The Diva Team recently partnered with Emily Flynn for Tweet Chat (#LetsGoDiva) about her new eBook This is not a Guidebook, travel and The DivaCup. We were excited to learn about the many adventures this young woman has experienced. As a writer, student midwife and fellow Diva we thought to share a bit about Emily with our Diva Community! And… Emily is hosting a DivaCup giveaway on her website until November 7th, 2014. Entry details are below.
This is Not a Guide Book is a sort of unconventional travel guide. Instead of listing a whole bunch of must see tourist spots for a particular place, it helps guide travelers into what may be uncharted territory for them in terms of out of the ordinary adventure. It talks about saving and planning for a trip no matter your budget and no matter where you’re going. It also talks about the benefits of unconventional means of traveling like bike touring, hitchhiking, couch surfing, work for stays, volunteer travel, and the like. I discuss many of my travels doing offbeat trips on a shoestring as well as tell the stories of fellow travelers I’ve met along the way who have shared their exciting lives with me. I hope it’s encouraging to hear about all the many ways you can travel even if you aren’t crazy rich.
2. What inspired you to write a book like This is not a Guidebook?
I caught the travel bug in high school when I went to Europe with a big group of classmates and have hardly stayed in one place since. I have had a lot of people–friends and random acquaintances alike–ask me how I manage to do it when I never make anywhere near as much money as they do. After writing so many long long long emails and blog posts to answer these questions, I had a few friends suggest I write a book with all of the info in one place.
Plus, one of the last things my Grandfather said to me was, “Where’s your book?”, so I figured I ought to get writing!
3. If you had to choose, what are the top three travel tips you would give for women?
1. Have faith in yourself. There are a lot of negative people out there who will tell you all sorts of discouraging things, especially if you’re a woman traveling alone, but you can do it.
2. On a similar note, building a strong community of positive people seems to be more essential for women travelers than for men. Having other women travelers inspire you and cheer you on is really impactful.
3. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. I always pack something cute to wear, a razor, etc., and look for unconventional and exciting things to wear and decorate my gear with, even when I’m living outdoors for six months or biking 1,000 miles. There’s no reason to feel like you have to look or act a certain way in order to succeed in finishing your trip. Be yourself and you’ll be more comfortable and have more fun. This goes for men too.
I have been using The DivaCup for about a year now and love it. The best part is not worrying about having to run out and buy a box of tampons when your period comes around; it’s already there in its little pouch when I need it. Not having to throw away so much waste is an amazing benefit too, especially when I’m in the backcountry for extended periods of time. You have to pack everything in and out, and the last thing I want is to have to cart around a bag of used pads and tampons ’til I can get to civilization. I used a sea sponge on my 6 month Appalachian Trail hike and it was amazing to not have to worry about those things. I wish I had a DivaCup then, though. I think it would have worked even better!
5. Tell us about your favorite travel memory?
Hmmmm. That’s a hard one. It’s between my first real backpacking trip through The Olympic National Forest to see Blue Glacier and my trip to the Aran Islands in Ireland. I’ll talk about the second one because it’s funnier…
I took a trip over to Ireland when I was living in Holland several years ago. My boyfriend and I rented a car and drove around almost the entire island in six days. We stopped over to the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway because we heard they were really beautiful.
After a truly horrible ferry ride, we arrived on the tiny main island late at night and nothing was open save for one bar near the hostel. They stopped serving food so we had a dinner of potato chips and Guinness surrounded by some hearty Irish fisherman. There was one in particular who took a liking to me. We think his name was Papa Lou, but we can’t be sure. He spoke in such a thick brogue that I was left to translate for my boyfriend everything he said–many years with my Grandfather made me fluent in Old Irishman. He also laughed and shook my hand as a sort of punctuation to every sentence and asked me to marry him about forty times, but only after asking my boyfriend if it was okay. I’d guess he was somewhere up in his late 70’s. We did manage to have a lovely and intellectually stimulating conversation about commercial fishing, believe it or not, before we retired to our hostel.
It was freezing that night and the hostel was completely empty, so we made a mattress and blanket fort on the ground away from the windows just to stay warm. We got up the next morning and biked around the ruins and small farms before heading back to the mainland. It was a silly night and a really memorable stay in the home of my ancestors.
Emily is a doula and student midwife in Durango, CO. When she’s not catching babies, she’s enjoying all the outdoor activities around the Southwest and saving up for her next big adventure. You can read more about Emily’s travels in her book This is Not a Guide Book and on the book’s blog. You can also purchase a copy of the book, online at Amazon.
For a chance to win a DivaCup prize pack and a copy of This is Not a Guide Book read the submission guidelines here.