"I am rooted, but I flow”
When Virginia Woolf said this, she outlined a deep sense of belonging that a woman has, at the same time, emphasized on how a woman can literally go places, and create a world there.
A woman has the capacity to be deeply rooted to her home and wander and create a world of her own. In the man’s world like ours, a woman travelling, and travelling solo is a rare find. Breaking the conventional notions of the ‘Ideal woman’, here are women who have travelled solo, challenged the ones who questioned their right to do so and emerged as the best source of inspirations for all the women out there, who dream of traversing the world!
On International Women’s Day, TripHobo takes the opportunity to inspire women to travel by sharing the stirring stories of women who have done it, and how!
Moksha Jetley- Hitting the Road!
Image Source: indisatoday.in
Strong will, pure dedication and an unbeatable poise, Moksha is a personification of these qualities that have made her an inspiration. A victim of the Indian Patriarchal society, Moksha fought against her husband and his family, and stood up for her beliefs and made her way out of all the odds. Moksha started from zero and raised her only daughter Prachi.
After successfully establishing the life of Prachi, Moksha pursued her passion for biking and became the first woman biker of India to complete the Leh-Manali road trip in 20 hours 20 minutes. She didn’t stop at this, and has also toured the strenuous Kanyakumari to Leh on her bike.
Taking her passion for travelling to another level, Moksha Jetley is committed to the road and organizes and leads bike trips for women through her organisation ‘Bikes n Beyond’.
Nancy Brown- Age Is Just A Number!
Image Source: nancydbrown.com
A 55-year old traveller on the road, Nancy Brown started travelling when it was not really a "thing"! Setting off on a backpacking trip across Europe when most of her peers were getting married, having babies and living the conventionally ‘ideal’ life, Nancy followed her dream of globe-trotting and has successfully done so, often on a horse-back!
Travelling to more than 27 USA states and 22 countries in the world, Nancy is an inspiration for every woman of the baby boomer era and generations to follow. A lover of slow travel, Nancy self-admits to her changing preferences in travel, but ‘not travelling’ has never been on her mind! Undertaking most of her trips all by herself, Nancy urges women to travel instead of giving an excuse for the lack of company.
Nidhi Tiwari, Rashmi Koppar and Dr. Soumya Goyal- Girls Gone International!
Image Source: indiatimes.com
Three besties cum dreamers cum achievers, Nidhi, Rashmi and Soumya may seem like just another Indian woman at first glance. Read their story, and you will be astonished! This trio embarked on a road trip from India to England and drove the first Indian vehicle to cross the Arctic circle ever!
Starting off from Delhi, the ladies drove 600 kilometres a day, crossing countries like Myanmar, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, France and Belgium.
Unimaginably difficult terrains, lonely highway stretches with no human in vicinity and passing through the foreign countries that you don’t even share a common language with, the road trip was certainly not a cake-walk. But the ladies, resolute and daring, did it!
The road trip was an initiative of ‘Women Beyond Boundaries’ that encourages women to come together for long-distance and off-road driving.
The story of the ladies is a slap in the face of countless Indian men who think women can’t drive, can’t read maps to find their way or be independent in general.
Annette White- Tripping on Adventure
Image Source: bucketlistjourney.net
Annette realised the importance of getting over the inner-most fears she had. She decided that she would not let fear and anxiety make decisions for her, she took charge of her life and trotted the world with fearlessness, ticking off every adventure opportunity that came her way. From ziplining to hiking, eating insects to rappelling, Annette has done it all; and if she hasn’t, it’s already on her bucket-list.
Apart from travelling, there are two things that drive Annette- her Italian restaurant that she runs with her husband and sharing stories of her travel to motivate other travellers! Also, her bucket-list is replete with ideas that push her on her next travel and can do so to anyone who stumbles upon it!
Koyel Biswas- Visions have no boundaries!
Image Source: triphobo.com
Coming from a middle-class Bengali family of Lohapur in Birbhum District of West Bengal, travelling solo was not something Koyel could easily convince her family and herself to do. But when the itchy-feet called, Koyel decided to answer.
What started off as a project to spread technological awareness at the grass-root level, turned into a full-time passion for Koyel. Going on her first-ever trip without her family through the program- Sodhyatra, at the age of 19; Koyel realised the road was where she belonged and travel was her true calling! Having not looked back since then, Koyel has traversed the roads less taken, and all by herself.
From solo treks in the Himalayas to the near-death experience on her expedition in Kheer-Ganga, Koyel’s story amazes. And what makes her most-relatable to women like you and me is the fact that, she is following her passion and doing it so by working hard!
Balancing between her career and travel, Koyel is the perfect example of the modern Indian woman who makes her own life and lives it her way!
Cailin O'Neil- Travelling with a Lens!
Image Source: travelyourself.ca
What started off as a medium to share her whereabouts with her family on her travel turned out to be a platform for some of the quirkiest travel videos; Cailin is not just a traveller or a travel blogger, she is a filmmaker in a constant search of inspiration. A strong supporter of solo travel, especially for women, Cailin believes that travelling alone exposes to you a world you can never imagine.
Her travel stories are real and she aims to keep them honest. Hitting the road since 2006, she’s been to 46+ countries and all by herself! Her travel videos give you a glimpse of these countries and unlike the manicured ones you see on the television, these are real, a mix of good and bad. Cailin asserts, ‘it’s not just about the destination, it’ more about the journey’.
Inka Piegsa-Quischotte- Never Say Never
Image Source: glamourgrannytravels.com
When Inca woke up one morning, she realised that her plush home, a 30-year old international attorney career and a privately-owned law firm was actually pulling her back from experiencing the world. Giving up her career, selling of the firm and the home, she set of on her journey across the world, in the search of a slow life.
Realizing and accepting that backpacking is not really her thing, Inka emphasized on accommodating and adapting to whatever came her way, with grace and glamour! Finding her way through all the continents and dozens of countries, Inka re-started her life and is a successful travel blogger, apart from being a traveller-forever! Calling herself a chic granny, Inka is the best example of ‘it’s never too late to do what you love’!
These are just few of the many women that have hit the road, travelled the world and created experiences for themselves and an inspiration for others. They are an epitome of will-power, fortitude and motivation for you and me, to go aboard the journey that we dream of! These stories are a reminder, because there is nothing in the world a woman cannot accomplish.
All she needs is desire, drive, some inspiration and a map!