Tales of Travel
Eleven years ago, Gemma Thompson was on her very first solo backpacking trip, heading to Bangkok via a two night stay in Dubai, with the intention to trek all throughout Asia. To keep her company, she brought along the works of male travel writers like Michael Palin and Bill Bryson, but quickly concluded that the narratives lacked a perspective closer to her own. Gemma felt that travel stories like hers could better help advise and accompany female travellers - or at the very least, serve as solidarity while on the road.
Gemma soon came up with ‘Girls that Travel’ – a concept for a book that features different stories, all from different women. “The theme is ‘A Girls’ Guide to Travelling Alone.’” explained Gemma. She promises “true stories from women travellers who have experienced all manner of unexpected ups and downs – a humorous, heartwarming, and sometimes slightly scary on-the-road companion for single female travellers.” And adds that she hopes the guide will inspire more women to grab their backpacks and passports and go on an adventure. “Travelling on your own builds your self confidence like nothing else. And the experiences shape you and stay with you forever. I’ve never met anyone who said ‘I regret travelling.’”
News Travels Fast
Gemma’s next task was to go about sourcing the stories. She started with social media, creating a Twitter and Facebook, and hosting a #girlstravel tweet chat on Mashable, where their hashtag became a US trending topic. “This book would not have been possible without social media – around 80% of our submissions have been sent in from women who found us online.”
But when it came to face-to-face encounters, Gemma used Luxe Business Cards – trimming the corners and turning them into luggage tags featuring the ‘Girls that Travel’ logo to make cards (and the concept!) more memorable. Gemma also printed Luxe Postcards – staying well within the travel theme and offering a practical use for those who might want to mail a note home while trekking abroad.
Once Gemma gathers enough stories, they’ll be turned into an e-book and potentially a print book. But she hopes the story telling won’t stop there.
“We want women to carry on sharing their experiences, after the book has been published. We would love to serve as a community for solo women travellers.”
Follow @Girlsthattravel to stay updated on the Girl’s Guide to Travelling Alone. And in case you have a trip coming up of your own, our Luxe Postcards might make the perfect road companion.