Hello from Journeywoman.com

SINCE THIS IS OUR FIRST NEWSLETTER OF THE YEAR -- Happy 2010 everybody! Whether you are a world traveller or an avid armchair dreamer, we wish each one of you good health, much happiness and a wonderful year of safe, meaningful, exciting journeys. You definitely deserve it.

SEND JOURNEYWOMAN AROUND THE WORLD -- In our December '09 E-Greeting Card we included a one minute video animation called, 'Journeywoman Around the World'. If you haven't already seen it, take a peek. It contains our fondest wish for women everywhere and we'd love to see it circle the globe. Please find a minute to cut and paste the following message into an email and send it on to all your travelling pals. Let's see how far it gets.

(MESSAGE) I know you're a woman who is interested in travel. Please watch this 60 second video at http://journeywoman.com/JWOurWishforWomenoftheWorld.htm and then pass it on to all your gal pals in and out of your country. We're trying to send this 'little Journeywoman' around the world. Thanks everybody.

JOURNEYWOMAN RED ALERT -- This is a huge newsletter filled to the absolute brim with lots of juicy travel information. It's probably one of our largest to date. If you rush through it you'll miss all the good stuff! Click, click, click along the way and we promise you won't be disappointed. We always save some of the best stuff for last. Also, if you think a friend will enjoy having a copy of this newsletter, it's easy to do. Just click on the 'send to a colleague' link at the top of the page.

WE ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU -- Please remember that good, bad or indifferent, we thrive on your opinions and tips. But please DON'T send them to us by hitting the REPLY BUTTON. It will never get to our mail box. The magic e-mail address if you want to reach us with comments and questions is: editor@journeywoman.com.

EDITOR'S NOTE: You'd be amazed at how many people send us messages by replying directly to this newsletter. The sad fact is those emails arrive empty and we always feel cheated because we're left wondering what you had to say.

WINNERS OF THE 'WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG' CONTEST -- A whopping 357 JourneyWomen entered this fun contest and told us about the one item they won't leave home without. From that list we've chosen six lucky winners at random. Congratulations to Theresa (Arlington, USA), Ollie (Vancouver, Canada), Tia (Carlsbad, USA), Susan (Toronto, Canada), Geri (Oaxaca, Mexico). Each of you will receive a DK shopping bag that folds into a pouch -- perfect for travelling. Margaret (Hamilton, Canada) is the Grand Prize Winner and her shopping bag will arrive stuffed with $100 worth of DK books.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In our next newsletters we'll compile a listing of all the objects these folks love. Should be interesting reading!

LET JOURNEYWOMAN PAY FOR YOUR NEXT MEAL ON THE ROAD -- Tell us about budget eats in either London, Paris, Rome, Berlin or Amsterdam. We're calling this upcoming article '5X5'. Our plan is to list five places in each of the five cities where a traveler can eat at budget prices. If everybody shares their secrets we could have a great resource we all can use. Is there a museum or university cafe - perhaps a sandwich stand, market or Indian buffet you can recommend in any of these five cities? Each submission can be no more than 75 words. Enter as often as you like. Send your blurbs to: editor@journeywoman.com and put '5X5' in the subject line. We'll award 5X5 or $US25 to each of TWO lucky readers chosen at random. Be sure to include your first name and city. Contest closes: February 1, 2010.

SEX WITH STRANGERS AS YOU TRAVEL -- Do solo women travelers think it's cool to have casual sex with strangers on the road? Are they traveling with an exaggerated hope of meeting Mr. Right? Are they aware of the possible dangers? Click here to read Editor Evelyn's Hannon view on the topic.

YOU WON'T BE BORED IN TAMPA FLORIDA -- Journeywoman didn't actually choose to go to Tampa the first time. It happened because we ticked a little box in a tourism conference questionnaire that asked which area in Florida we'd like to explore. Now that we've spent some time in this Gulf Coast city we'd go back in a minute. Want to know more? Click here.

IN CANADA OTTAWA'S WINTERLUDE IS A FAMILY AFFAIR -- Some events and destinations are so kid-friendly and fun that you are duty-bound to tell other parents, aunts and grandparents about it. That's how we feel about Winterlude which is celebrated the first three weekends of February in Ottawa, Canada. Click here to read more and perhaps be tempted to try it yourself.

AND NOW ITS TIME TO DREAM ABOUT FAR AWAY PLACES -- This month members of our JW Network of classified advertisers have submitted selections that are deliciously tempting. Click, browse, ask tour operators and product managers questions. They enjoy answering and it ensures that you find the woman-friendly holiday and products that are perfect for you. This is Step #1 to making your travel dreams a sweet reality. Ah-h-h-h-h...

CULTURE THROUGH CUISINE IN ISRAEL, MOROCCO AND INDIA -- Hands on cooking classes, cultural and historical tours to ancient and wondrous cities, visits to food producers, wineries, and local artisans. Join us and let us show you our favourite magical places – small groups, comfortable accommodations and great food and company. www.mediterranean-kitchens.com, email – info@mediterranean-kitchens.com

PAINTING HOLIDAY ON MAGICAL LAKE COMO (ITALY) -- For anyone who has the desire to paint. All materials provided. Just bring your creative urge. Learn the authentic French Impressionist method. A grand villa studio directly on the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Candlelight dinner on the terrace with breathtaking views. Gourmet Italian vegetarian food. Website: www.fresia.com; painting@fresia.com

WORK WITH NONPROFITS IN UGANDA -- If you’ve ever wanted to do more with your photography, join Momenta as we team up to photograph nonprofits in Uganda. Attendees learn to hone their photography skills while working directly with nonprofits as they rebuild communities and help save lives. Email info@momentaworkshops.com or visit our website to learn more about this amazing trip: http://bit.ly/ProjectUganda

WOMEN’S RETREATS IN MEXICO -- We invite women to gather for a time of retreat and replenishment on Isla Mujeres, an island in the Mexican Caribbean. Together, we will create a circle of abundance, compassion and support as we weave together our stories and wisdom becoming midwives of our dreams. Retreat includes yoga, storytelling, guided imagery, journeys to ancient Mayan sites. visit www.islawomensretreat.com or call 440 779-6727; email: kfrlisw@aol.com

KNIT SILK PAJAMAS GREAT FOR TRAVELING! -- Kim Allan Silk 70% knit silk / 30% cotton. Lounge pajamas are the perfect traveling companion. Easy-care ultra comfortable long pants and matching camisole or sleep shirt -- this is one outfit you can wear to bed or sneak out for coffee and look great. Available in a range of colours, sizes and styles. Kim Allan Silk has been a favourite of many Journeywomen for the past four years! Please put Journeywoman in the comment box to receive special pricing of $49 for pants -- regular cost is $70. Order at www.kimallansilk.com or call toll free: 1-800-709-5366

KAYAK AND CAMP IN ANTARCTICA – Travel with a small group of adventurers on a life-changing educational expedition cruise. Meet penguins and seals in their natural habitat; paddle past stunning icebergs in all shades of blue; spend a night ashore to experience the awesome silence. 11-day voyages start at just $3,890. Request or download your free brochure at www.quarkexpeditions.com.

VOLUNTEER ABROAD -- It's the experience of a lifetime. As a Cross-Cultural Solutions international volunteer, you're making a meaningful contribution, working side-by-side with local people and sharing in the goals of a community that warmly welcomes you. Choose from 12 countries, start dates year-round and programs from 1-12 weeks long. CCS offers programs in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand. Website: http://www.crossculturalsolutions.org Email: info@crossculturalsolutions.org

SENEGAL THE HEART OF WESTERN AFRICA -- Come and experience the spirit, the vibrancy and the hospitality that are the soul of Senegal. In addition to discovering the country through its stunning landscape, the history of the slave trade and by shopping in the colorful markets, you will also have a chance to interact with Senegalese women who will teach you how to dance, how to cook, etc... We will also interact with kids and bring them school supplies. Visit www.frenchescapade.com or call 1888 483 513

ROME & FLORENCE -- March 19- 27, 2010. A Girlfriends' Getaway ~ Escape the late winter doldrums - grab your girlfriends and head to Italy for 8 days of art, culture, cooking and wine. Group limited to 8 women, hotels in the heart of each city. For details contact Ashley at Live It: ashley@liveit-italy.com, 860-729-1185, Website: www.liveit-italy.com

LUXURY IN TUSCANY? -- It's yours on our Town & Country trip! Experience two sides of Tuscany - the culture of Florence and tranquility of the Maremma. Spa treatments, private sailing trip, cooking class in an Alain Ducasse kitchen are just some of the adventures that await you... join us! May 15 - 22, 2010 For details contact Ashley at Live It: ashley@liveit-italy.com, 860-729-1185, Website: www.liveit-italy.com

THE ULTIMATE NEW YORK CITY WITH SIGHTS AND SOUL TRAVELS -- Take a “secret” bargain shopping tour, a culinary tour, an architectural tour, enjoy a Hudson River dining cruise, a Broadway play, a cooking class, and art at the Metropolitan. Dine at legendary restaurants while staying at an upscale hotel in the heart of the city. Other celebrated destinations at: http://www.sightsandsoul.com Call: 866-737-9602

NEW & INNOVATIVE TRAVEL GEAR FOR 2010 -- Pacsafe®, the anti-theft travel gear experts introduce 9 new bags and 3 new travel accessories to keep your gear safe and secure from pickpockets and thieves. There’s a style and solution for a variety of travel needs from off the beaten track adventure holidays to urban and leisure trips. Available now at www.pacsafe.com!

A WOMAN'S GUEST ROOM IN TORONTO -- We welcome non-smoking woman travelers to stay in our home offering a clean well appointed cozy room and shared bath. Located in Central Toronto’s Safe Annex neighbourhood on Huron St. near Bloor St. & Spadina Ave. Street parking is $17.95 a week. Weekly $346 CDN (based on single occupant). 50% deposit is required. 416-929-9759 www.awomansguestroom.com email ans-rmt@sympatico.ca

DOCUMENT LOSS, THEFT OR DAMAGE -- When you travel, we’re your backup! In case of an incident occurring, there is a simple and immediate remedy. You can upload and securely store vital travel documents, Personal and Medical Profiles online. Stored documents provide indisputable Consulate or bank ID. AccessMyId.com is safer, more secure and more organized than storing docs in your email. https://accessmyid.com

UPSCALE WOMEN'S EUROPEAN TOURS -- Fall in love with Italy and France on one of Well Arranged Travel’s small group tours. Our unique tours offer something for everyone, whether you yearn to learn the art of French cooking, explore hidden Tuscan vineyards, or simply bask under the Mediterranean sun. We also offer custom vacations, museum and walking tours, day trips, and more. Visit www.wellarrangedtravel.com.

YOGA-ADVENTURE-RELAXATION -- MARCH 7th – 15th, 2010 in beautiful mountains and beaches of COSTA RICA. Join yoga teacher and author Ruth Shaw for 5 nights at Mystica Retreat Centre (www.mysticaretreat.com) and 2 nights at Playa Hermosa. Daily yoga (all levels), hike to waterfalls, soak in hotsprings, try an ecocanopy tour, or float down the river. Outstanding cuisine. Details www.ruthshawyoga.com/workshops.php

STILL HAVEN'T FOUND THE PRODUCT THAT MAKES YOUR JOURNEYWOMAN HEART SING? -- Check out our classified section with 26 separate categories to help you pinpoint exactly what you need. Check out some of the 'new colorful graphic ads’. Happy browsing everybody!

EDITOR'S NOTE: There are only a few classified spots available for our February newsletter and as usual we'll be operating on a first-come basis. Big thanks to tour operators in our Journeywoman Network for being in touch as early as possible.

READY FOR THIS MONTH'S TOP TWELVE JOURNEYWOMAN TRAVEL TIPS? -- As usual, your many female-friendly bits of advice from all over the world continue to inform, inspire and amuse. This time from wonderful travelling women across the U.S. and Canada to those in Australia, New Zealand, France, Tokyo, Israel and Tonga what follows are this issue's top twelve travelling tips. Have fun with them, everybody!

MEET THE LOCALS AND VOLUNTEER WITH WOMEN IN TOKYO, JAPAN -- writes Trysh in Tokyo -- Feeling lonely in Tokyo and want to meet a group of English speaking folks who have fun while giving their time to a good cause? Volunteers are always needed at the Tokyo Union Church in Omotesando (their subway stop is the same name). We meet every day (not in July or August though) at 9 am in the basement of the church to make 'onigiri' (rice cakes) for the homeless in the city. It only takes an hour or so of your time. No previous experience is required and you can just show up. We hope to meet and greet you there. Website: Tokyo Union Church Womens Society

EDITOR'S NOTE: Going to Japan? We think you'll love the article, 20 Things Women Should Know About Tokyo.

AN ECLECTIC BOOK SHOP IN ROME -- writes Alexia in Harrisburg, USA -- The Open Door Bookshop has been operating for more than twenty years in the Trastevere area. It's a wonderful welcoming shop owned by a native English speaker. Best known for literature and books on art (mostly used) they also offer such goodies as old maps, furniture inlay plates and old photographs of period furniture. Some of the juicy extra treats you can expect are a free book basket as well as a one euro bookshelf. Address: Via della Lungaretta 23, Rome 001532. Website: http://www.books-in-italy.com. E-mail: opendoor@books-in-italy.com. P.S. If Italian is your first language, click here for their Italian version.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Journeywoman has a huge listing of bookstores around the world that women will love. Click here to enjoy.

WHAT TO WEAR IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC -- writes Virginia in Tonga -- I used to live in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu but have since moved away. If any JourneyWomen are going that way, here is my advice for sister travelers. Vanuatu is a lush, tropical paradise. During summer it is kind of hot and humid but during winter, the weather is just divine. So whatever time you decide to visit, I suggest you pack light clothes - shorts and tank tops are the norm. However, if that is not your style, I suggest you pack a few colorful summer dresses. P.S. A light sweater or shawl will also come in handy to deal with any air-conditioned interiors.

READ MY PINS - THE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT COLLECTION IN NYC -- Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright often used her jewelry to convey a message without words. When Saddam Hussein's press referred to her as a serpent, she wore a golden snake broach pinned to her suit for her next meeting on Iraq. From now until January 31, 2010, 200 of Ms. Albright's pins are on display in New York's Museum of Arts and Design (2 Columbus Circle). If you miss this interesting display in NYC you can catch it next at Clinton's Presidential Library in Arkansas, followed by Washington DC in the summer of 2010. Website: http://madmuseum.org/

ANOTHER HIDING PLACE FOR YOUR MONEY -- writes Debbie in Auckland, New Zealand --Want another hiding place for your money? Try sewing a mesh, envelope style pocket in the front or back of a stretchy camisole that you wear under another piece of clothing. If you like you can secure the pocket flap with a small safety pin. Paper money sits perfectly inside this pocket and is not obvious at all. Another option is to turn up the hem of a stretchy camisole and sew vertical lines to make compartments the right size for your money. You can also secure these with safety pins. Whenever I travel I use one of these options and they have worked well for me. P.S. If you aren't able to do the sewing yourself, you can have it done easily and cheaply at shops that offer alterations.

A TRAVELLER-FRIENDLY BUFFET IN COPENHAGEN, DENMARK -- writes Linda in Tualatin, USA -- Since I don't understand Danish, I found the restaurant menus in Copenhagen somewhat intimidating. Then I discovered a wonderful place named Riz Raz (two locations in the city). They open at 11:30 for lunch and serve a terrific Mediterranean buffet. You can see all the food possibilities and can help yourself to luscious salads, fresh baked breads, desserts, etc. without having to decipher a menu. Weather permitting, outside seating is available so you can people watch while you eat. On several occasions I enjoyed a larger, leisurely lunch there and and then had only a light snack for dinner. Highly recommended. Website: www.rizraz.dk

EDITOR'S NOTE: Need more tips about Scandinavia? They are right here.

CONNECTING WITH LOCALS IN PARIS -- writes Holly in Durham, USA -- This past year I visited Paris for the 5th time and was looking for ways to see less-touristy places and connect with 'real' French people. Here are the two special ways that worked for me. Perhaps other Journeywoman readers would like to try, too? (1) I connected with Paris Greeters, an all-volunteer group who share their love of Paris with you. I enjoyed a wonderful walking tour and history lesson of the 19th Arr. and the Parc des Buttes Chaumont with them. There was no official cost but they do ask for a small contribution to keep their services running. It was well worth it. (2) The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau also offers many options for ways to connect. The one I chose was called, Meeting Parisians At Work, where you visit a craftsperson's place and get a behind-the-scenes tour. I visited a boulangerie with an interpreter and six other tourists. We made baguettes and croissants. Merveillieux and délicieux!

DON'T MISS YOUR TRAIN STOP -- writes JoAnn in Naperville, USA -- When traveling by train in Europe or any country where you don't understand the language, write down the two stops prior to yours so you are aware of your stop coming up. Although the stations are generally announced, if you are not fluent in the language you may not recognize their names via the public address system. Also, try to sit in one of the front cars of the train. The back cars may not pull far enough into the station to read the station's name and you could be left scrambling to find out where you actually are. P.S. I love train travel!

A FUN PLACE FOR BREAKFAST IN JAFFA, ISRAEL -- writes Jennifer in Ramat Gan, Israel -- One of the most fun places for breakfast in Tel Aviv is actually in Jaffa, in the flea market just round the corner from the Clock Square. It's called 'Dr. Shakshouka' and if it is sunny you can sit outside in their courtyard and watch them make their signature dish, 'shakshouka' (a mixture of eggs, tomato and other good things). Each tasty order is made in its own individual metal dish and served piping hot. You can order it along with aromatic tea made from dried rose-buds, and also feast on other specialties from their Tripolitanian cuisine. I took a friend from the UK there on a sunny Christmas day. She said that enjoying the slightly spicy food in the sun she felt far from the cold of Europe.

P.S. Journeywoman Editor Evelyn Hannon was recently on assignment in Israel and had the wonderful pleasure of meeting three members of our Journeywoman Network who live in Tel Aviv. Oh my goodness, it was fun. We discussed everything from international travel to guidebooks to bird watching to fashion. No one could have guessed we were having brunch as a group for the very first time. These women decided that if there was interest it would be great to start an Israeli Chapter of Journeywoman. Then women there could meet, mentor each other and perhaps travel together. The person to contact for further information is Sunny H, email: sunny_h@netvision.net.il Who knows? In a few months there could be 20 women meeting for Brunch. You Go Girls!

TOUR KETCHIKAN, ALASKA WITH A COOL WOMAN DRIVING A 1956 CHEVY -- writes Ilene in Ottawa, Canada -- I found Lois Munch in Journeywoman's listing of recommended tour guides and she was a real find. I spent a wonderful rainy afternoon with this lady exploring Ketchikan in one of her classic cars. I recommend her services to anyone on an Alaska cruise with a stop in this port. Lois is a lover of eagles and supporter of local native artists. She introduced me to one of these artists when we stopped for coffee in her local coffee shop. In fact, Lois was wearing the most beautiful black jacket with a native design in red on the pocket which had been given to her by the designer herself. If you get up her way do give her a shout. You won't regret it. Website: http://www.classictours.com P.S. Be sure to book in advance. Lois is very popular.

WATCH THE METER IN VIETNAM TAXIS -- writes Sibylle in Melbourne, Australia -- Taxis in Vietnam are cheap and plentiful and clean and usually air conditioned. They are a great way to travel across town or even for a fixed-time city sightseeing tour. Unfortunately they also have a bad reputation, sometimes deserved, sometimes not. To make your trip as hassle free as possible do two things after you have jumped in. Ask the driver to put the meter on (I was never refused when I asked) and once it has been popped on make sure it starts on the correct amount - currently around 9000 Dong. If it is too high query it immediately (drivers will put the meter down to the correct amount when challenged.) Vietnam is fabulous!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Your hotel or hostel will give you the names of taxi companies that they recommend. Take them. In Ho Chi Minh City I had limited time so I took taxis everywhere, didn't have any hassles and paid with U.S. currency for short trips around the neighbourhood (usually one or two dollars per ride).

SHOP IN PARIS AND SUPPORT A CO-OP FOR YOUNG WOMEN IN MADAGASCAR -- writes Linda in Paris, France -- MERCI, Paris' newest concept store, offers a breathtaking space where you can shop with a conscience. MERCI donates all of its profits to a co-op for young women in Madagascar. They stock everything from clothes to flowers and garden accessories, to perfumes, custom furniture, home goods and second-hand books. Much of the clothing on sale (from brands like Bonpoint, A.P.C., Isabel Marent, YSL and Chloe) has been created and priced exclusively for MERCI. Address: 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais - 3rd. Tel : 00 33 1 42 77 00 33. Open daily Monday to Saturday 10am-8pm Metro Saint Sébastien Froissard.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Want more tips to consider before your next trip to Paris, click here.

INTERNATIONAL SUBWAY SAFETY FOR WOMEN -- At their best, subways whisk you to your destination quickly, economically and efficiently. At their worst, they are stifling hot, smelly and potentially dangerous for a woman traveller. Here are 20 strategies Journeywoman has developed to differentiate between the two and to help women ride the underground easily and safely. Click here.

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW -- Each day Editor Evelyn Hannon sends out juicy woman-centered travel tips and advice on Twitter. Want to join her group of 5400 'followers'? Simply sign up at twitter.com (it's free and very easy to do). You can follow Evelyn at twitter.com/Journeywoman and then you can retweet her tips and any of her Journeywoman articles to friends around the world.

FINALLY, IT'S A BRAND NEW YEAR AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS -- Have you sent us a 2010 tip yet? In exchange for all the travel tips you've read in our newsletters, we ask that you please give back to our JW Network by sharing at least one juicy piece of your own travel advice. Not sure what to write about? We suggest you read the article, 'What Makes a Great Travel Tip?' for some basic ideas. Then send your advice to: editor@journeywoman.com and put 'My 2010 Contribution' in the subject line. That will make us very happy.

UNTIL OUR NEXT ISSUE -- I wish you fun reading, lots of laughter and safe, wonderful, exciting journeys. You definitely deserve it!

Evelyn Hannon, Editor
Website: http://www.journeywoman.com
E-mail: editor@journeywoman.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/journeywoman
Tel: 416.929.7654