Press reviews

Pamela Windo
Author,
Zohra’s Ladder: And Other Moroccan Tales
Perhaps this brave and fascinating book ought to have been called “Sex and Romance around the World” because it covers something that has been happening for more than a hundred years, all over the world, i.e. women who travel to find the romance and sex they don’t find at home. From E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India and A Room with a View to Henry James’ Daisy Miller, to Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying, and Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine, all tell stories of such women, many of whom were socially upper class.

From marriage to Masai warriors, Thai and Nepalese princes, to one-night stands with West Indian and Balinese beach boys whose addresses have been passed on to them by other women, the book covers the whole gamut, like an encyclopedia.

While the phenomenon has mostly been kept under wraps, or romanticized, Jeannette Belliveau has dared to lift the veil and show it in every aspect, in every far-flung place in the world. She gives the datelines of women who went in search in each region and country, as well as describing the most famous of them, and quoting from the memoirs they wrote to record their affairs and encounters.

With travel-particularly exotic and adventure travel-now at its peak, this book chronicles, without pretension or pseudo-romanticism, what women will do and where they will go to meet men.

Chris Arvidson
Foreword magazine
September 2006

“Casual Sex on the Road” might be a better description of this graphically descriptive book on sex and the traveling woman. From the first page, which contains a quick index for locating the “Hall of Fame sex travelers” stories within, readers can indulge in narratives of casual encounters, purposeful adventures, and anecdotal tales of “impetuous couplings.” … The final chapter, “Sex, power, ethics and the future,” may be the most helpful, and most practical, for the female traveler preparing for an adventure abroad.

For women contemplating sexual experiences overseas, Belliveau provides a frank, contextual guidebook to experiencing foreign men. As the author concludes, “Every woman who navigated her way to rambunctious satisfaction with a stranger sees men with changed eyes.” Adventurous readers will no doubt find this to be true.

(To read this review in PDF format, click here.)

James A. Cox
Small Press Bookwatch
October 2006

Romance On The Road: Traveling Women Who Love Foreign Men by journalist and world traveler Jeannette Belliveau is a very strongly recommended introduction to the do’s and don’ts for women concerning romantic liaisons when traveling in other countries around the world with their various conventions, restrictions, and taboos with respect to the female gender. But more than just a manual on appropriate behavior and what to look out for, Romance On The Road is also an informed and informative examination of the reasons for ‘love journeys’, offering fascinating and instructive material on women who traveled for love throughout recorded history, along with accounts of typical experiences, how romance travel has been portrayed in literature and film, the ethics, the etiquette, and health issues involved with traveling for love, and even some intriguing predictions for the future. Whether you are an armchair traveler with an interest to romance in distant places, or planning to do some on-site visiting abroad in hopes of (or because of) a love affair, then give Jeannette Belliveau’s unique book on the geography of sex and love and travel a look.

Pamela Barrus
Author, Dream Sleeps: Castle & Palace Hotels of Europe
and member of the executive board of the Travelers’ Century Club

Romance on the Road is a first-of-its-kind exploration of Western women who seek steamy flings, amorous affairs, and genuine long-term and affectionate relationships in non-traditional countries. A good holiday romp in the arms of a dark handsome stranger is often the perfect antidote to a woman fed up with the shallowness of the dating wars at home or who needs a boost to her femininity after a failed relationship.

Travel to any beach resort in the Caribbean, Mexico, Bali, and Thailand and you’ll see female sex tourism in action. Women, from their twenties to their sixties, are having a go with the beach boys — unashamedly. In more exotic locales, Western women — often highly educated and successful — have pursued and even married Masai warriors, Nepalese Sherpa guides, and Cameroonian chieftains. The phenomenon of a woman traveling outside her culture for either a quick sex fix or a more sustained relationship has never been examined in depth until this book.

Author Jeannette Belliveau has exhaustively researched the literature, documents, and interviews of women who have engaged in unconventional (wild, to some points of view) foreign affairs. Don’t think that Romance on the Road is a dry, academic treatise. Belliveau is the first to serve herself up on a platter. In brave detail, she describes her own transformation into the travel nymphomaniac, recounting liaisons in Greece, the Caribbean, and Brazil (she is now happily remarried).

Every aspect of a woman finding romance on the road is examined — from the psychological drive to local geographical variants. A play-by-play of female travel sex pioneers beginning in the Victorian age until present day is meticulously documented. And for those who are thinking about joining the ranks of the estimated 600,000 women since 1980 who have had flings on foreign beaches, cruise ships, and backcountry treks, the rules of the road and its pitfalls are discussed. For the less daring, an excellent bibliography points to some intriguing reads.

Undoubtedly, in the future women will cross borders more and more to find sex, love, and affection to compensate for the growing man shortages in their own communities. Romance on the Road validates those women who are unafraid to look past social conventions and find happiness and pleasure in other parts of the world.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch

Romance on the Road offers something competitors can seldom touch: the most complete, candid assessment in print of women who travel to love foreign men. Stories by such women present worldwide journeys and encounters with local men from Italy and the Caribbean to India, Asia, Latin America and beyond.

But don’t expect light travelogue literature in Romance on the Road: Traveling Women Who Love Foreign Men: it’s also got quite a serious side, detailing cultural encounters, oddities, dangers, and history and economic backgrounds. 25 academics and medical doctors from five nations also contribute to a survey which includes the author’s own encounters with men around the world. … Its information will prove priceless to any seeking a blend of scholarly insight and lively travelogue in one package.

Midwest Book Review
“Romance on the Road: Traveling Women Who Love Foreign Men” is a personal study of sexual experimental behavior by western women while traveling. A sort of a sexual odyssey with charts, maps, footnotes, and handy geographical timelines that encapsulate women’s sexual behavior historically. It is a combination feminist sociology report and love diary. Actual sexual adventures and adventuresses are interviewed extensively. Many theories about women’s and men’s sexual behavior and preferences are presented and explored, sometimes catalogued by region or area. Author, journalist and world traveler Jeannette Belliveau recounts: “Wild, shocking, yet tender and hopeful love journeys by women tell a story of a worldwide Attention Defection Disorder, a revolution in mating behavior, and a poignant search for traditional romance (from Travel).” Areas and countries in which sexual encounters are analyzed include Italy, Spain, Greece, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Brazil, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, and the Far East. In addition to accounts of sexual encounters, the author includes history, reasons, sexual ethics, etiquette, and thoughts for the future. “Romance on the Road” is far from a clinical, cold book, despite its objectivity. Indeed, Jeannette Belliveau met and fell in love with her husband, Lamont Harvey, on her own sexual odyssey. In a way, “Romance on the Road” is the author’s personal tribute to brave sexual adventuresses and to the traveler’s possibility for romance and fulfillment.

Naomi Klouda
Former editor, Tundra Drums, Bethel, Alaska

“Romance on the Road” is a rare book that discusses a topic not often voiced aloud among women — sexual mixing with men who are not of the same culture. Women’s travels grant the freedom to pursue an ardent curiosity about the world — and the men they encounter. Yet the combination richly examined in this book has long been neglected by author travelogues.

Full of historical and literary looks at the topic, as well as first-person experiences by author Jeannette Belliveau, the book is an unflinchingly honest look at the secrets women more often than not have kept to themselves for the past two hundred years of roaming the globe. Well-written and engaging; a welcome and sometimes disquieting look at what women want when they can take it without repercussions. Why would a woman possessing financial and social freedom granted in today’s Western world feel compelled to locate a deeper satisfaction in foreign vistas and its men?

The answers are profoundly relevant to modern Western women who find missing pieces of themselves with “foreign” men that eludes them in an often troubling mix with Western men.