10 Woman Explorers Who Changed the World

Sep 23, 2022

By Adrija Sen

Exploring the world wasn’t always easy as it is today. Especially for women, since putting on the explorer's hat often meant more challenges and hardships in following their passion. Here are 10 women explorers who changed the world:

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Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean! Earhart set several aviation records in her short career but was cut short due to her mysterious disappearance while doing what she loved.

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Amelia Earhart

Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian origin to go to space. She flew her first mission on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997, inspiring thousands of young women of colour to pursue their passion.

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Kalpana Chawla

Her real name was Elizabeth Cochran Seaman. She was a famous American woman reporter, industrialist, inventor, and charity worker. However, a record-breaking trip around the world, covering 24,899 miles in 72 days at just 25 years old, was her most prominent feat.

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Nellie Bly

Jeanne Baret became the first woman to have completed a voyage of circumnavigation of the globe. She was a French woman who disguised herself as a man on the ship to accomplish her goal!

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Jeanne Baret

Isabella Lucy Bird was a woman of small stature who suffered from various ailments. Upon her doctor’s recommendations, she answered the call of exploration and devoted her life to it. She became the first female fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1892 and wrote many books on her journeys.

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Isabella Bird

Explorer Gertrude Bell left her upper-class life in England to live and understand life in the Middle East. She not only helped draw the borders of modern Iraq, but she also drafted their constitution and established the Iraq National Museum.

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Gertrude Bell

Harriet Chalmers Adams is most famous for founding the Society of Woman Geographers in 1925. She served as the first female correspondent from the battle scenes in the French trenches. She and her husband covered 40,000 miles from the Andes to the Amazons in three years.

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Harriet Chalmers Adams

Mary Jane Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse who believed travel to be the cure for the limiting beliefs of the Victorian Era. She was hailed as the “black Florence Nightingale,” ran The British Hotel during the Crimean War, and even wrote a witty book about her experiences.

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Mary Seacole

Pilgrim Egeria set off from the Mediterranean in the 4th Century in search of the Holy Land, using only the Bible as her guidebook. Her letters detailing her quest are sometimes called history’s first travel memoirs and show cultural sensitivity that was way ahead of her times.

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Gudrid was a remarkable Viking woman who lived from 985 to 1050. Known as the “far traveller,” she crisscrossed the North Atlantic many times between Greenland and Iceland – five hundred years before Christopher Columbus!

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Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir