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Dubai-based group gives women a chance to explore places they would like to visit in women-only groups

“Today’s woman would love to travel really much more (but) it’s more often than not that she doesn’t have a suitable companion to travel with.”

The Dubai branch caters to people all around the world, while the Indian branch looks just after India.

And the group is getting people joining up from all corners of the world, Bhatt says.

“In today’s day and age, it’s Google-able and it’s searchable.”

Usually everyone meets up at the destination airport, in locations as diverse as China, Georgia, Austria and Bali.

“We get a few from the West, from South East Asia, from Thailand, Bali, Britain, but the majority of women are from the Middle East.”

The trips arranged are either solely by The World At Her Feet, or in conjunction with partners around the world.

“We need a minimum number — anything from five and we’re ready to go.”

The group at Xian Airport on the way to Hangzhou with the guide

But The World At Her Feet also has a maximum number of women they accept, in order to keep the trips intimate and manageable.

“We’ve always prided ourselves by not going the (mainstream) way, it’s very niche…we close at 15 women…forging bonds and relationships is so much easier when it’s a small group.”

There are trips coming up to Iceland and Russia generating a lot of buzz, Bhatt says.

“What we try and do is get different destinations that are not really the ‘been-there-done-that’ kind of places, it’s not really the London, Paris kind of thing…women who have been to most capitals of the world…are raring to do something a bit more unusual.”

Far from the domain of single women, this group caters to ladies across the spectrum, Bhatt says.

“They can be single, married, widowed, divorced, as long as they’re women. At that particular time in their lives they don’t have someone to travel with… a lot of the women who come on our trips are married, it’s just being married to a person who has a demanding job means holidays are rationed out.”

Often women may feel they have the means to travel more frequently but don’t want to go it alone or on a generic package “where she may or may not be by herself or sitting next to a teenage boy”.

One for the album … At the Great Wall.

“We have had letters like ‘Thank God I have found you guys because it doesn’t seem like I need to wait for anybody to travel, having lost my husband’.”

She says women create lasting — and often unlikely — bonds, across ages, cultures and backgrounds.

“That’s one of the most beautiful things…the bond that is formed in the short days we do a trip, they come back to their various home towns and they keep in touch.”

One such relationship blossomed on a recent trip to Bali, when a 22-year-old and a woman in her 70s formed a close friendship — one that has endured since the end of the trip.

“They’re all joined by one common theme, which is ‘We want to travel and we’re passionate about travel’ and there’s no…sense of superiority or ‘Back home my family belongs to X or Y’…because they have all come together with a common need.”

In the rare cases where people do no get along, if they are sharing a room, the onus is on the person with the problem to pay for a single room, as well as the extra cost of the woman she has left behind. But problems are rare, Bhatt says.

“If you’re assigned to someone who is a total stranger, you’re mentally prepared you’re going to stay with a stranger.”

While Bhatt says she has seen some women transform over the course of a trip, becoming more confident and daring, it is too “presumptuous” to say The World At Her Feet allowed women to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.

“I really feel that travel has a way of finding you. If you have to travel, something in your life will make it happen."

“(The World At Her Feet) is just a vehicle to help women who feel they would not like to travel by themselves.”

But she does not think the group prevents women from doing the travel they may otherwise do solo.

“It’s not mollycoddling, no. I think a lot of women all say ‘Hey, I can travel where the next bloke travels, and I want all this extra tradition’, but you know when you come to us you’re in safe hands.”

All destinations and service providers are checked out ahead of time, while accommodation and travel plans are not publicised till after the trip has taken place, for extra security. Accommodation is primarily of the four star variety.

“If you’re the type of person (who likes to travel solo) more power to you, but that’s not the group we’re addressing.”

To safety assurances, add the extra activities that few on the independent traveller route would be capable of setting up, such as Balinese cooking classes, and meeting a former astronaut and an ex-KGB agent — due to happen place during the Russian trip.

Mehvish Razvi, a copywriter from Sharjah, says her trip to China in 2012 was so well organised that she has signed up for the April trip to Iceland, in the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights in action.

“A lot of women from the China trip are going to Iceland. When I decided to go, I convinced the others to join me, figuring it would be a great way to see them again.”

Razvi, who is single, said she did the original trip with her mother after reading about the group. “I love to travel but I don’t like to do it alone, so this is the ideal situation, a women’s group.”

At the Xi’an City Wall.

Razvi, originally from Pakistan, says before the trip to China, she had never travelled with women only, but she said it brought a new dynamics. “It’s a different kind of comfort level travelling with just women.”

Matters like bathroom cleanliness — a common problem in China — were easily overcome with the eagle-eyed women banding together for inspections.

“There was a real sense of security; there were all types of people there — there were women who were over 60 and then there were younger women like myself.”

While prices can be expensive — the seven-day trip to Iceland will cost about Dh15,000 all told, once flights and visa costs are included — the trip to China had been one of her favourite holidays, as everything was taken care of.

“Everything was so well-organised. All we had to do was arrange for our visa and ticket. From the time we landed in Beijing to the time we had to return home, everything was taken care of. I eat only halal food, and Paulomi even made that possible — not an easy feat in China.”

Even a bus breakdown in Beijing just before their flight to Xian left the women unflappable, with Bhatt doing the running to get things back on the road while the others sat calmly on the bus.

Razvi has been to varied destinations like Sydney, Alaska and Jordan but hopes Iceland will be her most enjoyable trip yet — as long as the Northern Lights come to the party.

Reviews

what our travellers have to say....

Genuine women who journeyed with us tell their stories and share their memories

  • Aisha Alhammadi

    I’ve enjoyed Ireland more than I’ve expected! Inshallah ill use the world at her feet again for the future :) i posted many pics of the trip on my Instagram. Very beautiful country

  • Nancy Sheikh

    The trip to Ireland was a wonderful experience of the culture and beauty of the country. TWAF, did a super job with comfortable arrangements which further served to enhance the quality of the trip.

    Happy customer
    Nancy

  • Lorraine Alva

    Bhutan And so the slogan goes: “Happiness is a Country” Truly enjoyed my trip to Bhutan was definitely on my bucket list The World At Her Feet organized a fantastic trip. Every detail was taken care of. Loved the idea of a small cosy group. Most importantly kudos to the van driver. He was so cautious especially considering the entire time we were either climbing or descending winding mountain roads. Credit goes to the the guide as well, as he in his own right, had such a thorough knowledge of the sites and personally took care of our safety on every hike especially the arduous climb up to Tiger’s Nest. What more could we ask for - emphasis on Safety being of highest priority. Truly recommend traveling with TWAHF.

  • Taghreed Taleb Hussein

    I knew about The World at her Feet when I searched for women trips and I joined them in Russia trip. It was amazing trip, and since then i joined all their following trips, and really regret not knowing them before and losing the chance of visiting all their previous trips.

  • Suma Nair

    This my very first trip to with the World At Her Feet. Was a bit skeptical about it. But after talking to Paulomi I was convinced and don’t regret my decision. I thank paulomi for coming up with such a nice concept for women like us. Shared room with our tour guide Rahma, who is an amazing person. Made wonderful friends and am looking forward to explore more with WAHF.

  • Diana Grobler

    First of all i would like to tell you I am not a group tour person. HOWEVER i have to say this tour changed some of my perceptions and bad experience i had. The size of the group makes all the difference. I found it well organised, fully packed with what you could see and do in such a short time. Well worth the money. The tour guide was excellent and the representative for The World at Her Feet made us all feel welcomed. Thank you very much. I can and will recommend your company to all my FB friends

  • MAHASEN AL MAHASNEH

    I travelled to China with where I joined 7 other women I have never met before, and today we are good friends. The trip was fantastic; we journeyed to 5 cities, attended numerous shows and visited several historic places. The tea ceremony was absolutely delightful, the Kung-Fu show and West Lake show which was a dazzling dancing show on the lake at night. Every detail was well organized and managed. The itinerary was impeccable; it gave us a chance to taste amazing food, see great places and most importantly make new wonderful friends. It was a truly memorable journey. Thank you Paulomi for a great experience and now China is off my bucket list. Love n light to all.

  • LEELA WILFRED

    The World At Her Feet, thank you for the amazing trips; this is my second trip and I'm looking forward to many more. Thank you Paulomi and my new friends. Love you all

  • MEHVISH RAZVI

    China: what an amazing trip! I really didn't expect it to be so perfect!! Thanks to WAHF and the best travelling mates ever!!

  • EVITA VEIGAS

    Couldn't have done China better! Thanks a million Paulomi.

  • URVASHI SINGHVI MEHTA

    A fantastic trip. The World At Her Feet - thank you for the experience!

  • PREETHI ANIRUDH

    Just returned from a fabulous holiday in Bali. Thanks to 'The World At Her Feet' I had so much fun and the adventure was out of this world. Looking forward to more such wonderful getaways!!!!! View the photos on my page soon.

  • TOM HUGHES

    Ladies, you are a life saviour. Now when I can’t take those short trips with my wife, she can join u guys and have a blast… All the very best

  • Belinda Sheppard

    The World At Her Feet organized a special food tour for us to Armenia- great trip - beautiful location !

  • Susan Miller

    The World At Her Feet organized a private tour for us to Italy . Superb planning !

  • Sandra Desai

    I have been with TWAHF on 2 trips.. A first time adventurous strip to Bali and a second to amazing China. I met up with many like minded women with the zen to travel, see the world.. And TWAHF makes it so easy.. Thanks to Paulomi for some amazing plans. Would certainly love to join in on future trip!!

  • Analisa Anog Callangan

    I had an amazing Japan trip experience with TWAHF. Likewise, all the ladies in the group tour were equally amazing. I look forward to another wonderful travel experience with TWAHF!

  • Audrey Noronha

    Thanks for organizing such a splendid Finland trip. Every day was a different adventure. The driver cum guide were all very good and patient and attended to all our queries 😊 Looking forward to joining for future trips 😊 and God bless you and the entire TWAHF👍

  • Eugena Miranda

    Hi Paulomi! We got back yesterday (Audrey and me) and wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful trip to Finland. Everything was perfectly organized. The guides, the pick-up and drop-off arrangements, the local food, the activities, etc. were all excellent. Each day was a unique experience. Thoroughly enjoyed! And seeing the northern lights was like the icing on the cake 😄

    Thank you for organizing this iconic trip and it was truly a pleasure being part of it.

    Looking forward, hopefully, to more such trips with TWAHF.

  • Dr Rajalakshmi Srinivasan

    hi - thks Paulomi for this trip - had a good time - many things ticked off the bucket list - including being in two snow storms !!!