Booking.com has supported and encouraged women in leadership roles and with International Women’s Day fast approaching, it’s offering some ideas of how to mark the occasion by following in the footsteps of some of history’s most iconic women.
The suggestions are timely, considering that recent research by Booking.com reveals that 39% of Canadian female travellers plan to do more independent travel in 2019 and some may well be interested in taking a solo trip to discover how these women were able to carve out their own paths.
Mexican artist and feminist icon, Frida Kahlo is famous for her iconic portraits and self-portraits in a folk-art style which combine both realism and surrealist elements. Kahlo was part of the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity and her works continue to inspire popular culture and raise questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class and race in Mexican society.
Kahlo spent most of her childhood and adult life at her family home in Coyoacán, Mexico City now known as the blue house which is publicly accessible as the Frida Kahlo Museum. She is also famous for her relationship with fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera who she married in 1928.
In 1930, Kahlo and Rivera moved from Mexico to settle in San Francisco, USA, where Kahlo showed her painting of the pair “Frida and Diego Rivera” at the Sixth Annual Exhibition of the San Francisco Society of Women Artists. They later returned to their native Mexico.
Where to stay
The Coyoacan City Lofts offer travellers their very own home away from home just a short stroll from Kahlo’s family home — now the Frida Kahlo House Museum. The apartments offer a terrace for guests to enjoy and bask in Kahlo’s lush, green suburb.
Earhart was an American aviator and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. In her lifetime she accomplished many things, set many other records and authored books about her experiences. She was also a member of the National Woman’s Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.
As a pilot, Earhart travelled to many destinations. Her most iconic voyage of solo transatlantic flight took her from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, landing safely at a farm near Derry, Northern Ireland nearly 15 hours later.
So if you’re looking to follow Earhart’s trailblazing route, why not visit one of these key landmarks. Prepare for take-off at Harbor Grace by visiting the Conception Bay Museum and learn more about the area and Earhart’s famous flight.
Where to stay
The Bayside Bed and Breakfast is a short drive from Harbor Grace, and the perfect base to explore the starting point of Earhart’s journey and take in the serene surroundings of Canada’s most easterly province. Start the day with a hearty breakfast at the property before heading to the nearby museum to learn more about Earhart’s heroic journey.
Curie is famously renowned as the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and in fact the only woman to date to win twice. She was a physicist and chemist who conducted groundbreaking research on radioactivity, a term she coined and developed the theory for. Curie also discovered the elements polonium and radium and helped develop the techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes.
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Curie later moved to Paris, France where she became the first female professor at the University of Paris.
She founded the Curie Institutes in both Paris and Warsaw, which remain major research centers today, and the perfect destinations for anyone wishing to step into her trailblazing footsteps.
According to Booking.com research, when asked what criteria women globally would use to define their “dream job,” more than four in five (84%) cited doing work that inspires them, followed closely by work that aligns with their natural skillset (83%), and a job that allows them to carve their own path (81%).
Curie is certainly a perfect example of a woman who followed her dreams, and if science is your thing, this may be the trip for you.
Where to stay
Stay in the heart of Curie’s home city of Warsaw at the Novotel Warszawa Centrum. The hotel is located opposite the Palace of Culture and Science and a short walk from Warsaw Central Train Station. The Maria Sklodowska-Curie Museum is just a short train trip away for those looking to learn more about the life and work of this iconic woman physicist and chemist.
While Warsaw is where Marie Curie’s life began, she made Paris her home and it too boasts a small museum in her honour. The Musee Curie celebrates her legacy and broader radiological research situated in her former lab. Le 66 bed and breakfast is just a short stroll away from the museum in 5th arrondissement, the perfect spot for travellers interested in food, literature, history and art.
An iconic figure in ancient history, Cleopatra was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Cleopatra is an iconic historical figure, renowned for her beauty, she was a well-educated leader and spoke several languages. Under her rule, Cleopatra secured a number of military alliances and even her own romantic liaisons which have been well featured in works of art and dramatizations of her life, cementing her as a key female icon in history.
Cleopatra’s legacy is most famously linked to her capital, Alexandria, Egypt. Although the ancient city she knew no longer remains, modern Alexandria still boasts a beautiful harbour overlooking the Mediterranean for today’s visitors. Cleopatra famously joined Julius Caesar in Rome, Italy and he even dedicated a golden statue of her in the temple of Venus Genetrix.
Where to stay
While not quite statues in your honour, experience the celebrity treatment with a private sandy beach overlooking the Mediterranean sea at the Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria At San Stefano. To feel even closer to the ancient history of the area, the Graeco-Roman Museum is an archaeological museum just a short drive away.
At the time of Caesar’s assassination, Cleopatra had settled in Rome, making her mark on the city beyond the statue in her honour, with many women adopting the look of her exotic hairstyle and pearl jewelry.
The New Generation Hostel Santa Maria Maggiore is the perfect city base for those wanting to explore Cleopatra’s second home, and just a short walk from the Temple of Venus Genetrix where her statue once stood. Offering both en suite private rooms and shared dormitories, this hostel is also a short walk from the Colosseum and Termini station, the perfect sightseeing base.
Sarabhai was a pioneer of the women’s labour movement in India and supported in her work by Mahatma Gandhi, with whom she set up Gujarat’s oldest labour union for textile workers. The union later paved the way for the founding of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA), the founder of which Ela Bhatt, Anasuya mentored.
Where to stay
Sarabhai’s home in Ahmedabad, India, is today home to the Calico Museum of textiles, a museum devoted to centuries of Indian fabrics & weaving techniques, the industry of which her trailblazing activism helped to protect. The Hyatt Regency Ahmedabad offers the perfect base to explore the central business district and surrounding areas, just a short drive from the Calico Museum.