The hompage of ExintheCity.com, a non-profit website for divorced women - site design by Moxie Design Studios
New Website Offers Travel Tips for Divorced Women
By Emily Morse
Traveling alone for the first time can be a daunting experience after a painful divorce. For women used to the company of a husband and children, exploring new regions by themselves can be intimidating.
Ex in the City.com, a nonprofit website for divorced women, offers suggestions, inspiration, and support for women hoping to empower themselves. The site focuses on the five stages of life after divorce: EXile, EXpress, EXorcise, EXplore and EXhale. For women going through the explore stage, travel is a focus, and Ex in the City shows divorced women how to enjoy every moment of their time away from home.
The Five Stages of "EX"
The five stages of life afer divorce might sound familiar. That’s because creator Margaret Manning had worked with Elisabeth Kubler Ross in the 1980's and written a book called The Hospice Alternative. It outlined the five stages of grief that someone goes through in dealing with the death of a child or loved one.
While working on this book, it occurred to Manning that “women go through the same stages in the months and years after a divorce, and that in understanding that one could really interpret the stages of 'EX' as opportunities to grow and rebuild a strong and wonderful life.”
And from this thought came Ex in the City, a website geared to help women move through the difficult stages of Ex together. Like dealing with the death of a loved one, divorce can involve feelings of denial, anger, insecurity, and bargaining before the end of a marriage can be accepted. Ex in the City helps women deal with these emotions by creating a community where women can share and learn from each other.
The site is complete with tips for overcoming trials and suggestions for making the most of this new stage in life. Features on the site range from articles about rediscovering confidence in the bedroom, in the SExy Ex section, to forums where women can post questions about everything from dating to vacation tips.
Divorce is a journey in its own unique way. According to Manning, “This journey is in fact one of a 'nomad' - a wanderer and traveler in completely unknown territory, searching for a sense of 'place' that is defined no more by family, wife, lover, mother - but being forged out of the experiences, the strengths that a woman knows deep inside define her - as an individual and not in the context of the role she has played for perhaps many years.”
After going through phases of anger and solitude, divorced women will eventually want to take deep breaths and discover new places. While women may travel through all five stages of the divorce, the explore stage is where the greatest emphasis is placed on travel.
Manning believes, “This is a time of re-emergence, discovery, and a quest for truth. It’s time to start a new career, get educated, take a trip round the world or a walk alone to the local park. Small steps and victories are the key.”
EX-Rated City Guides
Explore focuses on finding new opportunities. Traveling, volunteering, night-classes and museum visits are amongst the activities encouraged at this stage. And for this phase, the Ex in the City website presents a host of EX-rated City Guides submitted by women specifically geared toward the needs of a woman traveling alone in the city. With the help of women around the world, divorced women can find places that fit the special needs of a solo female traveler in the city.
One City Guide contributor, Naiya Sivaraj, recommends Singapore, and for the exile stage, she suggests that you visit the Botanical Gardens:
“Wander around the unique Orchid Garden to see more than a thousand varieties of this lovely flower; or go for a short trek in the mid-city rainforest. It’s open from five in the morning to twelve midnight, so there is no shortage of time for you to experience and love your solitude. Don’t forget to take your journal. You can loll by the lake and watch black and white swans drifting lazily by while you scribble a start to your beautiful new life.”
Flaunting, Strutting and Venting
The City Guides include a diverse range of activities. To express yourself in Johannesburg, Petro Koze suggests that you “Flaunt your sexuality wrapped in silver and chiffon, at the Jewels of the Nile belly-dancing school in Johannesburg. After jiggling and strutting your stuff for hours at a time, annihilate that last bit of pent up anger at The Big Time Taverna. At this Greek restaurant you will not only be wined and dined, but allowed to vent your anger on the crockery.”
Cities from Dallas to Sinapore and Bodrum to Nashville are detailed in the City Guides. These EX-rated guides can lead you through a beach trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida or an exotic vacation in the Maldives.
The best part is that these tips are great for all travelers, so whether you are going through a divorce or have yet to be married, the City Guides are a useful tool to learn the best places to go to have an enjoyable and unique vacation. Everyone can enjoy a “mandi bunga” or floral bath where “an elder woman picks seven types of fresh flowers, each flower symbolizing a different energy” as Naiya Sivaraj suggests for a visit to Penang, Malaysia.
New EX-rated City Guides are added almost daily, and the website is always looking for new submissions. You can enjoy doing the research and even get paid for adding your own article that will help women explore a city on their own.
In addition to the City Guides, Ex in the City has numerous articles about vacationing, links to other great travel websites, and books related to travel. Manning has found, “Traveling empowers a woman, gives her a confidence and strength to think for herself, navigate the world alone, find her own individuality.”
Emily Morse is a senior at UMass Amherst looking forward to teaching in Japan next year. Read her blog about travel articles and trends in travel.