This is the era where women are conquering heights and breaking boundaries of gender inequalities. They managed to prove their worth in every field ranging from literature, politics, medicine and everything under the sky that increased our curiosity to know that these brave women of past have paved a stepping stone for us to walk on. It must have been difficult for them to break certain stereotypes and think beyond all social constraints. But these women did something out of the box by questioning the flaws of a highly patriarchal society and it’s masculine perception. And they became a part of the famous women travelers of history that indeed helped for the true evolution of women.
Let’s find out those women who explored the world, at times when traveling was a taboo for a particular gender.
The top women travelers to name a few are ;
1.Lady Hester Stanhope (1776-1839)
Image Credits: Wikipedia Lady Hester Stanhope
Lady Hester Stanhope was possibly the greatest solo female traveler of her age. Being an adventure enthusiast, and a socializer women she unveiled the cultural delusion of the ancient era. Stanhope moved on to find out her destiny in the Middle East and she did whatever it took to go wherever she wanted. She was the first woman who crossed the Syrian desert, a true winner of the title, the ‘Queen of the Desert’.
2.Jeanne Baret (1740-1807)
Image Credits: Wikipedia Jeanne Baret
Jeanne was the first woman who courageously marked her name in history by circumnavigating the planet. She joined the world exploration of Admiral Louis-Antoine de Bougainville. The French Navy prohibited women on its ships, but that didn’t stop Jeanne as this tactical woman presented herself as a man. She enlisted as valet and assistant to the expedition’s naturalist Philibert Commerçon and traveled on the vessel with 300 men. And by the time they discovered her true gender, the cruise reached France and she fulfilled her dream to explore this beautiful world.
3.Isabella Bird (1831-1904)
Image Credits: Wikipedia Isabella Bird
Isabella Bird became one of the 19th century’s most inspirational solo woman traveler by overcoming the limitations of living in a man’s world. Irrespective of her poor health and financial constraints, this lady with strong audacity continued her life as an avid explorer, writer, photographer, and naturalist, and was even elected as the first woman fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Irrespective of the social dilemma of ageism, she continued her trip even at her 70s. She visited many countries like America, India, Kurdistan, the Persian Gulf, Iran, Tibet, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, and China.
4.Mary Kingsley (1862-1900)
Image Credits: Wikipedia Mary Kingsley
At a time when virtuous women didn’t walk the streets of London alone, Kingsley was exploring unaccompanied parts of Western Africa. In Africa, she canoed up the Ogooué River and pioneered a route to the summit of Mount Cameroon, which had never been attempted by a European. She made an immense collection of freshwater fishes on behalf of the renowned British Museum. In her famous book, “Travels in West Africa’’, she expressed her strong dissent to European imperialism and capitalism.
5.Bessie Coleman (1892-1926)
Image Credits: Wikipedia Bessie Coleman
Bessie Coleman raised her voice against race and gender discrimination to become the first women of color to fly above the world. Being a girl, she was banned from flying in her native, yet she taught herself French and moved on to France for a pilot’s license.
These women still stand proudly in the pages of history and provide a huge impact on today’s female population. When solo women travelers are facing safety issues, these examples are a gift to our thoughts. To explore is to life and as Carl Sagan once said, the Earth is the only home we will ever have and if we didn’t see and explore this nature’s gift, irrespective of our gender who else will do that for us?
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