I wanted to write about my favourite ladies who have inspired me to travel and to celebrate these women's achievements and just how epic they are.
I have to be honest I've had this post sitting in "draft mode" since March, and initially I had planned to publish this during International Women's day. But time got away from me, saying that, regardless of when I published this post the truth still stands that these women in this list are still very much inspirational to me.
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 woman and the suffragette movement.
This year's Women's day theme was focused around a #pressforprogress campaign, which is a continuation of of the #metoo movements. These global campaigns are all about putting sexual harassment, equal pay and equal rights for women at the forefront of the agenda.
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 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 her journey her small aircraft disappeared. There is much 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPrBgNXpV7w
I could not write a piece about inspirational women without mentioning my mum. She's fully responsible for passing on the travel bug to me and for that I am ever grateful. She allowed me to travel alone to South East Asia when I was 17, with her full encouragement behind me.
Having been brought up in a home where travel books, music and international food were common place I feel that her need to see and explore new places has definitely had an impact on my adult life. She's pretty kick ass, travelling thousands of miles solo and not caring what people think about that. A lot more people need her attitude.
She's had a colourful life: Holidays as a single parent, to extended periods of time spent in Cuba, to packing up her car and beloved dog for the day just to get out and see places near and far.
In recent years, she's been a frequent visitor to Gambia and feels confident enough to travel there solo and fully immerse herself in the culture and traditions of West Africa. Last year we managed to tick off one of her bucket list items and see the Notting Hill Carnival in London and I just know she'll tick off a lot more experiences from her list in the future. I wish more people had her courage to get up and go!
Iris Apfel describes herself as a "geriatric starlet" (She is 96) 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 metalware 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 but if she had a world record to beat...
I recently 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 (where she started her trip) 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.
I hope I've given you an insight into some of the pretty bad ass women in this world and to me they are truly inspirational and provide me with even more encouragement to see this world! Who has inspired you to travel? Let me know below.