Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bombing in the Maldives

I saw a brief posting on Yahoo today about a bombing in the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka, this morning. I didn't read the article thinking that I might see more on the news. I turned on CNN, FOX, local, but no one was covering the story. Having been obsessed with going to the Maldives (not to mention wondering for a long time how to say the name out loud), I am shocked and disturbed that what to me seems like such an idyllic island could be the target of an attack.

The explosions occurred in the capital of Male in a park outside the national museum and injured 12 tourists-2 Japanese, 2 British and 8 Chinese. Apparently, this is the first bombing ever on this island. The government has not commented on possible suspects or motives.

One of my favorite resort and spa chains and subject of my obsessions Six Senses, has a resort called Soneva Gili which is a short twenty minute boat ride from Male. I hope that the bombing will not deter visitors to the island as I am sure that tourism is a huge part of their economy.

Additionally, in researching the Maldives bombing I came across a very cool blog, The Official Private Islands Blog, which I intend to check out often now.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

WFNX 101.7 Boston

Another pretty good radio station from a town I used to live in. I'm listening to them right now on iTunes and felt compelled to give them props for playing my favorite song of the moment, Silverchair "Straight Lines."

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Women Traveling Solo Should Not Be an Issue

I have always wanted to own a hotel. I would play "hotel" as a child where I sat up a reservations desk and welcomed guests (grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, neighborhood kids, my cat and dog- we were animal friendly) into my luxury hotel. I have not let go of that dream yet. Today I searched Yahoo under the search terms "women hotel owners," "female hoteliers" and "female hotel owners." I had a really difficult time finding out about owners of hotels that were female. I guess it's a non-issue. To be a hotel owner, it does not matter if you are male or female. What I did find angered me. Truly, I was really upset. Instead of finding hotels owners I found articles about how hotels are beginning to "woo" female travelers. I found FAQ articles about whether women should travel if they are going to travel alone. I found articles about female only floors at hotels. I found articles all over the Internet about women traveling solo, but I could not find what I was really seeking. Now, I'm angry. Frankly, I am offended. Why?

I am upset that women need to even ask if it is OK for them to travel solo. This, just like whether hotels are owned by women or men, should be a non-issue. I am not sure why this is such a frequently asked question. Why are women afraid of traveling solo, if at all? What is so scary about traveling?

Women take risks every day that are equivalent to the risks they would take if traveling. For example, if I need to eat I go to the grocery store and buy food. Usually, I need to find some mode of transportation to get me to the store to get my food. I have several options for transportation. I can walk, catch a bus, drive a car. It is simple really. I can do all these things even though I am a women. I imagine that women in Australia, England, Japan or-I'm going out on a limb here-even China, have similar struggles. In fact, I have actually observed women in Australia, England and Japan at grocery stores (not China because I have never been) when I was traveling. Alone. Gasp! Women in those countries I assume need to eat and like most regions of the world they go to stores that sell food so they can buy the food to eat. When I go to other countries, I must eat. I go to the store, I buy food, take it home, prepare it and eat it. Just like the women in those countries do it and just like I do it back home. Shopping for food (alone) and traveling (alone) can be accomplished regardless of gender.

By writing articles and books specifically geared toward teaching women how to travel alone we are perpetuating the myth that women should be afraid to travel. I feel like we are basically telling women it's a big scary world out there, traveling is risky and if you are going to travel in such a big scary place you better be prepared because this is going to be h-a-r-d. So hard, in fact, that we have to write this 200 page book about it. We will hold your hand and guide you step-by-step into this big, bad world. Be prepared because you might run into a man. When you do accidentally encounter the male species in the world, you will have wanted to pack your hairbrush but not your hairdryer (because your hotel might already have one and you need to save space for your black high heels that match all of your black wardrobe). I am going to go all out and say "Ladies! You should travel regardless, not despite the fact that you are a woman! You are already smart enough to survive in life, therefore you are smart enough to travel." Women travelers should not be admired. They should not be called brave. Women travelers should be treated like they would be treated at home-like normal, functional, decision making adults. Although, I do believe men should open doors for women. I will not treat women any differently. In fact, I will not even have a "women only floor" at my hotel when I have one. But I may have a girls getaway spa package. Don't worry, I'll have a guys golf getaway. But only because I believe in equal opportunity profit.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Miami to St. Maarten Only $178

American Airlines has a NetSaaver deal for flights from Miami to St. Maarten for only $178! The savings come with restrictions however. You must depart Miami between Wednesday September 19 and Friday September 21 and return anytime the following Monday through Wednesday.

This is such a great deal, so I hope if you can get the time off you can take advantage of this offer!