The 10 Most Inspirational Women In Travel History
March 8th will see the world celebrate International Women’s Day and, on March 11th Mothers’ Day takes place in the UK. So, we have decided to celebrate women in history with this list of the 10 most inspirational women in travel. Women that have changed the way we travel and how we can aspire to achieve the most amazing things. Despite set backs in their lives these women strived to achieve what was originally thought impossible.
Amelia Earhart and Neta Snook
Without a doubt the first woman that comes to mind when thinking about the most inspirational women in travel history. But did you know that Earhart learnt to fly from the lesser known Neta Snook, who was the first woman to establish an aviation business. Snook taught Amelia to fly in 1921 for $1 in bonds per minute in the air. Earhart’s infatuation with flying meant that in 1932 she became the first woman to fly non-stop across the Atlantic. Additionally, on January 11th 1935 Earhart became the first pilot to fly alone from Honolulu to Oakland, California. Her most famous venture came to a tragic end on July 2nd 1937. Earhart was en route to Howland Island from Papua New Guinea when she lost contact. Despite search teams being deployed within an hour, she was never found. Speculations and conspiracies have risen out of this infamous event, from the likelihood of a crash and sink theory, to a Japanese Capture theory.
Bessie Coleman fought against all odds, two years before her more famous peer, Amelia Earhart. Coleman became the first black pilot in the world. Banned from flying in America, Coleman travelled to France where she not only learnt the language but earned a pilot license in 1921. Coleman flew in many air shows and performed aerial tricks, whilst raising fund for an African-American flying school. Coleman achieved a lot during her life; tragically it ended on April 30, 1926. Despite being urged not to fly the plane, Coleman and her mechanic flew in rehearsal for an air show. The plane dived suddenly after a wrench accidentally left there caught in the controls. The two died on impact.
Jeanne Baret is one of the top on our list, recognised as the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. Baret had to do this disguised as a man as, during the time, gender equality was unheard of. The French Navy banned woman on its ships, but Beret was unstoppable and travelled on a ship with 300 men on board. Accounts differ as to when people began to suspect she was a woman, but her gender was not officially announced until the ship had reached Tahiti in April 1768. She arrived back to France not only well travelled but defying gender confinements and earning herself a place in travel history.
Despite not being that well known, this woman deserves her place as one of our inspirational women of travel. Tereshkova, in 1963, became the first woman to travel in space. On 16th June 1963 at the young age of 26, Tereshkova launched from Russia in the Vostok 6. Circling the world 48 times in less than three days she logged more flight time than all American astronauts had before that date. It took another 19 years until the second woman was able to travel in space again. What is even more impressive is that out of 400 applicants and five finalists she was chosen to pilot the Vostok 6. None of the five finalists travelled to space after her.
Krystyna earned her place in the history book when she became the first woman to sail single-handed around the world from 1976 – 1978. Within 401 days she had sailed from the Canary Islands and circled the globe. Sailing 31,166 nautical miles she returned to Poland, where she is still considered to be a hero of the travelling world.
Tabei rose to fame in the 1970’s after becoming the first woman to reach the summit of Everest. Tabei’s team contained 15 members, mostly working women and was named the JWEE. She had previously raised funds for the historic trip by gaining sponsorship from newspapers and television companies. Despite being constantly told that “women should be raising children instead” she defied everyone. Even after conquering Mount Everest In 1975 she went on to reach the summit of Antarctica’s highest mountain and on June 28th 1992 she became the first woman to complete the Seven Summits.
Elizabeth Cochran Seaman
Elizabeth Cochran Seaman went by her pen name Nellie Bly. She was born May 5th 1864 in Pennsylvania, and was originally an American Journalist for the Pittsburgh Dispatch. In 1888 Bly suggested to her editor at The New York World that she would take a trip around the globe and write about it for the paper. On November 1889 she began her journey, aiming to bring the novel “Around the world in eighty days” to life. In just 72 days Bly had completed her journey around the world mostly travelling solo throughout the trip.
Blanchard lived a quiet life, she hated horses and was scared of crows, but that didn’t stop her becoming the first woman to pilot a hot air balloon as well as the first woman to work as a professional balloonist. Even after her husband’s death, when he fell from a hot air balloon after a heart attack in 1809, she continued to persevere; with over 60 ascents by balloon over the years. However, she also became the first female aviation casualty, when her craft hit a house, burst into flames and she fell, dying on impact.
The most recent of our inspirational women, Cassie DePecol graduated from high school in 2007, and started to travel, after returning and trying a regular day job she decided it wasn’t for her and launched a trip around the world. From July 2015 to February 2017 DePecol travelled to every sovereign nation in the world. She has thus become the fastest to visit all sovereign nations as well as being the fastest to do it as a woman. She has said that among her influences Amelia Earhart, Nellie Bly and Jeanne Baret rank highly.