The question: Not a day goes by that I don’t think of travelling, but my husband is a homebody. Worse, he doesn’t want me to travel alone. Is there a travel company that puts together small troops for more remote destinations, like Mongolia and Africa?
Not everyone born with double X chromosomes is legally bound to paint lavender fields in Provence or practise asanas in Costa Rica while on holiday. Fortunately for you, many companies cater to women travelling alone.
The Women's Travel Club ( womenstravelclub.com) leads trips to Israel, Vietnam and China. Wild Women Expeditions ( wildwomenexp.com) offers adventures kayaking off the B.C. coast or canoeing the Nahanni river in the Northwest Territories.
AdventureWomen ( adventurewomen.com) has been running small-group trips for three decades. “The majority of women who come on our trips do so because their husbands, friends or other family members don't want to go on an adventure trip, and they feel safe coming with an all-women's group,” says Susan Eckert, president and founder of the Montana-based company.
Aimed at women over 30 (with an average age of about 55), AdventureWomen skips the single supplement by pairing up solo travellers, switching roommates with each new hotel to keep it fun (or, one imagines, to ensure incompatibilities are short-lived). “If two women come together and want to stay roommates, then that is fine also,” Eckert says.
As for your dream of adventure? AdventureWomen is leading a 14-day trip in late May to track mountain gorillas in the lush and misty forests of Uganda and Rwanda, with a bonus of seeing elephants, hippos and chimpanzees. Or you could put miles on your hiking boots with its October trip to Nepal to trek through the Himalayas at a lower, more comfortable altitude, with an option of flying around Mount Everest.
Or, consider a company that is not exclusive to women. Intrepid Travel ( intrepidtravel.com) attracts a majority of women – 65 per cent travelling alone – to its immersive and adventurous tours. The mix of age, gender and couple and solo travellers “really adds to the group dynamic instead of creating a divide,” says Katy Rockett, of Intrepid Travel Canada.
Upcoming Intrepid trips that are ideal for spring through fall include a 10-day tour through Morocco that takes you into the colourful Djemaa el-Fna market in Marrakesh, trekking in the High Atlas mountains and crossing the Sahara by camel. Its eight-day tour through Turkey explores Istanbul's Blue Mosque, pauses at the historic Gallipoli Peninsula and visits the pools at Pamukkale, known since Roman times for their medicinal qualities.
As for the single supplement, Intrepid pairs solo travellers of the same sex if you want to avoid the fee. Pay the single supplement, however, and you get your own room.
Send your travel questions to email@example.com.
Follow Karan Smith on Twitter: @karan_smith. Special to The Globe and Mail