by Jessica Hartman
Jaclyn Mishal heard dramatic stories of world travelers from the safety of the travel office where she was employed. Working late one evening, colleagues were joking about the many mysteries of how to travel and what to do when you get where you’re going. She realized that guide books don’t always prepare a traveler adequately for the culture and life on the ground for travelers, especially women travelers. In fact, the running joke among her office staff was ‘Good travel advice is in very short supply’.
When she participated in Landmark’s Self Expression and Leadership Program, Jaclyn needed a project. Knowing the need for better advice about the most personal and challenging situations for travelers, Pink Pangea was born.
Jaclyn created a website guiding women travelers about local customs, local men, local manners, and where to look for the most interesting things in a community, along with with co-founder Rachel Sales. She enrolled women into writing intimate articles expressing the joys, frustrations and adventures of traveling around the world. Traveling off the beaten path in Russia can be a daunting and challenging task, but it becomes much easier when following a fellow traveler who lets you in on secrets of the Russian countryside.
Jaclyn credits the Self-Expression and Leadership Program for helping her build the courage to build Pink Pangea and not to stop – not dropping something when difficulties arose. Even when she wanted to quit, she found herself using the program’s tools both consciously and unconsciously. She says the program held her accountable, encouraged perseverance and fostered ‘unstoppability’ in her.
Since then, www.pinkpangea.com has grown into an extraordinary place to get reliable information from fellow travelers wherever you are. The site has interviewed New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd about how a woman traveling alone can live and thrive in Saudi Arabia. Pink Pangea has also been featured in Allison’s Adventures on the Discovery Channel.
Additionally, Jaclyn conducts travel writing workshops around the world. This year she’s planning a North America Tour and conducting a travel writing workshop June 22-28 in Switzerland.
Jaclyn quit her previous job in July. Although she admits it was the hardest thing she has ever done, she wakes up everyone morning pinching herself still in disbelief that she has taken this leap. She created a life she loves when she left her fear behind and started a journey of self-expression and leadership. She runs her own business traveling the world in search of the best of everything everywhere along with amazing friends and colleagues. Her first book is coming soon.
There are plenty of ways for people to get involved with Pink Pangea. In addition to the writing workshops, there is the Pink Pangea Foreign Correspondent Program, which is seeking adventurous women to blog about their experiences abroad – interested writers can become part of an emerging community of women travelers inspiring others all over the world.