Following my successful foray into solo travel in the mid-1990s, I decided to make it a habit. But independent travel is a bit different than letting someone else do all the planning for you, so I started looking around online for resources for solo travelers. To no one’s surprise, I’m sure, I didn’t find a lot. But I did find a website called Journeywoman.com, published by a woman named Evelyn Hannon from Toronto. It’s not a solo travel website per se; it’s a travel resource for women in general. But it does have a substantial section on solo travel (called “She Goes Solo”), which only makes sense, since Evelyn has traveled solo all over the world herself.
What can you find at Journeywoman? Tips from Evelyn and her thousands of readers who share advice on such things as: How to dress in certain cultures, good and affordable restaurants around the world, where to find those sweet little B&Bs we’re always on the lookout for when we travel, safety tips for women, and much, much more. Wouldn’t you want to know how to be culturally correct in China before you set foot in the country? Think of it as an all-you-can-read travel tips buffet.
I think of Evelyn as the Godmother of Solo Travel–at least in terms of those actively promoting it online. She may not be the first woman to ever travel alone, but she is passionate about it and shares that passion with everyone. Evelyn first started traveling alone in her forties, following her divorce. That was almost thirty years ago, and she’s been on the go ever since. So if you think she might be able to teach you a thing or two about solo travel, you’d be right.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Evelyn a little bit better recently via Twitter, as we “follow” each other’s tweets. Evelyn tweets at least one travel tip per day, sometimes more–tips like this:
If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow her. Even if you’re not a member of Twitter, you can still bookmark and “lurk” on her profile page and get those great daily travel tips that way. What really shines through on both her website and Twitter–but probably more on Twitter, because of the casual nature of it–is Evelyn’s fun personality. (Her column at daughter Erica’s website, the YummyMummyClub, is called “Aging Disgracefully” which I think pretty much says it all.)
So ladies, if you have been bitten by the travel bug and haven’t yet checked out Journeywoman, you really should. It’s an invaluable resource for any woman planning to travel. You will inevitably find some great tips there that will make your trip go more smoothly. Just be forewarned: This website is such a goldmine of information, you could lose track of time exploring it; so if you have somewhere you need to be, you might want to set your alarm.