Reviewing travel books for the Baltimore Sun inspired Jeannette Belliveau beyond wanderlust; she concluded that she could write a travel book of her own, and a better one at that. Her decision led to An Amateur's Guide to the Planet, a collection of warmly personal reader-friendly accounts and photos of her own travels, wherein she bypassed the European museum circuit in favor of sailing trips down the Yangtze River and treks across the Kenyan plains. Besides practical information like how to scrounge up money, traveling companions, and time, Belliveau delves into safety issues and cultural concerns particular to women and solo travelers, using her own experiences as cautionary tales and graphs, charts, maps, and local lore as backup. Belliveau presents a mini-travel seminar Wednesday at 7 p.m. (and discusses travel writing tips and contacts Thursday at 7 p.m.) at Get Lost Travel Books, 1825 Market (at Guerrero), S.F. Admission is free ($10 Thursday); call 437-0529. She'll also speak at the Women's Travel Expo, which offers packing demonstrations and safety techniques along with the regular exhibitors and panel discussions, beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. (9 a.m. on Saturday) at the Herbst Pavilion, Fort Ma-son Center, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $10-15; call (510) 528-8425.
-- Heather Wisner