Older female travel bloggers are taking on the world of blogging in so many great ways. They are proving that Travel is for everyone both young and old and telling their stories of where to go and what to see at any age. I love showcasing their work to inspire others to venture out into the world, to experience its wonders and to create adventures for themselves. This year you’ll see some old favourites along with some new blogs to follow. Here’s my list of inspiring Female Travel Bloggers to watch in 2019.
Fulfilling a lifelong dream to retire early and travel the world Faith is now happily travelling to find the perfect place to retire. Faith considers herself an ‘ass-end’ baby boomer who is attempting to travel cheap (that’s the Scottish blood in her).
After spending a year in a tiny fishing village in Mexico, mangling Spanish and writing by the pool were the grim details of life here, itchy feet struck again. Faith decided to explore housesitting which is a great budget way to travel and see the world.
Faith has been writing for over 30 years, working with artists, creators, and women led businesses Faith’s blog XYUandBEYOND is about culture, travel, anything to do with food, as well as historic and heritage sites that are a must see. In 2019 Faith is planning to further explore Ireland, and head out on some housesitting jobs to Italy, Portugal, Scotland and beyond.
As one half of the travel partnership, The Motoroamers, Karen is a wordsmith and photographer that captures the spirit of the pair’s fulltime travels.
2016 saw Karen and her partner take decisive action to remove themselves from the corporate matrix! With their chariot camper, they left their jobs and sold up to explore Europe initially, one mile at a time. Three years on their love affair with travel inspires Karen to write about the places she sees and the soulful impact travel has on her. Her emotionally engaging writing inspires others to follow in their footsteps and discover a world from the road less travelled. Her honest, mindful and real perspective gets to the heart of travel’s addiction, compelling the reader to live life beyond their fear and find freedom, choice and happiness.
2019 sees The Motoroamers uncover the delights of Scandinavia and the eastern trio of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Sue Reddel is a Co-Founder and President of Food Travelist. A Certified Culinary Travel Professional, Sue’s passion for travel has taken her to many exciting and memorable destinations around the world. She has logged as much as 150,000 miles in a 6-month period. Sue leads the travel and photography team for the Food Travelist brand, connecting food travelers around the world with relevant brands, destinations and experiences.
Food Travelist focuses on exploring culinary travel around the world. From fine dining at Michelin starred restaurants to finding the best street food a destination has to offer.
Sue is just starting to plan her travels in 2019 and hopes to visit Portugal, Italy, Montana, Idaho, New York, Maine. In addition, she hopes to spend a lot of time discovering all there is to eat and do in her new home state of Wisconsin and her new city Madison.
Yatra means pilgrimage in hindi and through her travel blog – My Yatra Diary… Arti explores the various layers of life itself; like a pilgrim on a journey, where she constantly strives to share her truth, discover herself, the world, her place therein and experience the real treasures of life along the way.
Besides that, her blog is a storehouse of information from the journeys she undertakes and is packed with pictures and details about the places visited with an aim to help prospective travelers or to give a visual armchair tour to the rest.
As for 2019, she has only one plan: to go where her heart takes her and, to keep going.
Nathalie traded in her corporate sales career in 2013 for a 10-month road trip to South & Central America with her then husband, call it sort of midlife crisis adventure. A trip that catapulted her life of travel and discovery, opting afterwards to become a digital nomad to be fuel her wanderlust, a choice she never looked back on.
Presently location independent and now travelling the globe solo, house-sitting and slow travelling as often as she can, her quest to travel is stronger than ever. Her travel blog Marquestra | A Midlife Woman’s Quest for Travel is where Nathalie shares travel inspiration through detailed destination guides packed with practical travel information, money-saving tips and beautiful photography. It focuses primarily on soft adventure travel for 40+ mature independent travellers, highlighting cultural events and activities, food & wine and lodging options. Follow her as she will be exploring more of Thailand this January before making a soul-searching 2-month circuit through Myanmar and India.
A stroll around the world is a travel and lifestyle luxury blog for those who enjoy discovering at a leisurely pace recently founded by Federica Provolenti. With a degree in Archeology and History of ancient Greek and Roman art and a career as journalist and television screenwriter, Federica brings her readers to explore cultural heritage around the world. Covering off the beaten path, finest dining and shopping destinations, A stroll around the world promotes slow traveling as the preferred way to profoundly experiencing a place, discovering all the details.
In 2019 the blog will showcase a road trip along Apulia, in the south of Italy. Through the year, readers will explore other European city breaks like Hamburg in Germany and the enchanting region on Cognac and La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast of France. Asian and American destinations are still in the planning stage but will come between late spring and autumn.
Sherrie Fabrizi-Allbritten is a lover of travel and history. Sherrie resides in Florida with her husband of 37 years Kevin. They have three children. She developed the passion to travel at a young age with her parents and continued the practice with her own family. Now the kids are grown Sherrie and Kevin travel even more. Sherrie’s blog focuses on luxury travel with a little adventure added for the 30-65 age range. Sherrie and her husband have just purchased a home in Italy where she is excited to be exploring more of Europe and writing articles of her experiences as a new Italian homeowner. She also would like to add some lifestyle articles to her web site in the upcoming year.
2019 also brings more travel for Sherrie. The year begins with welcoming the New Years in Savannah Georgia. February she will head to her home in Lago d’ Iseo for Valentines week. April they will be traveling with friends to Paris,Venice, Florence and Rome. Summer always brings some unplanned exploring in New York and Canada. The fall she will head to Montana for a travel conference, with a possible short trip to Ireland and then back to Italy for a few weeks.
Backpack & Explore is a blog by Sinjana, just another middle-class Indian woman who studied hard for a career in technology. Through the blog she wants to show to people like her that it is possible to travel a lot even with a full-time job and family. Travel is still seen as a luxury in India, an idea our parents struggle to appreciate. This makes traveling extensively as a couple a little more challenging for close-knit Indian families than in other culture.
Sinjana enjoys planning itineraries as much as she enjoys traveling. In this blog, you will only find true stories, of places she has explored and how she did so. Backpack & Explore is not about itineraries, it is about life – discovering life through the lens of travel. Sinjana sums up the idea of the blog in the following line.
“For there’s a story behind every road we take, every plan we make.. stories that are ought to be told as we Backpack & Explore”
Joanne is a Canadian mom of three sports loving kids and the voice behind Sunsets and Roller Coasters. She and her husband have been travelling with their three children since they were just a few months old. Over the past 12 years their family has explored 15 countries throughout North America, the Caribbean and Europe and they don’t intend to stop any time soon. They’ve already planned trips to Barbados and Portugal for 2019! Sunsets and Roller Coasters has been around for less than a year but it’s already a valuable asset for anyone planning an upcoming vacation.
Joanne ensures that travellers of all kinds, including families, can benefit from her own family’s planning and experiences by including detailed itineraries, top things to see and do, favourite local restaurants and must try local foods. But that’s not all! Families specifically will also find destination activities that kids and teens will love, wonderful accommodations for families, recommended family focused guides and special travel tips.
I must confess that Asia has become a favourite destination for me. Easy to navigate, friendly and relatively inexpensive Asia is great for Solo Female Travel. Not too far from home in Australia and filled with a richness of culture Malaysia is first on my list for 2019. I’ve had so much fun putting together an itinerary for my 10 day trip in January.
Day 1 Kuala Lumpur
I will arrive in Kuala Lumpur around 4pm local time. I’ve organised a driver to pick me up and take me to my downtown hotel. I’ll spend the evening checking out my surroundings, sampling the local food and seeing the Petronas Twin Towers. Given the humidity in Malaysia, I’m hoping to dunk myself in the hotel pool too.
Day 2 Kuala Lumpur to Penang
Street Art Georgetown Penang
I’ve booked my journey to Penang on the Aeroline bus which leaves from the hotel where I’m staying giving me time for a leisurely breakfast (included) before I embark on my journey. The bus trip is about 5 hours long, so I’ve chosen a front window seat so I can check out the country side on the way.
Cost: Bus $20 including food, Accommodation Penang 4 nights $237.
Day 2 to 6 Penang
Penang is affectionately known as the Pearl of the Orient. In 2008 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Street Art Georgetown
I haven’t strictly planned my time in Penang but here are some of the things I’d like to see and do while I’m there: Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si, Fort Cornwallis, Georgetown Street Art, Little Penang Street Markets, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Koo Kongsi, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Clan Jetties, Hawker Centres, Kuan Yin Temple, Sri Mariammam Temple and of course just get lost among the streets of Georgetown and sample the wonderful food and culture.
Day 7 – 9 Malacca
Christ Church Malacca
Malacca is known as the historical state of Malaysia. It’s history is moulded by British, Dutch and Portuguese influences. I’m excited to see the blend of cultures and historical buildings.
I’m staying in Jonker Street near Geography Café in Chinatown and can’t wait to explore some of these places: A’Formosa Fort, Christ Church, the Stadthuys and Saint Paul’s Church. I’m looking forward to a walk along the river and sampling some great food.
Cost: Accommodation $115 (2 nights), Flight from Penang to Malacca $63
Day 10 Kuala Lumpur
For my last day in Malaysia I’ve booked a tour to the Batu Caves and plan to spend the afternoon soaking in the sights of Kuala Lumpur before making my way to the airport for the journey home.
Costs: Accommodation $134, Batu Caves tour $11
My plane to Malaysia takes off on the 2nd of January 2019. Stay up to date with my Malaysian adventures.
Travel bloggers are often more likely to be showcasing destinations outside their own towns or countries providing us with an travellers view of the places they visit. The places they come from are often places we would love to visit. I caught up with a few bloggers to get the inside stories of their home towns.
Montreal Canada – Paige from A Piece of Pie
Montreal is a unique city that offers modern energy and old-world charm. Here are a few tips for your next trip. First note is that although it is the second largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris, you will be ok if you don’t speak French. This is especially true if you are visiting the tourist sites and areas like downtown Montreal or the Old Port. The city is the festival capital of North America, so are used to having English-speaking visitors. Although many in summer, no matter what time you visit there will be a festival for you to check out, especially during winter.
If you are driving on the island of Montreal you cannot turn right on a red light, unless indicated otherwise. Like New York, this only applies to the island of Montreal and right turns are allowed throughout the rest of Quebec. If you are not traveling by car, the bike rentals located throughout the city are a great way to see more of Montreal, especially Mont Royal. If biking isn’t your thing there is a good bus and ‘metro’ (underground subway). You can even stroll in the underground tunnels right below downtown Montreal without going outside.
While exploring the city be prepared to see old and new merge. Once great downtown example is the Ritz Carlton, the location where Alexander Graham Bell made his first transcontinental phone call between Montreal and Vancouver. Recently undergone a $200 million restoration, much of the original 1912 décor has been restored.
With over 375 years of history, Montreal has strong European traditions. There is nowhere better to see this than taking a walk along the historic 18th-century cobble stone streets of the Old Port. Sit and have a coffee at a Café, grab some food from a food truck or enjoy some fine dining on a terrace. Don’t forget to sample Canada’ signature food ‘Poutine’ while you are visiting the province where it was created.
Brisbane Australia- Sandy from Tray Tables Away
I’ve lived in Brisbane for almost 30 years and have been providing travel tips on it and the surrounding region for almost 20. Brisbane has really grown up in the last few decades and has moved away from feeling like a big country town to a vibrant capital city with a great atmosphere. It’s sub tropical climate has helped to shape its thriving al-fresco bar and restaurant scene and the emergence of some of the countries best events and festivals.
When visiting Brisbane I always tell people to ;
• Jump on the Citycat – Brisbane’s fast river ferries that traverse the Big Brown Snake ( aka the Brisbane River). You can literally pass through the cities most interesting sites from the University of Queensland at one end to the Gateway Bridge at the other.
• At the Gateway Bridge end be sure to visit the Eat Street Markets. A menagerie of shipping containers that serve up a huge array of food and beverages from all over the world, plus a variety of excellent entertainment.
• Spend half a day at Southbank, Brisbane’s cultural precinct on the river across from the CBD. It includes award winning Museums, the State Library, numerous cafes and bars, funky laneways and Australia’s only man made ( and fully patrolled) beach.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Vancouver Canada
Vancouver Canada – Jennifer from The Rainbow Route
With ever increasing costs of living, Vancouver, BC is not a cheap place to call home. But that doesn’t mean you have to empty your wallet on a trip here. If you are planning a visit to Vancouver, there are plenty of activities you can do for free or cheap. Not only will this help you keep you hard-earned dollars for the occasional treat like dining out at one of Vancouver’s many renowned eateries, but you will also get a better idea of how locals live in this beautiful city they call home.
Want some ideas to get you started? Whether you are a tourist or a local, a walk (or bike ride) through and/or around Stanley Park is a must. Vancouver is known for its accessibility to nature and this 1000-acre park is right downtown.
For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Grouse Grind in North Vancouver will push you to your limits. The walk up is free, but there is a $15 fee to take the gondola back down the mountain. Of course, if you would like a gentler hike while still taking in some stunning scenery of the North Shore mountains, head to Lynn Canyon where you can walk across a suspension bridge.
If you are looking for more to do within city limits, try a visit to Granville Island with its local artisans, check out the historical churches throughout downtown, or visit the Vancouver Art Gallery on a Tuesday evening when admission is donation based. Don’t forget – we also have gorgeous beaches which are always free to visit!
Carmel by the sea
Monterey Peninsula California USA – Dhara from It’s Not About The Miles
If you are visiting northern California, consider a weekend in the Monterey Peninsula. The towns of Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Carmel Valley are located right next to one another, and together, they offer an unparalleled variety of activities designed to engage every type of traveler.
Walk around the adorable village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, where the houses and buildings have no numbers and there are no street lights, in order to preserve the charm of the village. The fairytale cottages scattered about the village will enchant you. Shop at one-of-a-kind boutiques offering everything from jewelry to art. In Monterey, dine at a seafood restaurant and visit the famous aquarium. And do a whale watching tour…we saw more than 50 whales on our afteroon trip a few months ago.
Carmel by the sea
Do the 17-mile drive in Pebble Beach, to ogle at the scenery and the mansions of the uber rich and famous that line the route. Enjoy the sun and sand at any one of many beaches in the area. Do wine tasting in Carmel Valley. Take a boat out onto the waters of Monterey Bay. Visit the Point Lobos State Park, where you can walk a trail and see the centuries-old Monterey cypress trees. Visit the famous Carmel Mission, built by the Spanish missionaries in 1797.
With a wealth of things to do, world-class food and wine, and beautiful weather, the Monterey Peninsula of California is a wonderful place to visit. It’s just 2.5 hours by road from San Francisco.
Snow-capped mountains, four distinct seasons, delightful landscapes, a thriving supportive community, vineyards, cellar doors, cafes, cinema, antique shop, art gallery, tourist centre – what more could you want in a small town?
Tumbarumba is halfway between Sydney and Melbourne in NSW Australia. It is a small rural town, home to approximately 2000 people. The first European settlers adopted the Aboriginal name, Tumbarumba, meaning ‘hollow sounding hills’.
We have lots of creeks, a man-made lake and a beautiful waterfall. The mighty Murray River isn’t far away from Tumbarumba – all popular spots for camping, fishing, canoeing and swimming.
Gum trees, pine trees and deciduous trees – it is a photographers’ paradise in Autumn with the leaves changing colours.
Our area is well known for its cool climate vineyards producing award winning wine, not to mention gorgeous views of vineyards on our doorstep. Blueberries are also grown in the area.
Mt Kosciuszko (Australia’s highest peak) is within sight of our town and the snow-capped Main Range is a popular draw-card for visitors throughout the year. Skiing, cycling and hiking are all fun activities. We are quite high with an altitude of 645metres above sea level and we sometimes get snow falls in winter.
Extra: Tumba-bloody-Rumba shootin’ kanga-bloody-roos is a line from a well-known Australian poem, The Integrated Adjective, by John O’Grady. It’s a bit Bogan but it says a lot! My photo shows me holding a sign promoting Tumbarumba while in Mazamet France for the 2018 Tour De France.
Bath UK – Suzanne from Suzanne Easton Photography
Bath is a city in the South West of England. It is a UNESCO heritage site and has been a place for visitors since Roman times. To get the best from your visit here are a few tips.
Visit by train or use the park and ride. Parking in the city centre is expensive and a hassle to get to especially at peak times.
Try and spend at least a day in the City. There is so much to do in Bath that you will find half a day or a quick visit on the way to other attractions will not be enough.
Arrive at the Roman Baths early or very late in the day. The Roman Baths get very busy. They are the only attraction in the City that is paid entry and so to get value and a peaceful visit avoid the peak times when all the coaches arrive.
The Royal Crescent and The Circus are a five minute walk from the roman Baths. On the way you pass the Jane Austin museum and a number of lovely bars.
Wandering the back street of Bath on the way to the Royal Crescent will show you some hidden gems.
Mornington Peninsula Victoria Australia by Bree from 3 Sisters Abroad
Less than 100 kms from Melbourne is the stunning Mornington Pennisular. There is something to tempt every member of the family even down to the 4 legged friends.
Visit Arthurs Seat and take a gondola ride to the peak. On a clear day you can see across Port Phillip Bay to the city of Melbourne. Arising out of the water like Atlantis.
Sample some wine at one of the 50 Wineries that are practically on my doorstep with some amazing world-wide winning wines. Wine isn’t your thing? Then perhaps a local beer, local cider or a gin. Yes our own gin! From local mussels, artisan goats cheese,local beef and berries to tantalize the taste buds! There is even a vegan dairy!Cafes with the most amazing coffee and cakes.
Sunset Mornington Peninsula Victoria
Stunning white sandy beaches where the children can play and swim safely, the dogs can chase balls and the seagulls. Just before sunset, grab the wine and the camera and head to the bay. You won’t be disappointed.
So can I tempt you to come and stay for a day or perhaps a weekend. Why not do what I did and move here. Its like your always on holiday.
Amsterdam Netherlands – Ellis from Backpack Adventures
I live very close to Amsterdam and I am a frequent visitor. In recent years locals have started to complain that tourism has just become too much and that is no longer fun to live in the capital. I must agree that Amsterdam has indeed become very crowded and that walking in peace through the canals has become impossible in the centre where all the tourists go. But getting off the beaten path in Amsterdam is not difficult.
My biggest tip for those who truly want to get to know Amsterdam is to visit and wander around in some of the more quiet neighbourhoods such as the Jordaan, de Pijp or Amsterdam Noord. Very few tourists take one of the free ferries across the IJ river to the North of Amsterdam, but this is where I go to escape the crowds. A few years ago the NDSM wharf was still a desolate old shipyard, but has now become a centre for creativity with artists and some of the best cafes and restaurants of Amsterdam. One of my favourite spots to relax in Amsterdam North is Pllek with a wonderful view on the IJ river.
Jetty Henley Beach
Adelaide Australia – Josie from Josie Wanders
If you are planning a trip to Adelaide my top tip is to come here in March! You will miss the crazy heat of summer, but it will still be warm enough to enjoy being out in the evenings. And you will want to be out in the evenings, because this time of year is when many of South Australia’s major events happen.
There’s the Clipsal 500 Supercar race, a four-day event to delight every petrol-head with concerts every night featuring many big name artists. The Adelaide Cup horse race is run, with all-day festivities at Morphettville racetrack. There are also numerous festivals, from the Adelaide Fringe that runs for a whole month from mid-February to mid-March, the Adelaide Festival, and WOMAD, all with numerous artists and genres from comedy to drama to dance to music, even kids are catered for. There really is something for everyone.
In March the streets buzz. Everyone is out and about and the cafe scene of the city’s East End is in it’s element. Make sure you check out the Northern Lights on North Terrace (a smaller version of Sydney’s Vivid) before relaxing in The Garden of Unearthly Delights (both part of the Fringe) as you realise Adelaide is no longer that sleepy little town you’ve heard about.
Exploring a different country’s architecture is one of my favourite things to do on my travels.
Architecture tells the story of a place. It portrays history and paints a picture of how people live now and in the past. Seeing the architecture of different communities is part of the cultural experience, just like trying the food and meeting the people. Ancient architectural structures often served the dual purposes of consolidation of power and security while serving as places for pleasing the Gods.
Architecture has evolved as an expression of art.
Public buildings throughout history have been designed for both form and function. A reflection of unique times in history. Interiors and exteriors of many buildings were developed to display the art of different eras.
For me, wandering the streets of different places is a journey to discover the architecture and art history of different cultures. Architecture inspires my travels. If architecture inspires you, here’s some iconic buildings to get your wanderlust juices flowing.
10 Iconic Buildings to inspire your travels
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House Australia
Opened in 1973, the Sydney Opera House is one of the 20th Century’s most iconic buildings.
The Dancing House
The Dancing House Prague Czech Republic
Completed in 1996 and previously known as Fred and Ginger, the Dancing House’s architecture stands out in a city of Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture.
The Forbidden City Beijing China
Built in the 15th Century as a palace for the Ming Dynasty, the Forbidden City was declared an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
Château Frontenac Quebec Canada
Château Frontenac is situated in old Quebec. Opened in 1893, the Château operates as a hotel and is listed as one of Canada’s National Historical sites.
Great Sphinx of Giza
Great Sphinx of Giza Egypt
The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the world’s oldest monuments and statues. A bucket list destination for ancient history buffs.
The Flatiron Building New York
The Flatiron Building New York
The Flatiron Building is a 22 story triangular building in Manhattan New York. It’s one of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers and stands as a symbol of New York architecture.
Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Completed in 1996, the Petronas Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world.
Hagia Sophia Istanbul Turkey
Hagia Sophia Istanbul Turkey
Built in 537AD, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was once a Greek Orthodox Church. A museum today, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and was the world’s largest building of its time. In person, it is awe inspiring.
Casa Mila Barcelona Spain
Casa Mila Barcelona Spain
The last private residence designed by Antoni Gaudi, the Casa Mila is also known as the stone quarry. In 1984, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Angkor Wat Cambodia
Angkor Wat Cambodia
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and considered the largest religious monument in the world. It has become the symbol of Cambodia and an example of Khmer architecture. It features on the flag of Cambodia.
The world is filled with amazing places to go. Perhaps you’ll plan a trip based on seeing and experiencing the architecture of a place. Exploring the architecture of a city, town or village is one of my favourite things to do.
Sleeping in airports isn’t always a thing that’s planned. Missing a connecting flight or having a long layover can see you having to find a place to rest up on your journey.
We often read about all the wonderful things about the travels of others. But sometimes the reality of travel can be very different from those beautiful photos we see on Instagram. Things happen that are often beyond our control, and we can sometimes find ourselves in a bit of a pickle.
As a solo female traveller, mishaps happen to me all the time. In a way it’s part of the adventure. It can also be a bit of a challenge at times and sleeping in airports has for me, become a bit of an art form. I’ve learnt to hunt down cheap food, find a free shower, hook into wifi and to sleep in unusual positions.
Being a little bit accident prone, I often end up with a few bruises and bumps when I travel. Little things happen to me all the time. I’ve had to chase down a C cup bra in Rome (not as easy as you’d think) when my bra gave up the ghost. I’ve spent days in bed with the flu in France. I’ve had to spent 13 hours on a bus as a consequence of a train breaking down and have spent way too much money on new shoes when my feet have swollen from the heat. Yes life on the road is far from pretty dresses in fields of lavender and sipping wine overlooking national treasures.
“Your flight left at 1 am this morning”
This was the last thing I’d expected to hear as I arrived at the Turkish Airlines customer service desk in Istanbul. Oh poop was my very first thought, what the heck am I going to do now. I’d been in Istanbul for about a week at a conference sponsored by Turkish Airlines and I’d been confused about my flight from the moment my tickets arrived written in Turkish.
The customer service officer was great and promptly booked me on the next flight leaving for Kuala Lumpur in 15 hours time. Problem solved? Not quite, I needed to get back to Australia from Kuala Lumpur.
Okay, they’d booked me on Air Asia, for the Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne leg. I knew this flight was non refundable as I hadn’t paid for it in the first place and there was no way I could find a phone number to speak to anyone at the airline to change my flight. Coffee time (I had hours to kill).
After a little fun and games trying to get wifi, I found a last minute flight that would get me home from Kuala Lumpur via Singapore. All set, sure I’d have to sleep at the airport in Kuala Lumpur. No problems all part of the adventure I reminded myself.
I spent the rest of my time at Ataturk Airport, buying Turkish delight, chatting to strangers from all over the world, buying little things for my grandson and drinking copious amounts of coffee. There was no way I was leaving the airport to risk missing another flight.
Hello Kuala Lumpur, hello sore throat, massive headache and runny nose.
Kuala Lumpur airport is made up of a number of different terminals that situated aways apart, which means you often need to clear customs between your flights. The train is the best way to travel between terminals.
Finally at the right terminal, I was now really suffering and knowing a flu was coming on, I went in search of a shower and some clean clothes before finding food and a place to sleep for the night.
The young people around me seemed to have no problem sleeping on the hard floor. For me, I found a seat with no armrests, curled myself up and soon drifted into a fitful sleep. Sleeping in airports isn’t much fun when you’re feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck.
Goodbye Kuala Lumpur, Hello Singapore
Changi Airport is considered the best airport in the world and it’s one of my favorites.
Normally I love exploring Changi and it’s great attractions, but with another 7 hour wait, an illness and sheer exhaustion, it was off to find a spot to curl up and take a nap. This was easy to do as Changi has some great comfy spots to lounge and put your feet in the air. Sleeping in Changi Airport is not too shabby.
Finally, my flight home was boarding and I held my breath until they announced the last door was closed. Although I’d booked last minute, and the plane was pretty full, I realised I had a full row to myself. Sleep quickly overtook me again. Soon I would be home at last.
What on earth were you thinking woman? My mind was running overtime, while I waited to board the plane from Australia to the United States for my first solo travel experience.
Booking this trip had seemed like a good idea at the time, I had done all my research, organised my passport and arranged my visa waiver, booked my accommodation and checked out all the places I was going to see. But as I looked out of the airport window to the large bird that was just about to take me on my very first overseas solo travel experience at 46, my heart and stomach suddenly seemed to be sitting in the back of my throat. Please, don’t be sick, I thought, that would be your worst nightmare.
Are you having a mid life crisis? Have you suddenly gone mad?
Nothing it seemed would calm my anxiety and my mind kept going over and over what had been a whirlwind year for me. A divorce, a new job, a new city, and I was in love. After what seemed like an eternity, I was buckled into my seat and the last doors were closed on the plane, I finally felt a sense of relief. No turning back now girl.
I had managed to score a full empty row on the plane and found it easy to fall asleep when the lights on the plane were finally dimmed. My 11 hour flight went quicker than expected but I was happy to hear them announce our expected arrival time into LAX.
Looking back now I guess that I had chosen the United States for my first overseas solo travel experience because I had considered it a place that was similar in a lot of ways to my home country.
What I hadn’t expected was how different from Australia the United States really is.
As my plane made its way across the tarmac to its gate, I realised that I had landed in a foreign country, it seemed as though I had stepped back in time. Even the colour of the sky was different, a much lighter blue than I was used to seeing. Those pesky butterflies started their bursts of flurry in my stomach again.
It was surprisingly easy to find my way to my hotel and once again I found myself stepping back in time about 20 years.
My first day in Los Angeles was something of a blur.
I had never experienced jet lag before and not knowing how to overcome it, I spent the day in a somewhat fussy world. I only had a day in Los Angeles and I was determined to make the most of it. I managed to secure a private driver for the day for $50 and set off in luxury for a day exploring the main sites. The United States was in the grips of the Global Financial Crisis and for Australians it was a cheap destination at the time. I had seen a lot of the places I was off to see on the television and yet, it seemed surreal to be there in real life. My driver was really cool and he would drop me off at the major sites I wanted to see and return to collect me right on time.
I giggled to myself when people kept asking to take my photo. Sure why not but why? Standing on Rodeo Drive I was soon surrounded by a large group of tourists taking my photo. With others pointing and starring at me, I made my escape into a restaurant to grab a bite to eat, yes the United States is definitely different from home. The plate of food I was served held more food than I’d ever seen on one plate and was smothered in dressing. I couldn’t wait for my driver to return.
Finally back in my hotel, I poured myself a long bath. The next day I would be up early and back to the airport to catch a plane to my next destination, Portland Oregon. It finally hit me that this adventure would be the start of a new love affair with solo travel. One that would last the rest of my life.
Wondering where to go on your solo female travel adventures?
When you venture out into the world on your own you are responsible for your own safety. Whatever your destination, you need to make sure you are aware of your surroundings and remain vigilant to any dangers that might come your way. If you’re looking for safe places to visit here are the Top 15 Safest Countries for Solo Female Travel as ranked by the Global Peace Index 2018.
Iceland is a popular destination to see the Northern lights. It’s dramatic landscapes and hot springs are major draw cards for travellers. Iceland is also a safe destination for solo female travel.
2. New Zealand
One of my favourite destinations, New Zealand is often described as every country in one place. From it’s beautiful beaches to its awe inspiring landscapes and friendly locals, New Zealand is a great safe destination for Solo Female Travel.
Austria ranks 3rd on the Global Peace Index. It is renowned for its Alpine regions, rich history and Baroque architecture.
With its architecture dating from the 1500’s and it’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is a popular destination for travellers.
Ranking number 5 on the Global Peace Index, Denmark is the most southern of the Scandinavian Countries. Known for it’s medieval buildings and rich culture, Denmark is a great destination for solo female travel.
Another of my favourites, Canada is a wonderful destination for solo female travel. From vibrant cities to jaw dropping landscapes, Canada is one of those places that will put you under its spell.
7. Czech Republic
With its interesting and at times eventful history, the Czech Republic is a popular and safe travel destination. It’s capital city, Prague is famous for its history and beautiful architecture.
Singapore is a popular destination for solo female travel. This city state is situated on the southern tip of Malaysia and is considered one of Asia’s most multicultural cities.
From the quirky to the cultural, Japan is bound to provide a range of experiences. Ranked 9th on the Global Peace Index, it’s considered a safe destination for solo female travellers. Knowing a little Japanese is helpful for your visit.
Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is a great destination if you want to jump in a car and explore on a road trip.
Considered a safe destination for solo female travellers, Slovenia is known for its mountain, ski resorts and lakes.
Known for its beautiful Alpine landscapes, architecture and history, Switzerland has long been a popular destination for solo female travel. Perhaps because it’s also known for its chocolate.
Next up is my homeland Australia. Australia is known for its ancient landscapes, unique wildlife and multicultural cities. Keep an eye out for our drop bears.
Not just home to ABBA, IKEA and meatballs, Sweden is also home to UNESCO World Heritage sites and gorgeous hiking trails.
Finland is another destination to see the Northern lights. It’s capital Helsinki is known for its unique museums and being a safe destination for solo female.
These 15 countries are considered to have the lowest rates of crime and are amongst the safest countries for solo female travel in the world in 2018. As with any destination however, there are places where it’s recommended that tourists should take care. As with any destination you should make yourself aware of these places. Don’t forget to check any government advisories before you go.
A visit to the North Island of New Zealand would not be complete without a trip to the Bay of Plenty.
New Zealand’s North Island has so many great towns and things to see and do. The Bay of Plenty region is renowned for its beautiful beaches, interesting towns along with kiwi fruit farms. Whakatane is the base for accessing New Zealand’s only active marine volcano and is situated about one and a half hours drive, through some picturesque countryside, from Rotorua.
For my visit to the Bay of Plenty, I had booked a camping site right on the beach.
Murphy’s Holiday Camp is near Matata, on the way to Whakatane. I’d looked this place up online and its story had me hooked.
I really had no plans for my Bay of Plenty trip except for enjoying the sunshine and throwing myself in the ocean. Murphy’s camping grounds was the perfect place to do just that. Murphy’s has been around for over 50 years. It is a popular spot for locals to holiday with well maintained and clean facilities. My hosts and owners, Beck and Shane, were welcoming and I was soon shown to my camp site with front row views over the ocean. No wonder people vacation here year after year.
After a great day of relaxation and frolicking in the ocean and sleeping right on its edge, I woke up early for a day of getting lost around the Bay of Plenty.
After a short drive and a few stops to check out the sites, I soon found myself in Whakatane and falling in love with its charm. I was mesmerized by the beautiful blue bay and interesting geography that surrounds it.
Whakatane is known for its sunshine, swimming and surfing. Here you’ll find local culture, great food and plenty of walking and hiking tracks. It’s also known as a base for a visit to the active volcano, White Island, which is about 50 km out to sea. For those who want to see and explore White Island, tour operators will take you there, by launch or helicopter.
A visit to Whakatane wouldn’t be complete without a walk along the waterfront and a stroll around the centre of town. Great little cafes and shops line the streets, art, good coffee and great food.
Time spent at the Whakatane Museum and Arts is time well spent. If you want the chance to learn about Kiwis, the Whakatane Kiwi Trust conducts night walks where you’ll learn all about this interesting bird. Around this part of the Bay of Plenty you’ll also find great wineries and cellar doors. Try a locally brewed beer at the Mata Brewery tasting room.
Although I hadn’t planned to go, finding Whakatane was a highlight of my North Island Bay of Plenty road trip. It’s beautiful environs, great town center and surrounds make Whakatane the perfect place for a relaxing holiday.
Why not check Whakatane, the capital of sunshine, for yourself?
Travel inspiration is everywhere. Some of us find places to go on social media, others read books, some get their inspiration from art or history and others are inspired by looking for travel deals.
For me travel inspiration is everywhere, I want to travel to so many places in this amazing world. Art, culture and learning how other people live are the things that inspire me to travel and are what I look for in planning my destinations. I love to find off the beaten path things to do at my destinations too and the thought of finding those inspires me too.
I’m Nicky, one-half of Above Us Only Skies and my travel story began many years ago when, in my early 20’s, I headed off to backpack India. That firmly sowed the wanderlust seed and had me hankering to see more of the world.
Fast forward to 2015, married and with a corporate career that was no longer pleasurable, my husband Ian and I decided to sell our worldly belongings and travel the world….slowly! Since then we’ve backpacked, housesat and road-tripped our way through fifteen countries to date, immersing ourselves in the local culture wherever we can.
As self-confessed foodies, we love experiencing local delicacies and discovering new flavors. And we’ve found that meeting new people, sharing stories and discovering shared interests is truly empowering.
Our inspiration comes from the fact that we’re certainly not getting any younger! Even though we’re now in our 40’s and 50’s, travel has become a way of life for us and it’s something we’re eager to continue for as long as we possibly can!
You can follow our adventures, discover itineraries for slow travel, and learn more about housesitting over on our website www.aboveusonlyskies.com Please stop by and say hello!
I love experiencing different cultures, the more different to my own, the better. Airbnb is one of my loves. To lessen the burden on local communities, we stay with host families instead of having an apartment to ourselves. As a bonus we’ve developed a love of these experiences. We’ve met so many delightful hosts from different walks of life, it has become a highlight of our travels.
As we get older I personally crave going to places that some might feel are dangerous to visit (but are not). Marty is a little more conservative and the mix we come up with is perfect for us. Turkey and Istanbul are my favorite country and big city respectively. Their friendly people, exotic sights, fabulous architecture and eating cheaply in a down to earth Locanta (local café) are a shining example of what inspires me to travel.
My first trip out of the country was to Nicaragua in 1985. I went there as part of a gay and lesbian group to support the Nicaraguans who had just ousted President Samoza, a violent dictator. I was 24. We met with gay men and lesbians, as well as many grassroots leaders (gay and straight). We heard their traumas. And we heard their hopes and dreams for a better world. This was during Iran-Contra and it would have been understandable if they had been yelling at us about US policies. Instead, they welcomed us and shared their homes and bread. It was a beautiful humanizing experience.
About 15 years ago, I was in the Sinai desert with a Bedouin guide when the US invaded the middle east. Again, the human connection outweighed the politics of being a US citizen. Travel, for me is about touching the lives of people all over the world, learning the culture, eating the food, hearing the sounds and experiencing their lives. Whether it is seeing the impact of microfinancing on women in Oaxaca, Mexico or visiting a school for visually impaired children in Tibet or seeing young people performing in Kisumu, Africa, I feel more connected to humanity as a traveler. That’s why I travel.
Sue Davies is a native New Yorker and independent political activist. Her partner in life and travel, Regina Ang, is from Singapore. Together, they write the travel blog: Travel for Life Now where they share their experiences viewing temples, wildlife, culture and having affordable off-the-beaten path adventures. Favorite experiences include kayaking in Antarctica, chasing the Northern Lights in Norway and camping in the Sahara Desert.
The easier question is-“what inspires me to work?”, the answer being “travel”. I work, so that I can fulfill my travel desires without giving up on my happy family life. My husband and I are a team, and travel is our way of trying to understand life and the essence of our existence. That’s why historical places allure me, the ruins of an ancient fort in some remote place attracts me more than a Zara sale. Other than history, I love everything that is natural- mountains, oceans, forests, wildlife, rainbows and waterfall – need not be famous, in fact it rather not be famous.
I wrote my first travel blog after an all girls Bhutan trip five years ago and got a great response. But being the procrastinator that I am, I stopped completely, and wrote my second blog in May this year, after returning from my long-planned Europe vacation. Since then I have written several blogs about places I have been to with travel tips based on my experience to encourage people to go out there and discover the world. This time, I am committed to keep this going and hope to inspire you too.
I’m Linda, a 66 year old vegan and triathlete/marathon runner. My website is Linda On The Run where I share my travels while hoping to inspire others to fulfill their own travel dreams and desires.
What inspires me to travel? Our world is big and beautiful. It’s full of wonderful people and different cultures that I want to experience. New cities, beautiful vistas, good food, and new friendships enrich me and have made me a better more understanding person. Broadening my horizons with unique experiences has opened my eyes to how much we all have in common rather than our differences. I strive to find restaurants, shops, and locations when traveling that the “locals” eat and shop at, in order meet others unlike me and to experience their culture and lifestyle first hand.
The thirst to see more and do more outside of my “comfort zone” always fuels my inspiration to travel! The desire to experience the unusual and learn about others’ history fuels my travel dreams and my goal of sharing my experiences to inspire others too. Travel has been pivotal in helping me be a better me.
There’s so many things to inspire your travels. Tell us in the comments below what’s your travel inspiration?
Travelling solo for the first time is often both a daunting thing and a choice made for many reasons.
The most common reason for deciding to venture out is that our friends or family don’t have the same travel aspirations as us or that trying to organise them to travel can be like herding cats; difficult at least, but sometimes impossible. What inspires others may make your eyes turn back into your head.
Your friends and family may of course think you’ve lost the plot when you mention that you’re going it alone. Why would you want to go on your own? In most cases they are genuinely concerned for your safety rather than questioning your sanity.
If you’re ready to venture out on your own into the world, there’s a few things you can do to prepare yourself for what will be an experience you’ll never forget and one that is likely to have you addicted to travelling solo. Be careful you may never want to travel with others again.
Here’s a few things you can do to prepare to travel solo:
#1. Start small.
Take yourself away by yourself somewhere close to home. Get used to staying in an hotel, Airbnb or house sit by yourself, eating out alone and having no one to share the experience with.
#2. Go on a tour outside your country with other solos.
This will prepare you to meet new people, a skill you’ll need when you’re out on your own in the world. Often we have had the same people in our lives for many years and don’t realise how tricky it can be to form new friendships. You’ll also meet others on the tour that understand exactly how you feel and your desire to go it alone.
#3. Choose a place where you speak and read the language for your first solo destination outside your country.
Landing in a place where you not only don’t understand the language, but also can’t read what signs are saying is not only scary, it’s definitely not recommended for your first solo trip. I’ve been travelling solo for a number of years and it still gives me palpitations when I can’t read signs.
#4. Research your destination and ask others who have traveled alone there about their experiences.
This is the fun part of your planning. Remember though that how you experience the world is uniquely about you. Make sure you check your Government’s website about travel warnings.
Join us at our Facebook community where you can ask others.
#5. Book your accommodation before you go.
Make sure you know where you will be staying and book with a reliable booking site or talk to a travel agent. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the area you will be staying before you book. Sometimes cheaper options can have you staying in areas of places that you may not want to be on your own.
#6. Make sure someone knows your itinerary and has copies of your travel documents just in case.
Sometimes things happen that you can’t plan for. Expect the unexpected. Your country may also have a Government Department that you can register your travel plans with, just in case. In Australia you can register with Smart Traveller.
#7. Research appropriate clothing and the cultural nuances of your destination.
Wearing clothing that won’t make you stand out in a crowd is really important when you’re travelling alone. For example wearing runners in some places in Europe will make you stand out as a tourist where runners are for running and going to the gym. In Hong Kong you’re bound to stand out if you don’t wear runners.
Showing respect for the cultural norms of the country you are visiting will go a long way to helping you have a better solo experience.
#8. Organise some day tours.
Taking a few day tours on your solo adventure can give you the best of both worlds, time on your own and time with others.
#9 Take a taxi or book a driver from the airport to your accommodation on your first solo trip.
Taking public transport on your first solo trip abroad can be fraught with problems. Taxis at airports are usually accredited and a good option for your first time especially after a long flight. If your plane gets in late at night, it’s best to have a driver booked. Do not be tempted by a smiling face at the airport who will offer to drive you. You most likely will end up at your destination but these people are often not accredited drivers.
Once you get used to using public transport in other places this will become an integral part of your experience, but for your first time, don’t give yourself the stress.
#10. Make sure you have some back up money.
Travel isn’t cheap and you’re bound to find out that things cost more than you expected. Always make sure you have access to some extra funds just in case. That missed flight or unexpected expense might leave you stranded.
#11. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance.
You can’t leave home without it.
#12. Just do it.
If you have the desire to travel on your own, what are you waiting for? Go for it!