10 Amazing Female Adventurers

stm519640558b0cb20130517 March 8th is celebrated across the globe as International Women's Day! Since 1911, we have celebrated the work of women - beginning with suffragists - who work diligently for women's rights and campaigns against injustice and prejudice. With today in mind, GEEKTREKS.COM wanted to spotlight 10 amazing women who have collectively traveled over a million miles on some epic adventures across the planet. Here they are: 1. FIRST WOMAN TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD Nellie Bly (1862 - 1922)  220px-Nellie_Bly_2   Nellie Bly was the pen name of  an American journalist named Elizabeth Jane Cochrane. In addition to her writing, she was also an industrialist and charity worker. Nellie proposed to travel around the world faster than Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg in Around The World In Eighty Days. Editors at The World  -where she worked - were wary of the idea. Women didn't travel without escorts. Undeterred, Nellie Bly stepped onto the ocean liner Augusta Victoria by herself on November 14, 1889 carrying only two small satchels. Nellie traveled the world heading east from New York. Her journey took her from England to Egypt, Ceylon, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan before heading back to the United States. During a stop in France, Nellie got to meet Jules Verne himself, who encouraged her to break his own - fictional - record! In the meantime, to keep interest in Nellie's trip alive, The World promoted a hugely popular guessing game for her arrival time. Nellie would step back on to American soil in San Francisco. She then boarded a train that took her across the country. On January 25, 1890, Nellie Bly arrived back at her starting point; 72 days, six hours, eleven minutes and fourteen seconds after her departure!     2. PIONEERING FEMALE TRAVEL JOURNALIST Kira Salak (1971 - )


Kira Salak won the PEN Award for journalism for her reporting on the war in Congo, and she has appeared five times in Best American Travel Writing. A National Geographic Emerging Explorer and contributing editor for National Geographic Adventure magazine, she was the first woman to explore Papua New Guinea and the first person to kayak solo 600 miles to Timbuktu. Holding a PhD in literature and travel writing, she is the author of three books--the critically acclaimed work of fiction, The White Mary (published by Henry Holt), and two works of nonfiction:Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea (a New York Times Notable Travel Book) and The Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles to Timbuktu. She has a Ph.D. in English, her fiction appearing in Best New American Voices and other anthologies. Her nonfiction has been published in National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, Washington Post, New York Times Magazine, Travel & Leisure, The Week, Best Women's Travel Writing, The Guardian, and elsewhere. Salak has appeared on TV programs like CBS Evening News, ABC's Good Morning America, and CBC's The Hour. She lives in Germany with her husband and daughter. 3. FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE ASTRONAUT Mae Jemison (1956 - )


Mae Jemison is not your typical traveler but she has covered hundreds of miles on your not-so-average flight!  Mae Jemison enrolled at Stanford University at the age of 16 and in 1977 graduated with degrees in both chemical engineering and Afro-American studies. She received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Cornell University in 1981. Dr. Jemison completed her training as a mission specialist with NASA in 1988. In September of 1992, as a mission specialist aboard the Shuttle Endeavour, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to enter space. Her only mission, Endeavor flew over a 1000 miles on this voyage. In 1993, Dr. Jemison resigned from NASA and founded the Jemison Group, Inc. Among her current projects are several that focus on improving healthcare in Africa and advancing technology in developing countries.   4. FIRST WOMAN TO THE NORTH POLE Louise Boyd (1887-1972) Louise-boyd-1928-tromso   Born into wealth, Louise Boyd would use her large inheritance to explore the Arctic regions she loved so much. Boyd would be the first woman to reach the North Pole, in the relative comfort of an airplane, in 1955. Traveling to Europe after the deaths of her parents, in 1920, she spent some time in Spitsbergen where she found the ice beguiling. Her first Arctic exploration was in 1926 when she spent time filming and photographing the environment of the Arctic. It was her hunting of Polar bears on this trip which earned her the nickname ‘Diana of the Arctic.’ Her most famous exploit was assisting in the hunt for famed Antarctic explorer Ronald Amundsen, who had disappeared while aiding a downed Italian airship. Her plane covered ten thousand miles in the search, but Amundsen was never found. For her efforts, Boyd became the first non-Norwegian woman to be awarded the Chevalier Cross of the Order of Saint Olav, by King Haakon VII. She returned to the US and led five expeditions in Greenland, for which she was honored by the Geographical Society, and an area of Greenland was named Louise Boyd Land in her honor.     5. FIRST FEMALE WINNER OF THE THREE POLES CHALLENGE  Tina Sjögren (1959 - ) unnamed   Tina Sjogren was born in Prague, but ended up in Sweden as her family fled the country when she was nine. She married a Swede in 1983, and they later emigrated to New York. Together with her husband Tom (they’re known as T&T), she set out to be a record maker as the first woman to climb Mount Everest and reach both the South- and the North Pole, a challenge known as the Three Poles Challenge. The couple were the first to broadcast live pictures from the Antarctic ice cap in 2001, and in 1999 they broke the high altitude record for broadcasting at Everest.           6. YOUNGEST FEMALE SAILOR AROUND THE GLOBE Laura Dekker ( 1995 - )


Laura Dekker is a courageous young Dutch sailor who felt ready for her fist major solo trip as a 13 year old. She embarked on a journey from the Netherlands to England. Her father hoped that being alone for over a week in hard weather would cure her strong wanderlust, but at the age of 14 she declared her attention to sail alone around the globe. Laura braved several court cases aimed to stop her from her goal due to her young age, but she persisted. She left her home and after about a year at sea, 16 year old Laura completed her journey as the youngest sailor ever to sail around the globe! Surprisingly, she is not the only courageous teen who has done this! Another inspiring young woman who embarked on a sailing trip around the world at the tender age of 16, is the Aussie Jessica Watson.  (Learn more about Jessica here. ) The Guinness Book of Records has scrapped all records for youngest sailors to discourage further dangerous atempts. Laura – who will write a book about her adventures over more than 27,000 nautical miles – said in her blog she was far more haunted by memories of Dutch social services threatening to lock her up again and again to stop her bid to sail around the world than she was scared of the threat of pirate kidnappings, treacherous seas or being shipwrecked.   7. FIRST FEMALE AVIATOR TO CROSS THE ATLANTIC    Amelia Aerhart (1897 - 1937)  amelia-earhart-gi Amelia Earhart decided to become a pilot in 1920, at a time when women were supposed to stay at home and care for the children and cook. She became the first woman to fly over the Atlantic, and full of ambition she decided to fly around the world in 1937. After finishing 3/4 of the trip she suddenly disappeared and was never found again. She wouldn’t let herself be stopped because she was a woman, and once said: “Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.”       9. RECORD-BREAKING GLOBE RUNNER   Rosie Swale-Pope (1946 - ) Rose-Swale-Pope-006 After losing her husband to cancer, the Swiss-Irish Rosie Swale-Pope of Wales decided to put on her jogging shoes and run solo around the world on her 57th birthday. The goal was to run for cancer awareness and raise money for charity. Five years, 20,000 miles, 53 pairs of jogging shoes and a fractured hip later, she completed her mission in 2009. According to this Daily Mail’s article about brave Rosie, she was shadowed by a pack of wolves in Russia, confronted by a naked gunman in Siberia and nearly froze to death in Alaska. She also sailed solo across the Atlantic in a 17ft boat and with her family to Australia and back around Cape Horn with a catamaran. In 2012, she also completed 26 marathons in 26 days!!   10.  FIRST FEMALE WORLD BICYCLIST Annie Londonderry  (1870 – 1947)


The 25 year old mother of three headed out on her journey around the world on her bike in 1895. Despite never having biked before, Annie jumped on a challenge to bike around the world in 15 months and earn $5,000. It deserves mentioning that her bike didn’t have any brakes! The journey was supposed to test a woman’s ability to fend for herself, in which she greatly succeeded. After her trip she moved her family to New York where she worked as a journalist. A famous quote from Annie says: “I am a journalist and a ‘new woman’ if that term means that I believe I can do anything that any man can do.”  Another adventurer - Loretta Henderson has accomplished the same more recently! (For a list of even more inspiring female travelers, click HERE.) On International Women's Day and during Women's History Month -- let's give cheers to these brave female pioneers who dare to show that world that women can accomplish anything!