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Check Out Our Hardcover Book, Dame Traveler: Live the Spirit of Adventure

It’s finally here! Our very first, Dame Traveler photography / coffee table book published with Ten Speed Press of Penguin Random House – “Dame Traveler: Live The Spirit Of Adventure.

This book has been the ultimate goal (and absolute dream) since Dame Traveler’s creation many years ago. Seeing it come to life in print is a feeling BEYOND words can say. We simply cannot wait to see it in your hands and in your homes. It’s a dream to imagine seeing copies of it out in the world, creased and filled with bookmarks and notes, loved and worn, passed on and gifted to fellow female traveler friends.

The time for armchair travel is now. Without a doubt, the world has greatly shifted in the wake of Covid-19. Travel restrictions and the gravity of potentially putting others at risk or overwhelming local healthcare systems are serious, complicated and heart wrenching considerations for those of us who long (and live) to explore.

Our dream is that the #dametravelerbook transports you to every corner of our beautiful planet. We hope you sift through each page and imagine yourself there, soaking in cultural experiences, scaling mountaintops, learning from locals, discovering new, untouched European towns or road tripping through America.

Even if your travel plans have halted and you’re Social Distancing to help Flatten the Curve, the world is still your oyster. And we hope each and every page keeps that fire to adventure glowing until the right time comes to hop on that plane.

Today, we’re thrilled to give you an inside sneak peak into our premiere hardback book, which you can order here!

At A Glance

Combining breathtaking collection of the unseen images of the women within the Dame Traveler community, empowering messages and planning tips for female travelers and secret recommendations – “Dame Traveler: Live The Spirit Of Adventure” is a coffee table photo book you’ll love to sift through to collect stories, inspiration and more. Each page is filled with some of the most thrilling, awe-inspiring photos made by women boldly traveling the world and sharing their stories. It’s a collection and celebration of the diversity and bravery of women who are not afraid to think (and live) outside the box.

Featured inside:

  • All female contributors – With a serious focus on diversity, you’ll find women of all abilities, races, religions, sizes and identities inside each chapter. Each woman included into the book showcase their discoveries, artistry and inside knowledge acquired through their individual experiences.
  • Over 200 breathtaking, full color images – 80% of the photographs included inside are never before seen on Dame Traveler’s Instagram.
  • “DT Insider Tips” – A resource list of recommendations  straight from Dame Travelers’ experiences, including favorite neighborhoods, specific locations of photo vantage points, hotel recommendations and historical tidbits.
  • History of Dame Traveler’s creation – An in-depth backstory of the brand’s creation, as well as the triumphant story of Nastasia Yakoub, founder and author.
  • Safety tips for women – A curated list of our best and often overlooked safety tips specifically for women traveling solo.

Chapter Preview

When planning the structure of the book, we wanted to bring to life the four core themes of  travel experiences- architecture, nature, culture and water. Each category features travel information, plus tips, resources, advice, unique solo-travel experiences, and wisdom from contributing Dame Traveler found on each page. It’s glance into the stunning beauty and discoveries made around the world, organized by the four desires most of us set to find when we depart on our next trip. Here’s a quick preview of what you’ll find in each chapter!

Architecture

Ranging from the ancient tombs of royalty of the past, to the intricately designed spaces of the French Nouveau, to the minimalist, futuristic buildings in today’s metropolises… our Architecture chapter features some of the world’s most storied and mind-blowing spaces around the world. Explore the world through its ancient and modern spaces alike through the lenses of women who have uncovered some of the coolest spaces with the most legendary pasts.

A Special Look Into Our Upcoming Dame Traveler Book

Nature

The sparse and open spaces of the driest deserts juxtaposed next to dense, lush jungles… when creating our Nature chapter, we set out to feature the astounding beauty of the natural world. Inside, you’ll find the best inside knowledge outdoor enthusiast Dame Travelers have learned from their many treks around the globe.

A Special Look Into Our Upcoming Dame Traveler Book

Culture

If it’s connection you are seeking in your travels, our Culture chapter is sure to enthrall you. Expect purpose-driven explorations, hallowed spaces, stories from friendships made with locals and thoughtful itineraries that educate just as much as they excite.

A Special Look Into Our Upcoming Dame Traveler Book

Water

There’s nothing more peaceful and rejuvenating than the beauty of water, is there? Inside our Water chapter, we delve into the world’s fascinating forms of water. From refreshing, undiscovered swimming pools, to the pristine beaches of far off islands, to the natural hot springs used for restoration… this chapter is a deep dive into the power and the peace that water brings.

A Special Look Into Our Upcoming Dame Traveler Book


Thank you so much for supporting our biggest and wildest dream! It goes without saying that this would not have come into life without the amazing community of women within Dame Traveler. We thank you so much and hope you love the book as much as we do!

 

 

Asia Insider Tips Travel Planning

The Top 5 Places to Visit in Kolkata, India

If you’re planning a trip to India, make sure to schedule at least two days for a visit to Kolkata. It is one of the absolute best destinations for 2020, especially for the female traveler. This city is ancient and stocked with heritage values and world famous sights, festivals and foods — including the city’s Durga puja celebration and delicious ‘Rasgulla’. 

1. Victoria Memorial

Everybody knows where Taj Mahal is, but do you know where the same replica belongs? Victoria memorial has the same architectural design as Taj Mahal.

The Victoria Memorial was built between 1906 to 1921. It is a museum and holds some of Kolkata’s oldest photos. Inside the museum, you will see artillery that once belong to the British period. Outside the memorial, be sure to take a “Tanga” (horse cart) ride to get a full experience.

2. Howrah Bridge

The landmark of Kolkata joins Kolkata city and Howrah, and dates all the way back to British imperialism period. The world’s busiest cantilever bridge is Howrah bridge, and it stands without nut and bolts. Pretty impressive.

3. Marble Palace

The Kolkata Marble Palace was built in 1835 by Raja Rajendra Mullick with a heavy influence by Greek architecture. It is now a wonderful museum. If you want to see antique relics in bulk, then you have to visit this palace!

4. Jorasanko Thakur Bari

The famous poet/novelist Rabindranath Tagore’s house is just beside the Marble Palace. It’s a 5 minute walking distance between the two, making it a breeze to add to your itinerary. The house is a museum now and the Rabindra Bharati Museum is situated on one side of the building. 

5. St Paul’s Cathedral

Lastly, St Paul’s Cathedral welcomes you. It was built in 1839 with Gothic architecture and is the first Episcopal Church in East Asia.


There are many more places in beautiful Kolkata, India that you’re sure to discover! Happy exploring this hidden gem of a city.

Beaches Insider Tips Latin America

5 Amazing Winter Destinations in Central America

With winter already in full swing in Canada, I’m dreaming of escaping to a tropical paradise. Central America is one of my favorite parts of the world to travel this time of year, since it’s relatively close to North America, affordable to fly and travel within, and has a lovely warm and dry climate. If you’re looking for a place to escape this winter, get inspired with these five amazing destinations in Central America.

Caye Caulker, Belize

If you want a place to chill out and relax then head to the charming island of Caye Caulker, just an hour and a half boat ride from Belize city. The motto of this island is ‘go slow’, and the locals actually enforce it. 

Caye Caulker is a very small island, so once you get off the boat you can walk anywhere you need to go. The atmosphere of the island is relaxed and friendly, making it easy to meet locals and other travelers. The Lazy Lizard is one of the most popular spots in town to hang out. It offers unique seating arrangements where you can drink and eat while still being in the water.

Caye Caulker is an excellent destination for diving and snorkeling, with access to the second-largest barrier reef in the world. The most famous dive site is the Blue Hole, but there are plenty of other beautiful coral reefs around to explore such as Half Moon Caye Wall. With such a welcoming atmosphere and access to incredible marine life, Caye Caulker is one of the best tropical islands in the world.

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country full of beautiful beaches with access to the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. Each beach town has its own unique atmosphere, but one that should be on your Costa Rica itinerary is Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula. 

Santa Teresa is the perfect place for surfers and yogis. The waves on Santa Teresa beach are consistent and perfect for beginners learning to surf, with lessons readily available in the area. Even if you don’t surf, Santa Teresa still has a lot to offer including yoga classes, horseback riding, and some of the prettiest sunsets in Central America. The sun sets directly over the ocean, and every night the beach has a wonderful atmosphere of locals and travelers gathered to watch it go down. 

Utila, Honduras

 

 

For a dive focused vacation, head to the wonderful island of Utila. This small 12-square-mile island off the coast of mainland Honduras is a diver’s paradise. Utila borders on the Mesoamerican barrier reef system, the 2nd largest reef in the world after the Australian Great Barrier Reef. It has over 100 different world-class dive sites to choose from where you can see colorful reefs, caves and wrecks, and hundreds of species of fish including whale sharks.  It also happens to be one of the cheapest places in the world to get your diving certification. 

Honduras is a country that’s often overlooked because of its dangerous reputation, but the bay island area, including Utila, is perfectly safe to visit.  Locals will say there are two things to do in Utila: dive and party. In my experience, that’s pretty accurate, but I loved every second of my time there. The island is made up of dive shops and bars, but everyone who lives in Utila is friendly and down to earth. From beach clean-ups to all-night parties, the town has a great vibe about it. 

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

If you’re looking for beach, surf, and parties, it doesn’t get better than San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua. San Juan is most famous for being home to Central America’s biggest pool party, Sunday Funday. It happens every Sunday of the week, and a ticket gets you entrance into five different pool parties plus transportation between them. 

Even when it’s not Sunday, San Juan Del Sur has a lot to offer visitors with so much beautiful nature around.  For the best views, take a short 20-minute hike up to the Jesus Statue where you can see San Juan del Sur Bay below. Afterward, reward yourself at one of the San Juans many delicious taco shops.

There is a beach you can visit right on San Juan Del Sur Bay, but there are nicer ones not far away. Grab a shuttle to nearby Playa Hermosa, which has beautiful white sand and a shaded hammock area to relax in. San Juan del Sur is just half an hour away from the Costa Rica border, so it’s the perfect place to stop if you traveling between the two countries.

San Blas Islands, Panama

When I think about a perfect tropical paradise, the San Blas Islands are what come to mind. This stunning archipelago is located in Central America between Panama and Colombia, surrounded by the beautiful Caribbean Sea.  It’s made up of approximately 365 islands and cays, of which only 49 are inhabited by the indigenous Kuna people. 

When you reach the islands, it will be just your crew and the belongings you have brought. With no cell phone reception or wifi, days are spent relaxing on the beach, drinking fresh coconuts, or snorkeling in the nearby water. If you want a complete escape from reality, the San Blas Islands are the perfect place to go.

Winter is an ideal time to visit the San Blas Islands, as this is during the dry season when the seas are calm. The best way to visit the islands is to take a tour from Panama City. This can be done as a two-day overnight trip where you sleep on the islands, or as a 4-day island-hopping adventure that ends in Colombia.

Insider Tips What to Pack

Learn How To Pack Fast and Avoid Stress in 5 Easy Steps

Wherever you go you need to take some stuff with you from home. The length of the journey doesn’t matter, it can be a one-day excursion or a 7-week exploration of China’s amazing wildlife and countryside. But as we all know, packing can be stressful. How do you know you’ve prepared yourself for the journey ahead in the most efficient and best way possible? I’ve been backpacking and traveling my whole adult life so I would love to share some tips on how to pack fast and pretty much stress-free. From having an anti-theft backpack to bringing only travel-sized toiletries these are my top 5 tips.

1. Have multipurpose clothes

Pack a nice dark-colored dress, something that works well for work or a night out. This way you not only save on space but on packing time as well. Roll it and pack it like Pinterest gurus. This works for some casual T-Shirts as well. If they are in a single color without any decal, they can pretty much work with anything. It saves you space and packing time. Get a multi-season jacket, something made out of Merino wool would be great. Trust me, those things can last a long time (mine is 6 years old and counting) and you can take it with you on the way out.

2. Packing shoes

Casual sandals, sneakers and evening shoes are something you would want to bring with you wherever you go. Those 3 types of shoes may be a must-have on a holiday but you have to keep in mind they take up most of your luggage space. Pack the smallest ones and then wear the ones that take up most space on your way out.

3. Packing jewelry

Either wear them on you or have a good anti-theft backpack with you when you’re heading out, there’s no way around it with this one. When you pack them remember to store them in a container lined with tissue so you would avoid scratches.

4. Packing your toiletries

To me, this one was and is most stressful. Although I love to buy and try out new conditioners and shampoos I dislike breaking my usual routine. I like to try out a new product for a few weeks and then see if I’ll use it permanently. But, my hair hates it when I switch shampoos too quickly. Sometimes this is a necessity, as our toiletries can take up a lot of room. We seem to forget that there are stores where we are going and we could get what we need there. But if that seems like a hassle, have a pre-packed toiletries bag with you that you can put in your luggage filled with your essentials.

5. Pack the essentials

Solo traveling is empowering and is becoming more and more frequent, so there are some must-haves that should be a part of our luggage. Pack your passport first! This should be the first thing you put in your luggage and the first thing out. Pack your prescription medication, you never know how the place you’re traveling to has it or will sell it to you. Get a power bank. No matter how much (or little) you use your phone you should always have a backup power bank near you. You can almost always catch wifi somewhere if you need to find a neat place to eat out or just need to update your maps. The easiest thing you can do is just make a checklist a day before you go and put on paper what you need. It is a little old fashioned but it works and will help you pack in an easy and stress-free way.

Advice Europe Insider Tips

5 European Christmas Markets to Visit for Maximum Holiday Cheer

One of my favorite travel experiences is finding those traditional wooden huts that seemingly pop up out of nowhere in December and fill a city with holiday cheer.  Starting and ending my days at the Christmas markets promises the ultimate holiday cheer. The Christmas lights come on, music fills the air, and the smell of delicious treats lead you through the market. Despite cold temperatures, the Gemütlichkeit will keep you warm when visiting these 5 European Christmas markets.

Nuremberg, Germany 

For more than 700 years, Nuremberg has been the destination for Christmas markets.  It is the first market I visited and it’s first on my list for both of these reasons.  There’s a reason why famous places are, in fact, famous. Steeped in tradition, the Nuremberg Christmas market is opened by the Christkind, a local woman who is elected to serve the community for two years.  In addition to local specialties (my favorite is the Nuremberg sausage) and gifts, Nuremberg offers a unique opportunity to experience Christmas around the world through a smaller sister cities market with international offerings.  To warm up, you can take a class to learn how to make your own gingerbread.  

Bonus: If you can’t make it to Nuremberg this year, there are numerous sister city Christmas markets held all over the world.  

Salzburg, Austria 

Salzburg feels postcard perfect at any time of the year, but it really shines at Christmas time.  With Christmas markets on both sides of the Salzach River and flanking the castles and palaces, every Salzburg site will be dressed in holiday cheer.  From schnapps to handblown ornaments, from aromatic bath salts to soaps, from spices to flavored vinegars, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your Christmas list in Salzburg.  Whether you are standing in Residenzplatz or standing on the edge of Hohensalzburg Fortress, you can hear music celebrating the season from every corner of Salzburg.         

Bonus: Head to the chapel where Silent Night was first performed for a special performance on Christmas Eve.  

Prague, Czech Republic

With a towering Christmas tree, continuous musical performances, and the perfect medieval backdrop, it feels like Old Town Square was made to host the world’s Christmas party.  With stalls providing kielbasa, various types of potatoes, fresh trdelnik, and Pilsner to wash it down, the Prague Christmas market is my favorite meal in Prague. The Prague Christmas market is the perfect place to pick up more Christmas décor.  Smaller but equally magical Christmas markets can be found below the Charles Bridge in Mala Strana and at Prague Castle, for the ultimate fairytale experience.  

Bonus: Escape the crowds and see the Christmas market from above by taking the elevator to the top of the Astronomical Tower at Old City Hall.  

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Whether you make it to Rothenburg ob der Tauber for the Christmas markets or not, between Käthe Wohlfahrt and the Christmas museum, this medieval village can feel like Christmas all year round.  The entire town seems to celebrate the advent season with daily concerts, presentations by local bakers and chocolate makers, and various tours through the city and its landmarks.  Day trippers fill the cobblestoned streets throughout the day, so I recommended booking at least a night or two in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.  You’ll have the locals and the Christmas markets all to yourselves in the evenings.  

Bonus: Take advantage of the area’s wine tasting and send a few bottles home.  You can find beautiful wine glasses at the Christmas market to finish off the perfect Christmas gift.     

Montepulciano, Italy

We didn’t expect to find a Christmas market in Tuscany, but a late lunch reservation forced us to wander the hilly streets of Montepulciano.  As we emerged onto the Piazza Grande, Feliz Navidad blasted through the air.  Hosting a nativity scene, Santa’s workshop, and an ice rink, Montepulciano’s Christmas village is perfect for and everyone. A stroll up to the fortress reveals a Christmas food fair with plenty of vendors, tables, and places to play.  With local meats, cheeses, and plenty of handmade gifts, the Montepulciano Christmas market is a delicious stop on any Italian itinerary.      

Bonus: This market stays open until the Epiphany on January 6, so you can start in the north and make your way south for more holiday cheer after Christmas.


Feeling festive? You can also check out our favorite holiday posts here!

 

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