Google "famous world explorers" and what comes up? More than likely, the search engine will return results such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Francis Drake, and Amerigo Vespucci. What do all of these people have in common? They're all male! But what about all the brave and pioneering women explorers that have helped make discoveries, break world records, achieve new heights, and be all around inspirations for today's women travelers?
This International Women's Day, let's give a nod to the fearless female travelers who were bold enough to #breakthebias and step out of the stereotype that surrounds women even to this day.
Jeanne Baret (1740 – 1807)
Jeanne was the first woman to circumvent the globe. But here's the real kicker - she did it disguised as a man! She worked as a housekeeper and personal nurse to naturalist Philibert Commerçon who was invited to on a Round the World expedition. Commerçon needed Jeanene to accompany him, but in the 1700s, women were not allowed on French navy ships, so she had to pass herself off as a man.
Nellie Bly (1864 – 1922)
American journalist, Nellie By is famously known for her record-breaking 72 day trip around the world. She traveled by train, horse, rickshaw, steamship, sampan, and all types of vehicles while working towards achieving this world record. Then, in 1890, she published a book about this Round the World adventure simply titled Around the World in 72 Days.
Annie Londonderry (1870 – 1947)
Annie became the first woman to bicycle around the world in 1895. Her journey took her across North America, Europe, and Asia and lasted 15 months. The reason she decided to complete such a feat was so she could settle a wager between two rich Boston businessmen and was able to earn $5000 in the process. As if that's not impressive enough, she had barely ever ridden a bike before she took off biking around the world.
Harriet Chalmer Adams (1875 – 1937)
At the young age of 29, Harriet set off on an expedition with her husband to visit every country in South America over three years. She was a writer and photographer who frequently contributed to National Geographic, held lectures speaking about her adventures, and was able to make money as a result of her travels.
Lady Grace Drummond-Hay (1895 – 1946)
The first woman to travel around the world by air was Lady Grace Drummond-Hay. She was a reporter for Heart Press. In 1928, she flew in a zeppelin, a rigid airship used for commercial flights, with 5 other reporters (she was the only woman). A year later, the Heart organization chose her to join the historic round the world flight that they had co-sponsored as their reporter, and again she was the only female onboard.
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)
Amelia was one of the first female pilots ever and the very first to fly over 14,000 feet in altitude. She had various other achievements such as flying over the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland solo before tragically disappearing over the Pacific Ocean when attempting to become the first female pilot to fly around the world.
Special thanks to onthegotours.com for much of this biographical information.
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