Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The greatest woman traveller?

When it comes to travel, woman have always been adventurous, but, as usual, it's the men who've gotten the glory. While manly explorers like Henry Morton Stanley, David Livingston and Christopher Columbus have been immortalised forever in the history books and are still revered today, adventurous women like cartographer Gertrude Bell and British anthropologist Isabella Bird have become mere footnotes to history and today remain largely forgotten.

British magazine Wanderlust has decided to redress this imbalance by asking readers to vote for the top woman traveller of all time. Some of the woman on their list include African explorer Mary Henrietta Kingsley, 18th-century author Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and American aviator Amelia Earhart. They've also thrown in a few more modern women travellers such as Irish travel writer Dervla Murphy and world-record-breaking long-distance yachts woman Ellen MacArthur.

Personally, Mary Henrietta Kingsley gets my vote for travelling through parts of Africa I still haven't been to, dressed in those ridiculous, voluminous Victorian get-ups and for fighting off a crocodile with a paddle - what a woman!

You can cast your vote until 8 April.

So who'd get your vote? Who do you think is the greatest woman traveller of all time?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You've forgotton about good Aussie gal Sorrell Wilby! Seriously though I first read about Kingsley in the book "One Dry Season:In the Footsteps of Mary Kingsley" by Caroline Alexander where she retraces Mary's travels thru West Africa. I was impressed enough at Caroline's trip let alone Kingsleys. She has my vote too.