Women Travel Latin America interviewed Alone Together author Ronnie Lovler about her travels through the region and what inspires her to share her stories.
What inspired you to write your story for Alone Together?
I was in Colombia on a personal visit in mid-June 2017 and saw the call for submissions for the project. I’ve been a journalist, and now I teach, write and edit, but until that moment, I had only thought about doing personal writing. I had not acted to make this dream a reality. I had just two weeks until the Alone Together deadline for accepting material for consideration. But I thought to myself, this is a now or never opportunity. I knew that it would not necessarily be a done deal in terms of having my work accepted for publication in the book, but I did feel strongly that writing this chapter was necessary for me. To my absolute joy and delight, my chapter was accepted for inclusion in the book and I am excited to be one of the authors published in Alone Together.
Why do you think women should travel Latin America?
I can’t think of any reason why a woman should NOT travel to Latin America. The region has something for everyone all of the time — rich and varied cultures; verdant hills and mountains, snow-capped peaks, meandering rivers, rough-hewn Pacific beaches as well as the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean. Varied art, varied music, varied cultures. Urban metropolises and pastoral village life. But most of all Latin America has its people. As a woman, my journey to Latin America changed my life — for the better.
What is your best memory of your Latin America adventure, and why?
I have so many marvelous memories; so much to remember and reminiscence about, it is hard to pick just one thing. So for here, I will focus collectively on the social life that just seemed always to be so vibrant and so meaningful. These recollections have to do with the meals shared and the dances danced. Dinner parties were a common occurrence, whether in someone’s home or in a restaurant. The food was always wonderful the wine flowed freely, but what flowed even more freely, was the conversation. And the conversations ran the gamut — politics, music, art, fashion, or just sharing jokes. Quite often dinner was the event of the evening, lasting for hours — not something you did quickly before heading off to do something else. And going out dancing Latin style was always invigorating and a lot of fun. I learned to be an acceptable dance partner who got the rhythm and could keep the beat. After a night of dancing, I always came home pleasantly exhausted.
Describe the region in three words.
Exciting. Enticing. Enthralling.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a trip to Latin America?
1. Travel light. One small suitcase can do the trick. Don’t take more than you need. Less luggage promotes more mobility.
2. If you don’t speak Spanish, try to learn a bit before you go. People are pleased when you try to speak to them in their language. Speaking even a few words of Spanish will open doors and allow you to know people of all social classes, not just the privileged who have studied in British or American schools, or who have traveled abroad in English-speaking countries.
3. Like Nike says, just do it! You won’t regret it.