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About Dolphins, Japanese Baths and Solo Angst...
e-mail vignettes contain loads of tips...

At Journeywoman, we�re absolutely delighted with the many mini travel reports that arrive from readers around the world. They�re all written informally, they contain oodles of helpful tips and best of all, they come from women who love to be on the road as much as we do. Read on for info about a Paris hotel, a B&B in Belfast, public baths in Japan, the angst of solo travel and, how a journeywoman celebrated her birthday by swimming with the dolphins...

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The Angst of Solo Travel...

I'm a contributing writer at several travel, health and fitness magazines. I also did some work for the Michelin guides. But now it's time for me to really step out and stop writing about �other� people's trips.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your Journeywoman website. I'm planning a year-long trip to help mitigate my midlife crisis! Though the planning is fun, it's a bit nerve racking as well. It's good to know that the (Journeywoman) sisters are out there.

I�ve got to say that my only trepidation is that about 10 years ago I took a solo jaunt to Chile in the middle of their winter. Emotionally, it was a very rough trip for me. I kind of expected Mexico south -- warm welcomes, easy, open folks and culture. (Grossly miscalculated the impact of 15 years of a brutal, military dictatorship on people). I was literally the only "tourist" in the country and the level of paranoia was high among the people I met. Americans were viewed with suspicion and if truth be told, single women travelers seemed to be pariahs. Everyone asked me, "what are you doing here?"

But once I got out of Santiago, things did change. Southern Chile was cold, wet and friendlier. I remember taking a bus to Puerto Montt and chatting with a woman next to me (by then my Chilean Spanish was good. Believe me, Chilean Spanish IS a different Spanish. Caramba!). When I told her I was traveling alone she smiled and hugged me and called me brave. I'll never forget that.

I'll also never forget sitting on the sea cliffs at Valparaiso on a cold, gray day and staring out at the grim Pacific and wondering, "what the heck is all this about? I could just disappear from the face of the Earth and who would notice?" It was a lonely trip but I suppose everyone has them.

This is my "fear" about voyaging solo, that I won't be able to handle the existential angst that grips me on occasion. But I feel that by doing my homework and joining SERVAS and teaching yoga as I go (I'm a certified yoga teacher), I can learn to be at home in the world and thus, at home with myself.

Ed. note: Jill Y. calls Baltimore, Maryland, home. She is ready and willing to network with other solo travellers. Simply click here to connect.


For Her Thoughts on Japan, click here.




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