5 Inspirational Backpacking Women (and What You Can Learn From Them)

The urge to see the world has never been exclusive to the male gender. Everyone, at some point in their life, has had the desire to strap on a pack and leave home with nothing but what they could carry, living free on the road to anywhere. It is an idea that is not native to any one culture and that is why those who undertake such a trek are bound to find travelers from all corners of the globe wherever they happen to land. So if you think that just because you’re a woman it will be more difficult to make that leap beyond the horizon, think again. There are plenty of women who have done it before you that can act as a guiding light and offer some helpful hints.

Backpacker in Cairns
Backpacker in Cairns by jcoterhals

Elizabeth Gilbert

The now famous writer of Eat, Pray, Love was once no more than a lone woman on a quest to see the world and find herself along the way. And anyone who has gone on an extended journey, whether it’s a solo expedition or alongside a band of merry friends, can take heart from her tale of letting go of long-held inhibitions and learning to accept ourselves and the world we live in.

Isabella Bird

Although her lifetime is far removed from our own (she roamed the Earth during the Victorian era), she bucked tradition and traveled the world, visiting China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, and Africa, in addition to the United States. For a woman raised with money, life on the road was no easy feat. As her travel writings attests, she rode horses, ate local foods, and slept at “flea-ridden inns”. And despite ongoing health issues, she continued to express her love of the outdoors through travel until the day she died.

Mary Seacole

As a colored woman traveling in the 19th century, she exhibited exceptional perseverance despite frequent run-ins with racists. However, her writings espouse a love of travel too fierce to be tamed and in her own words she harbored a “…longing to travel which will never leave me while I have health and vigor”. That pretty much says it all.

Marybeth Bond

This modern-day backpacker has done it all, and with a variety of self- and machine-powered locomotion, for her job as a travel expert for major news organizations like CBS, NBC, and CNN. With trips to 70 countries under her belt, you might think she travels in style, but her adventures have occurred on foot, by cycle, in kayaks, and through just about any mode of transportation you can name. But beyond her penchant for DIY travel, she is a strong advocate for female awareness and safety while abroad.

Stephanie Elizondo Griest

This writer of travel books is best known for 100 Places Every Woman Should Go, a travelogue that aimed to find places of significance to women as well as the sacred feminine wherever she was. Not only that, her book offers opportunities to volunteer and donate to local charitable community organizations at various locales. She is not only an inspiration to female travelers, but to people everywhere who strive to embrace a global community.

Tabitha Regan

Tabitha Regan is an avid traveler who enjoys the outdoors. For fun she likes to try different restaurants and enjoys hiking the various trails around her home.
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