The third edition of TGIF is live! This Friday it’s all about women traveling the globe as we interview the fierce Kelly Lewis from Go! Girl Guides! Why is it important with a women’s travel guide? And what is the best advice for women traveling solo? Get the answers here.
What is Go! Girl Guides? And why did you decide to launch it?
Go! Girl Guides publishes the world’s first series of travel guidebooks made specifically for women. I decided to launch it back in 2010, after it came to me in a dream (yes, really!). Before the dream, I was traveling through South America and there were so many times I wished I had a girlfriend who could have given me a head’s up about things. And that’s exactly what we do! Our guidebooks focus on women’s health and safety, and tell it exactly how it is.
Why do you think it’s neccessary with a guide for girls only?
Women have unique concerns when it comes to their health and safety abroad. Last year I started the Women’s Travel Fest, an annual event aimed at inspiring and empowering women to travel the world, after we kept hearing the same thing over and over: women wanting to travel, but wondering if it’s safe to do so alone. And it is! You can do it!
Who are the women behind the guide books?
I am a journalist with a background in news and arts writing, as well as poetry. I grew up in Hawaii and then moved to New Zealand for a year, before i started traveling around South America and eventually, the rest of the World. I actually didn’t start traveling until I graduated from university – I just could never figure out how to afford it. That’s why our guidebooks focus also on budget; how to get around the World on a dime, while still remaining safe. Since we started four years ago, Go! Girl Guides has grown to a team of about 20 women WHO write for us from around the world, both online and in guidebooks.
What’s your favorite travel destination?
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for New Zealand. It was the first place I really fell in love with outside of my own country, and I spent what was probably the best year of my life there. I also love Thailand, which was the site of our first guidebook. It’s so pretty!
How many continents have you traveled?
Six out of the seven! I’ve been blessed to have seen over 30 countries and counting. As I type this, I’m in Japan! And it’s gorgeous!
What’s luxury for you?
A hot bubble bath and a plate of chocolates. Sounds so luxurious, doesn’t it? When I started traveling I was a hardcore backpacker. I will still always love that lifestyle, but the older I get the more I want a little more peace and quiet at the end of the day. So rather than hostels, I find myself staying in hotels these days. I choose places that are nice, but don’t break the bank. I find websites like booking.com to be really helpful for that!
And finally; what’s your best piece of travel advice for women traveling solo?
Don’t listen to what anyone else says – the World is mostly safe and people are mostly good. If you want to travel, do it! All you have to do is take the first leap and book a ticket. The rest has a magical way of falling into place. Traveling has completely changed my life and my career. And it can change yours too, if you’re open. Go for it!
Visit Go! Girl Guides here.
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