The face of adventure is changing. Not only are their more women than ever working and playing in arenas that were once dominated by men, but the definition of adventure is changing as well. Our women's travel team recently attended She Ventures, an event designed for women to celebrate and ignite adventure as a way of life. 6 women leaders from different adventure industries shared TED style talks about what it means to be an adventurer. Some told tales of climbing mountains and others shared stories of heartbreak, but throughout ran a theme of strength and perseverance. Whether adventure means climbing Mt. Everest, starting your own business or facing grief head-on, it's never easy but it's always an adventure.
Georgina Miranda never meant to work in the adventure field. It was travel that first ignited her passion for adventure and opened her eyes to the inequality in the world and she found herself challenged to do something. To raise money she decided to attempt the Seven Summits, a mountaineering challenge to summit the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. She failed her first attempt to climb Mt. Everest, but she learned from it and kept trying, which led to all sorts of adventure in her life and eventually starting her own business, Altitude 7, which equips and inspires women to live adventurous, bold and worldly lives.
Erika Canfield grew up in the outdoors and rock climbing was her passion in life until her career in marketing started to take off. Now the head of marketing for Outdoor Research, she is passionate about inspiring more women to be adventurous outdoors, as well as fighting for equity in marketing (She was behind this GQ spoof campaign that went viral.) While she still loves to rock climb when she can, her priorities have changed with time and her greatest adventure is now focused on her family and seeking adventures with them.
Rachel Ricketts, J.D., founder of Loss & Found, started her greatest adventure after a series of tragic events left her dealing with an incredible amount of pain and loss. In a short span of time, she watched her mother die of voluntary starvation, she was in Paris during the Paris Attacks and she witnessed a man drown in Mexico, all of which left her overwhelmed and grief stricken. In the face of all that she persevered, confronting her grief and trauma and started working through it. She became a "loss sur-thriver" and decided to change careers, helping others through online communities and grief counseling. She left her job as a lawyer and she is now a grief coach and an advocate for adventuring within to find transformation and true self.
An outdoor adventurer all of her life, Jen Gurecki, found that her greatest adventure was also inward. After leaving an unhealthy relationship and work partnership, she did the hard work of starting over. The separation from her adventure partner of many years left her feeling incredibly lost and alone, and she found herself having to redefine her life and find her true self again. Out of her perserverence came Coalition Snow, which not only makes skis and snowboards for women, by women, but also works to change the perception of women in sports, business and society. Jen also co-founded the "She Ventures" movement with Georgina Miranda to change the narrative of what it means to be an adventurer.
Always on the forefront of fighting for equality, Lara Swapp was the first
Chris Mackey, the founder and Executive Director of Crooked Trails, is an accomplished world traveler. She knows that travel can make a difference, not only to the traveler but to the countries visited. She encourages travelers to find a cause they are passionate about and then do something about it! It can be as simple as making a donation or visiting organizations in countries that are doing great work and finding out how to support them. Whether it's bringing them supplies or donating time or money, travel can be a transformational experience without and within.
Whether you want to travel to a new country or it's time to travel within, there's an adventure waiting for you. These 6 women inspire us to keep seeking incredible adventures and experiences for women travelers like you and we hope you ask yourself; what's your next adventure?