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2 BOOK REVIEWS – A Woman’s World & Gutsy Women

A Woman’s World
Editor: Marybeth Bond; Writers: various

Gutsy Women, Second edition
by Marybeth Bond

Publisher: Travelers’ Tales Inc, San Francisco, California

Rating: *****

Uplifting, entertaining and practical, these two travel books are “best friends forever”. A Woman’s World is a series of 55 easily digestible, bite-sized anecdotes by women who have traveled independently to various parts of the world. Gutsy Women is Marybeth Bond’s latest compilation of useful “travel tips and wisdom for the road”. And each is an education in itself.

Several of the writers in A Woman’s World were in search of self-discovery, spiritual awakening or roots: menopause in Borneo; soul work in Chartres; pilgrimage in Italy. Others traveled to challenge themselves, learning to listen to their inner voices or to sidestep danger. Some simply went to relax. But all have unique stories to tell – from the cozy to the bizarre. Among these are:

playing couch-potato in Mexico, where servants flutter and painting your toenails is a main event;
§         being kidnapped in the Italian Alps;
§         volunteering in Africa;
§         surviving the advances of a married Romeo in Bolivia;
§         taking grandma to India.

Whether you’re male or female, young or old, timid or wild, you’ll find this a great armchair voyage. Fright. Romance. Dreams. Lessons. But, above all, adventure any way you define it.

Gutsy Women covers the spectrum of practical advice for women travelers. Bond anticipates every eventuality, and is there with advice, ideas and stories – underlined by quotes from North American women who have “been there, done that”. This guide is organized by type of travel (mother-daughter; the older adventurer; the gutsy diner) and issue (romance; safety; health) so it’s easy to zero in on specific needs or interests. Packed with titillating tidbits and anecdotes, this slim volume is a great traveling companion.