“When the desire to discover surpasses the fear of leaving alone, an explorer is born”.
Over time there have been many women who have paved the way for women’s emancipation, challenging the patterns of a society in which it was unthinkable to step out of the role of “housewives”.
We owe so much to these women, adventurers, who, thanks to an infinite love for knowledge, embarked on journeys that were unthinkable in those times, transmitting their courage in exploring the world.
Today the 8th of March, Women’s Day, we remember some of these women, who have left their mark in the history of Travel!
Jeanne Barè 1740-1803
French explorer, the first to circumnavigate the globe aboard a ship between 1766 and 1769. Women were not allowed to embark at that time so Jeanne disguised herself as a man and boarded as an assistant to the naturalist Philibert Commerson. Jeanne Barè was a botany expert, but the path of her education is still unknown today, as she came from a poor family and it does not appear that she ever attended school.
Alexandra David-Néeel 1868 – 1969
French explorer and writer, supporter of the feminist movement.
She was the first Western woman to visit Tibet. During his travels in the East she converted to Buddhism and adopted a 14-year-old Tibetan boy with whom she traveled between India, Nepal, Burma, Japan, Korea and China. Recognized as a symbol of women’s emancipation after her venture to enter the holy city Lhassa. She wrote over 30 books on literature and travel and some texts on Buddhism.
Amelia Aerhart 1897-1937
She is one of the most famous adventurous women. It was a pioneer of American aviation.
In 1928 she was the first woman to cross the Atlantic in flight. She set several world records, completing flights that most male pilots had failed: in 1932 she flew from Newfoundland to Londonderry in Northern Ireland, in 1932 she crossed the United States on a flight from Los Angeles to Newark and finally she was the first aviator to cross the Pacific, from Oakland to Honolulu, Hawaii. But Earhart wanted to go even further, so she planned her biggest undertaking: a round-the-world plane ride across the equator. Amelia probably had an accident during this trip, mysteriously disappearing without leaving any traces. Her fame made her immortal, making her in all respects an American heroine.
Amelia Edwards 1831-1892
English writer and journalist, in 1873 she undertook a trip to Egypt with some friends. Once home, Amelia Edwards wrote an account of the Egyptian journey enriched with drawings and illustrations which was a great success.
Amelia Edwards was also involved in the preservation of Egyptian assets.
Annie Smith Peck 1850-1935
She was the greatest mountaineer of all time. Annie Smith Peck, had to challenge many conventions of the time including clothing (not very comfortable). She was in fact the first woman to climb the Matterhorn in Switzerland, wearing trousers under a long tunic. At the age of 58 she reached the summit of Mount Huascaran (6768m) in Peru. The last adventure was at the age of 82, climbing Mount Madison in New Hampshire: 5,636 feet.
She wrote many books dedicated to archeology, mountaineering and travel.