Dreaming of travel? These women show you how to do it solo and transform your life in the process : )

When my Prepare to Be Loved clients and I dream-storm about things they would most like to add to their lives, and things they can do that would most excite and inspire them, travel is always at or near the top of the list.

But, with whom to travel?  And, would we agree on where to go and what to see once we reach our destination?

A recent article by Susan Spano for the AARP Magazine (gasp!) has some great advice on traveling alone -- and notes that solo travel is becoming very popular among women of a certain age.

She notes:  "As I stopped wherever I wanted to eat spaghetti alle vongole and sunbathed on the rocks above the Ligurian Sea, my recent divorce faded into the background and I forgot my fears about no longer being one-half of a couple."

Check out the link above, which also includes videos on subjects such as safety for the solo traveler.

There's an interesting book on the subject of women traveling alone, though it wasn't quite what I first expected.

When I heard about the book Only Pack What You Can Carry: My Path to Inner Strength, Confidence, and True Self-Knowledge by Janice Holly Booth, I thought that it might be a 21st century version of one of my favorite books, Unsuitable for Ladies: An Anthology of Women Travellers.

Thinking about traveling alone myself at midlife brings back memories of my previous solo travels in Europe, narrowly escaping sexual assault in a couple of instances.  And, no, I wasn't in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time.  In one instance I was visiting a medieval walled city in Spain in broad daylight.  In another instance, I was assaulted on a train, again, in broad daylight at noon, but alone in a second-class car.

Hmm, perhaps being less than young may make me immune to such things these days?  Yet, much as I enjoy being alone, recent solo travel has made me wish for someone with whom to share all the extraordinary experiences.  But, here's the rub:  Someone who wants to visit the same locales that I'm pining for.

Anyhow, I thought that Booth's book would be along the lines of Unsuitable for Ladies: tales of women traveling alone on various continents.  (The aforementioned book, excerpts from diaries and published accounts of women traveling unescorted by men from the 18th century to the 20th, is pretty fascinating.) 

However, this book is about solo adventure travel within the western United States -- nothing that I would ever think of doing myself, but absorbing reading nonetheless.  Interesting, even if only for the idea that a woman would be obsessed to take on of the highly dangerous undertakings that Booth feels compelled to experience. 

Along the way, Booth reveals a lot about her background, spotty romantic past, life challenges, and what drives her to confront her fears again and again, in a variety of ways, through the years.  She shares the reasons she feels we should do the same, and gives us plenty of room for self-reflection.

If, like me, the thought of rapelling down the sheer walls of a slot canyon, or driving a dogsled team appeals to you not at all, I still recommend to you this book.  If Janice Holly Booth was able to fight her demons and accomplish these dread, so-called vacations, then what's your excuse for not starting that class, that diet, that home project?  Or, traveling alone à la Eat, Pray, Love?

Buck up, ladies.  Some very impressive women have paved the trail. {tweet this}

For more about Only Pack What You Can Carry, here's a synopsis.

And, Janice Holly Booth also writes an occasional blog, with an unique perspective.