By Belle Fraser
Boston University News Service
Wanderful, a travel network that uplifts solo female journeys, hosted a Galentine’s Day event at Ula Café on Feb. 12 to celebrate sisterhood and connect in person with its online community. The Boston chapter was one of four Wanderful groups that participated in the meet-up.
“We had wanted to do a larger public-facing event for a while so Galentine’s seemed like a good start off to 2023,” Kelly Christianson, the Boston chapter director, said. “It’s nice seeing the interest in the community and members have a place to come meet new people and share travel stories –– that’s kind of what Wanderful is all about.”
Started as a blog in 2009 by Founder and CEO Beth Santos, Wanderful was incorporated as a business in 2013 and has been a resource for women in travel ever since. The company’s mission is to represent the diversity of female travelers and build a supportive network that its members can tap into around the world.
“Wanderful is an international collective of thousands of travelers and travel content creators,” Santos said. “We’re really on this mission to help women travel worldwide.”
Through travel summits, workshops, organized trips and creator marketing campaigns, Wanderful members connect with like-minded women and gain tools to feel confident and secure when setting off to a new destination.
“It gives you a safe way to travel if you want to travel alone,” Christianson said. “A lot of people will reach out and members will meet them, show them around or give them advice or planning.”
Santos said the Galentine’s Day event was a great opportunity to come back together after the community had shifted online due to the pandemic.
“Now that we’re coming out of the pandemic, what we’re seeing is just a lot of people who are really hungering for that in-person, human connection again,” she said. “Get people together, celebrate who we are, celebrate our sisterhood, celebrate each other, and just have some fun.”
Sarah Fay has been a member for three years and said Wanderful is a group she leans on while also running her own travel blog and YouTube– Travels of Sarah Fay. When first starting out, Fay said she was looking for a resource that helped women succeed in the industry and was introduced to Wanderful at the annual Boston Travel and Adventure show at Hynes Convention Center.
“It is a great way to stay connected with people especially when you’re a digital nomad,” Fay said. “Being able to find people who already have a similar interest, right away you can start talking about traveling.”
Content creators, like Fay and women with a travel bug, were able to discuss their latest and upcoming adventures at the Galentine’s Day event and forge friendships with people of all backgrounds.
Wanderful is now preparing for its Women in Travel Summit that will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico this year from May 19-21.
“It’s been nice because you’re not only meeting other travel bloggers, but other women who love to travel and do it solo,” Fay said of the special event. “It gives you a community that you can reach out to wherever you are in the world.”