6 Inspiring Women Who Paved The Way For You To Travel Farther, Better And More


With most of the world open to travelers of all kinds, it’s easy to forget how recently that was not the case. Women throughout history have pushed the boundaries of where people of all genders, races and other identities can and should go around the world. Here are six inspiring women who paved the way for us to travel farther, better and more.

1. Nelly Bly

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“Energy rightly applied can accomplish anything.”

Nelly Bly (her pen name, her legal name was Elizabeth Jane Cochran) was kind of the OG solo female travel writer. In 1889, she planned to travel around the world in 80 days (a number hypothesized by writer Jules Verne). She did it in 72 days and proved women can travel the whole globe on their own terms.

2. Bessie Coleman

“The air is the only place free from prejudice.”

In the 1920s, Bessie Coleman wasn’t allowed to become a pilot in the U.S., so she became one in France. She was the first woman of African American and Native American descent to earn a pilot license. She tragically died in a plane crash, but before her death intended to start a school for other women to earn credentials to fly.

3. Jane Goodall

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall changed the way we look at animals, human evolution and how we interact with the world through her scientific discoveries and interaction with primates. After 50 years in the field, she’s still traveling the world working on conservation efforts.

4. Junko Tabei

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“This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others, it rises from your heart.”

In 1975, Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. But she didn’t stop there. She climbed the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, making her the first woman ever to do so.

5. Robyn Davidson

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“The two important things that I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavour is taking the first step, making the first decision.”

In 1975, Robyn Davidson crossed the desert of Australia alone with her four camels and her dog. She documented her journey in a memoir and inspired countless women worldwide to take on their own solo journeys that seemed impossible to outsiders.

6. Cheryl Strayed

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“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”

Cheryl Strayed gave so many women the push they needed to “do Wild,” that is trek the Pacific Crest Trail like she did and wrote about in her best-selling memoir. A non-hiker and rookie adventurer, she proved women can tackle any physical endeavor they choose.