Welcome to Gypsy Wednesday! Every Wednesday, I strive to highlight all the juicy morsels related to travel and beyond.

It is the Oprah Winfrey of travel books. Seriously. If you’re a solo woman traveler, or looking to tailor a trip with girlfriends, get this book.  In 2007, Stephanie Elizondo Griest amassed a comprehensive source built on sensory overload in the most pleasurable ways, oozing with female power. Not power that crushes the weak or sickly, but it made me remember why I love being a girl.

Griest deftly organizes 100 Places Every Woman Should Go to suit any personality, because women are as varied as orchids.

If you’re a thrill seeker, partake in a ship wreck dive for pearls in the Persian Gulf, or face the formidable conditions in Antartica by landing a job at a base camp.

Seeking a dialogue with enlightenment? Climb Mount Kaliash in Tibet and experience a symbolic death at the apex of Zutulpuk Monastery, cause every gal needs rebirth once in a while. Discover peace in the chaos at the River Ganges, a sacred portal representing the life-force of the universe. What you’ll witness in Varanasi, India will test your assumptions about faith.

I adored the section on important women and their places in history. Imagine yourself channeling Frida Kahlo or Catherine the Great, ladies who battled convention to emerge wholly unique and strong. It was reassuring to know others blazed a trail before us.

Any travel guide worth the typeface has a section called “Just-Go-There Places”. My mind injected with vivid, ecstatic visions after digesting descriptions of Dubrovnik, Croatia and the best places to spot a mermaid (pssst.. Eleuthera, Bahamas). I was thoroughly convinced, and my bucket list suddenly expanded.

What sealed my appreciation for this book is the massive index of travel companies at the ready to realize a woman’s dreams. Some of the companies may have folded, but even seeing them in print opens the door to ideas and a fresh Google search.

Sistas Doing It – Travel!

Perhaps I’m overreaching by saying this, but 100 Places appeals to every facet of the human being – physical, emotional, mental, intellectual, spiritual.

Some past criticisms were a minor bias on Griest’s part, by mentioning beloved travel spots Oaxaca, Mexico or her hometown of Austin numerous times throughout the book. When I began backpacking, very few guides existed, so I’m just grateful women can pick up an encyclopedia of resources period.

No guide is 100%, nor will it be the source for all. I can guarantee this book offers new discoveries for seasoned travelers and generate bowled over excitement for the novice. It’s that good.

Sistas photo courtesy of Lucas Janin under Creative Commons.