rules in Holland...
The Dutch are much the same as the Americans.
Guys won't stare at you any more than they would
at a Dutch girl. We don't have a dress code
whatsoever. You wear what you like. Period.
Bloem, Huizen, The Netherlands
the loo in Tunisia...
During my Peace Corps days, I found a skirt
to be really comfortable in the heat of summer
in North Africa. It was more culturally acceptable,
more sun protective than shorts and cooler than
pants. It also made using squat toilets a little
easier and was definitely more modest when no
bathroom facilities were available.
a different opinion...
I've been to Tunisia twice now and found that
I could travel around without any problems wearing
baggy trousers and long sleeved tunics or oversize
shirts in linen. I found trousers more comfortable
than skirts - no chafed thighs in all that humidity.
I also packed a light shawl. Wrapping the shawl
loosely around your head and shoulders will be
appreciated if you wish to enter the mosque precincts
(dressed this way I was invited to enter the prayer
hall of the Great Mosque in Kairouan). Also, I
found that if I seemed to be attracting comments
or attention from men, putting the shawl on made
me invisible! And if all else fails, shouting
'Shouma!' (Shame on you!) will result in elderly
women dressed in black materialising out of nowhere.
In my experience, as long as you are dressed modestly,
then Arabic women have a strong sense of sisterhood
and they'll soon shame the culprit into more respectful
Sue, Carnoustie, Scotland
churches in Russia...
If you plan to visit the extraordinary Russian
Orthodox cathedrals, be prepared with a simple
scarf to wear as a head covering. Though you may
not be asked to leave if you don't wear one, it
is respectful to conform to this tradition. And
it is worth this simple inconvenience to experience
the history and pride of this religion.
Kara, Seattle, USA
Travelling to Morocco? I suggest long sleeves
and no minis or shorts unless you are going to
a beach resort. A certain amount of modesty shown
here can help you relate to the wonderful people
in Morocco. No one expects or wants you to take
the veil, but they don't understand why you would
want to be half naked, either.
My advice is to pack a long, wrapping skirt,
like a sarong for travel in Vietnam. This piece
of clothing will serve many purposes. You'll look
nice wearing it, it's comfortable when the weather
is hot, you can use it as a towel or as a cover
for sleeping. In short, it is very handy, and
very respectable. Bonus-- it's small, easy to
take with you, and when you wash it, it dries
in a very short time. Enjoy your journey.
Evy, Oslo, Sweden
comfortable while travelling...
My advice is to pack the most comfortable piece
of clothing that you have. You'll find that
comfort becomes uppermost when travelling and
quite often you will pick that comfy piece over
the other "must have" pieces that you thought
Sheila, Fort McMurray, Canada
Take bandanas wherever you go. They're cheap,
colorful, lightweight, small, easy to clean, and
have a thousand uses. They can dress up an outfit,
be used as a hand towel, cover your hair (head),
bind up a sprained ankle, be used as gifts. Don't
leave home without a few and buy unusual ones
to add to your wardrobe along the way.
note: To read the Journeywoman article,
Forty Ways to Use a Bandana, click
No matter which clothes you pack, I suggest that
you take along a padlock if you plan to travel
by train through Europe. Lock your pack to anything
you can find. This will deter any thieves who
are looking for a quick chance to take your things.
Your bag will become too much of a hassle and
they'll leave your things alone.
read Journeywoman, too...
The best tactic I have found to feel safe is to
travel in disguise. Like disguising myself as
a poor backpacker with tatty clothes, I also disguise
my expensive camera in an insulated lunch bag
(not a suspicious camera bag advertising Canon).
I disguise my small camera, not in a pouch but
in a small contact lens travel bag, my (cheap
but silver) jewelry is kept in a plastic film
container, my traveller's cheques inside the scruffy
pages of my diary, etc.etc. This doesn't always
help -- but it does give the impression that you
have no valuables on you. (It's just a shame that
the same people who are doing the stealing are
probably reading all this on your site, too! )
Yolanda, Oostkapelle, Netherlands
Ed. note: Thieves,
reading Journeywoman? Hopefully, they're female
thieves who are learning lots of other juicy things
by coming to our website.
a packing mentor...
clothing advice for a certain destination? It's
incredibly easy! Simply log on to
What Should I Wear Where? and find out what
other JourneyWomen pack when they travel. Or,
log on to HERmail.net
and connect via e-mail with a woman who lives
in the destination you are travelling to. She
will be your clothing advisor who will let you
in on what the locals are wearing.
P.S. If you don't hear back from
her right away, try the service once again.
Your first mentor might be travelling at the
same time you are trying to contact her.
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