Missing excursions with your female pals, craving for those night-long gossiping sessions? Willing to take a deep plunge into more adventurous stuff or finding a way to explore various getaways on your own, leaving your folks, husbands and children at home.
Well, if your heart gives a reply in affirmation, the time has come to satiate that desire to travel. And, if you think the idea of being a solo woman traveller is giving you goosebumps, leave those jim-jams behind and simply call upon “WOW” and book yourself on the next women-only tour.
WOW or Women on Wanderlust, is a travel club run by Sumitra Senapaty. The travel club ensures women travellers a dream excursion with no extra baggage of worries. Sumitra plans the trip as a friend would do and would leave nothing to chance. Usually Sumitra travels with the group, otherwise there are “WOW buddies” who voluntarily take up the task and lead the gang of girls.
Being a woman and an avid traveller, Sumitra is cognizant of the requirements of woman. Sumitra spoke to Neha Chawla on WOW, concept of women-only tours and changing trends in travel.
When and how did you think of launching WOW?
I have travelled a lot as a travel writer. On one of my trips to New Zealand, I had an interaction with some English women who were touring together. That was the moment for me and I decided to put my passion and experience together to start a club, allowing women to reconnect and revel in freedom of doing exactly what they want.
Since the club is meant for women, colour pink becomes the obvious choice to represent it?
Well, pink has always been a feminine colour. And, it’s a best way to celebrate femininity.
Why women will choose WOW?
They may have a partner who doesn’t like to travel, they may be divorced, or their friends can’t travel with them because of varied reasons. Moreover, the new modern woman is more independent and confident, and going away with other women is an opportunity for them to build a companionship, which they can cherish for long. The women-only tours are appealing mother-daughter duos also, thus allowing them to discover each other in a new light.
What’s the USP of your travel club?
I plan tours as a friend would do unlike a travel firm. There are no hidden costs, you have everything meticulously planned which actually saves a great amount of time and doesn’t leave you stressed.
Is WOW a great choice for women seeking affordable excursions?
In a way yes, because single travellers can share a room and avoid the “single supplement” – 50-70% more than the cost of double-occupancy. Besides, you just don’t land up sharing a room with a complete stranger.
How is the whole experience of bringing together women from diverse backgrounds?
There are women travelling from different walks of life. They are lawyers, doctors, corporate executives and home makers.
But the relationship gets into a mould as soon as these women meet at the airport. There is no need to introduce ice-breakers. The zest to travel is enough to bind them together.
What’s the frequency of trips organised per year?
The year 2008 is quite a packed one with 12 trips to different locales ranging from Leh and Ladakh in India to Egypt, China, Israel, South Africa, Greece, Italy, and Turkey.
Do you travel with the groups each time?
Yes I do, but there are ‘WOW buddies’ who voluntarily take the charge of leading a group at times.
Finally, tell us your idea of travelling…
Travel is actually magical. It’s about learning to live life, understanding humanity and having a rocking time while doing it.