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August 1, 2007

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CARLY'S CORNER                                        BOOK REVIEWS


Book Review: Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone
Carly Blatt

Solo female travelers often get a bad rap. Family members worry we’ll fall prey to all sorts of predators, friends assume we’ll be lonely, and the world at large doesn’t seem to get why we can’t wait for a friend/boyfriend/long lost cousin from Iowa to join us on our travels instead.

Few of them understand that, often, going it alone is the best part of the journey. You can wing it if you choose or plan if you prefer. You can get to know yourself in a way you’ll never achieve on home turf. And you can meet scores of new people – because there’s no easier way to make friends than as a solo traveler.

Author and traveler Teresa Rodriguez Williamson truly understands the joys of solo travel. She wrote Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone, a bible for female travelers planning to travel on their own, and founded the online travel magazine

Fly Solo starts off with a quiz to help pinpoint what you love best about traveling. Through a series of questions, she helps you understand your travel priorities and how they relate to choosing a destination. Do you love to exercise in exotic settings? Do historical sites and classic artwork thrill you? Are you happiest not going to sleep until the sun rises? Can you deal with disagreeable weather or do you need constant sun?

Teresa explores 50 destinations from around the globe and explains why each is good – or bad – for different types of travelers. She also analyzes how they rate on categories like Cultural Opportunities, Activity Level, Weather Preference, and Social Interaction. Culture addicts will feel right at home in Beijing, which gets a 5 of 5 on the culture scale. But party-hardy girls should know that it only rates a 2 of 5 on the social scale. They might feel more at home in Ibiza, which rates a 5 on the social scale, although provides little opportunity for sports and other activities. Adventure junkies, though, will feel right at home in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Each destination section is fun, lively and easily digestible. You can read through each individually to get a comprehensive idea of what’s out there, or flip directly to a certain destination to learn whether it will fit your travel style well.

In each section, she includes a lively summary on “Why This Place Rocks for Flying Solo” along with information on the “Top 10 Extraordinary Experiences” that you shouldn’t miss. She shares great location-specific guidelines on which areas you should ask permission before you take photos, how to tip, and what to watch and read before you go.

Blending in with locals is paramount when you travel, and Teresa gives great advice on how to dress in various destinations. Ditch the formal wear in Port Douglas, Australia – they’re casual there. But dress to kill in Paris and St. Moritz and avoid looking like a tourist at all costs!

Her transportation tips are invaluable – like knowing how to tell an official taxi from a private taxi in St. Petersburg and why you should avoid renting a car in Hong Kong and Rome. She also shares reminders on how to be culturally sensitive by removing your shoes and not wearing tank tops at temples in Thailand.

Fly Solo is the perfect resource for the woman who seeks a solo adventure and desires a little direction on choosing a destination. It’s also a great choice for women looking for inspiration to go it alone. Teresa’s energetic yet informative writing style is easy to read, even if you’re not the type who typically reads travel books. Let Fly Solo motivate you today.

New York-based freelance writer Carly Blatt has extensively traveled, studied and worked abroad, covering 23 countries on five continents. Her travel adventures include swimming in Antarctica, bungy jumping in New Zealand, paragliding in the Alps, caving in Belize, mountain boarding in Colorado, camping with locals in the Australian Outback, and helping confused-looking tourists find their way in Manhattan.

Check out a few of Carly’s other articles on…

  • Laughlin, Nevada: Old-Fashioned Fun at a Fraction of the Cost

  • Traveling By Misadventure: A Review of Sand in My Bra, Whose Panties are These? The Thong Also Rises, and What Color is Your Jockstrap?

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