The most inspirational female travelers in History

Do you know the story of Amelia Earhart and Alexandra David-Néel ? They are famous explorers and pioneers in the History of travelers. Vagabond introduces you to some of the great women who have marked History with their intrepidity and sense of adventure.

Jeanne Barret (1740-1807) : the first woman to go around the world


Born in a small village in Burgundy, Jeanne Barret becomes, at the age of 22, a housekeeper at the botanist Philibert Commerson, a mentor who became her. Appointed botanist King Loui XVI, Commerson must make a trip around the world with Monsieur de Bougainville. Jeanne wishes to go with him, but the women then flourish on the right to board the ships of the Royal Navy, and that since 1689. But Jeanne disguises as a man and embarks in 1766, under the name of "Jean Baré ", pretending to be Philibert Commerson's valet. Even if the subterfuge is then unveiled, she is fully authorized to continue her journey to Mauritius. Jeanne Barret becomes the first woman to travel around the world.

Nellie Bly (1864-1922) : the first woman to travel around the world in 72 days


From her real name Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, this American traveler was originally an investigative journalist working for the New York World newspaper. Orphaned by birth, she succeeds, thanks to her literary talent, to find a place in this very masculine world. She also carries out many reports in immersion, including in a psychiatric hospital simulating madness, or by infiltrating the entourage of narco-trafficker Edward Phelps. In 1889, she started a world tour, in the crazy idea to beat Philéas Fogg's Tour du monde in 80 days, in Jules Verne's novel. She crossed Europe (where she met Jules Vernes), Singapore, Yokohama, Hong Kong ... She finished her journey well in 72 days, and told her story in a book The Around the World in 72 days, a bestseller.

Discover his career in our podcast dedicated to this character:

Annie Londonderry (1870-1947) :the first woman to cycle around the world


From her real name Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, this intrepid traveler, originally from Latvia (she grows up in the United States), who had never ridden a bike, has the crazy goal of pedaling around the world for 15 months, but also to win $ 5,000 during his journey. She wanted to prove that women could support themselves alone. She was sponsored by the water company Londonderry Lithia, hence her nickname "Miss Londonderry". She first pedaled from Boston to New York, then boarded a boat bound for Le Havre. She then traveled to Marseilles, then to Alexandria, Colombo, Singapore, Saigon, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nagasaki, occasionally traveling by steamboat. To reap the amount she had set for herself, she took advantage of her nascent celebrity to sell her portraits, organize paid appearances, and sell advertising space. She arrived in Boston in September 1895, thus raising her challenge hands down.

Alexandra David-Néel (1868-1969) : the first European to enter Lhasa


Alexandra David-Néel was a famous French-Belgian explorer. She left France to begin a long journey that will begin in India, and will continue throughout Asia. The young woman, who had always been fascinated by Eastern cultures, converted to Buddhism at age 21, learned Sanskrit and Tibetan, practiced yogi, made a pilgrimage to Nepal in the footsteps of Buddha, and a spiritual retreat. in India, in a cave at 4000 meters altitude. She met many Tibetan personalities, including the 13th Dalai Lama, with whom she became friends. Alexandra is best known for her exploit of 1924: she is the first European to have entered Lhasa, the capital of Tibet forbidden to foreigners. To pass incognito, she will disguise herself as a beggar during her journey.

Amelia Earhart (1897- disappeared in 1937): the first woman to cross the Atlantic by plane alone


This famous American pilot was originally a nurse and social worker. Against the advice of her family, she paid for aviation lessons and then bought her own plane. She was the first woman to break the altitude record for a woman, flying up to 4300 meters. In 1932, she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic by plane. Subsequently, she challenges herself to fly around the world. It begins in 1937, accompanied by the navigator Frederick J. Noonan, from California, flying over the American continent, to the Caribbean. They then head for Africa, from Dakar to Somalia, then India, Indonesia. Stopping on the island of Java, they then leave for Australia, but their plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, and was never found. The reason for the disappearance of Amelia Earhart remains, still today, unexplained.