Top 20 Inspiring Female Adventurers to follow and their stories Part 1
COMPILATION OF 20 MOST REWARDING TRAVEL ADVENTURE STORIES
11. Volunteering in the Rainforests of Borneo with my 10-year old
Inspiring Female Traveller: Mags Nixon
Location: Borneo, Indonesia
Blog: The Family Freestylers
I’ve traipsed off on many an intrepid adventure around the world back in my fearless solo days, but none beat the most rewarding adventures recently shared with my 10 year old daughter in Borneo.
Flying out to work with local charity Ape Malaysia on a rainforest conservation project for 7 days in hot sticky temperatures in the deep jungle in North East Borneo surpassed all expectations & forged lifelong unforgettable memories.
With nervous anticipation we eyed the jungle far below on our arrival into Sandakan, Sabah’s second city perched on the coast of the Sulu sea. A ribbon of river, the colour of coffee, carving its way through dense rainforest filled our window as we craned to get a better look at Borneo. This far off land from childhood dreams filled with animals off the pages of ancient encyclopedias was finally below us. Double backing on itself snake like, this river, the mighty Kinabatangan, was to be our home for the next 7 days.
Fearful of the strange and the unknown, my daughter slowly blossomed as the magic of Borneo unravelled itself. Plunged into 98% humidity, she quickly became accustomed to the alive reverberating noise of the jungle at night, her fear of non-existent tigers fading. Every day as we worked together hacking back invading vegetation with machetes or digging holes to plant young saplings, she would soak up the knowledge of our local guide of the fragile eco-system here in the narrow strip of critical rainforest aptly named the Corridor of Life. Here was only one of two places on earth that 10 primates share, the most well known, the endearing and endangered orangutan. From witnessing herds of pygmy elephants cross croc infested waters to seeing first hand, the plight of orang-utans unfold around her, it was a deeply moving experience to watch the change & empowerment of a young girl as it clicked she could truly make a difference in this world.
12. Scuba Diving Liveaboard in Komodo National Park
Inspiring Female Traveller: Katie Diederichs
Location: Komodo National Park in Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
Blog: Two Wandering Soles
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to learn how to scuba dive. I grew up hearing my dad’s stories of diving beneath frozen lakes in my home state of Minnesota. He told me how his dive partner and he would need to cut a hole in the ice before tying a rope to their wetsuit-clad bodies and jumping in. While cold-water diving never appealed to me, something else did: The adventure of exploring a world we know so little about. And the tropical waters of Thailand turned out to be a great place to get scuba certified. (No frozen lakes for me, thank you very much!)
Ever since getting my certification, I’ve been planning dive trips around the world. And one of the places I kept hearing whisperings about was Indonesia’s Komodo National Park; many of the sites in which can only be accessed by a liveaboard trip. This is where you stay on a boat for multiple days, diving several times each day, in areas unreachable by day trips.
My 5-day scuba trip in Komodo National Park was everything I could have dreamed. We went on 3 dives a day – 15 in total! – and saw all sorts of creatures: schools of barracuda, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, and many, many majestic manta rays! With strong currents and more challenging topography to navigate, the dives in Komodo were far more challenging than any of other dives I’d done before. But they were also all that much more rewarding, and helped me become a better diver.
I was one of only 2 females on the boat. And when the other woman experienced ear issues, I was the only girl in the water for the majority of the dives. Under water, I felt just as powerful and strong as any one of the men. One of the things I love most about diving is that underwater, people are all the same. Whether you’re young or old, strong or weak, we are all the same beneath the water’s surface.
13. Staying with the Village Women of Spiti Valley in the Himalayan Highlands
Inspiring Female Traveller: Helene
Location: Himalayan Highlands, India
Blog: Masala Herb
Two years ago I fulfilled one of my dreams to travel the Himalayan highlands in India. The area is called Spiti valley and is situated near the Tibet border and to get there you need to cross treacherous highland roads. I traveled with my husband in our car and took turns driving roads located at above 3500 meters altitude. I grew up in the Austrian alps but this was a whole new ball game. The snow melt of the glaciers was turning the roads into difficult to navigate rivers. It was breathtaking but I was determined to drive and cross the highest point, the kunzum pass. The villages in spiti valley were hidden in the mountains. When we visited the villages, I noticed that women were the ones running the show in their homes and in the villages. They worked all day long but they were also the ones who seemed to have the say and who took decisions. To negotiate for rooms, I talked to the lady boss of the house. To ask for hiking recommendations, we were guided by the elderly women of the house. On one of our last nights, we stayed in the village of Langza, near Hikkim. The lady of the house was a very knowledgeable elderly women. She shared her story of the land and how the village got to be known all over the world as the famous Himalayan fossil village. We couldn’t help our-self and felt amazed by the women and her aura. Generally speaking, I particularly felt very proud about the women of Spiti valley, old and young. They are survivors of a tough terrain, they handle their worlds up there, hold their heads high and the women of spiti have some of the kindest smiles I have ever seen. Whenever I feel discouraged in life, I think of my encounters with these women, and then I know, that everything is possible.
14. Conquering my Fear of Heights at Victoria Falls
Inspiring Female Traveller: Clelia Mattana
Location: Devil Pools Victoria Falls
Blog: My Sardinia Holidays
I have been traveling for more than 6 years no-stop now and no matter how many crazy and meaningful adventures I have under my belt, the time I was hanging from the Victoria Falls edge at the Devils Pool (Zambia Side) is always the most talked about crazy adventure among my readers, friends, and followers.
I can totally see why of course, as this was by far one of the most exciting and exhilarating experiences of my life. Not only because of the breathtaking location, the adrenaline, the views, but because there is a story behind it as well.
I have a proper phobia for heights. I usually feel dizzy and very sick when looking down a precipice or if I simply have to jump from a rock at a mere 2 meters from the sea. So forcing myself to face my fears was a day to remember for my own personal growth as well.
As for the experience itself, what can I add more than what the images already show? Out of this world! Not everyone decided to try the option to hang at the very edge of the waterfall (which is still totally secure despite what it looks, no reckless adventures for me) but if you happen to go there just do it! The view from the edge is something I’ll never forget till the day I die!” 100% worth it.
15. A Trip that moved me -- Fastest Zipline in the world
Inspiring Female Traveller: Carol Perehudoff
Location: North Wales
It’s a long way down. Considering the Zip World Velocity 2 in North Wales is the fastest
Located near the town of Bethesda, the Velocity Zipline 2 is the longest zipline in Europe, and travels a distance of one mile (1.6 metres). It’s possible to attain speeds of more than 100 mph (160 km). My heart is beating hard as, kitted out in my bright red safety suit, helmet and safety goggles, I climb up to the platform and get strapped in lying flat. With a sudden burst I’m launched off like a missile.
Being in the air is the most liberating feeling imaginable. I don’t feel as if I’m battling the wind, I feel as if I’m going with it – even part of it. As I sail over Penrhyn Quarry, once the world’s largest slate quarry, and look out at the blue Menai Straits beyond, I’m inspired to fly in my own life, to recreate this feeling of freedom. The height and speed doesn’t just give me a new perspective on the landscape, but also on myself -- as a person who can tackle new adventures and -- literally – conquer new heights.
16. 3 Months Hiking the Himalayas Alone
Inspiring Female Traveller: Pashmina
Location: Himalayas, India
Blog: The Gone Goat
The rugged Himalayas in India have a way of pulling your closer -- it holds some the highest Himalayan peaks in the world and has some of the most number of unexplored ranges in the world.
With my love for the mountains, I wanted to slow travel the remote parts of India and decided to hike the mountains in India as my first solo hiking trip as a female, after quitting my job in 2016.
A little anxiety and adrenaline, I weathered -30 temperatures in the Zanskar region of Ladakh for 7 days, went past the final village of India before the India-Tibet border Chitkul and made my way to other parts of the silk route that was an important trading point for goods in India.
As I got closer to some mountains that ranged between 4,000m -- 5,000m, I was reminded of the past lifestyle I had for so many years. Compared to my previous corporate life regime. I was finally taking control of the life I wanted and it a was a reminder of what it takes to reconnect with every fibre of your body compared to the meaningless tasks we are assigned to do on a day-to-day basis.
Upon reflecting, we don’t need to be revolutionary in our day-to-day lives but we can find little joys in seeking out adventures that fill us to the brim.
17. Travelling Solo through Iran
Inspiring Female Traveller: Ellis
Blog: Backpack Adventures
As a solo female
The fact that I was going to Iran made people around me either worried or excited and I had a mix of both emotions when I was on the train from Turkey to Iran. My fears were unnecessary, because from the very first day I received a warm welcome.
Iranian people are among the friendliest I have met on my travels. I can’t count the number of invitations I got for a cup of tea or even dinner at somebody’s home. People went out of their way to help me whether it was finding the right bus at the station or accompanying me to my hotel in a new city to make sure I arrived safe and well. Iranian hospitality is one of the reasons Iran was such a great experience. It changed my perspective that there ate a lot of kind people in this world and that in the end we are not so different from each other.
But that is not all. Iran is an incredibly beautiful country. From the green rolling hills in Iranian Kurdistan to traditional villages in the desert and amazing Persian architecture in the cities. There are so many things to do in Iran that during my one month trip I couldn’t see everything. With so many things left to explore I am determined to return, and this time without worries and fears. This trip was an eye opener that many fears we might have about a place are ungrounded and that the stereotypes in the media can create serious misconceptions. It is always better to visit a place yourself and in my case it has completely changed my mind about Iran.
18. Fearful but overcame the Mrozna cave in Tatra mountains Poland
Inspiring Female Traveller: Joanna Dąbrowska
Location: Mrozna cave in Tatra mountains, Poland
It was the end of September and I decided to go on
Tatras are the the highest mountains in Poland. Located in the south, they are divided between Poland and Slovakia. Tatra mountains are famous for their astounding beauty and are perfect destination for hikers, climbers and all nature lovers. Amazing landscape, alpine-like nature and well-developed tourist infrastructure make Tatras number one hiking destination in Poland.
The weather in Tatra mountains is unpredictable and it was rainy and cold when I started my trip, therefore I decided to explore Mrozna cave. Mrozna cave is one of the most famous caves in Tatras. It is located in Koscieliska valley and is easily accessible by foot -- it is situated only one hour of relaxed walk from the trail head. Total length of the cave is 773 metres. Mrozna cave is available for all tourists, as no caving experience is needed to visit it.
When I got to Mrozna cave entering I saw there was no one there besides the man selling tickets. I felt anxious about visiting the cave all by myself. To make the matters worse, the ticket man asked me if I was not afraid to do it alone.
I entered the cave, but instantly I remembered all the ghost stories I had ever heard. I run back to the trail.
I stood outside the cave contemplating if I should quit the idea. But I knew I would be disappointed with myself if I had not explore the cave. I remembered what my aunt used to say: “it’s not the dead we should be afraid of. It’s the alive”.
I went into Mrozna cave and hurriedly walked along its corridors. Actually, I run. When I got out of the cave I was sweaty and panting heavily. But I was proud of myself that I overcame my fears. It also made me more self-confident.
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19. Overland by Public Transport from Cairo to Istanbul
Inspiring Female Traveller: Wendy Werneth
Location: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey
Blog: The Nomadic Vegan
When I met my husband Nick in 2002, we bonded over our mutual love for travel. At that point, I had only travelled around Western Europe, but I was hungry for more. So when Nick said he was planning to travel through the Middle East from Cairo to Istanbul, I invited myself along.
We weren’t even dating yet at that point, but I was wary about visiting the Middle East on my own and didn’t want to miss out on the chance to do it with a travel partner. And with the imminent invasion of Iraq, friends and family were saying that the Middle East was a bad idea.
But once we arrived in Egypt, I realized I needn’t have worried. The people I met on that trip were, by and large, extremely friendly and welcoming. The people of Syria, in particular, were some of the kindest I have ever met. They even invited us into their homes and served us traditional Middle Eastern food.
I was able to visit some of the most magnificent historical and archaeological sites anywhere in the world, including the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the Tell Baalbeck temple complex in Lebanon, and the ancient Roman city of Palmyra in Syria.
Sadly, many of the wondrous sites I visited in Syria have since been destroyed in the ongoing civil war, and I often wonder what happened to the people I met there. Hence, it was this first long overland trip that inspired me to continue a life of semi-nomadic travel for the next 20 years and beyond.
20. Deep set fear of flying overcame
Female Travel Blogger: Rachel
Blog: Rachel’s Ruminations
I’m not sure if this experience counts as an adventure; all I did was fly in a very small plane. But I’m afraid of flying. I’ve been afraid since my first flight as a child. I have strategies to deal with it, but it lurks in the background, ready to pounce, every time I fly.
So last summer, thinking that it was time to face my fear, I signed up for a blogger tour of Prague Airport, including a flight in a small plane. Leading up to that day, I mostly just avoided thinking about it, until I arrived and saw the plane: it was tiny! People fly those things for fun? I considered chickening out, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself – ah, the power of social groups – so I pushed the fear down into the pit of my stomach and flew.
Perhaps, to you, a flight in a small plane isn’t daring or adventurous, but to me it was. I signed up for the right reason: facing my fear. I went through with it for the wrong reason: avoiding embarrassment. Nevertheless, I did it. I got in that plane and flew. Rigid with terror, thinking about how my life depended on that one little engine that sounded like a motorcycle, I still kept calm: calm enough, eventually, to look at the glorious scenery beneath me and take some pictures. Will I ever do it again? No, I don’t think so, but I’m really proud I did.
Inspiring Female Traveller: Lydia Yang ( author)
Location: Vancouver to Edmonton, Canada
I hope you have been as inspired as I was from these 20 incredible female travellers and adventurers who we commemorate this International Women’s Day.
Which female adventurer most inspired you?