Where have all the female adventurers gone? I’m sure there out there, but everything from the magazines we read, to the travel shows we attend and the films we watch on Youtube and Vimeo are full of men going off on extraordinary adventures. There’s a serious lack of women.
When was the last time a documentary about a woman doing a long distance trek was shown? Why is it Levison Wood, Bear Grylls and the rest get all this TV time and women are very rarely shown in the media as adventurers?
I know for a fact that it’s not that there aren’t any women going off on incredible adventures.
I trekked through blizzards in Turkey at the age of 14, climbed heights of 5500m above sea level in the Himalayas at the age of 17, and have since stayed on ranches with cowboys in Uruguay and sailed down the Amazon for a week on a cargo reaching a small Amazonian community I stayed with for a few days.
But these adventures are nothing compared to some women. Six
fearless female adventurers told me about how they overcame their fears and doubts and live an adventurous live. They’re proof that women can (and so often do) have adventures too!
Alice from Teacake Travels
Striving to always take one step further and challenge myself with something I’m basically terrified of is how I live my life.
My motto is, ‘If you’re scared of it, do it!”
Throughout my time living in Shanghai in China, what started as me randomly turning up to a feminist festival in a basement resulted in me performing on stage at a gay festival with a full burlesque routine. It may appear as just as a ‘sexy dance’ but there is much more to it.
Burlesque in Shanghai is an incredibly empowering experience for the audience and performer. It celebrates the power of a woman, her beauty and her love and connection with others. It’s about telling a story, engaging the audience in a magical journey and celebrating an old theatrical art.
I also spent much of my time in China hiking. Hiking in China is a whole new ball game. There is one of the world’s most dangerous hiking trails: Huashan. Reportedly, 100 people die there a year!
The views and challenge are absolutely exhilarating as you walk along a wooden plank (God knows how many metres up in the sky!) attached to what feels like a washing line, is my idea of fun and it might just be yours too!
Nic from The Roaming Renegades
I’ve been climbing since 2012 and usually head off every weekend in search of new and challenging crags and mountains to climb on and over the years I’ve climbed all over the UK including on the 3 highest mountains: Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike over the course of 24 hours!
I love all forms of climbing from Trad – in which you place your own protection in the wall and can be quite the mental challenge, to sport – where you have bolts drilled into the rock to protect you and is where you can really push yourself, or bouldering – where you climb at a lower height but above pads which allows you to climb harder routes but also results in some nerve wracking top outs!
Recently, I took things to another level during an adventure trip of a lifetime in Switzerland! I paraglided off a 4000ft mountain, ventured up the Schilthorn, survived the grade 4 white water rapids of the Jungfrau glacial melt water, threw myself off 30+ft waterfalls canyoning in the Swiss Alps and used my rope skills to rappel down 50ft cliffs!
The best adventure, however, was the Via Ferrata over the Lauterbrunnen valley something I’d had my mind set on for a while. We traversed the extreme hike and dangled off the wire of the Nepalese bridge with a 2000ft drop below…some extreme exposure!
Climbing has totally opened up a whole world of adventure and gets you travelling to amazing places.
Climbing also really makes me push myself out of my comfort zone on each adventure.
Michelle from Anywhere at home
The first time I tried caving, I loudly and shakily announced that I would never enter a cave again.
I was in northern California, at Lava Beds National Monument, with my boyfriend and three friends. We had just spent four hours pulling ourselves through the challenging Catacombs cave, the largest cave system in the park. I had started hyperventilating halfway through the cave loop, my arms and legs were aching, and I had spent a couple hours convinced I might never see daylight again.
This was one of the hardest things I have ever done, both mentally and physically. I was done. I was in shock that I had even agreed to go.
But two months later, I agreed to enter Oregon Caves National Monument on a guided off-trail tour. I was nervous, but convinced myself that with a guide, it would be ok. And it was a blast! The fearful memories from the first attempt had started to fade and I was hooked.
Through caving I’ve discovered more of this incredible underground world that many people don’t visit; a world I once said I would never enter again.
Slowly, but surely, I’m moving my way up to harder caves. Next on my list, I want to try to a short, multi-day trip into a cave. And eventually, I would like to make it back to the Catacomb cave in Lava Beds National Monument, to tackle the beast with a less fearful set of eyes!
Kari from Words and other such things
I’ve dived lots of places around the world, yet I hadn’t heard of cenote diving till a friend told me he’d done it in Mexico. I couldn’t even believe such a thing existed and instantly knew I had to try it.
I still wasn’t sure about doing a cenote dive when I travelled to Cuba but, in the spur of the moment, I told my Dive Master I’d be joining them on the cenote dive. This meant we didn’t have enough torches for the whole group…
I’m not exactly claustrophobic, but I’m not a fan of being in places I can’t easily get out of—a cave dive was exactly this. Add a finite amount of air to breathe should I not be able to get out of said tiny space, and it was enough to scare the living daylights out of me!
But I did it and it was truly amazing! I am a fan of new experiences and possess a keen awareness of how very few we get in our lifetime. Cave diving was absolutely out of this world.
After descending, we had to pass through a very narrow tunnel to get to where the cave opened up. As we swam around, we aimed our flashlights up and down (the Dive Master gave me his) and looked at the various stalagmites and stalactites hanging from the top and bottom of the cave. There were no fish to see, which was different than every other dive I’d done, but it didn’t matter, I was in a cave. Diving!
The best part of the dive was on our return where, from above, a tiny sliver of sun shone through and penetrated all the way to the bottom of the 70 some foot cave. It was spectacular. Each individual ray shone bright and deep like jewels sparkling. It was truly like nothing I’ve ever seen and is something I will never forget.
Sadie from The Eclectic Trekker
I was heading to South Africa to volunteer at the Siyafunda Wildlife Conservation Program where, for 2 weeks, I would be sleeping in a tent in the middle of their 60,000 acre reserve and helping track and monitor the big five.
Our main job as volunteers was to track the high profile animals and keep tabs on them. Like any large reserve, Siyafunda wanted to know the migration patterns of their animals, where they congregated, if they were sick or injured, and if there were any new additions.
Our very first job was to find the new den of one of the hyena clans. They had moved recently and the rangers had not be able to find them, so we set out bright and early to look for them.
About an hour in we noticed something moving near a large mound of dirt.
It was them!
We pulled our truck up to the mound to observe. A young cub (about 1 month old) was very curious about us. He kept walking out and trying to sniff around the truck before running back to his mother. Another older hyena slept soundly near the opening of the den.
We moved our truck around to the front side of the den to get a closer look inside. That’s when we realized why they had moved…
Babies! 3 little cubs no more than a few days old came wandering out. Their mother was right behind them. For the next half hour or so, we watched the little babies and their mother. It was an amazing feeling to be one of the first people to ever see the newest members of the clan.
That first night at camp I slept out under the stars and every night that followed, I fell asleep to the sounds of the hyena clans calling to each other. Every night we would wake up and see the footprints of a hyena clan through our camp.
Where I had been scared initially, I learnt how to tell whether the nearby baboon family was happy based on their calls, and listen for lions roaring across the savannah to tell how far (or near!) they were from us.
This wildlife adventure was incredible. I learnt so much and have never felt closer to the animal kingdom!
Aileen from I am Aileen
It has a lake in the middle that’s said to be the cleanest in Europe and as we arrived, we started to see people paragliding; falling from the sky.
I just looked in awe and wondered how scary it would be to be up there.
As we were checking in to our camping site, the guy at the counter asked “Would you like to try paragliding?”
I said YES as if I was suddenly taken over by this intense desire to try it out, no matter how scared I was!
It ended up being an experience that I will never, ever forget and I’d love to do it again!