There are a lot of reasons why traveling is so enriching. You’ll see sights and experience adventures you’ll probably never to get experience in your hometown. You get to study and experience other cultures and ways of life. But probably most importantly, you get to make new friends and learn from them. If you’re a woman who loves to travel and isn’t shy about meeting people, you might want to consider joining 5W (Women Welcome Women Worldwide). According to its website, it’s an organization that “aims to foster international friendship by enabling women of different countries to visit one another. Members are of all backgrounds and from many parts of the world. Any woman may become a member, regardless of nationality, religion, home circumstances, etc.”
5W was patterned after “exchange” or “hospitality” programs. You know the type, where youths get to stay in member’s houses and live with them while on vacation. Well, the founders had this great idea: why can’t this be applied to women, too? After all, we women are generally courteous, considerate and helpful, as well as always willing to bond with other women, regardless of race (ehem!). By joining 5W, members get a list of instant friends. Whatever country on whatever continent (except Antarctica) you plan to visit, fellow members will make sure you have a place to live (for free!) and a fabulous time. Imagine the benefits: you get to save on hotel costs, you get a local host-cum-travel-guide for free, plus the safety factor, which is a big deal especially for women traveling alone. Not to mention the friendships you’ll make along the way, which is priceless. Some members who can’t afford to travel are also eager to be hosts, if only to live vicariously through their fellow members, and learn about the other’s culture as well.
Membership to 5W is considered a donation. For $67 (or £35), you’ll receive a list and contact details of 5W’s 2,800 members from over 72 countries. To find out more 5W, visit their website at www.womenwelcomewomen.org.uk.