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The first time I traveled outside of the United States, my eyes were opened to how  many of the things I took as universal truths, actually were not.

Going to China also gave me an understanding of it that I never could have gained any other way. Of course I did not understand China as well as a native Chinese and likely never could, but at least I actually experienced it firsthand and whether or not all of my impressions were correct, in less than one day I learned more about China than I had in my entire life.

In a similar way, I think more women should take a trip to Mars (aka the male world), if they really want to learn about men. Having visited Mars myself, I have discovered much of what I, and most women (aka Vesuvians), think about Martians (aka men) is simply downright inaccurate.

Instead, they only know Mars as it appears from Venus, or from what other Vesuvians (who have never been there either) have said about life on Mars.

So how can women visit Mars, see it for herself? Before it was nearly impossible, a totally closed off world. Luckily thanks to the Internet, it’s now possible. A good starter trip can be found by following the links posted at the end…but don’t go just yet.

Like any voyage to a foreign land, before clicking on them, I would urge Vesuvians to do so with an open mind, and to not judge that world by Venus standards, but rather try to experience it for itself. Right, wrong, or indifferent life on Mars is wildly different than life on Venus. You might be shocked, outraged, confused, and annoyed at first. “Why isn’t Mars like Venus? What the heck are they saying? This just doesn’t make any sense. OMG are you frickin’ kidding me?”

But if you can approach your journey with an open mind, almost like an archeological adventure, you will also find that the trip will open your eyes to a Mars you never knew existed, both more troubled and more wondrous than you ever could have imagined. Once you see it in person, you will never view Mars the same again.

Keep in mind, nothing is more annoying than a tourist who barges in and starts telling people they don’t understand their own culture or argues with them about their long held cultural norms. Those tourists will most likely only get ripped off and left stranded, and rightfully so. Remember: Mars is what it is.

But if you truly want to see the “real” Mars — the Mars most Vesuvian visitors will never, ever, ever see — try to observe for a long time first, soak it in, get your bearings. And then when you do start interacting with the natives remember you’re a guest, not a colonizer. It’s their world. Show lots of respect, be accepting despite the differences, don’t be easily offended, and seek to understand before you seek to be understood.

It’s not Venus. And it never will be. Wanting Mars to be like Venus would be like thinking China would be better if only it were exactly like America. (And some fellow American tourists, I was embarrassed to find in town after town, bellowed just that at the top of their lungs every chance they got the whole stinkin’ time. I wondered why they bothered to travel at all?) Sure, China isn’t perfect, but if we’re truly honest with ourselves neither is America (or wherever you live). China is in fact the oldest continuous civilization on earth. That didn’t happen because they “just don’t get it.”  Kinda like Mars. Visit if you dare, and tread lightly if you do. It’s a fascinating, fascinating place.

Note: The following links were kindly provided by a native to Mars, one of the first to reach out to me on my own maiden voyage, and a most trusted, knowledgeable, worthy, and able guide. When traveling, I find it’s always best to start with a local’s recommendations, then branch out from there. Think of it as a must see list. Unlike this blog from Venus to others on Venus, the blogs in this list are ones by Martians, for Martians.

Another hint, on Mars it’s not just about the destination itself, read on and discover what the commenters have to say in reaction to the host. That’s often where the good (and brace yourself — also often absolutely outrageously shocking from a Vesuvian point of view) stuff lies. Not everyone on Mars gets it, particularly about Venus, but be patient and I think you will find many of them do. And those ones want nothing more than to help Vesuvians truly, truly, truly understand life on Mars. Ignore the static, search for the signals. If you do, I guarantee you’ll find that some of the best people in the universe can be found on Mars!

Safe travels! And if you find yourself in trouble, tell them Red Pill Girl (aka Bloom) sent you. If you follow all of the the advice above, while they may not serve it up sugar coated on Mars, chances are there will be someone there to help with translation or point you in the right way. If you don’t follow the advice above, I can’t help you. You will deserve what you get. You have been warned.

And remember, it’s going to be a wild and crazy adventure. Chances are you’ll never see life on Venus, or Mars, the same again.

(Here is where I hug you and wish you all the best, look you sternly in the eye one last time, then say, “and sister — don’t make me regret ever sharing Mars with you!”)

Oh and one last thing, if you read something you don’t like (and you will) remember hate message, not the messenger.