Welcome to the world of women’s travel!
By Susan Pearson
As a parent I encouraged my children to take advantage of every travel opportunity that presented itself. From high school exchanges to studying abroad while in university, they embraced the idea of travel and the enrichment it brings.
While helping them prepare for various trips, I constantly found myself admiring their sense of adventure and wished I could have had those opportunities when I was younger.
Over the years I saw women spend their entire lives giving to others; raising their children, building a successful career and taking care of elderly parents. Speaking with women my age I could see they were becoming more open to the idea that in order to take care of others, we need to take better care of ourselves first by nurturing our own friendships and interests.
Then it hit me, as an ’empty-nester’ it was time to ‘just do it!’ I had always encouraged everyone around me to take action and live life to the fullest. It was time to take my own advice!
Current research shows that women – young, old, single, married, and widowed are fueling an explosive growth in the travel industry. More women are traveling, for business and for pleasure. Ten years ago, there were no such statistics, Now we know that the average adventure traveler is not a 28 -year-old male, but a 47-year-old female. And she wears a size 12 dress.*
This information was my motivation to partner with Bonnie Hinschberger, a 25 year veteran of the travel industry. Together we founded Broad Escapes – Tours for Women, a dynamic community of women who share a passion for travel and living life to the fullest.
In our hectic world of family and work life, it is not always possible to coordinate travel with friends and family. Broad Escapes developed from our own interest in finding a group of like-minded women to travel with.
Actually one of my most memorable moments took place while on tour in Italy. At dinner, a travel companion leaned over, touched my arm and said, “I almost didn’t come on this trip.” She went on to explain that prior to the tour she received divorce papers from her husband and didn’t know if she was emotionally strong enough to travel. In a split second her face lit up with a beautiful smile and she exclaimed, “I’m just so glad I did. Had I not booked this trip, I would be sitting home alone right now. Instead, here I am enjoying a glass of wine and a delicious dinner in Venice, sitting along the Grand Canal in the company of the most wonderful group of women. Life is good!”
Everyone has a different reason for traveling with a group but we frequently hear women say:
‘My husband would rather go fishing or golfing than eat dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower / ride a gondola in Venice / take a cooking lesson in Tuscany…’
‘I’ve always wanted to travel but haven’t had time because I’ve been so busy building my career/raising my kids/running the household…’
‘I recently lost my husband but still want to travel in a safe, supportive and stylish fashion.’
‘As a newly divorced woman, traveling with a group means that I always have someone to share these incredible experiences with: Someone to laugh with over dinner, someone to discuss the day’s events and even someone to share a hotel room with, if I want!’
I think most women would agree… you can’t beat a good girls’ night out. Our trips just take that idea one step farther! We’re like the ultimate girls’ night out: Imagine the fun you will have on an all girls holiday!
Complete tour itineraries can be viewed at: http://www.broadescapes.com
Travel picture: Courtesy of Susan Pearson