Sumitra Senapaty, an internationally known travel writer has seen and done just about everything. She has kayaked the South China Sea, snorkeled Great Barrier Reef & Red Sea, sailed the waters of Seychelles & Maldives, rafted the Zanskar in Ladakh, self driven through New Zealand, cruised the Mediterranean, toured Alaska, Canada, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, France, Australia, camped out in the African bush, and much more. Getting off the ‘beaten track’ is an addiction and she often searches out those special things to do on each trip. Sumitra is also an avid ‘foodie’ and can be found checking out unusual eateries or baking her favorite brownie cake (when she’s in town).
She felt that her treasure of experiences needs to be shared with other women. Her wish turns into reality with WOW Club- Women on Wanderlust, which pioneered the concept of all women travel during the summer of 2005. WOW Club makes your travel dreams come true. Its always, where have you been so far and where do you wish to go – Now pack up and come geared for WOW’s memorable holidays. WOW travel calendar for 2012 includes Uzbekistan, Kashmir, Ladakh, China with Lhasa, Spain, South America, Central Europe, USA, Tanzania and much more.
This issue of Fried Eye, we bring you a short evening of chit chat with Sumitra, the owner of Wow club- Women on Wanderlust, India’s first travel club for women.
How did WOW start?
It all started seven years ago when I realized of a missed travel platform for women travelers. It was a need, important and necessary. The idea was solo. It was conceptualized in New Zealand when I met women travelers from UK. It took a year to give a thought for the start but with families support and discussion, I started the WOW club-Women on Wanderlust. The WOW was born. The first trip in India was made to Ladakh and the first international travel was made to Egypt. Every year we make thirty trips for women all around the world.
How do you define the wow at WOW club?
The trip is different. We choose a central and a safe place for tour. We give ample time for women to explore around. We believe in the idea of making the travel ‘feel the wanderer’ in them. We sometimes go for meditation, do pottery, painting or get involved in wine tasting events.
WOW knows it’s a ‘holiday’ when a woman wants. We believe in the traveler’s interest. WOW women are those who say ‘Okay, I’m out’ from their mundane and hectic routine.
Who is a women traveler in WOW club?
Women travelers do not need anybody. A friend or family member may or may not like the idea of traveling out of known groups but it’s a woman’s interest, It is they who like it and define their ‘fine interest’, ‘ idle opportunity’ to explore and be themselves. Sometimes meeting in family gathering is difficult. Instead of all family members traveling to India, some of them meet during the trip midway and make the trip a memorable family gets together. Once there were three members of family traveling from Bangalore, Ireland and Australia for spending together.
Women of all ages between 25-80 years are travelers. They are 99% professional. They bond intellectually with some common interest , they make friends for life-time. A woman traveler of WOW is someone who is ‘self-motivated’, ‘courageous’, ‘confident’, ‘enthusiastic, ’encouraging’ and ‘share certain interest’.
What tips would you like to give to women travelers?
Women must be sure of where they are traveling. They must know what they want from the destination and should be able to understand where they are headed. They must do a little bit of research by themselves before setting for a destination. Women must always travel light, be alert anytime anywhere and have self-confident.
How do you choose your destination for women travelers?
On basis of what women want. Locations must be out of ordinary. Destinations must have something unique, like rafting in Rishikesh, wellness, trekking tour as in Valley of Flowers. Uncommon destinations and unusual destinations like Jordan, Great Barrier Reef, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Morrocco etc. We look out for destinations where women can spend time in reasonable luxury and pamper themselves, be adventurous and comfortable.
Suggest three top destinations for women
I would suggest, firstly South Africa where I prefer Cape Town, Garden Route, Krugeer and National Park Safari, secondly, Oman for safe countryside and lastly, one should not miss cruising in Greece. Its ideal without packing and unpacking for women in ocean liners
On Woman’s day Message for Wanderers –
“Be Pink & Footloose! Travel well and be alert always! Choose to explore the unknown in preference to more staid destinations”
Women travelers for cruising at Greek Island
Wine Tasting in South Africa
For more details visit http://www.wowsumitra.com/
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