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World’s best countries for women – updated for 2016

The best countries for women in terms of gender equality have been announced by The World Economic Forum in the new edition of its annual Global Gender Gap report.

The 2016 report assesses 144 economies on how well they utilise the female workforce in their country based on economic, educational, health-based and political indicators. The report can be used as an objective analysis of women’s quality of life and to thereby rank the world’s best countries for women with regards to business, politics, education and health. Continue reading

free time

22 books about obsessive searches

All travel to some extent is about searching. It may be a deep and yearning search for fulfilment, a soul-wrenching quest for absolution, or something far more base (Thailand, anyone?).

For some, travel is a way to silence an echoing need, be it for knowledge, enlightenment, glory or revenge. These obsessive searches take travellers on great journeys across the wild, usually giving rise to incredible tales of incredible lands. At times, these tales are humbling; at others, they are exasperating but never are they boring. Continue reading

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8 tips for travelling as a couple

I don’t tend to write about my relationship with Peter. We’ve been charting our year-long trip together but I’ve rarely talked about our relationship itself. As I explained in 7 things I struggled with in my first month on the road, this is partly because I haven’t always been 100% comfortable with publicly sharing our private moments. More importantly, I haven’t felt the need to talk about our relationship. You don’t really when it’s right.

When a relationship is awful, you tell your friends about the drama and you offload your pain. When a relationship is new, you want to tell the world and shout it from your Facebook wall. When a relationship is right, you don’t need to share, scream or shout about it because you have nothing to prove. That in a nutshell is my relationship with Peter. Continue reading

Peter and kia street harassment.

What travelling with a man taught me about street harassment

I sat on the stairs of our Airbnb studio and laced up my trainers for my first run since leaving London four months ago. As I tied the bow I absentmindedly thought “I hope I don’t get harassed.”

And then it occurred to me: I hadn’t been harassed for four months and the only reason the thought had crossed my mind was because I automatically associated running with street harassment. Continue reading

Beauty tips for backpacker

10 beauty tips for backpackers

I believe it was Naomi Wolf who spoke of a ‘tax’ that women pay for being women. This tax is paid in the form of time: minutes and hours that turn into days and weeks spent applying eyeliner, blow drying hair, filling in brows, blotting lipstick, filing nails, snipping split ends, and the multitude of other things we do to maintain our looks. On a work day, it takes me an hour to get ready from morning shower to out-the-door. It takes Peter a maximum of 30 minutes – and that includes a morning coffee. Continue reading

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5 backpacker problems only women will understand

Getting your period on the road

Most female backpackers on a long-term trip will have to go through the ordeal of having their period on the road, whether that involves changing tampons without running water or sitting out of a leisurely swim. Let’s face it: periods aren’t very fun. Even Bodyform – who peddled the idea of the miniskirted, roller-skating, skydiving girl-on-period for years – admitted in 2012 that they were lying. In truth and seriousness, periods are a pain especially if you’re planning the kind of active trip I am. There are volcanoes and mountains and diving and trekking and wild camping on our list – and the thought of having my period during any of that leaves me cold. Continue reading

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7 tips for travelling alone

1. Don’t feel like you have to make friends

All the travel experts bang on about how you’ll meet amazing people and make lifelong friends on your travels but sometimes that’s just not true. Granted, locals are usually friendly, surprising, eye-opening and delightful but fellow travellers are often of the single-serving variety. I recently boarded a plane and chose a seat next to two young women, thinking they would potentially be good to hang out with. Almost immediately they began to talk 100 words-per-minute about bags and shoes and shopping, and which shoes to wear while shopping, and which bags are best to store shoes in when swapping shoes from heels to flats when shopping. Groaning inwardly, I put on my headphones and turned up the volume. Continue reading