When I planned my trip to Melbourne in January 2023, it was primarily to spend time with my 30-year-old daughter, Caroline, who’s been living there since 2014. A second draw was the tennis: I’m a former casual player and a big fan of the game. It was exciting to attend the big matches of the Australian Open Tennis Tournament.
But what elevated my stay down under beyond meeting expectations to truly wonderful were the connections I made with Australian women through a group called Women Welcome Women Worldwide, or 5W for short. 5W is an international organization of women who like to build relationships with local people when we travel and to host women who travel to our city/country. A very reasonable annual fee gives you access to the membership list with contact information for all participants. You can then communicate with them directly. As a host, you can opt to have someone overnight in your home or act only as a day host to show them around.
I learned about 5W six months before my trip through a fellow CAWEE member, Elizabeth Verwey. The Melbourne 5W women were generous in their offers to guide me on different explorations in and around their city. It was a real delight to become quite friendly with a few of them, sharing travel experiences as well as more intimate life experiences: our loves and losses, our successes and failures; our families, our worries for ourselves and our children. I was even hosted overnight by 5W women in smaller communities near Melbourne.
Since returning to Canada, I’ve had the opportunity to host a fellow Canadian from Vancouver, dine with a friendly couple from New Zealand and return the overnight hosting experience with new friends from Australia.
Learn more about becoming a member of 5W to experience friendship and travel in a totally unique way. Building relationships around the world is a great complement to local networking.