Women Travel Latin America: Author Interview: Ailana Navarez

Photo (c) Ailana Navarez 2017Photo (c) Ailana Navarez 2017

Originally published on Women Travel Latin America; by WTLA editorial team & Ailana Navarez

Women Travel Latin America interviewed Alone Together author Ailana Navarez about her travels through the region and what inspires her to share her stories.

What inspired you to write your story for Alone Together?

Traveling solo is not simple. Traveling solo as a women takes that to another dimension. I was attracted to Women Travel Latin America’s mission and Alone Together because it honors defying socioeconomic, political and cultural norms by taking the incentive independently and identifying the positive and negative realities implied. Alone Together furthermore celebrates former US President John F Kennedy’s “let the world change you, and you can change the world” philosophy in the context of female travelers taking on second and third world ambients, without stereotypical patriarchal influence.

Ailana NavarezWhy do you think women should travel Latin America?

Travel, in general, opens your eyes to different ways of thinking and being. International solo travel – without an umbrella organization such as a profession or tour company – teaches one how to be resourceful, humble, appreciative of the journey and maintain street smart vigilance simultaneously. Latin America is a perfectly imperfect region emphasizing such elements in bold color. It teaches us that nothing is a given and everything is possible.

What is your best memory of your Latin America adventure, and why?

Sometimes during solo travel – only we alone have our own back. Yet we are truly Alone Together in this! My Latin American adventures have empowered me with the ability to confront difficult and occasionally threatening situations. This no-nonsense survivalist mentality has meanwhile strengthened me in other areas of life. Being able to independently categorize what we feel and think under fast-paced pressure is hence a cross-industry gift to the self.

Describe the region in three words.

Perfectly imperfect quagmire.

What advice would you give to a woman considering a trip to Latin America?

There are – at least – two generalized types of Latin America available to “gringo/as” – the sheltered resort/gated community Latin America and the off-the-beaten-path Latin America. Know the difference before coming and embrace the experience when in it. No one likes to be around the disgruntled foreigner. No one likes being the disgruntled foreigner, either. Therefore, I advise not only women, but everyone, to conduct some basic research regarding a specific Latin American destination before ticket purchase. Moreover, making an honest assessment of what one is expecting out of it and what the experience may expect of oneself proves valuable.

************************

Read Alone Together – Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude, a fascinating anthology of women’s travel stories in Latin America.

Alone Together presents the extraordinary true stories of thirty-six women who explored a region they were taught to fear and uncovered the curious bond that exists between Latin America and the lone women on its roads. From chicken buses without bathrooms to trusty bamboo bicycles, these honest, heart-wrenching and often amusing adventures are essential reading for anyone curious about this part of the world.

Click here to purchase Alone Togetheron Amazon.