An Interview with Women on the Road Blog
What better way to start the weekend by getting to know another cool travel blog? We became friends with Women on the Road blog on Facebook and after some email exchange with Layla, the founder, we thought you’d like to meet another one of us!
How did the idea of starting your own travel blog come up?
I started it back in 2006 after extensive travel – I was going to write a book but life got in the way and I had so much material and experiences that I didn’t want to waste, so I decided to start Women on the Road. There weren’t many of us then.
What travel topics do you focus on?
I empower women to travel solo – so everything I write is designed to help women travel on their own by lessening their fears, giving them tips on how to cope if and when they are afraid, practical stuff like relationships and family issues on the road, hygiene, health, budgeting… you name it, and I’ve probably written something about it. The only thing I don’t really cover are specific destinations because so many other writers do that beautifully. My destination information is more incidental to what I write.
What’s your favorite country you visited and why?
No, I can’t even go near that question. There is no country I love completely – each has a dose of reality, some good, some bad, and no country I can completely dislike. Among my favorites are Burma (I’ve been six times), Laos, Eritrea, Panama, Spain… and there are so many more. Mostly I tend to like/dislike countries based on people and culture. Sometimes it’s the food – as in Mexico or Thailand. Natural beauty helps, as in Brazil, as does a strong sense of history, which I feel across France and Italy. And so on. You see why it’s an impossible question?
What travel adventure are you off to next?
I’m thinking of backpacking across Albania… If I stay away from the coast, chances are I won’t run into too many foreigners… There’s also Vietnam, Borneo and Patagonia on the horizon somewhere.
Are you a beach, mountain or city person?
A city person most of the time. I’m a redhead so the beach is pretty much off-bounds, unless I want to end up looking like a lobster and feeling like bacon. I live in the mountains (in the French Jura) so enough of that. Cities, give me cities, with their vibrant energy. Cities I love? New York, Paris, Madrid, Bangkok, Hong Kong – I like my cities lively and bustling.
What do you most look forward to when you visit a place for the first time?
I look forward to riding the bus. It’s the first thing I do when I get somewhere. I find local buses go everywhere, so I get a sense of place. I sit there with my map and by day’s end I’m an old hand at neighborhoods. I’ve found no better way to get to know a place.