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Indeed the book, Magical Sites: Women Travelers in the nineteenth century Latin America makes it impossible to come up with a summary that construct a woman traveler, as she is portrayed in the nineteenth century. Women travelers, who made it to the magical sites as described in the book, were only the brave but few women who employed all means to ensure that they ran away from their homes since the society had reserved them a single place to be home. In this case, women had to overcome many challenges in order to accomplish their travelling mission. However, even when they had managed to travel, women did not have enough education, which could have enabled them to record their encounters for posterity purposes. This means that there is scanty historical information recorded by the women travelers in the nineteenth century.
From the experience of these women travelers, the travel-writing genre cannot be generalized simply because the women traveled under dissimilar circumstances. Their traveling missions could not be adequately planned as the eye of the society was always watching them and wanting them to remain home. Generalization therefore, does not come out easily. The circumstances encountered during the travel were also unfavorable for the women travelers to make clear records of the information, which could be kept, for posterity. In this case, the women had insufficient education to do this. The nature of the society was also responsible for this kind of situation since the women were denied access to the good information that could be of help during the traveling. Therefore, it is true that the information about the magical sites given by the women travelers in the nineteenth century was recorded by a few of the women who had the capacity and opportunity to do so. However, the women traveling genre cannot be generalized in this case.
Ages have historically tied travels to historical events, class, and gender. In this case, the opportunity of traveling has been withheld from women in general. Therefore, when a few women dared traveling in the book Magical Sites: Women Travelers in the nineteenth century Latin America, they did not only pioneer the travel, but also changed and inspired other women to begin the journey to liberation. It had been a belief for a long period that for women, traveling was a forbidden mystery. Being unheard that women were traveling alone, when it happened they were doing so in the nineteen century, it was either an act of defiance or a sense of duty. Consequently, the stories heard of in Latin America are those of brave women explorers who went out traveling in search of better living, or their relatives overseas. Travel was unheard of in history regarding the true liberation of women. This is because travel was attached to danger, adventure, and fear, emotions of which women were prohibited of.
Before women could travel, they had to wait to be told. However, without hesitation, some of the women with a spirit of adventure had to embark on their travels without being told by anyone. In this case, such women were seen to some extend to have resisted their feminine social obligations of keeping the social matrix, when their husbands are away from home. The significance attached to the traveling effected by women is that it has created a world of experience, and instead of always listening to the stories of travel as narrated by their male counterparts, women can also have a chance to say their own.
The first-hand experience that women get by traveling in a way helps them in being responsible for their own destinies. For instance, when few brave women in the nineteenth century managed to cross the Cape Horn, they were pursuing and doing so according to their fate. In this way, it was latter possible to hear the voices of these women travelers through their writings. It was also possible to know the sorrows and the joys felt by these women during their travels. The scanty information we get concerning the women travelers, testifies the fact that women have either not been given the right education to enable them record their travels or have been withheld the permission of expressing their personal experiences during their travels.
Even for the few women who travelled with Christopher Columbus, little is known about them, simply because they had no opportunity of interpreting the reality of their journey. Women had to employ all the trickery and tactics in order to travel unaccompanied. In order to escape the barrage of supplications that suitors were bringing for a marriage with Penelope, she had to use deception so that she could travel away.
Similarly, some other few brave women had to disguise themselves as men and boarded the ships that travelled over high seas. These women eventually got into the business of piracy. An example of these women is Mary Read. The woman’s birth was out of wedlock at a young age, disappeared from home. How she did this was by masking herself in the male garb. In this disguise, she had a chance of getting into the Dutch merchant ship. This was before Caloco Jack who was a nefarious pirate hijacked the ship. In this ship, Mary got into circumstances that eventually led to her death. The death of Mary was used by the society as a warning to the other women who were planning of venturing into travels against the demands of the culture.
Women were reminded of their place: home. Besides, the society expected the women to be always adorned in a daily dress, which was described as wire hoop dress, corset, and foot reaching. This is even illustrated in the cover page of the book Magical Sites: women travelers of the nineteenth century. Apart from the dress code, the society had laid the straight path for the women. As a result, the women were not expected to make any regression or diversion from the straight path. When it came to money and other material possessions, it was only for a few women. These few women were those who had the chance of possessing the dowry. For the majority of women, having their own money was an issue of the past. The women were, instead of being the possessors, regarded as objects of possession.
Therefore, from the above discussion a woman traveler in the nineteenth century can be constructed. Consequently, a woman traveler during this period was someone who was daring to go against the wishes of the society, which placed males as a dominant gender entitled to travel. A woman traveler was also a person, who was ready to face the consequences of deciding to travel unaccompanied. These consequences were in most cases the social stigmatization. Another general feature of women travelers in the nineteenth century is that they employed deception in order to find their ways out of home. This was the only trick since no one would have given flagged them off. In most cases, the women travelers dared to run away from their homes due to the position that they were given at home. Consequently, they disregarded being possessed by their male counterparts. Lastly, for those women who may have had a chance of travelling, their experiences in the journey are rarely available in the historical books, since the women had not been given enough educational skills to record their experiences. This generalizes the woman traveler in the nineteenth century.
From the story, it is evident that indeed, the historians can use travel writing as an important tool for comprehending Latin America’s newly independent past. This is because, the book highlights how women travelers in the nineteenth century were so uncommon to be tempted to a foreign terrain with fiery vapors arising from the lakes found in the dormant Andean volcanoes as well as the green Patagonian mists sweeping the water and the land of Latin America from the Antarctic tip. Women travelers make it possible for the rich indigenous cultures constituting the cultures of Aztecs of Mexico, Arauncanians of Chile and Incas of Peru to be brought together with the mestizo culture of Latino and European ancestry, leading to the creation of a variety of stories, culture icons, and stories. In their revelation, Latin America cultures had taken a pluralistic and general region encompassing a history of migration, colonization, and travel. This, therefore, makes it possible for any traveler to be charmed by the people as he or she walks down the cobblestone streets in Brazil. In a way, what is portrayed in the magical sites is that the sites stick to a structure that depends not on the setting of sun or casting of dawn. For a daring traveler, the site will offer her adventure, fantasy, and challenges. The female traveler, in fact, means more than just the travel or the exploration of the world in Latino America continent.