International Women's Day is day for celebration and a day of recognition for all women who have pushed through barriers and been to hell and back to change the world. Who today continually fight for equal rights, who continually lead on all fronts and who continually prove that it's not a mans world.
Being on the road for so long it is only right that I dedicate this post to a few woman who have changed exploration, broke records and are truly inspiring for any traveler, explorer and wanderlust seeker out there.
Quitting her job in advertisement in the beginning of the 70's Anne-France would take her calling for adventure on the road and in 1972 she took off on her 750cc motorcycle to participate in the Raid Orion that takes you from Paris, France to Isfahan, Iran covering 7000km.
The next year in 1973 she would do something that is hugely inspirational and on her 100cc Kawasaki Anne embarked on a journey that would cover 20,000km passing through Canada, Alaska, Japan, India, Afghanistan and back to Paris through Europe. Making her become the first woman to ride around the world on a motorcycle.
Even in todays world this is an amazing and inspiring achievement for anyone and thankfully Anne was a freelance journalist at the time and published a book in 1975 called Et J'ai Suivi le Vent (And I Followed the Wind) that covers her experiences as a solo motorcyclist taking on the world.
At just 16 years old Ffyona embarked on a little journey from John o' Groats, Scotland to Lands End, England on foot for charity. Two years later aged 18 she embarked on another journey crossing the United States from New York to Los Angeles, again on foot. The next adventure at the age of 21 Ffyona made another astonishing achievement by crossing Australia starting off in Sydney and ending in Perth covering 5150km.
Then in 1991 she decided to walk the entire length of Africa from Cape Town, South Africa to Tangiars, Morocco. Although having to put a halt to it and then retracing her steps later on Ffyona still managed to finish this amazing feat, also taking an extra 4,000km through the Sahara Desert to avoid conflicts.
After another trek, this time across Europe, Ffyona was declared the first woman to have walked around the world. Thankfully she covered her adventures in some wonderful publications and we all can get an insight into her 11 years walking across the globe. Check out: The Whole Story, On Foot through Africa and Feet of Clay: On Foot through Australia.
Without a doubt this remarkable lady has achieved more than most would think possible and is an inspiration and someone we should all admire.
Amelia Earhart and Geraldine Mock
Today it is normal for most of us to just jump on a plane and cross the Atlantic, Pacific and fly around the globe.
Back in 1932 it was very different for Amelia Earhart. After her achieving the status of being the first woman passenger to make a transatlantic flight in 1928, 4 years later and although falling short of landing in France, she still managed to land in Ireland. Making her become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Attempting to outdo herself she embarked on a solo flight around the world and disappeared somewhere over the over the Pacific Ocean on the 2nd of July 1937 Amelia and her navigator were both declared dead in 1939.
Fast forward to 1964 and not all was lost. Geraldine Mock obviously taking inspiration from the late Amelia took the rains and achieved the unthinkable becoming the first woman to fly solo around the world. Geraldine didn't stop there though and filled her life with some remarkable achievements that include:
First woman to fly around the world in a single-engine plane.
First woman to fly U.S. to Africa via the North Atlantic.
First woman to fly the across the Pacific in a single-engine plane.
First woman to fly the Pacific West to East.
First woman to fly both the Atlantic and Pacific.
First woman to fly the Pacific in both directions.
Both of these women achieved something that was never thought possible at the time and it just shows with a great mindset and a lust to show the world your capabilities, you can achieve anything.
Elizabeth Jane Cochran (Nellie Bly)
Inspired by the book Around the World In Eighty Days, Nellie Bly boarded the Augusta Victoria steam boat in 1889 that would start her on a 40,070km journey around the globe. 72 days 6 hours and 11 minutes later she would become a real world record breaker, smashing the fictional characters 80 days.
Although the record would be beaten in 1890, Nellie Bly would still have her name curved into the history books and became an international star through her feat and book Around the World in Seventy Two Days.
Growing up being the only man of the house I have always had the upper most respect for women and the list above shows that being a man or a woman is no different. I couldn't imagine how hard it must of been for these woman to achieve what they did during them times, but with hope and strength the world has started to take notice and woman all over the world deserve the respect, equal opportunity and freedom us men have enjoyed for the last few 100,000 years. I hope you take inspiration from this and whomever you are be proud, be strong and continue to fight.
Peace, love and travel.
Lonely Planet's Around the World
All photos are mine and used with permission.