Four Extraordinary Women Who Have Travelled The World - International Women's Month

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You've probably heard - March is International Women's Month! It's a coming together of women (and men) from all different ages, backgrounds and identities to celebrate all that women around the world have achieved, and a chance to look excitedly to the future on what more can be. 

At BUNAC we believe you are capable of achieving anything; we want you to smash your dreams (particularly if those dreams involve travelling the world, heh heh.) We are bonkers about travel - about getting on planes and exploring all the world has to offer. That's why for International Women's Month we're saluting significant women who have done just that AND inspired others to do it too.

Female explorers and adventurers of the world, we salute you! Here come the girls: 

Annie Smith Peck 

1850 - 1935

One of the greatest mountaineers in history 

The first thing you should know about Annie Smith Peck is that she climbed the Matterhorn Mountain in the Alps (one of the highest summits in Europe) in a long tunic and trousers - when such attire was banned for women to wear in public. She was hardcore and unapologetically brave in her endeavors, so much so that in 1909 she climbed Mount Coropuna in Peru and planted a flag on top of it that read "Votes for Women". These impressive feats are no joke, especially given that Peck had been refused for admission into Brown University on the basis of her gender. Peck never married and until an old age she scaled mountains the world-over. When asked why she liked to travel so much, she answered "my home is where my trunk is." 

Nellie Bly, 1864 - 1922

Travelled around the world in 72 Days

Nellie Bly had wanderlust before wanderlust was even a thing. After reading Jules Vernes' fiction novel "Around the World in Eighty Days" Bly had a crazy (but brilliant) idea. She believed she could make the fiction title a fact. Already an established journalist, she approached her boss and proposed that she go on a round-the-world trip with her whereabouts followed in news stories. Her boss agreed and her journey began. Readers guessed what date and time Nellie would complete the voyage, with the closest estimate winning their own prize trip around the world. 72 days later, Nellie had clinched a world record as she arrived home in New York, greeted by a thunderous crowd. Although her record was beaten several months later, Bly's initiative, tact and sheer unfaltering courage to rise to the challenge is unforgettable.

Amelia Earhart, 1897 - 1939

First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic

The most famous of all female aviators, Amelia Earhart is more bad-ass than any character in Top Gun. She had short, cropped hair, once slept for three nights in a new leather jacket to make it look more worn and most remarkably, became the first woman to fly solo from Hawaii to California, before making further record-breaking flights from LA to Mexico City and Mexico City to New York. Earhart's adventures famously ended when her aeroplane disappeared on her flight to Australia. 

Laura Dekker, 1995 - present

The youngest person to sail the world solo

Laura Dekker is a sailing superhero. From when she was a little girl, Laura had adored sailing. By the time she was just 13 years old, she had completed a week-long sail from the Netherlands to England, sailing solo. Her parents knew she was a courageous sailor, but nothing could prepare them for when Laura announced that she was going to sail the world. Due to Laura's young age, the Dutch authorities got involved and she was taken to court. The story made it to the press. Laura, full of determination, won the authorities over, the case was settled, and Laura set sail on her adventure. 518 days after her departure, battling storms in oceans and severe fatigue, Laura arrived in the Caribbean, having sailed the world. To this day, she remains the is the unofficial youngest person to sail the world at the age of 16.

If these pioneering female explorers should teach you anything, it's that the world is to be seen in whatever capacity you can. Have a look a BUNAC's work, intern and volunteering adventures. Get out in the world and run wild - you never know, it might just be the making of you. Happy International Women's Month.

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