Inspiring Women in Travel

I wanted to write about my favourite ladies who have inspired me to travel and to celebrate these women’s achievements on International Women’s Day. 

The first International Women’s conference was held in 1909 in New York, the delegates there decided to actively form a strategy to promote equal rights for women and the suffragette movement.  

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day – 8th March, 2020 is, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.

The campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve.


Now since this is a travel blog I wanted to make a connection between the two and felt that writing about my favourite wanderlust ladies out there was a worthy cause. 

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was an American pilot who happened to be the first women to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo.

She tended to stay away from the traditional roles for women of the time. She was fiercely independent and thrived on reaching her career goals. She gained her pilots licence and began by crossing the U.S. solo, eventually leading to her solo transatlantic crossing.

In 1937 she embarked on an around the world flight with her navigator, Fred Noonan. Unfortunately, somewhere over the Pacific ocean on the last leg of their journey the small aircraft disappeared. There is lots of speculation surrounding her disappearance but what we know for sure is she died doing something she loved. 

Amelia was truly inspirational because she went against what was expected of her to pursue her desire of exploration and flying high above.

I highly recommend this documentary if  you want more information.

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel describes herself as a “geriatric starlet” (she is 98) she’s had an extensive career in interior design with her late husband and it’s led her to great houses around the world. Including the White House during Kennedy’s term. She’s travelled the world to source textiles, homewards and seek inspiration for new decors. 

Iris Apfel would travel to all corners of the world to find the perfect piece, that may have involved visiting a bazaar in Istanbul or a small metal-ware stall in Tanzania. Iris thrived upon exploring bustling Indian cities just to source unusual and authentic items for her business. Or she would thrift her way across the street stalls of NYC.

To me, that’s true dedication and I highly recommend watching her Netflix debut – “Iris”.  Iris Apfel chose not have children in order to pursue her career and to allow her to travel the globe and to me that’s a serious commitment. I want to be Iris Apfel when I grow up.

Cassandra De Pecol

Cassie has travelled to all 196 nations within 18 months, 26 days. She also set two Guinness World Records for the fastest person and fastest woman to travel to every single country in the world. 

Cassie embarked on her incredible journey in 2015 after quitting her “unfulfilling corporate job” and began saving hard and securing some sponsorship and endorsements for her trip. In total her trip cost $198,000 which included some hefty visa fees. North Korean visa costs were £1,000 for just 3 days. 

She has marketed her trip as Expedition 196 which also includes an educational documentary all about her journey and she has worked closely with conservation organisations where she has collected samples from remote locations to research into the impact of micro plastics. 

I am 100% envious of Cassie’s adventures, it is my dream to completely fill a passport, let alone 5 passports full of stamps. 

However, I would perhaps stay longer in each country, however,  if she had a world record to beat…

Elspeth Beard

I read Elspeth’s book, Lone Rider about her journey motorcycling solo all around the world in the 1980’s and I raced through her book, cover to cover reading about her adventure.

Elspeth was the first British woman to solo travel around the world in her 1974 BMW R60 motorcycle. During her trip she of course encountered mechanical breakdowns but also endured a robbery which left her with no passport, the onset of hepatitis, dysentery and two road collisions. 

Yet, Elspeth battled on determined to finish her quest.

She drove all the way across the USA, Australia and up through south east Asia to India, Iran and through Turkey and onto Europe back to London. 

During that trip she came across sexual attacks, sexism from biker gangs, corrupt police and bureaucratic systems. Elspeth Beards trip has truly inspired me and just goes to show if you really believe in something then try your damned hardest to make that happen. I highly recommended her book and her journey has some unexpected twists and turns. 

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