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Leyla Giray Woman on the Road

Women on Road Blogger Comes to GG

Thank you to Leyla Giray for contributing this post to GoGirlfriend. We’re a community-based travel blog and we welcome submissions from everyone. Whether you’re a budget-baller or a first class only kinda traveler, we’d love to hear from you. Visit our Writer’s Guidelines and learn how you can share your travel advice, stories and adventures!

Leyla is both a backpacker and a nomad - at least in spirit. Wherever she is, she usually wants to be somewhere else!

Leyla GirayLeyla GirayIt started many generations before her - rumor traces her ancestry back to the Golden Hordes that swept across Asia a millennium ago. And it doesn't look as though things have changed much.

Leyla took her first transcontinental trip at 5 weeks, when her parents bundled her on the Orient Express bound for Asia. She was born in France, grew up in Spain, Iran and the Middle East, and studied in Canada before moving to Switzerland. She rarely finished a school year in the same country, and changed schools 16 times before graduation.

She took her first backpacking trip (without her parents' knowledge) to Morocco at 15, and still remembers sitting in cafés by the casbah sipping mint tea, watching the ships come in, and feeling as though she owned the world.

She became a journalist, a foreign correspondent, following stories across the world and only settling down once in a while - but never long enough to build up a pension and a future.

A few years ago, thinking she had finally beat the travel bug, she left a perfectly fine and steady job to become a freelance journalist for a few months. She was gone three years, traveling with her backpack and one of the first portable laptops across Africa (12 countries), Asia (9 countries), Cuba, and the Baltic States.

From 1996-1999, she filed stories from many countries as a journalist concerned with development issues for The Earth Times, the Christian Science Monitor, many magazines and even websites - although electronic journalism was just beginning.

Today, Leyla works on issues of AIDS, environment and family planning, and manages her own website for backpacking women.

Have a backpacking question for our Woman on the Road? Post your questions here for Leyla and she'll answer them in a future post.

Women on the Road




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Hello. First off, I am not a woman! I am an 18 year old guy! I was on your site - 'Women on the Road' - but I couldn't comment because there was trouble posting. Your site has so much useful information that I just had to thank you! I love reading about your travels because I hope, in the not so distant future, I will be able to get started on my travel dreams. I'm not a travel writer, but all I can do write now is write about my desire to travel and how I cannot wait to explore! I have so many questions though. I don't know how to get started. When I read about your trips, like your escape to Morocco when you were 15, I wonder how you did it! It seems like a lot of the travel articles I read are by people who are considerably wealthy. I don't know about your financial situation, but I know for a fact that I wasn't born into an overly affluent family. I feel grounded because I've been living on an island for 18 years, and only managed to go to Europe twice (through my highschool) but those trips were too organized for my adventurous mindset. So, how did you do it? How were you able to turn a 3 month trip to Africa into a 3 year trip and not run out of money! That's the main thing holding me back! I haven't asked for a lot of help from people, but from the ones that I have questioned, I haven't gotten a reply. I would LOVE if I could get a response back. Maybe it would be that little push that I need to get me started. Thank you so much for your site again. It's not only reaching out to women!

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