International Women’s Day is here! March 8th is the day we celebrate the social, economic and political achievements of women in all spheres. I was curious to find out what women have gone through in terms of travel. I am able to do what I do because of great trailblazers and explorers who defied society and set out to explore the world.
Today we will take a look at travel for women through out the ages and we will see how far we have come from and where we are going.
Before the 1800s, women were seen as objects meant to stay in their homes. To cook and clean and slave away for their men. Female explorers were rare to come by and not much has been documented about them. However in the 1700s, Jeanne Bare was the first woman to circumnavigate the world! But she did it disguised as a man. She was finally caught and sent back to France. However, the navy was impressed by her braveness and honored her.
African women were also subject to the same rules. Rarely were they able to get out of their village unless they were being married off.
At the age of industrialization, women had money and time to burn as many owned businesses and were not simply relying on their spouses for wealth. This brought about a wave of female explorers and adventurers such as Aimee Crocker who toured Asia, Isabelle Bird who explored the Middle East and Asia and Nellie Bly who travelled around the world in 80 days.
There were more female explorers at this time with the likes of Amelia Earhart flying across the Atlantic and Osa Helen Leighty globe trotting and making travel videos.
Valentina Terashkova in 1963 was the first woman in space and Junko Tabei in 1975 was the first woman to summit Mt. Everest.
At this time African students were getting scholarships to study abroad and women such as Wangari Maathai received such scholarships. This opened up their minds to a new way of thinking as they were exposed to different cultures and people.
With the development of technology, more and more women have gotten the travel bug and some are even travelling full-time! The internet has enabled so may to achieve their travel dreams and go above and beyond. There is definitely a wave of solo female travellers with more women taking the leap and going at it on their own.
Here is a list of some of my favourite female travellers , bloggers and vloggers.
Raya Was Here
Raya Encheva is a 23 year old youtube travel vlogger from New York. She is a full-time traveller and has travelled to more than 10 countries and she shares it all on her channel.
Nadine is also a travel personality on YouTube who has very helpful tips and also shares her travels on her channel.
When Trisha was in her early 20s, she decided to quit her job and travel the world. She has not looked back ever since. She is best known as a solo female traveller as she goes by her travels alone! She writes her stories in her blog, PS: I’m on my way.
Laila is a UK born, 24 year old travel and lifestyle blogger who has trotted the globe and showcases it all on her blog Laila Loves. She also takes amazing photos!
Wairimu Anyango is a young Kenyan who I happened to stumble upon on Instagram. She has been to Rome, Spain, Dubai , New York to name a few. She documents all her travels on her blog, Nilotic Bantu. I am definitely obsessed.
Although there is a significant number of Female Travel Bloggers, there is still a gap when it comes to African Female Travellers. The perspective of the world that is mostly shared is slightly one sided. I would personally love to read from more Female Africans as their stories would highly resonate with many.
But thank God for books! African literature is at the forefront of telling the story from an African’s perspective. Books like Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adchie tell the perspective that many would love to read about. Her story resonates with so many Africans abroad.
All in all, women have definitely come from far in terms of travel and we are definitely going further.
Happy International Women’s Day.
Header Photo Credit: Travel Noire
Have anything to share about Women In Travel? What Female Travel blogs, vlogs, writers, photographers do you like? Please let me know in the comments below. 🙂