Postcards and Reflections from the Wild Women Expeditions Team 2022
This year the Wild Women team were on the move! From the skyscraper-high forests of Haida Gwaii to the vastness of Greenland to the biodiverse Galapagos! We were on the Inca Trek, trekking in Tanzania, tracking leopards, learning the secret ingredients in Northern Thai cuisine and cantering on horses through India’s expanse.
We were moved by the local entrepreneurial women we met, those who expertly guided us and the Wild ones we kept close company with. Whether it was a 73-year-old proving age is best reserved for cheese and whiskey or the powerful experience of staying at an all female-run tented camp in Serengeti National Park, we all returned home influenced and motivated by the stories we heard, shared and now tell.
Here are a few reflections from our staff about their travels this year…
There were so many highlights, especially camping in the remote desert (and having a flush toilet in each of the tents in a separate bathroom area!) A couple of nights local musicians came to our camp, and we were able to experience regional music and dance. The Marwari horses were a delight to ride, and we experienced a variety of riding from walking through villages to long stretches of canter on soft paths to up and down some very steep sand dunes. It was fabulous that the whole group was in sync with the right fitness and riding experience.
On this trip, Kate Kalen was such an inspiration to me. Not only is she rocking it at 73, she had so many incredible stories to share, like opening a restaurant in Kathmandu in the 1970s (and many other tales of travel and adventure)! It seemed that no matter what anyone needed on the trip, Kate was able to pull it out of her suitcase for loan or give it away! She always had a smile, never complained about anything but shared thoughtful and helpful suggestions if she thought something could be improved. She seemed to have never-ending energy. I want to be like Kate when I grow up!
Cline, Community Engagement Manager
This spring on the Inca Trail Trek in Peru, our guide was Disnarda, a local Peruvian Quechua woman. She taught me that if one is on the Inca Trail it is because Pachamama (Mother Earth) called them. The Inca Trail Trek is a pilgrimage. It provides a pause from your life at home and space to reflect and contemplate.
Without distractions you meet yourself on the trail, you will feel empowered to take forward what you have learned. In life we all move one step at a time.
Franny, Program Manager
In November we kickstarted our trip at the Quito airport en route to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (PBM) on the island of San Cristobal. We were going through the security checkpoint just as Ecuador scored its first goal in their opening match of the FIFA World Cup against the host country, Qatar. Cheers rung out through the Arrival terminal in PBM and the good energy carried on from there! We visited a beach near a town called Lobería known for it’s huge los lobos marinos (sea lion) population. The Galápagos sea lions are playful, goofy, noisy and have entertained us every time we encountered them–which was several times a day, every day!
This trip has so many moving parts just with transportation alone. To not have to worry about any of that and just be told “be here at this time” and “we’re going here next” is so nice when you want to see everything but don’t want to make those arrangements or figure out the logistics.
Sonya, Client Support
This experience was all new to me. Baffin Island has always been a dream destination so I loved hiking on the land and then there was Greenland…what a landscape! The interaction with local communities was very special on this trip and the representation of indigenous and cultural educators within the expedition team was an important component of this experience.
Seeing polar bears, icebergs and glaciers from the Zodiacs was ALL amazing! I loved that I did a polar plunge in a fjord, beside a glacier too!
Jenny, Director of Program + Operations
The spirit and experience of staying at Dunia Camp in Tanzania is indelible. Everyone in our group was completely moved by the genuine hospitality, incredible service and unforgettable setting. The Camp is run by a 100% all-women team and they do everything effortlessly–from replacing a busted rear shock on the Land Cruiser to shaking a perfect gin martini.
The pop-up breakfast in the Serengeti had huge WOW factor. We were floored after an early morning game drive to make a dusty uphill turn and see an elaborate table set for us in the middle of Africa’s best panorama.
The game drives in Tanzania are like participating in the world’s best scavenger hunt. The brilliant lilac-breasted rollers, juvenile giraffes, endless wildebeest and pride of 27 yawning lions were just the beginning of our daily sizzle reel. Our guide Grace is a big birder and it was awesome to have her riding shotgun for instant bird identification (she could mimic so many calls too!).
Jules, Content Writer
Stay tuned for more footage as our team tackles Torres del Paine, navigates Antarctica and rides horses in Mongolia in 2023. Oh, the places we’ll go! Let’s roam together.