PROFILE: Some of you may have received an email without your name at the top! Why, it's easy to fix! Just click on Subscriber Options at the bottom of this email and you can update all your information in minutes. Thank you!

    SAVE THE DATE: One of my goals is to find new ways to communicate with you! We're planning to have Facebook Live video exchanges to accompany each newsletter. Our first one was in October - Erica Ehm, Evelyn's daughter, interviewed me in my kitchen! Our next Facebook Live is scheduled for Wednesday, December 11 at 6 pm ET, where Amanda and I will be answering questions about this issue. Save the date! Details will be posted on Facebook soon! These videos will also be available on our brand new Journeywoman YouTube channel. YAY!!

    Do you have friends who love to travel but aren't part of our sisterhood? Get them to sign up for our newsletter HERE! And don't forget to join our Journeywoman Community on Facebook or Instagram, where we share updates almost every day!

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