Vicky is based in London and is writing to Mari pelo Mundo blog
Para ler em português use o botão de tradutor google ao lado
I want to let you know of an extraordinary travel company for lesbians called Olivia. It has been serving women for 43 years, and I had the pleasure of vacationing with Olivia myself. The proposition was one week at a Mexican resort, together with 600 women. Exciting!
I was forever changed
It actually ended up being more than just exciting. It was magical. It was surreal. It was joyful beyond anything I could have imagined. Usually it can be difficult going on vacation with your girlfriend, and things that other couples take for granted, like holding hands, dancing together or kissing on the beach whilst enjoying the sunset, are usually approached with caution if you’re gay. Most of us just get on with our lives and don’t really think about what we may be missing. Olivia enables lesbians to find out what it feels like to be amongst your own people and be free every minute of every day on vacation. After my Olivia experience, I was forever changed.
Perfection’s in the details
Olivia organises approximately 12 trips a year, offering resorts, cruises, safaris and riverboat adventures around the world. When you book a trip with Olivia, the promise is the following: the customer service you receive, is unparalleled. And your entire experience has been designed and carefully crafted by Olivia staff specifically for lesbians – all of the entertainment, and all of the activities.
Olivia takes great pride in selecting the best entertainment the industry has to offer. From musicians, comedians and authors to athletes, actors and inspirational icons, Olivia has featured such A-listers as Melissa Etheridge, Maya Angelou, kd lang, Whoopi Goldberg, Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Lily Tomlin.
My rainbow family
In addition to the aforementioned A-listers, I am so proud to see Olivia also actively promoting a pool of established top talent such as Julie Goldman, Dana Goldberg, Gina Breedlove, Sandra Valls, Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito, among others.
Having had the unique opportunity to see them perform, I am now a forever fan of these amazing women. I tried not to fangirl too much, but sometimes striking a poolside conversation with them is inevitable. We’re all family after all.
In fact I cannot emphasize the “family feeling” enough. Everyone is experiencing profound joy to be there, and that joy opens everyone up to feel a deep sense of sisterhood, with the fellow vacationers, entertainers, and staff. This feeling of joy amongst women also extends in the way we respect each other’s age, body type, level of ability, and even dress sense!
Every single woman on an Olivia vacation can be herself without judgement, and that is not something women experience in the “real world” very often. It made me reflect on how I can change, to bring a piece of the Olivia experience home with me.
Olivia’s not just fun for couples though. With the help of a solos coordinator to facilitate friendships for those who may be a little shy, solo travelers have a wonderful time with mixers, dances, a sunset cruise and excursions. Olivia also loves to foster diversity on its trips with Sisters at Play, a special programme of events for women of colour. In addition to the Solos and Sisters programmes, Olivia has special needs coordinators, as well as 12-step meetings. This is just another example of how Olivia takes special care of each and every guest’s personal needs.
A week under Olivia’s care is so much more than being at a gay bar or at Pride with your friends. Immersing yourself in the freedom to just be out and free doing everyday things like reading a book by the pool, eating your meal, or just going from A to B saying hi to friendly lesbians on your way, is transformative.
I saw some serious intergenerational bonding happen between older and younger lesbians. I saw gender non-conforming women fully safely relax in an environment where they were not judged. I saw more feminine lesbians (like me) able to enjoy a rare moment of visibility, acknowledgment and appreciation of their sexuality. I felt so special. We all did.
Leaving and saying goodbye to my new friends was hard. If you are a lesbian, you don’t quite know just how much this experience means, until you’ve had a taste of it. I feel so fortunate to have joined the Olivia family. Luckily I can maintain my sense of excitement because I am already dreaming of my next vacation in October 2017 – Punta Cana. I want to see you there!
Olivia just announced a number of new trips so check them out
Credits: Last photo by Olivia
Vicky mora em Londres e está sempre pronta para uma aventura, para explorar as delícias locais, conhecer pessoas incríveis e apreciar a beleza das pessoas e do nosso mundo.
Vicky is based in London and is always ready for an adventure, to explore the local delights, meet amazing people and respectfully appreciate the beauty of our world and fellow humans.