The event was a celebration of women in exploration, from the 1800s to today, and was held in 2018 to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK. 11 inspirational speakers took to the stage to share from their own travel adventures, to reflections on the lives of women who have pushed boundaries, and broken new ground for gender equality in the world of geography and adventure.
The talks were wide ranging, but each left us with the immoveable sense of wanderlust. Travel journalist Rosemary Brown shared an account of her trip that followed in the footsteps of Nellie Bly, the investigative journalist known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days.
Taking inspiration from Alexandra David-Neel’s “My Journey to Lhasa,” Elise Wortley’s film, Woman with Altitude, depicted her journey through the Indian mountains towards the Tibetan mountains, with only the basic equipment that would have been available to David-Neel in 1911.
Dr Sarah Evans shared a history of women in the RGS, from the trailblazers who demanded a place in the male-only institution, to those who continue to pave the way for more women to explore ‘terra incognita.’
The ‘Heritage of Women in Exploration’ event was followed by ‘Women in the Polar Regions,’
with world-record-breaking polar explorer Felicity Aston MBE, the IceMaidens Antarctic Expedition, and Women’s Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition. The panel shared their stories of exploring the polar regions, and paving the way for future generations of women who dream to adventure and cover new ground in exploration.
And what were we up to, as these women inspired the audience? We were busy ensuring that their stories spread even further, by facilitating introductions and interviews between press and the speakers, explaining their stories, and helping journalists consider the angles their interviews could take.
Hearing stories of women doing things differently is right up our street, and it was a pleasure to meet so many powerful and ambitious women in the audience, as well as on the line up.
Next up, Women’s Adventure Expo at Millennium Square, Bristol, in October. For the first time, the expo will take place outdoors, attracting a wider audience, and offering more opportunity for exhibitors and speakers to share their adventurous ideas.