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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!)

People and Places

Destinations that mean something to me, with a look at people who have made them special.

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

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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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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My Perfect Hour in Venice

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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My Accidental Dinner Date with Royalty

Iftar dinner Abu Dhabi

I didn't know what to do with my hands. I thrust one out to shake his, but that didn't feel quite right. I hung my arms by my side and that felt worse. Finally I compromised. I clasped my hands together in front of me, waiting for a sign from each of the white-clad Arabs [...]

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Hambantota International: The World’s Emptiest Airport?

The dual carriageway could be anywhere… Germany, the US, Sweden… Its sharp new signs direct traffic off a wide ramp towards the spiffy airport, still smelling of clean since its inauguration in 2013. Except that my car is the only one on this road. I share part of the highway with a herd of buffalo. [...]

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A Week in Sri Lanka

Lagoon Sri Lanka

For decades Sri Lanka was torn apart by a horrible civil war that made it a no-go zone for most travelers. And then in 2004 a vicious tsunami hit. So why would anyone want to visit? Because the war is over and most of the tsunami damage has been swept away, though not forgotten. Because Sri Lankans [...]

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Catalonia’s Castellers: A Peek Behind the Scenes

Castellers Vila de Gracia Barcelona

Imagine an agile six-year-old clambering up the face of a five-story building, waving from the top, then slithering back down. Leaves your throat dry, doesn't it? Yet several times a week, that's exactly what happens when the Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia rehearse their castells, or human towers. "It's not as dangerous as it looks," said Helena [...]

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Saranda Albania

He was scruffy, his beard matted and his shoelaces undone. He was drunk or stoned, or both. "Foreigners bad! Foreigners go home!" Evening life had started spilling onto the sidewalks of Blokku, the tony quarter in which Tirana's elite once lived. Today it is home to chic cafés, delicious restaurants and well-stocked shops. As he spotted us - two [...]

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Hate LA? No way!

Hollywood sign at night

Few cities seem to generate such extreme opinions as Los Angeles. Do a quick online search and the 'I Love LA' crowd will be mirrored by the 'I Can't Stand LA' contingent. Many of the 'love LA'ers are paid to say so - the marketing and tourism boards, and the hotels and businesses anxious to draw visitors. So what [...]

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The Geneva Flower Clock and Other Snapworthy Sights

Geneva lakeside

We have a history, Geneva and I. As a child I visited often, courtesy of my father’s obscure international job. In time I returned for a year to study law. As I stepped off the night train from Paris my first encounter would be with just that - the law. Exhausted, I lugged my two suitcases across a deserted [...]

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