History is filled with amazing women who have rebelled and climbed mountains, both literally and figuratively, to explore the world and see all its wonders for herself. Because of whatever reasons, they are usually left out of history books. Hence, it is my belief that we should all know about them. So without further ado, I present to you a list of 4 female travelers.
Jeanne Baret (1740 – 1807) is considered to be the first woman to have circumnavigated the globe. I’m pretty sure that to this day there are very few people who can claim that they have circumnavigated the world. She was a herb woman, which means she was an expert in the medicinal properties of plants. She met Philibert Commerson who was a botanist and the two soon started to work together. Commerson was soon picked to be the naturalist on board on an expedition to find and record new species of plants and animals.
Women couldn’t aboard ships back in those days, so Jeanne had to disguise herself as a man so that she could go as well. She started using the masculine spelling of her name Jean. She tightly wrapped linen bandages around her chest and wore masculine clothing. And boarded the ship as Commerson’s assistant. Baret’s most notable discovery was a colorful vine native to South America which we now know as bougainvillea.
No list of explorers would be complete without Amelia Earhart (1897- 1939). I am sure a lot of you know her from the film ‘A Night at the Museum’. Amelia Earhart was a pioneer when it came to aviation. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Rightfully called by many as ‘queen of the air’. She did a number of historic solo flights. All of these garnered her international fame. On an attempt to fly around the globe, she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, not to be found to this day.
This girl should inspire all of us. What is so cool about her is that she’s around the same age as me! Laura was born in 1995 in September. When she was just 14 she decided to sail solo around the world. A thirteen-year-old, sailing solo, around the world. Let that sink in. If that doesn’t prove how badass she is maybe the next few lines will. The local government in her place of residence became involved saying that she was too young to do this. A court battle ensued which ultimately resulted in her winning and being able to fulfill her dream. Once again I repeat a 14-year-old did this. If you want to know more about her she has a book called ‘One girl. One Dream’. If you want to inspire your inner risk taker I highly recommend you read it.
Now we are all aware of how patriarchal Victorian England was and how very few rights women had at that time. But that did not stop Isabella Bird (1831- 1904) from being a literal globetrotter. She was a writer, a photographer, a naturalist, not to mention an adventurer. She began traveling at the age of 41, proving you are never too old to do amazing feats. The first woman to be elected as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. And why won’t she be? She did visit America, India, Kurdistan, Morocco, the Persian Gulf, Iran, Tibet, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, China, and Hawaii. Try saying the names of all the places she visited in one breath!
It is important to note that these are only a few. There are many more female travelers and explorers of different origins who have done things no man or woman ever did before. If you want to know more about them, and I think everyone should, you can do a quick google search or read the countless books written about them.
Written by Zuyairia Moslemeen Khan