Solo Female Travel in Bolivia

‘Cholitas’ are easy to identify in the streets of La Paz, Bolivia’s capital city
‘Cholitas’ are easy to identify in the streets of La Paz, Bolivia’s capital city

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, a global celebration for the achievements of women, I bring you a quirky story I stumbled upon while traveling as a solo female travel writer on assignment in Bolivia….

With their long flowing skirts, braided pigtails and bowler hats, ‘Cholitas’ are easy to identify in the streets of La Paz, Bolivia’s capital city.  It’s an antiquated look — compared to the skinny jeans and low cut tops seen across the new generation – but the Cholitas have become a symbol of indigenous tradition and culture.

That’s why I was so surprised to hear about the event that happens every Sunday in the mulifunctionary arena in El Alto, just twenty minutes outside of polluted La Paz.  Here, in this humble arena, you can spot the Cholitas…wrestling!!

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Sightseeing Sydney in a 1964 Vintage Car

When I think of Sydney Australia, several iconic images come to mind: the Harbor, the bridge and the iconic Opera House, perhaps a Koala or two available for a cuddle at the Zoo. While those spots are awesome, many tourists may be interested in seeing a more ‘local’ side of the city.

As a travel influencer an on air travel expert, I was invited as a guest of Tourism Australia sent over to experience the best of the country’s offerings in the Queensland, New South Wales area – aboard Air New Zealand, one of the best ways to get to Australia.

While in Sydney, I signed up for unusal day tour called “My Sydney Detour,” a private sightseeing city tour seen in the back seat of a classic 1964 Holden. I’m a big fan of kitsch and car culture, so a city tour in a vintage car seemed like a good fit.

 

 

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Family Travel Expert for Travel & Leisure Magazine

A few months ago I was approached by Travel & Leisure Magazine to collaborate as a travel influencer on a video project. As a Travel & Leisure’s Family Travel Expert, I flew to Orlando Florida to appear on camera and gain first hand experience at Discovery Cove, a park where you can swim with bottlenose dolphins, feed tropical birds, scuba, spot otters, sharks and other marine wildlife. We shot a video about the experience…

 

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Touring Chernobyl – Photos 30 Years After

Chernobyl sign
A power plant is not a likely place to spend your vacation but every year, curious tourists make their way to Chernobyl for a look at where the world’s worst nuclear disaster took place.

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Best Places to Go Along Australia’s Gold Coast

Family Travel Expert Julia Dimon goes to best places along Gold Coast Australia

Crystal Castle & Shambhala gardens, a private botanical garden filled with crystals, subtropical plant life spreading across 5 hectors of lush flora and fauna.

For many, the land “Down Unda” is a country of koalas, kangaroos, Crocodile Dundees and sexy male actors…ahem Chris Hemsworth (swoon). While all those elements might certainly make up part of the Aussie cultural landscape, this vast country (roughly the same size as continental USA), is far more diverse and complex than the cinematic stereotypes. On a recent trip to Oz, I saw a side of coastal Australia that included a rich culinary scene, trendy new hotels, cutting edge wellness retreats and the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet.

Since I’m an adventure travel blogger, on-camera travel expert, travel influencer and general travel addict, I was invited as a guest of Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand, sent over to experience the best of the country’s offerings in the Queensland, New South Wales area – aboard one of the best ways to get to Australia.

Eager to experience Australia’s Gold Coast, I packed my bags and set out on an epic 10-day adventure hitting such hot spots as Byron Bay and Sydney.

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Canyoneering in Los Angeles – Urban Adventures in LA

Adventure travel writer and solo female travel expert reports on canyoneering in Los Angeles for Outside Television network. Just 20 minutes outside of downtown LA you’ll find Rubio Canyon where there are a series of waterfalls that cascade through the San Gabriel mountains. It’s a great spot for an urban adventure.

Live Like a Local in LA: Exploring Abbot Kinney Ave in Venice

 

GQ Magazine called it the “coolest block in America.” Abbot Kinney, a street in Venice lined with hip boutiques, Vegan restaurants and eco-conscious coffee shops lives up to its reputation.  The street draws the artsy and the affluent. Locals mostly, but the in-the-know Canadian traveller will certainly want to make time for an afternoon stroll along this hip strip on their visit to LA

As part of my blog series “Live Like a Local in LA” which highlights cool neighborhoods on the West Side of Los Angeles, I’d like to share some of my fave spots along Abbot Kinney.

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Live Like a Local in LA: Exploring Montana Ave. in Santa Monica

As the 1982, Missing Persons’ song goes: “Walkin’ in L.A., nobody walks in L.A.” This catchy tune perpetrated the pervasive myth that Los Angeles is all about car culture and no self respecting person would dare….walk (gasp!) A city of urban sprawl and notorious traffic, navigating the City of Angeles sure is easier with your own car. That said, Canadian travellers fear not, there are many neighborhoods across the city that are very foot friendly.  If you stay right in this neighborhood you may not need a rental so you’ll save on that and the car insurance. Don’t forget to protect yourself with travel insurance though – unless you’re a local!

One of my favorite places is on the West Side found in the Northern part of Santa Monica on a street called Montana Ave. I send all of my visiting friends (Canadians and otherwise!) here. This upmarket strip is lined with high-end clothing boutiques, jewelry shops and quaint restaurants, pedestrians can find refuge.

Just off Santa Monica’s coastline, Montana Avenue is a charming 10-block, open-air retail destination with more than 150 storefronts. As part of my “Live Like a Local” blog series, I recently hit these residential tree-lined streets to explore and highlight the hidden, local gems of Montana Ave.

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