“…what makes a journey rich and memorable for most women is not so much the places we visit, but the people we meet. Indeed, developing or deepening a relationship can be the most important aspect of a journey; that relationship may be with ourselves, a travel companion, or someone met along the way.”
We’ve now taken 3 big trips in under 2 years (Italy, Greece, Spain) and several members have taken smaller trips in between, but I think the observations I made after our first trip still stand true.
Observations re the Group Experience: Some of us have done group travel in the past and some of us have traveled with each other before, either individually or in pairs/smaller groups. For example, Carolyn and I have been to France; Carolyn, Katie, Maureen, Joan B. and I have been to the spa in Mexico; Mary and I have been to Spain and Italy; Carolyn and Joann have been to Italy; and Katie & I went to South America last year. Early on Carolyn and I were convinced group travel was the way to go. Those new to the experience of “group travel or travel without husbands or women only travel” all said they really enjoyed it.
The camaraderie was high; everyone got along great because besides being the intelligent and personable women that we are, we were all personal friends, or friends of friends, and either originally or currently from the same geographic area. Everyone was of a “certain” age and life experience…and it just jelled. One quickly learns that no matter whom you sit next to at dinner or stroll beside in the street, the conversation flows. And, from personal experience, I must tell you that on a less hectic trip, this experience would have even been enhanced many times over!!
Observation re Women Traveling Together: I wanted to share this passage with you, also from “A Woman’s Passion for Travel”, which sets the group experience in perspective for me.
“We [women] move more slowly through the world, perhaps because we are tuned to the footsteps behind us.”
Examples of being tuned to proverbial footsteps: …Mary didn’t see her suitcase for 4 days but everyone was quick to offer pajamas, underwear, toiletries, etc. and, most importantly, moral support. We cheered her on when she got 6 sexy undies for 1 Euro and a couple of other essentials at the San Remo flea market — and all rejoiced when she and her suitcase were finally reunited. …Ann, our #12, who was traveling alone, was readily welcomed into the group as a full-fledged member from the moment we met her in Newark. …Joann’s hair dryer blew out so she ran next door in a towel (don’t ask!) to borrow ours. …And what about having 11 new friends to celebrate your birthday with?! Isn’t that great?
Last and Most Important Lesson: We live and we learn. The more you travel, the more you understand what you want from a trip. And that’s the beauty of travel. Getting right back in the saddle (or airline seat) and doing it again! Who’s ready?”