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Meet the Four Ladies Who Are Helping Other Women Explore the World

By Valerie Stimac


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Mary Checchini (bottom left) of Living Big and a group of adventurous ladies

Courtesy of Living Big

Mary Checchini (bottom left) of Living Big and a group of adventurous ladies

These ladies-only tour operators are on a mission to get women traveling—and often.

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The Solo Female Traveler trend shines a bright spotlight on one simple fact: women who love traveling aren't going to forestall their adventures to wait for a companion anymore. The leap of faith and the courage that it takes to travel the world solo are commendable, but, for a variety of reasons, not every woman wants to travel completely alone. Sometimes, we just want to travel with someone else who understands the highs and lows of traveling the world as a woman.

As a result, entrepreneurial women have started operating tours themselves—tours that emphasize female community. Recognizing their own desires to have female-friendly experiences anywhere, these women began offering tours for travelers who felt the same. Here are four of these inspirational women who are helping other women explore the world.

Genevieve Hathaway of ArchaeoAdventures

Seattle-based Hathaway guides tours through countries often perceived as the least welcoming to women: upcoming destinations include Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey. Furthermore, she employs women in each destination to help guide excursions, all of which focus on history, culture, food, and even a bit of shopping (think: bartering in souks!).

On the biggest benefit of travel:
“Travel is an amazing tool to break down barriers between cultures and change perspectives…along the way giving women more confidence and self-understanding through these experiences.”

Her top advice for first-time female travelers:
“Do your homework. Doing a lot of research and talking with people who live in the place you are going will give you the confidence, understanding and tools to plan and carry out a great trip.”
See upcoming departure dates from ArchaeoAdventures, including Morrocco, at archaeoadventures.com.

Flor Giavedoni
Viajeras por el Mundo
As suggested by her company name, English is not Flor’s first language, but it’s no barrier to her tours in India and Bali.

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She leads groups of women from Spain, Portugal, and Latin America on tours to some of the most beautiful temples and colorful festivals in the world. Flor focuses on immersion: guests are often spotted in traditional clothing and smiling from the backs of tuktuks.

On the biggest benefit of travel:
“Traveling is a very big challenge, but it is really empowering to allow yourself to live this adventure, share it, and let the journey transform who you are.”

 Her top advice for first-time female travelers:
“Do it! Traveling far from home, from our comfort zone, is an experience that will transform your life. You meet different kinds of people with another culture and way of seeing life, and that is something that enriches your soul.”
Explore upcoming itineraries with Flor at viajerasporelmundo.com.

Mary Checcini of Living Big
Living Big

As a one-woman business, Mary Cecchini doesn’t run tours often. When she does though, she goes big: upcoming destinations include Iceland, Croatia, and Japan, and past tours went to Switzerland and Costa Rica. Mary created Living Big to help women overcome one of the biggest barriers to booking that ticket: having a travel companion. Tours have a maximum of 10 women and focus on food, culture, and building friendships.

On the biggest benefit of travel:
“You genuinely connect with people, away from our phones and email, [and] you realize that the world and the people who make it up aren’t all that different from you and me.”

Her top advice for first-time female travelers:
“Why not go? The comforts of their current world are likely to always be operating at the status quo, but the opportunity to enhance your life after an international travel experience is very special.”

Browse upcoming destinations on livingbig.org.

Hanna Sobczuk of Hanna Travel
Hanna Sobczuk
Hanna Travel
Hanna originally started traveling from her home in Poland, but she guides tours in places that couldn’t be much more culturally different: Jordan and Sri Lanka. Both are destinations she has visited repeatedly, and her passion and connection to each place shines through her itineraries, which focus on history, food, and plenty of outdoor adventure.

On the biggest benefit of travel:
“Travel opens your eyes to many things, helps you to be more open-minded, spontaneous and patient, and to appreciate the world you live in.”

Her top advice for first-time female travelers:
“Leave your attitude and expectations at home and travel with an open mind. It will help you notice things that you were not aware of, and to create great memories.”

See the details for upcoming Jordan and Sri Lanka departures at hannatravel.pl.

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