50 World-Class Female Travel Blogs by Real Women

If you’re a woman looking for excellent female travel blogs to support, guide and inspire your next international journey — whether to Lhasa, London, Lima or beyond — you’ve come to the right place. Today we are sharing 50 world-class travel blogs by women.

50 World-Class Female Travel Blogs by Real Women
50 World-Class Female Travel Blogs by Real Women
Real Women Winner

For sure, there is no shortage of high-quality female travel blogs on the web.

But we have selected for you the cream of the crop – exceptionally good travel blogs by women who are also keeping it real. 

These beautiful women don’t gloss over the hard stuff. Yet they are in love with exploring the far-flung corners of the world. Even though we are personally obsessed with Tibet travel, their stories of the Balkans and the wilds of Canada and of steaming noodles at food stalls in Vietnam have us dreaming of adventures all over the planet.

The women behind the blogs are gloriously diverse – married, single, lesbian, black, Hispanic, white, Asian, young, old, scrappy and delicate. There are high-heeled fashionistas and tom boys. As writers they are willing to be vulnerable, and to share their deeper fears and the hard truths. They travel with a spirit of service and gratitude and respect. Though they may make money through travel (even a lot of money), they hold their values dear. Importantly, they support other women and care about local people and cultures.

We present them to you in no special order — we admire every single one. May you find as much inspiration, food for thought, and practical advice as we have in these blogs!

Table of Contents Show

The Blonde Abroad by Kiersten Rich

https://theblondeabroad.com/

Kiersten Rich
Why we think she’s great

It’s not because her blog is hugely popular and successful, or that Forbes ranked her as a “Top 10 Travel Influencer.”  It’s more that she left a career in corporate wealth management when she found no fulfillment in her successful life. And that her first trip after a period of saving some money was to promote literacy in Bolivia, “helping Biblioworks in the small pueblo of Morado K’asa, assimilating into life as a local, and going on some daring adventures…” Plus, she’s based in Cape Town, and has a “six-member all-female team” helping run her business — how cool is that?

Keeping it real

From How The Blonde Abroad Was Started

Reading the story of how Kiersten started her travel blog is the story of her service work. From spending the spring break of her Junior year of college volunteering with Global Water Brigades, to surviving her wealth management job by working with the  Step Up Women’s Network in Los Angeles, to fundraising for Peruvian Hearts before setting off for Peru and on and on. Service is clearly a constant, real, thread in Kiersten’s life and travels. This, to us, is the heart of her story.

Check out: The Ultimate Guide to Volunteer Travel


The Blog Abroad by Gloria Atanmo

http://theblogabroad.com/

Gloria Atanmo
Why we thinks she’s great

Because of her gloriously positive vibe and the way she describes herself as both awkward and sassy. And because she genuinely appreciates the gifts she is given: “Life is good, and the way I measure that is by making sure my bare essentials are covered… I know where my next meal is coming from — fun fact, I lived off bread and butter…for several months.” 

Keeping it real

From 7 Privileges I was Made Aware of By Traveling

On the privilege of being a native English speaker abroad 

While living in Spain for a year during the peak of their economic crisis; there was never a time I was without work.

Whether I was au pairing for a family, playing semi-pro basketball, teaching private English classes, or working at a hostel, the fact that I could walk into a country and find work when almost half of the people in my same age bracket who are natives couldn’t, is indeed a privilege.

This doesn’t discount their work ethic, but being a native English speaker can open so many doors for you in a foreign country, that the fact that I never had to search for work was indeed, a privilege.

Check out: Stop Asking me How I Afford to Travel


Adventurous Kate by Kate McCulley

https://www.adventurouskate.com/

Kate McCulley
Why we thinks she’s great

As one of a handful of the most famous travel bloggers out there, Kate’s voice carries a lot of weight. We really appreciate the way she doesn’t try to sugar-coat what it’s like to be a full-time travel influencer, and how it is a struggle to balance “earning an income and not bombarding you, my dear readers, with sponsored crap all the time.” And how she turned a post about a shipwreck she experienced in Indonesia into a serious-minded public service announcement to travelers about safer options to visit Komodo Island rather than what a lesser blogger would have made into a breathless, humble-brag piece. 

Keeping it real

Even Kate’s branded posts serve up genuinely useful content:

From Six Ways to Travel More Sustainably

How can we make the most positive impact as a traveler? Here are some tips.

Support small businesses whenever you can: On almost every occasion, you can eschew chains in favor of choosing a small local business. When you do this, you’re ensuing that the money goes into the pockets of local entrepreneurs, not CEOs who really don’t need a fifth vacation home….

Talk to people — but also listen: The easiest way to create cross-cultural understanding is to talk to locals whenever you can. Don’t use them as window dressing or Instagram props — make conversation.

Check out: Adventurous Kate Gets Shipwrecked in Indonesia


Young Adventuress by Liz Carlson

https://youngadventuress.com/

Liz Carlson
Why we thinks she’s great

Her breezy, self-deprecating writing is a breath of fresh air. And she shares a passion for service that doesn’t come off as preachy.

I’m that cliche “ordinary girl on an extraordinary journey” if one is allowed to say her own life is extraordinary at 28. Basically, I travel a lot. Usually alone too, that way I don’t have to compromise…A friend once described me as cynical but kind in equal measure, a disturbingly accurate bio….I am passionate about things like good coffee, reading, being outside and conservation work (both here in New Zealand and overseas) and believe that we are in the world to do good and to grow as much as we can.

Keeping it real

From All the mean, nasty and godawful hateful things people say to me online

I get trolled a lot – people say mean things to me online – I am not sure why; I think I’m lovely…

The most popular Facebook comment in response to an article about how I built my career in blogging:

“And if she wasn’t a young blond with a penchant for putting out to old men she’d be working at Officeworks for $15/hr.”

I want to start an argument about feminism here but just can’t be fucked.

That was laugh-out-loud funny right there. Hahahahahaha!

Check out: My big issue with fear and travel


Women on the Road by Leyla Giray Alyanak

https://www.women-on-the-road.com/

Leyla Giray Alyanak
Why we thinks she’s great

She’s got some serious street cred.  In her sixties, Lelyla is a former diplomat and foreign correspondent and took her first solo trip at age 15. And we love the way her Women on the Road site is practical and useful — all about helping the traveler and not all about self-aggrandizing the blogger. Oh, and she’s a fine writer. 

Keeping it real

From Lost in a Minefield in Mozambique

Finally we saw it, beneath us, a faint strip of packed dirt, overgrown and nearly invisible. The track.

Roberto broke into wet hiccups, a sound somewhere between a sob and a giggle.

I tumbled out of the car and crumbled to my knees, throwing up on the parched earth, wiping myself with a grimy sleeve.

You know, its all part of the job,” rallied Roberto, his voice still shrill from the shock. “If we always worried about landmines, we wouldn’t go anywhere, would we?

Check out: Loving a Place to Death (and no, staying away won’t fix overtourism)


A Dangerous Business by Amanda Williams

https://www.dangerous-business.com/

Amanda Williams
Why we thinks she’s great

We love that Amanda (who is a gifted writer)

grew up on a Christmas tree farm in a small Ohio town with a good football team and even better marching band (go Raiders!). Nothing incredibly exciting happened there, except for the time in the early 90s when my neighbor (who was a mob boss) got shot and killed in his driveway….I was the geeky, smart kid in school. I liked horses and books and Harry Potter. I did competitive gymnastics and auditioned for school musicals. I wore a lot of tie-dye and teal mascara.

Keeping it real

I’m not a full-time traveler or “digital nomad.” In fact, ever since I started this blog in 2010, I’ve either been working full-time, in school full-time, or working/freelancing from a home base in Ohio. As much as I love traveling and having adventures, I also enjoy coming home to sleep in my own bed, drive my own car, and cuddle with my kitty (and I guess my husband, too).

When it comes to travel, there’s no “best” or “right” way to do it. You could fly 10,000 miles to have an adventure, or you could simply walk down the street and discover something new. Unlike some travel bloggers, I’ve never given up my “normal” life to travel long-term.

Check out: Why I’m Not Afraid to Travel Alone


OttsWorld by Sherry Ott

http://www.ottsworld.com/

Sherry Ott
Why we thinks she’s great

Sherry doesn’t prettify anything — from talking about how she hates her 40s, how she felt like a “cartoon character – the one with the big cloud over my head with rain pouring down on just me” on the Camino de Santiago — even while she’s stirring up your wanderlust with tales of driving the backroads of Ireland in a wee red car.  And we love her life lesson #93: “Certainty is overrated”

Keeping it real

From Meet Sherry — This is me 6 Years Later

Meeting people from other cultures is still where I get most of my joy. Yet there are times when I get tired of meeting new people – it’s exhausting. You go through the dance of who you are and what you do back and forth swaying side to side with swapping experiences and your life on the perimeter. Now imagine doing that practically every day for 6 years. Granted – I love the people I meet and I continue to make many new friends – but the process of going through that same song and dance every day can get old. Plus – when you really only have time to share perimeter information, you tend to never push yourself any deeper and that’s how I began to live much more internally because no one is around long enough to going deeper than the perimeter.

Check out; 99 Best Life and Travel Tips


A Little Adrift by Shannon O’Donnell

https://alittleadrift.com/

 Shannon O’Donnell
Why we thinks she’s great

Shannon was named Traveler of the Year for her work in responsible tourism, by National Geographic, and she really “walks the walk.” She has worked as a consultant for a USAID project in Kyrgystan laying the groundwork for sustainable tourism infrastructure. And she promotes “slow, local level grassroots travel” via another site: Grassroots Volunteering

Keeping it real

From A Little Honesty.. On Safety and Solo Femail Travel 

…If we boil down the core fear for solo women it’s rape. And I can’t downplay that, it’s a fear I share and it’s the main differentiating part of traveling as a solo woman—it’s my fear and the fear of every person who raises their eyebrow when I share that I travel solo. My best friend’s mother heartily disapproves of my travels. And though it often concerns the places I choose to visit (U.S. media does not treat Mexico well in the news), she has known me since I was in high school and she genuinely fears for my safety; she fears that something truly devastating will happen.

And for my family, my dad puts a lot of trust in my judgment because he seldom mentions the core dangers. He emails me travel warnings and keeps me updated on conflicts in areas nearby my travel route—so I know he’s concerned—but he trusts me treat my own life with care, and that’s the main advice I usually email to other travels: respect your own life. I take precautions and steps to mitigate the chances I am in a bad situation; I choose hostels in safe areas, I stay sober, and I stay aware.

Check out: Dispatch from Russia: Upending Cultural Assumptions


Be My Travel Muse by Kristin Addis

https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/

Kristin Addis
Why we thinks she’s great

As weather nerds, she’s a woman after our hearts, describing herself as “the one who spent hours searching the weather and capital cities of far-off places around the world, just to imagine how it would feel to be there…I was a dreamer.” And we love her classic story of how she hit the road:

Somewhere along the way, however, I started to doubt my passions and instead went for a stable career. I worked as an investment banker for four years in Newport Beach, which burned me out and pushed me to make a change. So…I quit my job in mergers and acquisitions, sold my belongings and, armed with nothing but a carry-on bag and no company but my own, took a one-way flight to Bangkok.

Keeping it real

From What I Never Told You: The Be My Travel Muse Story

With each passing year, I started to feel like I was way more ‘in’ the industry, and the back biting and shit talking started to involve me. Even though I genuinely tried to avoid it by refusing to engage in gossip, I still had a target on my back. What’s worse, I compared myself with others all the time. I also drank way too much, picked up a smoking habit for a while, and when I looked in the mirror I only felt self-loathing.

I also felt like a brat – a self absorbed, ungrateful brat. I was sitting in Patagonia, about to hike for a week in the most gorgeous place on Earth, having a nervous breakdown.

Check out:  Why Traveling is Nothing Without Spirituality


Anna Everywhere by Anna Karsten

http://annaeverywhere.com/

Anna Karsten
Why we thinks she’s great

We know that we shouldn’t pre-judge people, but Anna gave us a fresh example of how we may be misjudging some female travel bloggers. Looking at her stylish, beautiful pictures —  posing in fancy dresses in scenic spots, we figured her for just another shallow, self-obsessed and self-aggrandizing fantasy peddlar, but we were wrong. Anna, who is Polish, speaks 5 languages, traveled while completing an MA degree on scholarships, and publishing a book on international law. Her true passions are human rights law and forensic sciences. What touched us though and changed our thinking about her is her painful, honest writing about managing severe psoriasis while traveling, and that she is a recovered anorexic. She has a little baby now, and is out on the road already, still gorgeous in fancy dresses and high heels, unfazed by pushing her baby’s stroller on stony, winding European hillsides. You go, girl!

Keeping it real 

From Behind the Photos: Dealing with Psoriasis When Traveling

What people who don’t have psoriasis might not know is that it …not only prevents a lot of us from traveling and living abroad, but also very often from even leaving the house. … over 20% of people suffering from psoriasis are often depressed and 7% end in suicides. Still think it’s a silly skin problem?

.. I wore long gloves when going out with friends and stopped wearing black sweaters and coats as scales from my head flaking off looked like bad dandruff. Every time I walked into a room for a job interview or even had a drink at friends’ house I didn’t want to sit on a black sofa or a chair as it was covered in ‘snow’ from my head very quickly….

I also gave up on one of my hobbies – pole fitness, as not only I was embarrassed to attend a class in shorts and a tank top, but also flared skin was often bleeding scaring my other classmates.

Check out: Interesting Facts about Egypt That Most People Don’t Know


Legal Nomads by Jodi Ettenberg

http://www.legalnomads.com/

 Jodi Ettenberg
Why we think she’s great

Let us count the ways. First up, anyone has to love a woman who quit her corporate attorney gig to visit Siberia. Second, we admire the way she is going really deep to reframe a life with celiac disease, navigating living abroad and traveling, and finding joy in the gifts she has. And third, her focus on connecting to cultures through deep explorations into the local food, because how wonderful is that? 

Keeping it real 

From Why I Love Saigon 

On her love of a certain “prison” pho spot in Saigon, a perfect description of the way that a scrappy local joint can win your heart on the road:

…one of my favourites in town is a Hanoi-style pho called Thanh Binh, which is open late and has a rich broth with a generous portion of meat. We called it Prison Pho because the soup is served in what feels like a prison yard of sorts, under a ripped canopy and beside chain-link fence, garbage swept off the table and onto the floor, a favourite of taxi drivers and xe om drivers and — now, at least — friends of a Canadian named Jodi.

But more importantly, it has granny. With a cropped cut of snowy hair and the most enthusiastic of daytime pyjamas, granny sits on a lawn chair just outside the pho joint, surveying people, traffic and the goings on in her restaurant. Occasionally one of her many sons will come and sit next to her, one with a feline face and bright white hair, the other younger with a moustache and a sad look behind his eyes. She sits with a wad of cash, boss of it all.

Check out: How to Eat Street Food Without Getting Sick 


Solo Traveler by Janice Waugh and Tracey Nesbitt

https://solotravelerworld.com/

Janice Waugh and Tracey
Why we thinks they’re great

Janice and Tracey have created a genuine community for solo travelers, with solid, comprehensive resources. We like their honest voices – and we like the way they share stories from a wide variety of other solo travelers. We love the way they don’t try to sound cool or badass –  but they are both, earned from years of rich solo travel experiences.

Keeping it real

From Great Advice for Solo Trip Confidence: You’ll Be Okay

Janice’s advice on keeping your confidence as a solo traveler:

Get a local contact.
Remember six degrees of separation? Well, that number was determined based on snail mail – well before Facebook. Now you likely have a friend of a friend just about anywhere in the world who is local and whom you could meet for a coffee or call should you have a moment of anxiety…

Be patient with yourself.
Take things slowly. If possible, plan something simple for your first day like a city tour or a museum visit. Take the time to sit, watch, see how things function, let the rhythm of your destination catch you, and then go with it.

Find what’s familiar.
There are international brands that look and work in a familiar fashion everywhere in the world. Think Starbucks or McDonalds. If you need a taste of home, go to one of these places for an hour.

Check out: Solo Travel Mistakes + Travel Money Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Indiana Jo by Jo Fitzsimons

https://indianajo.com/

Jo Fitzsimons
Why we thinks she’s great

Because she hated her job as a lawyer in London “on a full-time basis.” And that she calls herself a “terrible” traveler, and that a “‘good days’ exploring’ often finds me face down in a book in a coffee shop for 5 hours at a time.” And because of the poignant, lovely post she wrote about her first trip after her mother’s death.

Keeping it real

From The Things I No Longer Say

On the things she no longer says to friends and family:

Once upon a time, pre-travel, I used to rant and rave about my upcoming holidays. I’d gush about where I was going. I’d pull up pictures online sharing the beauty of the beaches or cities I was about to see. Even in my first year of travel I’d share picture after picture of my trip, and I’d make my friends and family sit through a painful stint of photo viewing. I would, of course, supply wine to help them pass the time – I’m not that bad a friend.

But when you travel full-time, your endless travel plans get old dead quick…

When I had a desk job that I rubbed along with but dreamed of escaping, people would sit for hours as I bitched about office life. Short deadlines, angry phone calls, files lost, paper cuts gained. I could wax lyrical about the bane of corporate life and my audience was captive (again, the wine supplied might have helped).

When you travel full-time, people simply don’t take your complaints seriously.

If I whine about 83% humidity in Cartagena I get an eye roll because all people see is the hot yellow sun sign and 28 degrees. What on earth is there to complain about 28 degree sunshine?

Check out: Tips for Your First Time Stay in a Hostel


Hey Ciara by Ciara Johnson

https://www.heyciara.com/

Ciara Johnson
Why we thinks she’s great

(Besides her radiant smile!) She fell in love with travel by teaching basic accounting concepts to indigenous communities in Panama through a study abroad program. Chiara offers plain, actionable travel tips for newbies and experienced travelers alike.

Keeping it real

From What Really Went Down on my Solo Trip Through Latin America after Quitting my Job 

I woke up one day & decided to go paragliding in Medellin, Colombia and it was pure ecstasy. It was then that I decided fear wouldn’t stop me from doing anything in life…. I also got robbed at knife-point in Medellin, Colombia. Oh, the literal highs and lows of travel.

Check out: How to Find the Best Restaurants When You Travel


My Adventures Across the World by Claudia Tavani

https://myadventuresacrosstheworld.com/

Claudia Tavani

Why we thinks she’s great

First up, she’s a former human rights lawyer from Sardinia, and this is her tagline: “The Life and Rants of an Honest Traveler.” And we love that she says a self-proclaimed cynic of voluntourism, preferring that volunteers have actionable skills and be willing to work on projects longer term. Claudia freely admits to “drinking beer and watching TV by myself — in fact, I need time by myself quite often.” Sure, that seems natural, but very few travel bloggers include stuff like that on their About Me pages. 

Keeping it real

From The Complete Guide to Becoming a More Responsible Traveler

There is an ongoing trend among the backpackers’ community that suggests you can travel the world for free or at least for very very cheap, if you pick random jobs along the way. This is not the right post to get into a discussion about free travel (which is a myth, by the way). All I want to say is that, if you really want to be a responsible traveler, you really need to pick the jobs you do along the way (and where and how you do them) wisely.
 
You know that receptionist or hostel job in exchange for a bed in Antigua Guatemala? It surely helps you to save a whopping $5 to $10 USD per day. You will celebrate your savings; and at the same time the hostel owner will celebrate not having to actually pay a stipend; but the local who’d get that job instead will be left unable to support his family.
 
If you really want to volunteer, do so for an actual cause. And even in this case, put your responsible tourist hat on and do a thorough research before you surrender your time, skills (and at times even money) to an organization that is supposed to bring relief to a local community.

Check out: 30 Things You Should Consider Before Traveling to Patagonia


Kami and the Rest of the World by Kamila Napora

https://www.mywanderlust.pl/

Kamila Napora

Why we thinks she’s great

Kami, a Polish travel blogger writing in English, has a down-to-earth perspective, and we appreciate that she balances full time work with travelling all over the world. Plus, she focuses on a unique set of areas — Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former USSR and the Middle East. 

Keeping it real

From Centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan

It keeps surprising me why I’m that interested in Armenian Genocide. I don’t have any Armenian origins, I don’t know many Armenians… But these heavy, difficult issues interest me big time and some (like that or Sarajevo siege) are more fascinating than other. I must admit few years ago I didn’t know much about the Armenian Genocide, it was System of a Down songs and my first visit to Yerevan in 2012 that made me more and more curious about the issue. For some reason we don’t learn all that much about it at schools and we really should. It was the first genocide of the 20th century and maybe if the world had reacted more strongly to it the history would have been different and less tragic events would have occurred over the past hundred years…

Check out:  Your Ultimate Balkan Travel Guide


Jessie on a Journey by Jessica Festa

https://jessieonajourney.com/

Jessica Festa
Why we thinks she’s great

Her how-I-became-a-travel-blogger is so real and encouraging to newbies:

“When I finally got a “real job” they wouldn’t let me have any time off for travel until I had been there for six months. And even when I got the time off, it was only two weeks for the whole year.  I loved slow travel and really spending time in a place to get to know it, and knew in my heart the job situation was not going to work…

So I started waitressing full-time until I could come up with a plan, which allowed me to work overtime while I was home to pay off loans and bills, but also request off freely when the travel bug would hit.

Then one day I stumbled upon a travel writing class (funny enough, …Meeting the other students and alumni and reading blogs, I realized it was possible — as in real-life-this-isn’t-made-up — to combine my passions and make a living doing what I loved. 

Today I split my time at home in NYC and on the road. And even though I travel somewhere almost every month — mainly on my own — I still have a bucket list and things that make me nervous. But once you take one step in the direction of your dreams you’ll be able to take another.

Keeping it real

From 10 Pieces of Travel Advice to Ignore

On ignoring the idea that you need to be rich to travel:

Along with being a writer, my job titles have included waitress, cashier and telemarketer. I’ve never had a particularly high-paying salary, and I’ve always managed to be able to take extended trips. Just because you can’t afford to stay in five-star hotels and eat at Michelin-starred restaurants every night doesn’t mean you need to stay home. Use some budgeting tips, and you’ll realize a little cash can go a long way. Travel during shoulder season, stay in budget hotels or hostels, travel to countries with favorable exchange rates, avoid restaurants with English menus, take public transportation or walk instead of cabbing it and travel slowly instead of hopping between 10 different cities. While you may not be living in the lap of luxury, you’ll still experience a new culture and enjoy the benefits of travel.


Check out: 35 Money-Saving, Point-Earning Travel Booking Hacks


Breathedreamgo by Mariellen Ward

https://breathedreamgo.com/

Mariellen Ward
Why we think she’s great

Mariellen is turning people on to ecotourism in India, a place not commonly associated with responsible and sustainable tourism. She’s truly committed to her spiritual journey. Plus we love her flowy, creative, relaxed vibe. And she’s Canadian — who doesn’t love Canadians?

Keeping it real

From Responsible tourism guide to India

Sure, I remember going to the Taj Mahal in Agra and Amber Fort in Jaipur, but the experiences that have really stuck with me, transformed me as a traveller, and made me grow as a human being have been at a much more grassroutes level. It’s living or staying with an Indian family, exploring the jungles of central India, volunteering at a yoga ashram, seeing some of the incredible birds and wildlife … and generally getting out of the cities and main tourist hot-spots to explore rural and wild India.

Check out:  India Travel Guide


Teacake Travels by Alice Teacake

https://www.teacaketravels.com/

Alice Teacake
Why we think she’s great

YAHSSS to this:

Travel doesn’t just have to be cocktails, bikinis and pretty Instagram pictures. It can also be about sweat, challenge and discovering what you’re truly capable of!

Plus, she supports upcoming female travel bloggers. And we love her feisty, funny writing.

Keeping it real

From 5 Lessons i Learned Being Sexually Assaulted in India

I’d love to be sitting here telling you that India is totally safe for solo female travellers. That’s unfortunately not going to happen today…and for quite a number of years. Decades?

Two months on from my experience of being sexually assaulted in India, this is what needs to be said…

Check out: 10 Thing You Need to Know for the Adventurists Mongol Rally


P.S. I’m On my Way by Trisha Velarmino

https://psimonmyway.com/

Trisha Velarmino
Why we think she’s great

Her introduction to Asian travel was because of stalking her favorite soccer teams around Asia. She volunteers wherever she goes, and she stays in places long-term to “learn how to eat, cook, speak and live like a local…I just live: letting things flow…There’s no need to rush anyway.”

Keeping it real

From 4 years ago, I told you to Quit your Job to Travel the World. Now I’m Kinda Taking it Back

Wait, what? You said it was easy to quit your job to travel the world? I know. And I’m sorry I wasn’t able to reiterate it’s perils. …And so, I vowed to myself to tell the truth about this whole make-believe world. It’s harsh….

Check out: Traveling in your 20s vs Traveling in your 30s: a Reflection on the Great Big Move to Mexico


Flora the Explorer by Flora Baker

https://floratheexplorer.com

Flora Baker
Why we thinks she’s great

Because of the way she describes her first long-term backpacking experience as “six months exploring Nepal, India and Thailand, busying myself with looking after orphans, working with Bollywood singing sensations, learning how to make compost toilets, and impulsively cutting off all my hair in an Indian hostel bathroom.” And because a whole category of her blog is dedicated to volunteering. 

Keeping it real

From Five Things to Know Before Travelling to Bolivia

I’ve been in Bolivia for fourteen weeks. During that time I’ve visited nine cities, taken part in two volunteer projects and spent way too long stressing about an overstayed visa.

My sense of relief at leaving Bolivia is palpable.

Because while I’ve seriously enjoyed the time I’ve spent travelling in Bolivia, there’s no doubt that over the last three months it’s also slowly been driving me crazy.

…Bolivia has a number of idiosyncrasies that have the ability to make or break a traveller’s experience here.

Once you get off the well-trodden gringo trail of La Paz, Sucre, Potosí and the Uyuni salt flats, it turns out that Bolivia isn’t very set up for tourism. And while I relish the challenge of navigating a non-touristy country, there are a myriad of barriers to surmount – mainly in terms of transport, money, food, culture, and the country’s unique method of giving advice.

Check out: Volunteering


Traveln Lass by Dyanne Kruger

http://www.travelnlass.com/

Dyanne Kruger
Why we thinks she’s great

She was a backpacker in her 30s, as a student at universities in France and Italy. No biggie you say? She was also at the time a single mom with two kids in tow!! What the what??? The word badass gets thrown around a lot these days but this to us is serious badassery. Oh, and then she backpacked solo across South Africa and Mozambique at age 60. 

Keeping it real

From 43 Random Things You Might Not Know About Me

My first ever job was welding handles onto electric fry pans in a sweltering Chicago factory in the summer. My father got me the job. I lasted 2 weeks. It was then that I vowed to earn a bazillion degrees so that I never, ever had to do that again.

By now you probably think I’m a tad crazy. Some lunatic that is utterly fearless, and likely has a trust fund to finance her incessant globe-trotting ways…But actually, just an ordinary lass on a perpetual shoestring, with a handful of fears and doubts…. An ordinary girl with pretty much the same obstacles you might face in pursuing your own dreams of traveling the world. A single mom, a once highly-paid-office-drone-turned-struggling-entrepreneur, and now a woman “of a certain age”.

Check out: Turning lemons into Lemonade in Paute


Heart my Backpack by Silvia Lawrence   

https://www.heartmybackpack.com

Silvia Lawrence
Why we thinks she’s great

Because she’s from Worcester, Massachusetts in the US, but she moved to Norway after being a full-time traveler to try to find a balance between continuing to explore off the beaten path places around the world while also building a home in Norway. And that since 2014 she’s “traveled solo through Iran and the Caucasus, backpacked around the Middle East, and fallen in love with the Balkans.”

Keeping it real

From 19 Awkward Things That Happen When you Return from Backpacking

4. You’re like, so over television. Until you aren’t and you binge watch all the episodes of your favorite series that you missed while away over one pathetic weekend…

18. You spend way too much time in Facebook groups for travelers giving people tips on places you’ve been, and secretly pretending that you’re still a backpacker yourself.

Check out: How I Saved $44,000 to Travel the World


Bunch of Backpackers by Manouk Bob

https://www.bunchofbackpackers.com/

Manouk Bob
Why we thinks she’s great

Manouk is a smarty-pants with big degrees – both an MD and PhD (damn, girl!!) – but she’s got a cheerful, girl-next-door vibe that belies the fact that she’s also a badass adventurer. The destinations in her recent blog posts read like a modern day Gertrude Bell: hiking the Tatra mountains in Poland, surf camp in Taghazout, and hiking (without a guide) in Mestia, Svaneti – Mazeri, Guli, Koruldi to Ushguli (what the what??). 

Keeping it real

From 3 Ways Backpacking makes you a more responsible traveler

On how backpacking supports the local economy:

Generally, backpackers eat at street stalls or small family-run places offering the best curry or falafel sandwich, to sleep in locally-owned guesthouses or hostels and to buy tours directly from a local tour operator. By traveling this way, you ensure that your money goes directly to the local economy. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, community-based tourism has become very popular, which makes it very easy to organise home stays, yurt stays and local guides through the community-based tourism offices. Of course, spending time with locals remains one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in a country.

Check out: Backpacking the Silk Road: An Ultimate Overview


The Fearful Adventurer by Torre Deroche

http://www.fearfuladventurer.com/

Torre Deroche
Why we thinks she’s great

Her fabulous, funny writing!  Like this: 

This blog is a safe space for the anxious, the lost, the chronically awkward and the existentially confused. Because who the fuck knows really?

And all the other perfectly timed, spare and lucid words in her blog.

Keeping it real

From A Confrontation with Falling

Everyone else on the tour was extremely nervous about climbing 4,095 metres to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, but I was not. I’d just finished walking several weeks in Italy, doing twenty to thirty kilometres a day while nursing a case of crippling tendonitis.

But this was only a two-day trek, walking six kilometres on the first day and ten on the second. And with a tour group, no less. I had this. I was going to conquer the crap out of that mountain. I was going to make that mountain my bitch….

Day Two: 3 a.m.

Terror froze me to the rocky wall and I gasped through a warm stream of tears. “I can’t do this. I CAN’T DO THIS!”

Check out: An Unexpected Pilgrimage


A Broken Backpack by Melissa Giroux 

https://abrokenbackpack.com/

Melissa Giroux
Why we thinks she’s great

We love that her photos are not high gloss fantasy land. She looks, and writes, like a real person that could be your lovable, funny friend. 

Keeping it real

From Thoughts on Long Term Travel (4 1/2 Years Later)

…You’re asking yourself when was the last time you were real.
Long-term travel is a lot more than just carrying a backpack.
In fact…I’m now carrying some kinds of baggage acquired on the road.
I lost my communications skills.
I became an avoider.
I ran away too many times.
I struggle to let people in.
I’m good at pretending.
All these encounters don’t feel this magical anymore. The things I liked so much about traveling such as sharing moments with strangers have evolved.  In fact, I get my “I love to travel” feeling when I’m on my own now.

Check out: Guide to Moving to Bali — Expats in Bali


Lili’s Travel Plans by Liesbeth (Lili)

https://www.lilistravelplans.com/

Liesbeth (Lili)
Why we thinks she’s great

Because Lili describes her journey as the “real (mis)adventures of a girl who’s too busy living to even THINK about looking perfect for her daily Instagram shot.” And how the point of everything she writes seems to be an ongoing journey in learning how to keep it real — how to “use my own voice. To drop the filters and focus on the reality of travel and how it makes me feel. To stop informing people and start inspiring them instead.” It’s working Lili — we’re inspired!

Keeping it real

From Not so Glamorous Moments on the Road

Apparently, looking perfect has become more important than enjoying the experience….

A while ago I received hate mail for writing an honest story about a shitty not-so-perfect experience because “you shouldn’t write things like that, or people are never going to want to go there…” (That’s the censored version…) Apparently, travel bloggers are supposed to be ‘selling the dream’, NOT telling people about their real experiences. 

Now I’m not one to voluntarily shatter people’s dreams into pieces, and I apologize in advance, but I HAVE to call bullshit! Let me tell you a secret…

Traveling ISN’T always perfect and sometimes most of the time your average traveler DOESN’T look like a superstar while they’re trying to keep it together at 38°C and 95% of humidity after being scammed for the 17th time that day…

I’m just saying…

Check out: City Tripping Czech Republic – Let’s “czech’ out Alternative Prague, Olomouc, Ostrava and Bruo


Oneika the Traveler by Oneika Raymond

http://www.oneikathetraveller.com/

Oneika Raymond
Why we thinks she’s great

Because she uses her star power as a high-profile blogger, journalist and TV travel expert to inspire people of color to see the world. Oneika is an ambassador, not only bridging divides with her tolerant yet plain-spoken contemplations of what it’s like “travelling while black,” but also raising awareness of the charms of places like Bolivia or Sri Lanka that many travelers might otherwise avoid out of “fear, stereotypes, and half-truths about safety.

Keeping it real

From What Being Black and Abroad Means to Me

Being Black and Abroad sometimes means going to places and doing “the nod” when you see another black person.  Because in some places there aren’t many of you. You do that slight downward tilt of the head to acknowledge and recognize this phenomenon, sometimes to the surprise, glee, or discomfort of your non-black travel companions.  “Do you know that guy over there?” No, I don’t. But I *see* him.

-Being Black and Abroad sometimes means being a representative of the whole black race for those who are not of African descent. You become the de facto expert on the full range of black issues the diaspora over. You will be asked about Obama and Boko Haram, Mandela and Will Smith. Your individual actions will be superimposed on the whole black community so you try to act in ways that will only reflect positively on your people– you don’t want to sully the travel waters for your brother or sister. You will be told about a black friend, acquaintance, or stranger that you resemble, though the only thing you may share is a skin colour and a sex.

Check out: Why I Travel to Romantic Places Solo


Probe around the Globe  by Naomi

https://probearoundtheglobe.com/

Naomi
Why we thinks she’s great

She identifies as a train fanatic, history nerd and cheese lover who will order anything on the menu as long as it has cheese in it. Oh, and a woman after our hearts wtih “self-proclaimed travel planning OCD.” Naomi is powerfully honest about the challenges of traveling with Chrohn’s disease.

Keeping it real

From How to Survive a Road Trip with Crohn’s Disease 

Are you going on a road trip or do you have to travel anywhere by car? And you have Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis or another inflammatory bowel disease related illness? Travelling can be a pain in the bum when you have an IBD….Frequent and severe diarrhoea are part of the game too.

For frequency think more than 4 times in 1 hour and by severe think about Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids “It’s coming out of me like lava”. 

Check out:  21 Questions about Travel on the Trans Mongolian Railway


MarocMama by Amanda Ponzio-Mouttaki

https://marocmama.com/

Amanda Ponzio-Mouttaki
Why we thinks she’s great

As an American world traveler living in Morocco, Amanda has a delightfully no-nonsense way of bringing her seemingly exotic and foreign experience down to earth. Oh, right, she’s just like me! If she hasn’t already, Amanda should get a prize for diplomacy by travel blog. 

Keeping it real

From 10 Tips for Women Visiting Morocco

You’re not the first woman to visit Morocco.

Tales of female travelers to Morocco are in English literature from the beginning of the 20th century (Edith Wharton anyone?) There are millions of tourists that visit every year and yes, that means many of them are women. Morocco is as safe for a woman to visit as any other country. There are some general precautions to keep in mind but if you traveled anywhere in the world you will be facing similar issues.

Every day thousands of women visit and millions more live here. Traveling in Morocco as a woman is not a new thing. Morocco is safe for female tourists. But it is important to be aware of cultural norms. Also know tourists are given quite a bit of leeway when it comes to dress and behavior. You don’t not need to dress or act as locals would. There’s no dress code for Morocco, though a general amount of respect is appreciated and advised.

Check out:  The Ultimate First-Timer’s Guide to Morocco


Thelma and Louise by founders Christine Davies and Grace Frankel 

https://www.thelmandlouise.com/

Christine Davies and Grace Frankel
Why we think it’s great

Because the site says it “is a club where women, friendship and travel come together,” and the cool thing is it really is all that. Women travelers can find a travel buddy through the site, which started when one of the founders, Christine Davies, needed a travel partner for a trip to Ayers rock in Australia and found one through her sister. 

Keeping it real

From From bickering to best travel buddies: Suz and Amy

When Suz and Amy, both in their 60s, first met in New Zealand in 2015 their travels weren’t immediate plain sailing. The original plan, hatched on Thelma & Louise, had been to travel in a campervan with two other women, but after various powwows failed to solve some bickering, the group split and Suz and Amy struck out on their own…But goddess bless Thelma & Louise because a lovely Australian woman living in New Zealand who had originally wanted to come on the tour but felt tied with her dogs and husband turned up, took us home, fed us, gave us lovely single rooms each, listened to our woes, lent us a flask and two cups and other bits, advised us about the usefulness of Op Shops (NZ charity shops) and took us to the rental place the next morning.

Check out: Inspirational Women Travellers: Maxine, Carol and Andrea a.k.a The Sri Lankashire Lasses


Gotta Keep Movin’ by Emma Higgins

http://gottakeepmovin.com/

Emma Higgins
Why we thinks she’s great

Emma is a seriously slow traveler, dedicating a year to each location she visits, allowing her to get “under the skin” of the place. We admire her penchant for wild camping — just finding a place and camping there — something we’re way too weenie to do. 

Keeping it real

I’d say the worst part about wild camping alone is having to wait for a suitable time to go back to your chosen spot after sun-down. Those hours around 6-9pm can really drag when you have little money to spend in a pub and no one else to talk to…I love travelling alone and have done so for five years, but I’ve never wished to be with other people more than I did during these few days in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Finally the time came to set up camp. I got to the top of the cliff and took a good few steps back from the side – the last thing I wanted to do was wake up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break, step out my tent, and fall of a cliff.

Before I went to sleep, I sat in the opening of my tent and looked out over the ocean as dark started settling in. These are the times I do enjoy being alone. When I’ve set everything up and feel happy with the spot I’ve chosen – when the scenery around you is so beautiful that it’s comforting. I can’t be anything but content in these moments.

Check out: Travel Light: How to Purge Weight from Your Suitcase


Social Girl Traveler by Jen Morilla

http://www.thesocialgirltraveler.com/

Jen Morilla
Why we thinks she’s great

Because she’s walking the walk of traveling with purpose and genuinely using her influence to make a positive impact on the places she travels. In her About page, Jen says, “I carry clean water filters to developing countries and dispense them to communities that need them. On my trips, I am always renovating schools, building homes, and working with women co-ops to help them with their businesses in exchange for a unique cultural experience. As I travel, I educate communities on hygiene and the importance of clean water.”

Keeping it real

From 17 Things They Don’t Tell You About Trekking in the Himalayas

Bring toilet paper. Lots of it! It’s the most valuable commodity and the most expensive. A roll is usually $5.00.  Did you hear that? $5.00 DOLLARS, PEOPLE!

Mt. Everest isn’t the only mountain in the Himalayas – Spoiler Alert!

You won’t shower for a few days. Get used to your own smell. 

Baby wipes won’t work after Day 2 of no shower. Purchase stronger wipes.

You’ll walk alone a lot. Get to know yourself.

Check out: 5 Reasons to Join an Impact Trip


The Wayfarer’s Book by Amy

http://www.thewayfarersbook.com/

Amy
Why we thinks she’s great

Because Amy writes with a plain-spoken, beautiful simplicity, like this from her About me page:

My first travel memories are of the car, long road trips to see our grandparents, how our mom would pack shoestring licorice and Froot Loops so we could make cereal necklaces, how my dad would interrupt our story cassette tapes to listen to talk radio from noon to three, how we would stare out the windows in a sleepy daze once twilight fell and it was impossible to read anymore. After that would be…a three hour walk from the train station in King’s Lynn to my hostel in Burnham Deepdale (lesson learned: always check the bus timetable).”

Keeping it real

From Things I Wear that Fashionable Russian Women Do Not

I noticed I was getting some unwanted female attention. It’s hard to describe exactly the stares they were giving me. It was more like a symphony of disapproval. Usually it started with the eyebrow raise of surprise, followed by a delicate forehead wrinkle of disgust, then finishing off with a subtle eye roll of annoyance. I clearly was an ugly duckling waddling around on the streets on Saint Petersburg. Walking arm-in-arm with their beaus (who were invariably carrying flowers for their lady), these women had perfected every look, from jeans and a sweater to high heels, cocktail dress, and professional-looking makeup they probably learned at age seven. So I made a mental list of things that Fashionable Russian Women don’t wear. 

Jean Capris

Does no one else in the world wear these?? Since I had packed poorly for September in Russia and northern Europe (aka I had forgotten my full-length and totally normal jeans), my jean capris (and I had brought two pairs, mind you) became my go-to.

While American blue jeans might have swept across the globe, I’m not sure anyone in Russia has even seen jean capris. The looks I garnered were somewhere between confusion and disgust. Where had the rest of my pants gone? Why would I leave the house looking like a Dickens-era pauper?

Excellent questions, chic Russian ladies.

Check out: http://www.thewayfarersbook.com/6-reasons-why-tallinn-is-perfect-for-your-next-european-adventure/


Never Ending Footsteps by Lauren Juliff

https://neverendingfootsteps.com

Lauren Juliff
Why we think she’s great

Like most every travel blogger, Lauren has been obsessed with traveling for as long as she can remember. But unlike every other blogger, she tells the whole story, like this: “When I was five years old, my parents had to drag me home from yet another miserable English vacation where it rained non-stop and we did nothing but argue. I couldn’t stop sobbing. Our week away had sucked and yet, I would have done anything to stay. I was always happiest whenever I was exploring somewhere new.” We are seriously impressed by how she systematically, scientifically, built a framework that would allow her to work as a digital nomad, soldiering on through multiple failures, a debilitating anxiety disorder, and anorexia. (And, oh, she studied for a Masters in Theoretical Physics.) 

Keeping it real

From About Lauren

I didn’t have a huge amount of money or savings when I decided I wanted to see the world — there are no rich relatives funding my adventures. Instead, for the next five years, I made travel my priority. Whenever I wanted to buy something new, I’d equate every $30 to an extra day I could spend exploring Southeast Asia, and then suddenly, I didn’t want that new jacket or lipstick so much anymore.

My first step towards travel was to increase my savings so that I could dedicate at least a year to the world. I crossed this off the list by working various crappy retail jobs, earning $8 an hour while studying full-time at university. I sold anything I owned that I didn’t have a sentimental attachment to. I didn’t eat out at mealtimes and I didn’t buy anything I didn’t need. I even moved in with my parents for several months after the end of a relationship!

By staying focused on this goal, I was able to save £15,000 ($24,000) over those five years, and I estimated this would be enough to keep me on the road for a year or two.

Check out: Why Seeing the Snow Monkeys in Japan Sucked

Girls Wanderlust by Daphne van der Pol and Tamara Stuijit

https://girlswanderlust.com/

Daphne van der Pol and Tamara Stuijit
Why we think they are  great

We love that Daphne, who along with Tamara runs Girls Wanderlust, has a wooden pirate treasure chest where she keeps her collection of articles on travel destinations she dreams of visiting. And that on her first, life-changing, trip abroad she helped build a house for disabled people in South Africa. The posts by her partner Tamara are refreshingly unjaded. We loved her look at Oaxaca City in Mexico and her deep dive into its food culture

Keeping it real

From 10 Ways to Overcome Loneliness While Traveling Solo

Set yourself a 10-person challenge — Play a game! Get your lazy ass out of your room and go explore. Strike up a conversation with at least 10 strangers. For sure, you will meet new people. 

Overnight in hostels — A hostel is by far the best way to meet new people! Hang out in the kitchen or the lobby, and start a conversation about where else people have traveled or ask for sightseeing tips. Food also connects people! Try your chance during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Also, when you see people play a game, just ask if you could join!

Check out: https://girlswanderlust.com/harmful-tourist-attractions/


Claire’s Footsteps  by Claire Martin

https://clairesfootsteps.com/

Claire Martin
Why we thinks she’s great

A lot of travel bloggers pay lip service to sustainability but Claire really focuses on walking the talk. Her blog is dedicated to finding a way to “explore and see the world, while living sustainably….

I put this into practice on a backpacking trip around China, where I lived as locally as possible and travelled by trains throughout the country; but when I got to Australia, my love for overlanding really kicked off.

A year later and I’ve worked out a way to minimize the impact that I have on the environment and had as many cultural experiences as possible – both modern Australian and Aboriginal.” ” (From Claire’s About Me.)

Keeping it real

From Is Elephant Nature Park Ethical?

…I’d kind of written off sanctuaries. I’d heard too many stories about them not actually being sanctuaries, many of them still using chains and whips to train the animals and encouraging them to behave unnaturally. And that’s true…

A lot of ‘sanctuaries’ are now aware that tourists don’t want to cause harm to elephants by riding them, but they still make the elephants do unnatural things and ‘perform a show’ for the tourists. And many sanctuaries still chain the elephants at night and keep them in some form of captivity.

Check out: Hiking and Camping on the Great Wall of China


The Professional Hobo by Nora Dunn

https://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/

Nora Dunn
Why we thinks she’s great

As a former financial planner, Nora has an expert and refreshingly practical perspective on traveling in a financially sustainable way. She travels slow, and often works in exchange for accommodation. And we like her experienced, straightforward writing, that we find funny. Like describing a Thai message: “When her opening move was to press on the backs of my legs with the sort of pressure that I thought could only come with the assistance of heavy machinery, I asked her to lighten up the pressure a bit. She laughed. This was not that kind of place.”

Keeping it real

From Heaven and Hell: Panchakarma as a Reflection of (My Time in) India

So while I’m going to admit up front that on the whole I didn’t like India, it’s not a definite statement about the country or people, nor am I discounting the opinions of the many people who love India. It’s not a challenge or a competition.

My context for being in India was completely wrong. I believe India is great for somebody who wants an exotic experience. Something completely different. An adventure. A challenge.

This was not me.

I’m fundamentally tired of traveling, and I’m officially looking for the next place I can call “home” (at least, “home” for a while, if not forever…) At the very least, I need some modicum of stability and grounding.

Check out: How to Manage Your Money: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Planning for Travelers


Something in her Ramblings by Lauren Salisbury

http://somethinginherramblings.com/

Lauren Salisbury
Why we think she’s great

Because she’s a San Francisco Giants fan! (Y’all know YoWangdu Experience Tibet is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, right?) Just kidding, it’s more because we love Lauren’s unexpected, powerfully honest story of her first big solo trip, backpacking up Australia’s East Coast. (See an excerpt just below…) Lauren has moved to California and doesn’t actively blog, but her great content is still live on her site.

Keeping it real

From My Journey as a Woman Solo Traveler 

…I wasn’t scared, but I have to be honest and say that for most of the trip I was miserable, engulfed by my loneliness.

… I felt awkward and stupid to be travelling alone and, being an introvert, was too shy to talk to the groups of fellow travelers. They must after all, be cooler than me because they had companions and I was solo.

The low point for me came during a two-day sailing trip around the Whitsundays. Backpacker after backpacked raved about this group of islands and hailed it as the highlight of their time in Australia.

I, however, hated the Whitsundays.

Those two days drifted on forever and I drowned in my Taylor Swift-esque sorrows. I even wrote in my journal something along the lines of “Lauren, don’t let time paint a different picture of the Whitsundays in your mind. Don’t ever forget how miserable you were here and how much you hated it.”

…to this day I’ve never forgotten how lonely I felt sitting on the helm of the white sailboat, looking out at the stunning scenery and feeling only sadness.

No, time didn’t paint over the fears, discomforts and loneliness I felt on this trip with false bright colors. But…

Time made me understand that these discomforts were part of the breaking in process for a solo traveler. To travel alone comfortably one must first learn to be alone and this is rarely a pain-free process.

And above all, time made me incredibly proud. When I was 21 I took a three-week bus trip by myself in a foreign country, alone. No one can ever take this achievement away from me.

Check out: Looking Outward: Lessons in Hope From Around the World 


The Insatiable Traveler by Susan Portnoy

https://theinsatiabletraveler.com/

Susan Portnoy
Why we thinks she’s great

Susan doesn’t try to make her exotic life as a freelance travel photographer, writer and blogger sound like rainbows and sparkles all the time. 

My hope is to become independently wealthy, travel the world for six months out of every year, and share my adventures along the way. However, that’s not as easy as it sounds so I travel as often I can and make pictures along the way.

If her outstanding photography — especially of stunning wide vistas around the world — doesn’t throw a fit of wanderlust on you, we reckon nothing will.

Keeping it real

From 10 Tips to Help You Break Out of Your Travel Bubble

9. Try hands-on activities

Another great way to immerse yourself in a destination is to sign up for classes with a cultural spin you can take part in. I’ve done cooking classes, wine tastings, jewelry making, anything where I can learn about a place hands on. I’m heading to Vienna in a few weeks and while I’m there I’m going to learn how to dance the Viennese Waltz. Fun right?

10. Lay off the selfies

Ok, I get wanting pictures of yourself enjoying your holiday, but manic selfie-taking (and you know who you are) needs to stop–at least turn it down a notch. If you’re so focused on yourself how can you possibly see the world around you? And that’s what traveling is all about – right?

Check out:  Breathtaking Views Around the World Worth Traveling For


Keep Calm and Travel by Clelia Mattana

https://www.keepcalmandtravel.com/

Clelia Mattana
Why we think she is great

Born in Sardinia, Clelia has a refreshingly plain way of expressing herself, like this gem:

I  realize that not only I am finally in the land of kangaroos, with my body cursing in Arabic, but also that after having traveled for more than 30 hours … I SMELL LIKE A FREAKING CAMEL CROSSING THE SAHARA DESERT.

Keeping it real 

From From “I Know it All” Travel Expert to “I Want My Mommy” in 4 Months

Sadly my family has been the biggest disappointment so far.

I tried several times to involve them in my project and proudly showed them my blog. I even installed a plugin to translate my posts in Italian, as they don’t know a word of English.

In 4 months they never opened the website, not even ONCE. They simply refuse to listen, to ask any question travel or blog related and they don’t want  to get involved too much. This hurts me very much to be honest, and it’s putting a shade over my enthusiasm.

I know that this is something big for them, I also understand their concerns about my safety and that they are probably trying to avoid the subject at all costs.

I know all that, and I’m trying to accept it as a natural consequences of my choices.  But some times it is quite hard to swallow the disappointment. You would expect your loved ones to be excited and supportive when it comes to your dreams.

I have so many fears and mixed emotions  and yet I feel completely alone in my journey towards the biggest dream of my life.

Check out: Top 17 Italian Gestures Explained. Including the Rude Ones! 


Girls who Travel by Arden Joy and a team of women

https://girlswhotravel.org/

Arden Joy and a team of women
Why we think it’s great

The team at Girls Who Travel has created an inclusive safe blog for all travelers who identify as women. We LOVE their “GWT Promise” to 1) Have gratitude 2) Do self-care 3)Be self-sufficient 4) Be kind (To treat everyone I encounter with love and respect, even if I disagree with them or don’t understand them.) 5) Be polite 6) Be respectful 7) Have integrity 8)Be informed 9) Be ethical and 10) Give back. 💕

Keeping it real

From 10 Ways to Fund Your Travels

Some tips for folks who feel like they need to be rich to travel:

Gillian puts aside every $5 bills she gets, you can also do that with the change in your wallet. Put it in a jar and dedicate it to your travel fund….

Many of our members find part time work to supplement their income. Have you considered teaching English abroad or online? A lot of our members use services like VIPKid to teach English for some extra cash. You could also look into being a server, barista, dog walker, bartender or babysitter. Look for flexible jobs where you can take work when you have the time….

Linda has an online savings account, she automatically linked it and puts $40, per week into it. Since it’s automatic she doesn’t see or feel it and it’s a quick save for trips. So set up an automatic transfer each week to your travel account. Sherry saved over 100K and took a couple of years off work!…

Check out: 10 Steps for the Perfect Staycation


Global Gallivanting by Anna Phipps

https://www.global-gallivanting.com/

Anna Phipps
Why we think she’s great

Anna has a spontaneous, laid-back way of traveling that we admire — spending a little longer in each place she visits, exploring around without any real plan in mind, traveling on one-way tickets. And she does this as a “flashpacker” — a backpacker with a higher budget. 

Keeping it real

From The Kindness of Strangers — The Time I got Lost in Vietnam

The ride had been both awful and amazing, the worst journey ever and also the best as every time the road became unbearable or I gave up hope or ever going in the right direction something would surprise and delight me, the road would turn smooth and the countryside beautiful and glistening green that would give me the strength to carry on. 

Up in the hills the air was damp and by now the light was fading fast as the road turned into a wet slippery track snaking around the hills in the dark.

The conditions became ever more treacherous as we couldn’t see the pot holes until it was too late and the bike started to slide around on the muddy roads but we were still 60km from Mai Chau. Attempting to reach the town would be suicide. 

After a game of charades to try to communicate I was amazed at their kindness a sthe family guestered that we would sleep here in the village shop shack as it was too dangerous to drive over the hills in the dark….

Just then a chicken flew, squawking wildly into the hut and landed in the corner. As if on cue the father snatched the bird up and hit on the head with a hammer. Then he took it outside where he started ripping the feathers off. I was a little shocked, but at least I knew dinner would be fresh!

Check out: https://www.global-gallivanting.com/the-perfect-india-itinerary/


A Woman Afoot by Ionna 

https://awomanafoot.com/

Ionna
Why we think she’s great

Ionna is super down-to-earth and relatable. She describes herself as “pretty average in terms of fitness level or body shape” and really digs deep into issues of self-acceptance and honoring your own path (“hiking your own hike”) rather than trying to live up to some imagined social ideal of how you should breathe or look or pack. We love that Ionna’s hike-focused blog reads like an email from a friend you trust to give you great advice on your journey.  

Keeping it real

From Quitter and Proud. On the Life-Saving Skill of Knowing When to Quit

When I was a kid in High School, I used to go to a local mountaineering club…One of the guys there (let’s call him Tom) was this very calm and mature young man, very talented and driven. One time, in winter, he went with another friend (Greg) to climb in the Polish Tatra Mountains. They were well prepared and highly skilled, with all the gear they needed for winter approach on Tatras (the trails soar above 2000 m). As they hiked, the weather turned for the worse. Winds got very strong, creating whirls of snow and sleet. After walking for a while, Greg said there was no sense to keep on going – the trail got too dangerous. But Tom wanted to press on. After some talk, they decided to split, as Tom didn’t want to hear about quitting. And so he kept walking, alone. Greg turned around and started to walk down to a more secure position, to wait there for Tom.

That was the last time he saw him. Tom fell to his death when he was only 19 years old. Usually the responsible one – suddenly in the worst conditions possible, he lost all common sense, all sensibility. He just wanted to complete the trail, to reach the peak, not to give up, never quit.

The local newspaper wrote about the tragedy. But if Tom did listen to Greg and turned around – would they ever write a piece on the brave and wise decision to quit? I doubt that.

Check out: Baby Steps to Hiking my Own Hike. What’s so Hard?


The Globe Getter by Tausha Cowan

http://www.theglobegetter.com/

Tausha Cowan
Why we think she’s great

We love Tausha’s open spirit — she features other travelers in the Globe Getters section on her site. How cool is that? She holds a full-time job as a Communications Manager. And she has a charming, self-deprecating girl-next-door quality, as in “I reach the towering height of 5’1″. It’s very intimidating for many people,” and “I’m a little bit nerdy and moderately competitive, which means I can get really into Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.”

Keeping it real

From I Did Not Quit My Job to Travel the World

Approximately every five minutes someone out there writes an article about how they quit their job to travel the world. Okay, maybe not every five minutes, but these days it does seem like there are many people who do just that — save up money, quit their jobs and go from country to country, city to city, having great travel experiences. And you know what? I think that’s wonderful. I really do. I am a huge advocate for travel, so if that is what you want and you’re in a position to do just that, then I say go for it.

But what if you’re not in that position or what if you want to stay in your job and still travel? In reading so many of these “Quit My Job to Travel the World” articles, I feel as though travel is often presented as an either/or option — either you have a job and never travel or you quit your job and travel the world. Why not something in between these two extremes? I believe it’s possible. Actually, I know it’s possible.

Check out: What Years of Solo Travel Have Taught Me


Budget Minded Traveler by Jackie Nourse 

https://www.thebudgetmindedtraveler.com/

Jackie Nourse
Why we think she’s great

Jackie is out to spread the message of how travel is a “fast-track to tolerance, understanding, and education that this world, particularly the US, desperately needs.” 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻  We find her travel history fascinating – how she has been a hard-core serial language learner and immerser in cultures: Costa Rica, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and France. (You can read about that on her personal blog.)

Keeping it real

From 21 Budget Travel Tips Taht WILL Save you Money on the Road

#15: Eat the traditional foods of your destination country. 

This will give you a chance to let your taste buds experience travel, and it will give your wallet a break. Generally, the traditional dishes of each country will be the cheapest. Think about it, there is a reason they are so common, probably because they have plenty of available, local resources to create these dishes, which keep costs down. For example, a casado in Costa Rica might cost you $2 when a burger and fries at the same restaurant will cost you $6. A pad thai in Thailand might cost you $1 … when a pasta carbonara will cost you $5. Allow yourself to seek out not only local restaurants, but the local foods that are the cheapest on the menu, even if they are found on the street.

Check out:  Volunteering and Working Abroad


Rachel’s Ruminations by Rachel Heller 

https://rachelsruminations.com/

Rachel Heller
Why we think she’s great

We love that Rachel, who was born in the US, met her Dutch husband while serving in the Peace Corps in Malawi – service leading to love – that’s some good karma right there. We love that she has a regular job as a teacher in the Netherlands, and that her travel posts feel like they come from the real world of an expat, not some dream-fantasy land. And how we learn from her emphasis as a traveler on cultural and historical sites. 

Keeping it real

From Sadness of the Hanging Monastery

Yesterday, we visited the hanging monastery outside of Datong. It is breathtakingly beautiful, yet also, in a way, sad.

The monastery was built about 1400 years ago up on the side of a cliff… the monks did not carve caves into the cliffs, but built walls onto the cliffs to support their structures….

It was built to support a monastic community, keeping it remote by suspending it above a river. Both of these things—the river below and the monastic community—are gone now….

As for the monastic lifestyle: there are no monks there. There are, however, swarms of tourists and their noise. They drive down the access road honking their car horns (people honk A LOT here)…. 

I am saddened to realize the amount of dedication and love it took to build a wonderful structure like this, only to end up an overused, crowded tourist attraction. Yet here I am, a tourist, enjoying its beauty nevertheless. 

Check out: The Baalbek Ruins in Lebanon: An Extraordinary UNESCO site


Quirky Globetrotter by Martha Lueders

https://www.quirkyglobetrotter.com/

Martha Lueders
Why we think she’s great

We love that Martha makes it her mission to report on offbeat destinations and hidden gems in the places she travels. A former newspaper reporter, she digs into the history, culture and political landscape of the places she visits deeper than most in her evocative, richly detailed posts. And she’s brave — driving herself on roads with potholes the “size of SUVs” to visit the Caracol Mayan ruins in Belize.

Keeping it real

From Biggest Mistakes People Make at Yellowstone National Park

…not anticipating the high demand in the park can ruin the relaxing vibe of your vacation. Due to the park’s expansive state, it’s easy to forget the high draw and attention the park has. Competing for campsites, waiting in line for photos in front of Old Faithful, or simply the fact that you’ll probably never be alone on a hiking trail, are all things visitors often gloss over.

As an off-the-beaten-path traveler, I want a visceral experience during my travels. When I cannot experience the park’s beauty in solitude, the park’s scenery doesn’t awe me. Instead of my chaotic reality melting away, I’m more focused on keeping people out of my bubble and trying not to photobomb other park-goers photos. The park is no longer tranquil, nor is it fascinating. 

To avoid crowds, embark on your treks early in the morning. You’ll also beat the heat. Also, practice patience. Everyone wants to get their Christmas card photo taken in front of Old Faithful. Get creative and think of other photos to take or unplug and be grateful that you get to experience these wonders. 

Avoiding crowds is definitely achievable, it only requires a little planning beforehand. Take your time. You’ll often be able to soak and retain more memories about the park if you stroll on the boardwalks instead of power walk towards the next Instragrammable wonder. Give yourself the flexibility to come back and see something again if it’s packed with tourists. You won’t regret it in the long run.”

Check out: Budget Breakdown: Iceland’s Ring Road Edition


Hike Bike Travel by Leigh McAdam

https://hikebiketravel.com/

Leigh McAdam
Why we think she’s great

Because Leigh gets out in it, waaay out, waaay in it, all the time (skiing the Wapta Traverse, exploring Ivvavik National Park from a fly-in cabin) – but she still appreciates a night at a fancy hotel. She handles challenges with a commonsensical aplomb, like the King Creek Ridge Hike in Alberta, Canada which she very casually describes, at the very end of the blog post, as “grizzly bear country, so be sure to carry bear spray.” (Wait, what?!!) Oh, and she’s survived losing 17 toenails! Ouch! 

Keeping it real

A blast of cold air hits me as I saunter off the plane in Pangnirtung – a remote, mostly Inuit community on Baffin Island in Nunavut. Instantly I am wondering just what the hell I’ve got myself into. It’s June 30th and I know it’s the Arctic but somehow I didn’t expect cold like this.

I have already endured a flight to Ottawa, another to Iqaluit and then finally one to Pangnirtung – the starting point for my backpacking trip into Auyuittuq National Park. This part of the world is not an easy – or an inexpensive place to visit. But I’m here because I have willingly signed on to do hump what feels like a 60 pound load to Akshayuk Pass in Auyuittuq National Park over the course of 11 days. It’s a place you’ve likely never heard of. There’s a reason for that.

It’s a frozen expanse of snow, ice and rock – tucked away from most of humanity. Auyuittuq National Park boasts a polar ice cap the size of Prince Edward Island, glaciers galore, icy rivers, fjords, lichen covered rocks and Mack truck sized boulders casually strewn about by retreating glaciers….

Every visitor to Auyuittuq National Park must go through an orientation session so that was our first stop of the morning. We learned what the biggest killer in the park happens to be – and it’s not hypothermia but drowning when fording the glacier fed streams. And although our chances of seeing polar bears are slim we did watch a video about what one should do if you should see one. As a group I figured we’d be OK but alone I’d pray for a quick end. I might try stabbing it with my Swiss Army knife but really I’d expect to be dinner.

Check out: 100 Places to Visit in Canada This Summer


Global Health Travel Blog by Students of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Public Health

http://globalblogs.web.unc.edu/

Students of the University of North Carolina
Why we think they are great

First of all, we think it’s fantastic that these students of the Gillings School of Public Health are out there in the world, getting hands-on experience in making advancements in global public health. Yay y’all! Their projects are amazing and their whole-hearted blog entries bring us so much hope for the next generation. (We chose the students as winners for their world-class female travel blog because many are women — no shade to the men students who are also great!)

Keeping it real

From  “Because sometimes it makes us fat:” Communication Triumphs and Challenges in Guatemala

I had a choice to make: to eat the unidentifiable cooked insect that was being offered to me or not. I had just arrived at Curamericas Guatemala’s project site in Calhuitz, Guatemala after being picked up at 4:30am and driven up countless mountain switchbacks by the project’s head doctor. Needless to say, charred mystery bug was not my first choice for breakfast. However, the staff had offered it to me and I wanted to make a good first impression, so I went for it. I still have no idea what I ate, but it wasn’t so bad!…

During my first few weeks in Calhuitz, I had the opportunity to go on a 6-month postpartum home visit with a community health educator. After verifying some demographic information with the new mother, Nancy, the community health educator, asked her if she could remember four warning signals for an at-risk pregnancy, postpartum complications, and if her child was sick. I was struck by the interactive and almost quiz-like nature of the home visit. I was reminded that these postpartum visits may be one of the few opportunities that this woman has to learn about her health for future pregnancies and her child’s health.

Check out: “Home is Where the Chapatis Are”

About the Authors:

Yolanda O’Bannon and Lobsang Wangdu are obsessed with Tibet travel and showing travelers  how to visit Tibet simply, safely and ethically.

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Updated on November 12, 2020. First published on July 4, 2019.

Your Tibet travel advisors, Lobsang and Yolanda

Most people who want to go to Tibet don't know how to get there or who to trust for help. We’re Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon, and we help make Tibet travel more simple, safe and ethical so you can feel peace of mind about your trip. Learn more about us and YoWangdu here.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Girlswanderlust says

    Much appreciated to be included in this list! Also inspiring to read about the other women! Thank you so much!

  2. Jessie Paquette says

    I’m a friend of Joann Pridle. Beyers. Actually her late Mother. I believe I met you at Jo’s I enjoy your your bogs. I think I’m a bit
    Jealous. That I’m Too mature for the hikes so I’m My travels
    Are reading other people’s adventures Keep moving

    • yowangdu says

      Hi Jessie and thanks for this —

      I don’t think we know Joann, but it’s possible we have forgotten something — LOL. One thing that really impressed us in this list of women was the incredible range of ages. It may not be too late for you yet! Did you have a look at the Thelma and Louise site?

      Best to you!

  3. Leigh McAdam says

    Really appreciate you including me in this list. Wonderful to read about some of the other female bloggers – a very diverse and accomplished lot!

    You put a lot of time into this post – so happy to share in Twitter.

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