Traveller Profile: Amelia Earhart Travel Inspiration

 The next traveller profile in the series is Amelia Earhart, a person from which to draw travel inspiration. [Public domain image]

The next traveller profile in the series is Amelia Earhart, a person from which to draw travel inspiration. [Public domain image]

Traveller Profile: Amelia Earhart Travel Inspiration

In this traveller profile series I take a look back through history at some of the World’s greatest travellers. What travel lessons can be learned from the adventures and exploits of these remarkable, intrepid individuals? By looking backwards in this way, I hope to inspire anyone looking forward to their own future travels. In this post I look at the amazing Amelia Earhart.


The second historic traveller I’m looking to for travel inspiration is Amelia Earhart, the infamous female aviator of the 20th Century.

Known and loved worldwide, Earhart’s pioneering piloting exploits turned her into an international celebrity. Her travels were done in the name of adventure, challenging the status quo and championing equal rights for women.

Her example is a fundamentally inspiring one. Let’s take a look at her story and travels to see exactly why she’s the perfect source of inspiration for aspiring travellers!

(For more inspirational traveller profiles, check out the profile of Xuanzang, the first traveller I covered in this series.)

 Earhart with her pilot's cap on. She was a champion of women's rights and a pioneering force in women's aviation. [Public domain image]

Earhart with her pilot's cap on. She was a champion of women's rights and a pioneering force in women's aviation. [Public domain image]

Amelia Earhart Traveller Profile

Name:

Amelia Mary Earhart

Life:

Born July 24th, 1897 - disappeared on July 2nd 1937 (declared dead in absentia January 5th, 1939, aged 41).

Context and Travels:

Earhart was an American, born in Kansas, who became one of the most famous pilots of her age.

Her love for flying started at 20 years old, at a flying expo in Toronto. A plane drifted close to her, prompting Earhart to utter the words: “I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it swished by.”

Three years later, in 1920, she got the chance to fly for the first time:

By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly.

Earhart’s love affair with aviation had begun and the foundations of her flight path to fame were laid.

Over the next seven years or so Earhart continued to fly, breaking records along the way.

It was in 1928 though that Earhart’s celebrity status was established, when she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. Earhart was in a team and wasn’t allowed to pilot the plane, but became famous nonetheless.

From here her list of exploits, and fame with it, only grew.

From 1930 to 1935, Earhart set seven women’s speed and distance aviation records. And, in 1932 she became the first woman, and only the second person ever, to fly solo across the Atlantic.

This achievement took her over 2000 miles in under 15 hours and won her the Distinguished Flying Cross from the U.S. Congress in the process.

 Earhart's final flight came in 1937 when she disappeared in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. [Public Domain Image]

Earhart's final flight came in 1937 when she disappeared in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. [Public Domain Image]

I have a feeling that there is just about one more good flight left in my system…

Earhart’s famous final flight came in 1937, on an attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by plane. Setting off on June 1st, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, left Miami to begin their 29,000 mile journey to the East.

They never made it.

After a month of flying, on July 2nd, contact was lost with their plane. Their journey ended somewhere near Howland Island, over the Pacific between Australia and Hawaii but, despite desperate search and rescue attempts, they were never found.

Many theories, all unconfirmed to this day, exist about what happened to Earhart and Noonan.

However, for me, the mystery around Earhart’s death is secondary to the memory of the achievements of this remarkable woman in life.


Travel lessons

Follow your passion, make dreams a reality & earn a living from them.

Earhart is a brilliant example of the value of doing something you love. Not only did she turn make her dreams a reality, she went on to turn them into her profession.

When it comes to travel, it can be easy to forgo your desire to see the world in favour of a safer and more typical route through life. Don’t let it happen. If you want to travel, you owe it to yourself to make it happen.

Be Brave and Intrepid

This could be life advice as much as travel advice, but Earhart’s example was nothing if not a lesson in bravery.

In those relatively early days of flight, to cross from one continent to another over endless expanses of ocean was no mean feat. To attempt to circumnavigate the globe was practically insanity!

Travelling requires bravery too. It’s a big world and you’ll experience challenging emotions, fear, loneliness, stress and more (if this is concern, check out my article on overcoming difficulty while travelling).

But believe me, it’s worth it.   

Do what hasn’t been done before

Earhart set many records throughout her flying career, all of which related to doing something that hadn’t been done before.

This is a great lesson to keep in mind when you travel. It’s all too easy to follow the beaten path of the tourist trail.

Without stepping off this track and doing something different, it can be hard to really get to know a place and its people!

You’re never too old to have an adventure

Earhart was almost 40 when she attempted her circumnavigation of the world.

Not that that’s old, but it’s probably beyond the age that the majority of people think about taking an extended trip around the world.

If you’re considering a big trip of your own, your age shouldn’t stop you.

Solo Female travel is absolutely a thing

Solo female travel gets talked about a lot these days.

And, though perception is rightly shifting and countless women travel alone and safely each year, it still seems to be a contentious topic.

In this way, Earhart is a prime source of inspiration for travellers, perhaps most especially for young women.

Though it’s true that her exploits ultimately led to her death, her example is also an extreme one and she’d been successfully adventuring solo for her entire adult life prior to her final flight.

The dangers faced by the everyday traveller are nothing compared to those that she faced.

Obviously, travellers won’t be circumnavigating the globe for the very first time, and it definitely won’t be in a rickety old plane.

If you want to travel solo as a female, you should. For a great blog on solo travel as a female, check out these articles from Her Packing List.


Inspirational Earhart Quotes

Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?
I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.
Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
Some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off. But if you don’t have one, realize it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.

Without doubt, Amelia Earhart's life and legacy were and are hugely inspiring.

For aspiring travellers her convention-defying approach and brave, adventurous spirit set an amazing example.

Hopefully her traveller profile has inspired you to attempt your own grand voyages!