Friday, October 30, 2009

Contacts or glasses?

Of course, being women, we want to look nice even if we embark on long haul flights. Looking good and being comfortable are top priority. And as this is a blog oriented towards women of a "certain age" many of us will need glasses. Reading glasses are no problem, but what about short sigthedness? For those who usually use contact lenses here is a piece of advice: get yourself a pair of chic glasses when you plan a long distance flight and dispense with the contacts. Dehydration is a major problem when flying and eyes dry out, with the result, that the lenses get very sticky and itchy. Cases have been known, where they stuck so terribly to the eyeball that they needed to be removed surgically. Get yourself not too dark sun glasses with prescription lenses. They have the added advantage of hiding tired eyes and you may even be mistaken for a celebrity.

Monday, October 26, 2009

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Magazines woman travelers would want to write for.

As you can see, travel is my passion. But, enjoying it all on my own is only half the fun. Therefore, I love to share my adventures (and mis-adventures, as the case may be), experiences, pictures and anything else which occurs whilst I'm roaming the world with others who are equally familiar with the "itchy feet" syndrome. Question is, where to find a forum to put one's articles and pictures. The choice is big, so I will today talk about two online magazines, which I love to read and to write for. An added bonus is, that the editors of both are approachable and actually correspond with you. That's not always the case. Number one is Gonomad. The articles published there showcase beautiful destinations as well as giving useful information to find one's way around. Editor Max Hartshorne replies quickly and is for me "The man with the hat". It was his birthday recently, so send him a Happy Birthday on facebook. Number two, where I have just been assigned to write an article, is travelwithachallenge. The mag is orientated towards older travelers, which suits me just fine, given that I'm no spring chicken anymore. Editor Alison Gardner is very nice too, responds quickly and tells you exactly what she wants. Both magazines need top notch pictures, preferably your own. So, if you like, follow my footsteps and happy writing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two peculiar fashion icons

On my recent trip to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia/Spain, I happened upon the story of the Two Marias. The ladies were living in poverty and suffered greatly in the times of Franco. To get ahead, they became seamstresses and created their own, outrageous clothes. Then, in post war Santiago, at exactly 2pm on the dot, every day come rain come shine, they went out, dressed in their latest creations and walked for an hour along the Rambla, teasing and flirting with the students, giving fashion advice to the girls and becoming much in demand as designers and embroiderers. The Two Marias became a local legend and the darlings of an entire city. Upon their death, they were even honoured with a statue and many a poem was dedicated to them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Glitter in your eyes

Let's face it. Which woman can resist to look at breathtaking jewelry even if the bank balance doesn't allow to buy it? Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is a paradise for day dreaming and looking at the fantastic creations Turkish jewelers come up with. They'll also be delighted to let you try on any piece that takes your fancy, So, just enjoy and feel like queen for a few minutes. 
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Turkish bling!

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A SW friendly Hotel in La Coruna

Sw stands for "single woman", just in case you wondered. During my latest trip to Galicia, the northern province of Spain, I moved around a lot. I didn't book hotels in advance but just let myself be surprised what I might find. And I hit on a gem in La Coruna. It's the Hotel Moon.Conveniently located on Calle Ramon y Cajal this hotel is small and the stuff is extraordinary welcoming.Even more so, if they find out that you are a single woman traveler. Single rooms are not always easy to come by and are often expensive and crammed. Not so here. For about €50 you get a very comfortable single room and a bathroom with all the amenities a woman needs. The hairdryer didn't work, it was a Sunday, nobody could be found to repair it---no problem, Maria, the manager gave me her own. The theme of the hotel revolves around the moon and you simply can't miss the narrow entrance, because this friendly guy greets you on the pavement.

Monday, October 19, 2009

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

An air travel must have

Aircrafts can get very cold and drafty, especially at night. Pillws and blankets are not usually in ample supply and, quite honestly, apart from being flimsy, I don't feel all that comfortable having itmes used by endless people before me, close to my face. Of course, they are desinfected and plastic wraped, but even so.. What to do? Easy. The answer for us women travelers is a must have which is a fashion accessory at the same time. I'm talking about a cashmire or pashmina shawl. When not needed in the aircraft, it is decoratively slung around the shoulders. On board and folded, it serves as a pillow or, at night as a very comfy blanket. I found it much more comfortable than inflatable pillows or a real blanket which takes up space. So, next time, try it out.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chic women travel light!

What single woman traveler doesn't know the feeling: struggle with luggage, handbag, passport, wallet, tickets, trolley trying to make it through the airport, through security and to the gate in time. Nobody helps you get your bag in the overhead locker and, once you have arrived, you spend ages at the caroussel and, in the worst of cases, your luggage has travelled to the opposite part of the globe from you. Not any more. Where ever I go in the world and regardless of the length of my stay, it's a copious shoulder bag with plenty of zippered compartments for travel documents, a book, money, passport and basic cosmetics. The zippered compartments are vital for easy access to what's needed at any given moment and for security so that nifty thieves can't slip their sticky hands into your belongings. Next is a carry on bag which contains the absolute necessities and nothing else. I'm a great fan of the luggage made by Spanish luxury leather goods manufacturer Loewe. Their products are expensive, but they last forever, are extremely chic and lightweight by themselves. They can also be easily distinguished and cannot be confused with somebody else's luggage. It's imperative that your luggage should never weigh more than you yourself are able to lift and stow in the overhead locker. My carry on bag never holds cosmetics. They are heavy and today's restrictions calling for ealed bags ar just tedious. My handbag holds travel toothpaste and toothbrush, a comb, a brush, a deo stick and lip gloss. Enough to gt you to your destination smelling and feeling good. All you really need to carry in the bag are any medications you might need, but don't forget to also carry presriptions or you could be in serious trouble in some countries. All other cosmetics I buy cheaply at a suprmarket at my destination. The same applies to items of clothing. Street markets etc. offer anything you might need for the duration without breaking the bank.Nothing needs to be of high quality for a few weeks. What also goes in the bag is a set of plastic cutlery. I oftne like to have a quick snack, a few piecs of fruit or a joghurt in my room insetad of going for every meal to a restaurant. A set of cutlery is indispensable for that purpose. Follow these golden rules and you will a. be surprised how little you really need and can still look fab and b. how much airport stress is reduced. Holiday over, I leave everything behind for the maids to enjoy.

About me

I am exactly what this blog is about: a single woman of a certain age who loves to travel the world. What I love even more is to write about my adventures and experiences and to share "Know how", insider tips, beautiful destinations and just about anything and everything a modern day Freya Stark encounters with like- minded people. Mind you, this blog isn't exclusively meant for women: men may enjoy reading it too, so they will understand us better and, perhaps, learn to lend a hand if needed. No blog of this kind would be complete without pictures, so you'll find those here too.