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Featured Smart Woman Traveler: Jana Stanfield

Q: What is your main motivation for traveling and where do you frequent?

A: Funny you’d ask about motivation, since I’m a motivational speaker! I do my Keynote Concerts mainly in North America, but I love volun-tourism, so I take trips and lead trips to Southeast Asia and Africa.

Just like the title of my new CD, “What Would You Do This Year If You Had No Fear?”, I ask myself every year where I want to go next and find a way to get there. My dad wonders why I go more toward Asian countries than European. If you’ve ever been to Southeast Asia, you know that the low prices, the ease of travel, and the gentle kindness of the people who live there will keep you coming back again and again.

If there’s someplace you’ve been wanting to visit, just think of these lyrics from my new song, “George Bailey”:

Even if I make mistakes,
It’s time I do whatever it takes,
I don’t want to be George Bailey,
No more waiting.
-Jana Stanfield/Deanna Walker

Q: What is your favorite destination?

A: Bali. On my first trip there, 6 years ago, I was consumed with the idea of helping people have a “reverse mission.” That’s when you think you’re going overseas to be helpful, but you are the one who is helped the most. There’s a girls’ orphanage I support there, and I love taking people there to be “helped” by the girls. Although it’s not the island that the song “Bali Hai” was written about in the movie “South Pacific”, it is very much like that magical, mythical, spiritual place. When I take people there, it’s often their first trip outside of North America. Bali is the ideal first destination overseas. It’s easy to get there, safe, inexpensive ($8 massages on the beach), friendly, and inspiring. My spirit soars in Bali.

Q: What are your biggest challenges on the road?

A: I still can’t figure out why my emails won’t send from some hotels, and I wish Boingo was in ALL the places T-Mobile is, instead of just some.

Can anyone help me with this next challenge, getting reliable internet internationally. After the upcoming Bali trip, I’ll be staying in Southeast Asia (Bali, Thailand, Cambodia, Viet Nam) for 3 months. I’ve been wanting one of those “thingies” (a USB laptop stick) for my MacBook Air, but I understand they’re tied to your phone company, and heaven knows I don’t want to be paying AT&T rates overseas. Suggestions?

Q: Do you have any Pearls of Travel Wisdom to share?

A: A cheap Nokia for international travel can be bought for $30 or less in most countries. You buy a new “sim” card at the airport for a few bucks, loaded with your new phone number and plenty of minutes. It’s great for local dialing, and you can also use it with local international calling cards, so that you’re paying local rates for international long distance.

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