Here is my current list of women adventurers, in alphabetical order. Those with links have articles written about them.
Harriett Chalmers Adams – 1875-1937 – American writer, photographer. Explored South America, Haiti, Gobi Desert
Louisa Catherine Adams – 1775 – 1852. English wife of U.S. President John Quincy Adams. Traveled in winter through Europe in 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic wars.
Gertrude Bell – 1868-1926 – English explorer, mapped much of the Middle East, hung out with T.E. Lawrence, called “Queen of the Desert”
Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey -1863-1948 – American ornithologist, did field work in the American West
Isabella Bird – 1841-1904 – English explorer, writer, naturalist. traveled by herself through Asia and North America
Jeanne Baret – 1740-1807 – French naturalist, First woman to circumnavigate the world (disguised as a man)
Louise Arner Boyd – 1887-1972. American who explored Greenland and the Antarctic.
Mary Edith Durham – 1863 – 1944). British traveler, artist, writer, famous for anthropological accounts of life in Albania.
Isabelle Eberhard – 1877-1904. Swiss explorer, traveled to Algeria, converted to Islam, dressed as a man
Helga Etsby – 1860-1942 -American who walked across the U.S. in 1896 to win a prize. She won!
Mary Kingsley – 1862-1908 – English ethnographer and explorer in West Africa
Annie Londonderry – 1870-1947 – American, 1st woman to bicycle around the world
Beryl Markham – 1902-1986 – British/Kenyan aviator
Marie of the Incarnation – 1599 – 1672 – Ursuline nun who traveled to the New World to convert the inhabitants
Kate Marsden – 1859-1931 – British missionary, explorer, writer – traveled to Siberia to find leprosy cure
Martha Maxwell – 1831 – 1881 – American naturalist and taxidermist – traveled in the Rockies.
Inez Mexia – 1870-1938 – Mexican botanist and adventurer – began her career at age 55!
Maria Sibylla Merian – 1647-1717 – German/ botanist – traveled to Dutch Surinam to study metamorphosis
Dervla Murphy – 1931-present – Irish cyclist, travel writer. Traveled through the Himalayas on a bicycle!
Alexandra David-Neel – 1868-1969 – French writer and Buddhist scholar, traveled to India, China, Tibet.
Marianne North – 1830-1890 – English biologist, botanical artist, traveled alone around the world
Annie Smith Peck – 1850-1935 – American adventurer, mountain climber, suffragist
Ida Laura Pfeiffer – 1797-1856 – Austrian who traveled to Iceland, Europe, Egypt, S America, and around the world
May French Sheldon – 1847-1936 -American publisher, traveled alone in Africa
Hester Stanhope – 1776-1839 – British traveler, archeologist in the Holy Land
Freya Stark – 1893-1993 – British-Italian, traveled within and wrote about the Middle East
Annie Royle Taylor -1855-1922 – English explorer missionary to China – 1st western women to visit Tibet attempted to reach Lhasa
Helen Thayer – 1937-present. New Zealand explorer, first woman explorer to travel to the magnetic North Pole (by sled) (at 50!)
Alexandrine Tinne 1835-1869 – Dutch explorer in Africa, crossed the Sahara
Vivienne de Watteville – 1900-1957 – British travel writer and big game hunter, traveled to the Congo, Uganda.
Narcissa Whitman – 1808 – 1847. American missionary. One of the first women to travel across the Rocky Mountains.
Jane Elliott Wulsin -1894–1963 – American, explored China, Tibet, Outer Mongolia
Fanny Bullock Workman – 1859-1925 – American cartographer, travel writer, explorer / climbed with husband in the Himalayas / in a skirt!
Plus Some Other Courageous Women Adventurers
Vera Brittain – 1893 – 1970. British war nurse, pacifist, writer. Wrote Testament of Youth about her experiences in World War I.
Anne Spoerry. 1918-1999. French resistance during World War II, in Ravensbruk concentration camp. Lived and worked as a doctor in Kenya.
Aung San Suu Kyi – 1945 to present. Burman civil rights protestor, kept under house arrest for 20 years. Won Nobel Peace Prize.
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