On Monday, April 29th, we lost an important member of the travel writing community and one of the most inspiring voices in travel for women.
Evelyn Hannon, known everywhere as Journeywoman, was an energetic, uplifting, critical thinking, and compassionate woman of travel. She was an inspiration to so many – people I know and hundreds of thousands of people I don't know.
Way back in 2013, I was listening to the words of KT Tunstall's song, “Suddenly I See.” It made me think of Evelyn and I wrote the following homage to her.
She will be sorely missed.
You can follow tributes to Evelyn on Twitter @Journeywoman. Now, here's the post from 2013.
Her Face Is a Map of the World
I'd like my face to be “a map of the world.”
To me, it would mean that I am a lifelong learner.
One who is forever growing.
I strive for this in my life and traveling solo helps me feel like I am making progress. But, as I meet certain people, I realize how far I have yet to grow.
“Everything around her is a silver pool of light.”
What a lovely image – a “silver pool of light.”
This line, and the one from the title of this post, is from Suddenly I See, a song by KT Tunstall. It's not new, but the song recently made it back onto my walking playlist. I like the words and the images. Naturally, they make me think of travel and I wondered whose face really is a map of the world. I wanted to give you many examples but Evelyn Hannon, the founder and editor of Journeywoman stood out so much that this post had to be about her.
Evelyn's energy is like this silver pool of light. It is valuable, encompassing, and uplifting.
It seems to me that it is also unwavering. She sees the good of the world on a grand scale and in its minutia, but also with a critical eye.
“Her face is a map of the world.”
Evelyn has been traveling the world, mostly solo, since the 1980s. After a divorce from her husband, she set out on her first trip. You can read her story here. She started Journeywoman in 1994 and has been sharing travel tips with women ever since.
I first met Evelyn Hannon on Twitter in 2009, shortly after starting Solo Traveler. After learning that we both lived in Toronto, I was invited to her home for tea. In our conversation I spilled my story about the loss of my husband and the origins of Solo Traveler. She listened patiently then shared her own story in a somewhat more quiet manner. Her transition to a new life had taken place decades before. Mine was fresh. Her energy supported me and her words encouraged me on my path.
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm
Since then, I have seen Evelyn a number of times. I've seen her speak at travel bloggers' conferences and other travel-related events. Last week I attended a panel discussion on solo travel safety where she again shared her advice, as always, with a quiet confidence.
So when I think of whose face is a map of the world, I think of Evelyn.
Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
Yes, her face projects a beauty that comes from knowledge collected from years of travel, compassion accumulated from connecting with women all over the world, and wisdom gathered from a mindful approach to her travels. Her inspiration has been instrumental to me and many others.
And she's taller than most
And she's looking at me
I can see her eyes looking from the page of a magazine
She makes me feel like I could be a tower
A big strong tower
The power to be
The power to give
The power to see…
Yes, I aspire for my face to be a map of the world and to pass on all of the above. “The power to be. The power to give. The power to see.“