In today’s newsletter: the latest travel news and the woman who founded Femmebnb. This month, a portion of the profits from paid newsletter subscriptions will be donated to CARE India. Previous organizations we’ve supported include Womankind, Girls Write Now, Women for Women, Heart of Dinner & Black Mamas Matter. If you’ve found your way here but are not yet subscribed, let me help you with that:
In the life of a writer, it is a hard fact that sometimes you just need a break from writing. After the freelance writing assignments, the book manuscripts, the blog posts, and whatever other projects you have going on; the idea of writing more can sometimes feel daunting.
Last week, on the eve of sending out this weekly newsletter, I found myself in one such writer’s funk. With my prose seemingly sucked dry, I had no more words to give and so, I took a break. The glorious thing about taking time to yourself (i.e. SELF CARE), is that the moment you stop forcing yourself to pour from an empty cup is the moment you open your eyes up to other things around you. For me, my little hiatus from last week’s newsletter opened up my eyes to one very exciting realization: travel is coming back!
Somewhere between commissioning stories for Unearth Women and pitching publications an article about romance scams (a story for another time), I looked up and realized that countries are slowly opening up their borders to vaccinated travelers. Since getting fully vaccinated, I have been longing to book a trip but haven’t because of the ever-shifting COVID restrictions and entry/exit requirements. Suddenly, the idea of planning a trip to somewhere other than your local grocery store is no longer a pipe dream. Read on for the important travel news to know, the destinations you can visit, and (if you’re planning a trip to Mexico) what’s going on in the state of Quintana Roo.
The latest travel news to have you on your radar — especially if you’re planning a trip
Here’s where to travel now that you’re vaccinated…
Last month, Unearth Women published an article about what countries are open to vaccinated travelers. Recently, that article has been updated with a slew of new destinations for you to choose from. Read it here.
What to know about Europe’s reopening…
It was recently announced that the EU is opening up to vaccinated travelers this summer. Here’s what you need to know. Along with news of the EU opening, is news of an EU-wide COVID pass being introduced for travelers. Learn more about it here.
Important information if you’re headed to Mexico…
Having just booked a trip to Isla Holbox (an island two hours north of Cancun on the edge of the state of Quintana Roo), this is a story I am watching carefully. While I’ll be far from the beach resorts of Cancun, I’ll still be within the state of Quintana Roo, which is home to Cancun, San Miguel de Cozumel, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen. Because of these tourist hot spots, there has been a surge in COVID cases for this particular state in Mexico. Mexico uses a stoplight system for its 32 states and, as of this newsletter, Quintana Roo is at level orange. If the state should go red, here is what that means for travelers.
Meet the woman who is creating an Airbnb just for women
For Yaa Birago, the idea behind Femmebnb came after a harrowing experience in Rome. While solo traveling in the Italian capital, Birago was sexually harassed in front of her Airbnb. When Birago ran to her male Airbnb host for help, she was met with flippancy and a shocking lack of compassion. “This happens all the time,” her host casually told a panicked Birago. “Nothing will happen to you.” At the time, Birago couldn’t help but think how different the response might have been had her Airbnb host been a woman. The experience is what ultimately led Birago to launch Femmebnb, a short-term rental and social network dedicated to female travelers. Using a robust verification system for its hosts, Femmebnb was designed with women’s safety in mind. In this interview, Birago talks about her start-up company and the challenges she faced in launching it.
Fresh starts, trampoline-loving dogs, and saving India
Everywhere I look, people are stepping out of this pandemic and into major life changes. Whether it’s having children, moving to a new city, or quitting their job — it seems everyone I know is having a personal renaissance of sorts. Read this article by The Atlantic, which explores the trend of people shrugging off their pre-pandemic lives in lieu of a fresh start.
Check out this Instagram by stop motion animator, Andrea Love. I came across this video, which is just about the most impressive thing I’ve seen in a while. The things that Andrea is able to do with felt and fiber are nothing short of magical. While you’re on Instagram, watch this video of a dog having entirely too much fun on a trampoline. We honestly don’t deserve the pure innocence, love, and loyalty of dogs.
Finally, read this important article from Cosmpolitan about India’s COVID crisis. The article calls out our collective love for things like yoga and chai teas from India’s culture, and how we all need to step up now and help. If you’re a paid subscriber to this newsletter, the good news is you’re already helping India as I’ll be donating a percentage of all paid subscriptions to CARE India this month.