About Traveling Gal

Ultimately, we’re all travelers: all of life is a trip, and the excitement of discovery could be just as great someplace right around the corner, as around the globe.  We should measure our travels not in miles but in marvels.

This blog site is about all of us gals who travel, not just to get from Point A to Point B, but to learn more about our world both far from and near to home, and about journeys internal as well as external. It’s about the joy of discoveries about others and about explorations of our selves as we venture into new surroundings.

(Since info in the original blog post will eventually get buried under later posts, bear with me while I repeat a little of it here.)

Why only traveling gals, you ask? Let me hasten to say up front that guys, traveling and otherwise, are welcome to read and post comments too. The reasons for the female focus:

  • traveling, especially traveling alone, presents special challenges for women young or older, but
  • it may also offer special opportunities that men don’t get to enjoy, when people open up to women in ways that they rarely would to men, and
  • there isn’t enough discussion of these differences in standard travel sites and books, where the norm seems to be Male, with female travelers’ concerns a forlorn afterthought, and
  • I hope to encourage women and girls to become zestful explorers and to share their experiences with the rest of us; and, of course
  • I’m female, a fact that inevitably colors my traveling experiences and reflections.

You’ll find a mixture of postings here: accounts of travels past-present-future, photo essays about places or events, reviews of travelogues and travelers’ biographies (maybe even travel guides, as they seem worth noting), discussions of modes of travel ranging from airplanes to foot, ruminations about how travel changes us. As we get going, we’ll see some guest posts too. And eventually, depending on your responses and comments, maybe even some little contests (like, say, Name That Food, or Most Absurd Travel Experience).

Okay, that’s about the blog. What about the perpetrator? My name is Kate, Kangling, KatjeKate-2 – or any number of others, depending on the pronunciation preferences of the country I’m in. I’m a writer, editor, and consultant focusing on social justice issues, emphasizing communications integrating new and old media. Previously, I was an academic for more years than I can bear to recall, and a grantmaker for a foundation for enough years almost to recover from academia.

Under both those hats I traveled a lot for both fun and work (no profit), and made friends in many countries. After every long trip I swear that I’m sick of traveling, and then I immediately start hankering after the next departure. I gobble up travelogues and travel literature; keep airline and kayak.com links on my personally constructed browser homepages; attained a fair degree of fluency in French and Chinese, dabbled in quite a few other languages, and learned alphabets and syllabic systems for languages I have never mastered beyond distinguishing “Ladies” from “Gents.” Favorite city: a tie between Amsterdam and Paris. Favorite airline: Singapore Air. Favorite mode of travel: bicycle. Favorite place to be: wherever I am.

You’ll most likely find out more about me over time by reading the blog, but as I said, that’s not the point of the blog. I hope you’ll follow these pages because of your interest in travel-exploration-growth, and that you’ll share your own experiences and insights as we move along. Anybody can read or post comments, but please be patient when you make comments; to begin with, I’ll be reviewing them before uploading, to forestall nasty spammers. You’ll need to provide a name and e-mail address (the e-mail address won’t appear on the posted comment itself) before you can post comments.

4 Responses to About Traveling Gal

  1. Lisa Mazinas says:

    Thanks for sharing your travels and insights. I enjoyed browsing your site and will return again!

    • Traveling Gal says:

      Thanks, Lisa. Glad to have you visiting–and I look forward to having more up-to-date content for you soon.

  2. JeanneDeaux says:

    I’m totally with you on differences between men and women traveling. Most of my traveling has been done to consult archives. It’s the sort of work one does alone, for weeks at a time. Archives are usually open only Mon-Fri and closed for at least 2 hours at lunch in European locations. One ends up staying in a hotel, B&B, or apartment for weeks–awaiting the opening hours. And there’s only so much one can do to pass the time, especially in small towns. I consider myself pretty gutsy–I’ll rent a car and drive it on either side of the road in any condition. I’ll try closed doors of historic monuments, knock at houses to see if someone keeps a key, climb up steep slopes or towers to get a prime architectural photograph, haggle at an open air market with aplomb. But male colleagues recount endless restaurant dinners they’ve had over the years while I didn’t even feel confident to start going to out dinner alone until I was nearly 50. How about walking around a city at night to enjoy the street life and lights? Hardly something most women would do–home or abroad. We are less restricted socially than ever, but there are still limits we feel that men don’t even consider. I’ll be interested to read your entries, cheer from the sidelines, and chime in when I can.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hey traveling gal, I’m traveling today, in Hangzhou at a meeting hosted by an old friend of yours at Zheda. And, traveling on a knowledge journey to learn more about ageing (like I don’t already have enough personal experience!) and the links between urbanization, environmental degradation and the vulnerability of the elderly. (There were also some folks talking about marketing to the “silvers” or “new life builders” . . . and it was from the marketing experts that I learned that if I make it to 70 I will probably live to 91 . . . and that is only true for the gals.)

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