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Don't have any girlfriends who like to travel? Meet some on Magpie.

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Even in 2016, being an independent female globetrotter can occasionally be daunting. Higher travel costs, increased safety risks, or just the plain ol’ lonesomeness that can come with vacationing alone can all be contributing factors deterring women from traveling solo. But if you, like us, believe that women should be empowered to explore the world, you'll want to check out Magpie: the first female-only travelers club.

Think of Magpie like a matchmaker service for female travelers on the road. Just sign up on their website (or connect using your Facebook profile) so the company can get to know you a bit; it’s Magpie's way of making sure theirs is a safe and vetted space for female travelers. Once you’re approved, Magpie provides a social media-based community for destination-based discussions ranging from the best non-touristy spots to grab a meal in an unfamiliar city to the best local hiking trails to the best hidden areas in a city to take amazing photos. You can even use Magpie to meet up with other vacationing ladies along the way.

Magpie founder and CEO Huong Tran created this female travelers club in 2015, after growing up in embargoed Vietnam, where travel abroad was difficult to say the least. “I remember coming of age and being curious about the world. I wanted to know more about the world outside of Vietnam,” she says. “Obviously, with the lift of the embargo, Vietnam became more integrated to the world, we started having the Internet. I looked up and started applying for scholarships to conferences and events, so I could travel the world.”

Once she left Vietnam, Tran embarked on a solo trip traveling the world. She remembers it being rewarding yet difficult, recalling how, as a woman traveling alone, you can often have a different experience altogether than a male would. “You’re there for yourself, by yourself – you always have a lot of concerns and challenges on the road.”

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Though Magpie is still growing, with primary members being from around its headquarters in the Bay Area, its presence is already growing around the world. You can find Magpie sisters in other parts of the U.S. including, Austin, New York and Portland, and countries including, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Canada.

We can’t wait for Magpie to start growing in Houston so we can show other female jet-setters what all our bustling city has to offer—and why Houstonians are some of the kindest and most inclusive people around.

For now, however, Magpie is giving away a free trip to visit San Francisco. Just share a throwback travel photo, which could be from any of your past trips or favorite travel moments. Share the photo with the hashtag #TravelThrowback and tag @getmagpie on Magpie's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Magpie will announce weekly winners starting March 1; these winners will receive Magpie travel bags filled with accessories to make your getaways easier. By the end of the month, Magpie will announce the grand prize winner, who will receive $2,000 trip to visit San Francisco for five days (including airfare), and who will be hosted, of course, by some lovely new Magpie girlfriends.

For more information about the contest visit getmagpie.com

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