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Women on the Road Blog

Solo travel tips for women like you - the first Tuesday of every month >>

(and to say thank you I'll send you the 'list of 9' indispensable items I NEVER travel without!)

The Magic of Lake Song Kul, Kyrgyzstan

Inside yurt at Lake Song Kul, Kyrgyzstan

Imagine an immense steppe. A sparkling crystal lake. Rough snow-capped mountains in the distance. Scattered yurts, horses running wild. If your eyes happen to be seeing this, you'll know you're at Lake Song Kul, Kyrgyzstan's second largest lake - for me, its most beautiful by far. (The largest is Lake Issy-Kul.) Lake Song Kul's beauty isn't a pleasure [...]

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The Mysteries of Khiva, Uzbekistan

khiva-west-gate

When the lights go off at night and the streets are swept clear of day-trippers, what's left are 2500 years of walls and dust. Inching along paving stones I might once have shared with camel caravans on the Silk Road, I round a corner lit only by stars, nearly expecting a brigand to swipe me with his [...]

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My 9 European Foodie Destinations for October

Tapas may well be my favourite type of meal - hop from bar to bar and munch along. Even paella comes tapas-sized!

Returning home after spending September in Central Asia, I was shocked. I'd left in summer, yet some of my trees were bare, and the rake was waiting for my swift hand. Suddenly I was reaching for a jacket in the evenings whereas days earlier, I had been hiding from the hot Uzbek sun in shaded patios. It only [...]

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A Solo Woman’s 3-Week Central Asia Itinerary

Khiva

For the past month, I've been traveling solo through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and posting my travels to Facebook (starting with this post on Day 1). Many of you have asked for itinerary details and specifics. So quickly, briefly, here they are. Welcome to my three-week Central Asia itinerary. Any woman traveling on her own can do [...]

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Carouge, Geneva’s Alter Ego?

Carouge

Like siblings who can either be in synch or at odds with one another depending on the minute, Carouge teases Geneva by being so close, yet so distinct. To Geneva's solid tradition Carouge serves up rebellion, thumbing her nose at the broody burghers of Calvin's city. And if your first approach to Geneva seems a bit severe, along comes [...]

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kyrgyzstan-544089_1280

Part 1 of a step-by-step look at preparing for a one-month solo female backpacking adventure. This series traces each phase of my travel planning process, from decision to check-in. Part 1 looks at how I chose Kyrgyzstan as my destination.

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Is Venice Dying? And other unpleasant questions

I love Venice Tshirts

Recently the Thai island of Koh Tachai became the latest in a long line of popular destinations to curtail tourism: after shutting down for monsoon season it has no plans to reopen, allowing coral reefs and wildlife to recover from excessive crowds. Koh Tachai's fight for survival isn't unique: Beijing is considering some sort of restrictions along the Great Wall; [...]

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My Perfect Hour in Venice

venice-gondolas-sunrise-san-marco

The shrillest sound of early morning Venice is no sound at all. As I slide across the cobblestones, my rubber soles grip the alleys, sticky but silent. The sun and the moon are invisible, in that tiny wedge of time when dawn is darkest and daytime about to announce itself. Even the motorized vaporetti boats have taken a break [...]

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Preparing for Venice: Is There Anything Left to Discover?

Cemil-and-co6547

I’m less than 48 hours from flying to Venice and I’m not sure how I feel about it at all. My last trip to Venice was around 1985, to meet friends from Montreal a year after my move to Europe. That’s more than 30 years ago, and here’s what I remember: crowds, terrible and expensive food, cheap [...]

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The Unusual and Not-So-Secret Brotherhoods of France

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She wears a leprechaun green hat, her velvet cape wrapped around her body in the cold. Around her neck hangs an olive green ribbon, holding up a bronze medallion. The operative word is olive. Meet Madame Laget, one of the few women in the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Olive Tree, a not-so-secret organization [...]

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What the Heck is a European Capital of Culture?

Guimaraes, European Capital of Culture

And what does that have to do with a bunch of cows migrating across downtown Marseille? Plenty. Because the transhumance  - the migration of herds between pastures - was staged during Marseille's tenure as European Capital of Culture for 2013. Yes, culture, one of those terms so broad it could strangle you. It can mean the arts... painting, theater, dance, poetry, [...]

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Why I’m Finally Giving Up On Spelling

Photo John Keogh via Flickr cc

Please, keep breathing - let me explain. I've decided effective communication is more important than spelling. There. I've said it. Now before you march down to the comments section and start pelting me with pencil shavings, please hear me out. I'm a trained journalist, not a grammatical vandal, and while your toes may be curling and your hair [...]

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