This is Ellen Perlman's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Ellen Perlman's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Ellen Perlman
Washington, DC
News, feature and travel writer
Interests: travel, hiking, biking, studying spanish
Recent Activity
Image
"Ideal for solo travelers," says the press release from Western River Expeditions about its rafting trips on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon, Utah. I vouch for that statement. I had one of the best trips of my life floating on peaceful sections of the river and holding on for dear life through Class III and IV rapids (read: "big"). And camping by the side of the river with new friends who I was happy... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Our guide in Port of Spain, Trinidad, pointed to a concrete lot as we drove past it on the way to our hotel. "That's one of the panyards." Which explained nothing at all. It wasn't until a couple of days later I understood. Steelpan is the term for steel drums in Trinidad and Tobago. And panyards are where steelpan band members set up their steel drums and practice. You do need a whole vacant lot... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Children and chocolate. That is what most people think when they think Hershey, Pennsylvania. But it's entirely possible to have a grown-up weekend in the town that chocolate built. Mine involved visits to a winery, a brewery, a spa, an outlet mall and an antique car museum. All for a travel story for The Burg, a monthly community newspaper for Harrisburg, Pa. I've written about Hershey way more times than I need to count. Somehow... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2016 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Volcanoes abound It's not often one gets to experience a volcano. But there I was in Ecuador, a decade or so ago, watching a plume of what looked like smoke--but had to be ash--spewing from Tungurahua, translated as throat of fire. In Riobamba and other towns nearby, people were constantly sweeping a film of gray off steps, sidewalks, the front of churches. More ash kept settling down. Obviously, volcanoes can be dangerous but it was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2016 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Green and white awnings and a small sign are all that distinguish the Richmond home of Maggie L. Walker from neighboring duplexes that have been carefully restored to their appearance circa 1925. What distinguished Walker in her day was her skill at overcoming all the obstacles society could place before a black woman living under Jim Crow segregation laws. But wait. Maggie who? Maggie Lena Walker, the daughter of a former slave, was a black... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2016 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
If you're going to get stuck somewhere in a blizzard, make it a ski resort, is what I always say. Actually, I'd never said that before this past weekend. But then, as serendipity would have it, I got "stuck" at a ski resort during a blizzard. Oh, poor me. All I could do at Canaan Valley Resort in West Virginia was ski--Nordic and alpine--snowboard, ice skate, use the whirlpool and head for the lodge's dining... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
First things first regarding driving yourself around Italy. If you want to ask a non-English-speaking Italian where the downtown is, you're going to have to pronounce "città centro" (city center) as: chee-TAH CHEN-tro I figured that pronunciation out, oh, about a thousand quizzical looks too late. I thought driving in Italy on my own would be a huge step up from public transportation. I didn't quite realize the challenge. It started on day one when... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2015 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
In this story on why it's better to travel alone, the fourth reason is my favorite: deep immersion. You simply are not going to see or notice as much if you're walking with a friend or partner, while in Paris or Tokyo or anywhere else, gabbing with each other about what you just saw or where your next meal will be or something you remembered about your lives at home. You've stopped absorbing what's around... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2015 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
There are people I know who will jump out of perfectly good airplanes or ski double black diamond slopes in Utah who are afraid to dine out alone in a nice restaurant. Afraid! In this enjoyable story on dining solo, the writer describes it this way: When chilling out at home with a bowl of popcorn gets old, I opt for the solo dining experience – the next best thing to a bubble bath, except... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2015 at Boldly Go Solo
You have friends, right? And they have friends? And relatives, too? Well, what are you waiting for? TAP THEM. You don't have to know them well, or even at all. They just have to live someplace you want to go. That's how I decided I could go to Ecuador without a travel companion. The thought of landing alone after dark in Quito, the capital city, was nerve wracking otherwise. But my childhood friend's husband's uncle's... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2015 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Imagine a woman traveling the world alone...a half century ago. I'm sure it wasn't common, certainly not as common as today. I was intrigued when I learned about the experiences of such a woman from her daughter, Jane Stein, who found her mother's travel logs and turned those adventures into a children's book on travel. Today I'm running a guest post that Jane wrote. I enjoyed reading the tidbits she listed on her website to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
I now have a solo travel idol. Her name is Laura and she's 25. She and her friend Alexa, two country girls from the (still) United Kingdom stayed with me in August, a few days before Alexa had to fly home and Laura was getting ready to continue traveling around the U.S. on her own for two months. In return for a few nights at my place, the two of them cooked me dinner and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Nearly every day, I find solo travel stories from around the world. Here are just three of the dozens I've collected. More to come. Activities good for solo travelers: From Peter Greenberg, a story on how to find friends when traveling solo. Some of these I've mentioned about before - such as staying at upscale hostels or B&B's or going to a dude ranch - but he offers some interesting new ones. For example, certain... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2014 at Boldly Go Solo
A decade ago or so, I remember feeling so clever when, after my flight was canceled, I called the airline to find me another flight, while I stood in a long customer service line at the airport. Within a few minutes, I was rebooked to my destination and I stepped out of line. It had barely budged. Twitter has upped the ante. A Washington Post story today describes how a woman got great service from... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Recently, my good friend and fellow travel writer Clark Norton asked if I would share some tips for women traveling solo because he was going to be interviewed on the topic. I realize I haven't blogged on solo travel tips lately. And, hey, I was flattered that Clark, who is an expert in baby boomer travel, called my pointers "valuable." So I thought I would share here what I shared with his audience. * Travel... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2014 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
"Upscale" and "hostel" don't usually land together in a sentence so I was thrilled to read the story in today's Washington Post about the "new breed" of hostels opening in this country. They are "very high-end, clean, design-focused," according to the owner of a hostel soon to open in Pittsburgh. The story describes the Firehouse Hostel in Austin, the Cleveland Hostel and the Freehand Miami, along with the 20-year-old Green Tortoise hostel in San Francisco... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2014 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
For me, the beauty of travel is how even mundane days at home are enlivened by those memories. Random snippets of news or information send my mind to intriguing places I've visited and experiences I had there. When I noticed that my jeans were made in Jordan, my mind leaped to Petra, the city carved into rocks. I visited a couple of years ago during a trip to Israel. When I read a story about... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2014 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
“So you travel . . . only?” asked the woman sitting next to me in halting, but intuitive English, as we sat in the packed compartment on a train speeding through Moroccan farmland. We were the sole unveiled, accompanied women in the car. I enjoyed this story about solo travel in Morocco, a place I'm not sure I'd have the courage travel alone. Read more: Alone, a Western woman sees the sights Solo travel has... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2013 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
How can you not like a place where you can order cullen skink and Dalchonzie tart at dinner, have a stare-down with a falcon and discover that you weigh in the single digits?* I was in Scotland last week reveling in the Scottishness of it all, starting at the The Gleneagles Hotel. Gleneagles is hosting the Ryder Cup in 2014, exciting news for golf aficionados. The baggage carousel at Glasgow Airport is to golf bags... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2013 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Aloha.This week I am giving away a book of fiction called "This is Paradise" by Kristiana Kahakauwila. The story is based in Hawaii and from the excerpt I've read, I'm intrigued. To be eligible to receive the free copy, all you have to do is write a word or phrase related to Hawaii in the comment section below. You could write "pineapple" (though that industry has tanked there). "Spam" (I hear they sell spam-related products... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2013 at Boldly Go Solo
48
Image
A round-up of solo travel news Lately I've enjoyed reading posts from solo travelers on the reasons they travel solo. From a blog called the Simply Luxurious life, two thoughtful posts on solo travel. Why Not...Travel Alone?: When traveling alone "be reminded of what stirs your passions" and "boost your confidence" and "realize the difference between alone and loneliness." I like the quote the writer found: “The first rule of travel is that you should... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2013 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Recently I was contacted by a guy from a bike shop in England who wanted to interview me about solo travel. I'm telling you this not because you have to buy a bike from him (but you should!) And not because I feel a little like a celebrity (but I do!) I'm mentioning it because Dave asked questions that were fun for me to answer. And the answers summarize why I started this blog in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2013 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
For my recent trip to Toronto, the adventure started a couple of weeks before I got on the plane. Booking a room through airbnb: I started by searching for places to stay, using airbnb. It's tough to research places if you don't know what the neighborhoods are like. Or where the closest transportation is. If cost were no object, I could have stayed in a downtown hotel, near the conference center where I was attending... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2013 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
Toronto, Canada, is full of food, fun and adventure. Who knew? I was bowled over by my recent visit to Toronto. I had visited Montreal with my family when I was a kid. It had that French vibe and it felt like you were in Europe. And my dad could have fun practicing his bad French. But I always thought of Toronto as a modern city without much character. I knew you could go up... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2013 at Boldly Go Solo
Image
There's a half a ship on the main drag in Branson, Missouri, with a Las Vegas-like marquee out front saying: TITANIC NOW BOARDING 9 am - 9 pm A Titanic museum in the Midwest, hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean? I was prepared to be underwhelmed. Instead, I've been talking about it ever since. If this museum was meant for children, I must be a big kid. I tapped out my first-ever Morse code... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2013 at Boldly Go Solo