Have you ever wondered what it was like to travel the world before commercial airlines existed?
Today we honour female explorer, writer and photographer, Harriet Chalmers Adams (1875-1937), who logged over 100,000 travel miles (the equivalent of four times around the world) all before you could purchase a trans-Atlantic commercial airline ticket!
Harriet traveled for 3 years throughout South America from 1904 to 1907 when the vast majority of the lands and indigenous cultures were vastly unknown. When she returned to America, she pitched travel story ideas, along with her colour photos (Whoa!) and video journals (double whoa!) to National Geographic Magazine. She became National Geo’s most prolific female contributor while readers were astonished that some of the most adventurous stories were experienced and written by a woman.
Harriet complete other significant adventures including retracing Christopher Columbus’s trail of discovery through the Americas, crossing Haiti on horseback and following Ferdinand Magellan’s sailing route from Spain to the Philipines. During World War I she served as a correspondent for Harper’s Magazine and was the only female journalist allowed to visit the trenches!
In 1913 she was admitted to Britain’s Royal Geographical Society and helped found the Society of Woman Geographers in 1925 (some suspect it was because she was denied entry to the American Explorers Club for being a woman).
Thank you Harriet Chalmers Adams for blazing a trail for female explorers! Thank you for being a ViVaCious Leader. What an incredible life filled with stories, experience and colour!