7 Inspiring Women Travelers With Great Life Stories

Traveling can seem like a vacation. But the road, the journey is something that help people grow as a person.

It’s way easier to travel in today’s world, with the help of the always-enhancing technology. It is possible to find good flight deals or accomodations. We can even find a couch to spend the night, all over the world, in no time!

Although traveling as a woman (unfortunately) requires much more caution than men, there are very brave women who have traveled all over the world. Here are some of these incredible women and their encouraging stories.

A Woman Who Walked from Siberia to Australia: Sarah Marquis

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Sarah Marquis is a Swiss adventurer, explorer and traveler born in 1972. The marquis’s adventurousness and curiosity began at a very early age. When She was only 6 years old, she left the house with her dog and went camping in a cave to spend the night!

She got a job at a European train company at the age of 16 to get the chance to travel around Europe without having to pay.

At the age of 17, she traveled around Turkey, on horseback. Moreover, almost without knowing how to ride a horse.

She then decided to go to New Zealand. Actually, the first stop of the young woman was Australia, but after a long journey in New Zealand on foot, she decided: She wanted to explore the world on foot. So Sarah Marquis hit the road and discovered Patagonia.

After Patagonia, she stayed in French Polynesia for a while, followed by a Canadian voyage by canoe!

Sarah Marquis is famous for traveling the world barefoot. She started walking from Canada in 2000, crossing the whole United States to Mexico, when she was only 28. Talk about “bucket list ideas before turning 30”!

Two years later, while touring the Australian outback on foot, her path crossed with a dog. Since then, she is accompanied by this beautiful dog on the road.

After that, Sarah Marquis’ trips were always a little more difficult but exciting. She walked alone from Siberia to Australia for 3 years from 2010 to 2013 and was named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic in 2014.

The Marquis embarked on the adventure of her life in 2015: she jumped from a helicopter to the wildest forests of Australia, to a point miles away from civilization. While she was not heard from for three months, when Sarah Marquis finally appeared three months later, 750 kilometers to the south, the following words came out of her mouth: “Give me food, please give me food!”

Sarah Marquis, however, was smiling with the joy of fulfilling her biggest dream. Sarah Marquis has been interested in Tasmania since 2018, where she records the region’s unique and distinctive species.

Chasing History: Justine Gosling

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Justine Gosling has traveled a lot of countries in her young age and combined her biggest passion with historical travel.

She is actually a paramedic. But in 2015, she thought she needed a break from her job and embarked on the journey of her life.

Due to her love of history, she pursued the “Iron Curtain” countries that are established after the separation of Europe into two separate parts after the Second World War. Justine also started the route she decided on from Finland and went down to the Black Sea and proceeded on the borders of the ‘Iron Curtain’ countries.

For Justine, who covered a 6,000-kilometer road both on foot and on a bicycle, this journey was almost like a school.

She had no previous travel experience at the beginning of the trip. But over time, she turned into a travel ‘plumber’ in her own words. So, everything she could do was income.

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Even in the unfortunate traffic accident she experienced in Poland, she managed to take the necessary precautions at the time of the incident. Being a paramedic allowed her to prevent herself from the unexpected troubles of travel.

Before Justine started her journey, she contacted the most famous and comprehensive museums in the countries on her route. She asked them to help her with both accommodation and travel tips by explaining the purpose of the trip. She received positive feedback from many museums for her exciting journey.

Her main motivation for this trip was to trace the historical and psychological effects of the Soviet Union.

Justine is the Discovery Channel’s volunteer travel ambassador. She speaks at many organizations.

A Life Story at the Boundaries: Jan Morris

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The next traveller on the list is a 93-year-old woman with a very interesting life story. In the 1970s, she went to Morocco and changed her gender and continued her life as a woman.

Jan Morris was born on October 2, 1926 and crowned her adventure as a journalist by reporting the first climbers to the top of the Everest.

She started her career as an intelligence officer in 1926. She served in Italy and Palestine during the Second World War. Then she stepped into journalism. She met Che Guevara, visited Hiroshima after the nuclear bomb…

She started writing for The Times newspaper in the 1950s. While there, she reported that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay had climbed to the top of Everest.

He had captured this news herself on the mountain, following the climbers at an altitude of thousands of feet. As soon as she got the news, she came down from the mountain and rushed to sit at the beginning of her article in order to be the first.

She married Elizabeth Tukniss in 1949. The couple had 5 children. They lost one of their children at an early age.

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In 1964, James (now known as Jan) decided to change gender. Since it was not legal for same-sex people to be married in England at that time, she had to divorce Elizabeth and have the surgery. But James didn’t want that.

He went to Georges Burou, who was the best of the time and had a clinic in Morocco. James was now a woman named Jan.

Jan has traveled a lot throughout her life. The articles, books, biographies and city portraits she wrote after her travels were the kind of works that succeeded in creating the feeling of walking on streets they had never been to, for people who had never been abroad.

Her memoir “A Writer’s World: Travels 1950-2000” is her most comprehensive travel guide.

Jan has also written travel books on Oxford, Venice, Hong Kong. But perhaps her autobiography titled “Conundrum”, published in 1974, in which she presents this interesting life in detail, is one of her most valuable works.

Walking Britain Barefoot: Anna McNuff

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British traveler Anna McNuff, born in 1984, has many adventures in her life, but one of the craziest ones is probably running a barefoot marathon around Great Britain.

When Anna was born to two sports-loving parents, it was clear what kind of life she would live.

She started rowing at the age of 16 and represented Britain. After many successes and medals, she quit rowing because of an injury she suffered. This unfortunate event in his life led her to a completely different journey. Anna, who describes herself as an adventurer and likes to challenge herself physically as well as travel, has found a way to combine the two.

In 2013, she traveled 20,000 kilometers for 7 months and went on a bicycle tour in North America.

In 2015, she crossed Australia’s Te Araroa Road with no support other than her 14-pound bag. She completed this adventure in 148 days, running 50 kilometers a day and sleeping at night.

In 2016, she cycled through Bolivia, Shishi and Argentina with a friend.

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And as mentioned before, her most popular achievement was walking barefoot, covering 4,500 kilometers around Britain in 2019. Especially after this adventure, she participated in television programs and gave motivational speeches in various institutions and organizations.

Anna has many books, both fiction and non-fiction. She tells about her travels and adventures in her books and shows people that there is nothing that cannot be achieved if wanted.

She also has a book for children called ‘100 Adventures You Must Go Out Before You Grow Up’.

Anna is also the founder and member of many foundations that aim to encourage women and young girls to travel and become athletes.

Now… Let’s go back a little and read some stories of the pioneers… These women were incredible during their time!

Discovering the World in Men’s Clothing: Jeanne Baret

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Another very exciting story! Born in the Burgundy region of France in 1740, Jeanne Baret is the first woman to travel the world on her own. If you look at how old the history is, you can understand how difficult the conditions of that period were: Baret was able to make this journey that lasted for years only in the guise of a man!

The story begins with her first working as an assistant to the botanist Philibert Commerson. Commerson had accompanied the famous explorer and scientist Louis Antoine de Bougainville on his world trip as a botanist. In 1765, he made a companionship offer to Baret, this time for a trip of the same type. It is said that the two have developed a very close relationship over the years, and as a sick man, Commerson relied heavily on Baret as a nurse, caregiver and perhaps life partner.

The duo embarked on a three-year expedition with the French navy in 1766. She is on this trip as Janet Commerson’s ‘assistant’. Also on board is Louis Antoine de Bougainville. They conduct extensive botanical research in South America and the Pacific regions.

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Since it was forbidden for women to be on navy ships at that time, Baret had to make the whole journey in the guise of a man. We’re talking about a 3-year journey!

Of course, rumors begin to circulate over time. When they arrive in Tahiti, Jeanne’s identity is revealed from the interaction between the natives and the explorers. Bougainville states that he admires Jeanne’s courage, hard work and determination, but that they cannot violate the rules of the ship. After that, the two have to end their journey in the country of Mauritius in East Africa. At this stop, they join the French explorer Pierre Poivre and continue their research together.

The Only Woman Who Traveled The World By Zeppelin: Grace Marguerite Hay Drummond-Hay

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This woman is the first woman to travel the world in an airship. Grace was born in England in 1895. She worked for The Sphere and then Hearst newspapers in the 1920s.

She makes her first trip in an airship with soldiers in 1928. She was the only woman in the airship, which makes Grace’s story that much more interesting!

When the trip is over, she gets in front of the cameras and writes valuable articles about aviation for her newspaper. A year after the first trip as a journalist, Hearst again casts him as the main reporter for an airship trip. Travelers crossing the Atlantic Ocean on this trip fly from America to Tokyo. Grace was the only woman on the airship on this trip as well.

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In addition to these, since she is also passionate about journalism, she worked as a war correspondent in Ethiopia and a reporter in China with a passion for both travel and duty.

Meanwhile, Grace, who has to travel a lot, is unfortunately detained in a Japanese military camp in the Philippines during the Second World War. Her eyes were damaged due to an exploding bomb. Although she was released in 1943 to go to America on a Swedish rescue ship, she died of thrombosis a few years later. Although Grace’s name is almost forgotten today, her courage, pioneering and valuable writings in aviation make her a journalist and traveler to be taken as an example.

Conquering the Top of the Himalayas: Fanny Bullock Workman

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Fanny Bullock Workman has achieved great success in her life. She was a member of a wealthy family. She married a doctor when she was 22 years old. When her husband retired, they decided to travel the world together. Although this is a very common scenario today, think about the 1800s and a woman trying to persuade her husband to go to exotic places. It shouldn’t be easy.

Keeping in mind that especially women did not have much opportunity to travel at that time, Fanny’s actions would be considered quite crazy. Fanny toured around Europe by bike with her husband.

She traveled to India, which was the most curious destination of many travelers outside of Europe. She realized that she has a climber in her soul when she goes to the Himalayas, where she had the opportunity to climb when she traveled to India. She was a free-spirited mountaineer! She rised to the heights that no woman or even human has ever achieved, she climbed to unreachable heights.

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She broke a record by climbing the 6952-meter Pinnacle Peak in Arizona in 1906. Then she climbed the Nevado Huarascan Mountain in Peru, reaching a height that no woman has ever reached before. While Fanny was doing all these activities that could be considered interesting and innovative for that period, she actually had a daughter. By the time her daughter was 18, Fanny had done 3 epic bike tours, conquered the Himalayas several times, and had already written a book about her adventures.

Fanny not only visited the Karakoram Mountains, but also discovered many of its peaks, and made the map planning of the glaciers and geysers of the region with her team of researchers. She was the first female traveler to give a lecture at the Sorbonne University in Paris and the second to speak at the Royal Geographical Society.

An iconic picture of Fanny, who is also one of the important representatives of the women’s suffrage, is the photo taken of her, posing with a newspaper that read “Votes for Women!”

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We are very inspired by all these incredible women. We hope many other women and little girls can also find something in their stories to chase after; whether it is their courage, curiousity or ambition.

If you’d like to travel the world and explore different cultures, Pointship is there for you to save on flight costs.

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