On the Wild Side: Introducing Patti Stobbe
Let’s sit and have a colourful gab with Patti Stobbe of Calgary, Alberta! Patti has earned her WILD stripes with an official Arctic polar plunge badge! A seasoned Wild Woman, she has been on four trips and embeds her memories in lasting friendships and precious gems from each destination like Greenland’s pink sapphire. She joins our community with some bold and brave experiences in East Africa and an impressive accolade–she’s visited six of the New 7 Wonders of the World! She’s all heart–with a few tattoos!
Tell us, where have you travelled with Wild Women?
My first trip with Wild Women was the Quebec Eco trip back in 2008. I was supposed to go on the Marvels of Mongolia Adventure in 2020 but Covid happened so instead, I joined WWE for a 4-day fall 2020 retreat in Algonquin Park, Ontario. The colours were out of this world! In March 2022, I was on the Galapagos Islands Yacht Adventure and then in July 2022, I had the privilege of being on the inaugural WWE Heart of the Arctic small ship expedition.
Why did you choose us?
I have travelled all around the world, typically on my own, and thought that if I was to travel with others, it had to be with a women-only travel company. I wanted a smaller group size and to see really interesting places.
In 2008, I travelled to Nepal and booked with a local women-owned and operated company and spent five days hiking in the Annapurna’s with two lovely young women. It solidified that if I was to travel as part of a group, it had to be women-only. There’s just an instant bond and kinship with women.
What’s the one story you keep telling everyone about your trip(s)?
This one is easy to answer– I tell everyone that they should all go on the Heart of the Arctic trip.
As far as tours and expeditions go, there is truly nothing that compares to this trip. Canada’s Arctic is spectacular!!! From the scenery to the genuine nature of the people and the opportunities to explore the Arctic landscape on foot and by Zodiac and kayak. Learning about Canada’s past from local Inuit expedition members was truly impactful.
What have you accomplished on a Wild Women trip that you never thought possible?
On the Heart of the Arctic expedition I was one of 12 women that had the opportunity to kayak in the Arctic. We paddled around small icebergs, flow ice and near the base of a glacier while it calved. Seeing the world from water level is always a memorable experience.
I was also an eager participant and took the polar plunge (3°C / 37°F) in Greenland!
Do you still keep in touch with anyone from your Wild Women trip?
I sure do! Sharing unique and memorable travel experiences with like-minded women creates an instant bond. It’s also great to learn from each other and plan future trips together.
Name three things you MUST travel with—and we’re not talking about necessities per se, but what’s necessary (but kind of frivolous and luxury) to you?
My favourite pair of Birks, my favourite water bottle, my favourite purse (with tons of pockets).
What socks or trail runners or gear do you swear by?
SPF clothing, hat, long sleeve shirts and wraps.
What destination did you dream of as a child? Have you been there yet?
I had always had an unexplainable connection to Africa and dreamed of one day going there so for my 40th birthday I celebrated by going to East Africa for four months, alone!! I volunteered for six weeks in Uganda, spent an unforgettable hour with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, climbed Kilimanjaro, visited Maasai Mara and Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Turkana and Zanzibar. Happy birthday, indeed!
Where do you dream of now?
Oh wow, that’s a tough one. Mongolia, Bhutan, Greenland, Morocco, Easter Island, Seychelles. I also need to see the Colosseum in Rome as it’s the last on my list to visit as I’ve seen six of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
What travel memoir do you insist that EVERYONE reads? Why?
I can’t think of one. I just travel where my heart wants to go.
Do you still send postcards?
I sure do. I love sending them and of course, receiving them. I recently sent my parents a postcard from Greenland.
Do you collect anything commemorative on your trips as souvenirs?
Jewellery, for sure. I try to buy a piece that is specific to that country (pink sapphire from Greenland, silver from Turkey, baleen from the Arctic, beads from Africa, opals from Mexico). I also look for handmade art from a local crafter–it makes the piece so much more interesting when I get to speak with the artists and understand their art and their story.
If you could travel with another woman (famous or not, alive or not, family member or not), who would it be? Where would you go?
Dr. Birutė Galdikas, a Canadian anthropologist, primatologist and conservationist, who has studied the orangutans of Borneo’s Tanjung Puting National Park in Indonesia for over five decades.
Is there a destination or activity that you’d like to see offered by Wild Women?
They’ve got all the places that I’m interested in covered.
What’s the best part about travelling with Wild Women Expeditions?
The camaraderie of being with other women who are all there for the same reason.
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