For all of the wonderful things that travel is, there is one thing it is not: easy. Great travel is the kind of journey that puts you into situations that have you questioning your conceptions about the world – usually with a hefty dose of awe, confusion and ultimately astonishment. Even when you’re packing up your bags and heading off into the unknown alongside a team like Buffalo Tours, there’s still a lot of discovery to be had about your destination and yourself!
Sometimes, getting out there and discovering the world takes a little bit of inspiration – and just in time for International Women’s Day, we couldn’t think of a better bunch of intrepid explorers to inspire us than these 10 incredible women. World record holders, mountaineers, cyclists and astronauts alike, these are the 10 women that are inspiring us to travel this Women’s Day. Who most inspires you?
Far ahead of her time and eventually gaining recognition as one of the most intrepid women to ever live, Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Not satisfied to enjoy her feat on her own, Earhart also founded the Ninety-Nines, a organization of female pilots bent on changing the male-dominated world of aviation with scholarships and training.
Annie “Londonderry” Cohen Kopchovsky
When it comes to influential women in travel, few people managed to conquer the travel world quite like Annie Cohen Kopchovsky. As the first woman to ever bicycle around the world, Kopchovsky pedaled her way through the US, France and the Middle East in less than 15 months. Her feat was even more impressive given when it was achieved – in the late 1800s!
Not only was Barbara Hillary the first African-American woman to reach the North Pole, she defied the odds by doing so at the ripe age of 75. Not to rest on her laurels, though, a short 4 years later, Barbara set off to reach the South Pole as well. What’s more – Hillary conquered both poles after surviving a battle with lung cancer, and forever changed the way that women travelled.
When it comes to travel firsts for women, Helen Thayer is the proud subject of many. Thayer was, among her many accolades, the first woman to walk across the Sahara Desert, the first women to travel alone to the North Pole, and one of the few women to walk across the Gobi Desert – at the age of 63! Better yet was Thayer’s ability to capture her adventures in the written word – she’s the author of Three Among Wolves, Walking the Gobi and Polar Dream books.
As the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, Tina Sjogren was a conquerer of the snow in more ways than one. Along with her husband, Sjogren reached both the North and South poles without the aid of sails, resupply drops or dogs – a feat of both endurance and careful planning.
Not only is Felicity Aston the first woman to sky solo across Antarctica, she is the first person – man or woman – to accomplish the feat. Following her accomplishment, Felicity carries on her legacy in the Antarctic as an ambassador for the British Antarctic Monument Trust, and is committed to preserving the region against weather changes.
Jeanne Baret was a pioneering spirit, and wasthe first women to circumnavigate the globe, travelling with the Louis Antoine de Bougainville expedition. Better yet, though, Jeanne Baret spent nearly two years on board a small boat with 300 men without ever being recognized as a woman! Instead, she took on the persona of Jean Baret, and made the journey completely in disguise.
Eliza Hart Spalding and Narcissa Whitman
Beginning their journey together in 1836, Eliza Hart Spalding and Narcissa Whitman became the first European-American women to cross the treacherous Rocky Mountains. Rather than making the journey to break records, however, the pair made the trek in order to found a Protestant mission in Washington.
Sally Ride became both the first American woman to travel to space, and the youngest American astronaut to travel to space (a record that remains today). As one of the most decorated and recognized physicists within NASA during her lifetime, she was also the only person to serve on the committees to investigate the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters.
Feeling inspired? Create your adventure to parts unknown with Buffalo Tours! See how you can create a customized tour perfect for your travel style.