extraordinary explorers

namira salim

Namira Salim is a woman of firsts!

In 2007 she became the first person from Pakistan to reach the North Pole. She did the same again in 2008, this time at the South Pole.

She was also the first Asian to do a tandem skydive over Mount Everest, and was the first Pakistani to go to space after investing in Virgin Galactic, the first space ship for tourists.

Salim’s exploration inspired her to start SpaceTrust, a non-profit initiative that promotes space as a new frontier for world peace.

Where would you rather go; space or the North Pole?

emma svensson

The movie, Everest, made Emma wonder if ordinary people could climb mountains and started her off on an extraordinary journey.

In 2017, she decided to climb the highest mountain in every European country in one year. A total of 49 mountains. In fact, she ended up climbing 61!

Svensson said, “I wanted to be a role model for girls and tell a story that had never been told. Climbing mountains is an experience that is hard to put into words. You are in a beautiful environment and, when you reach the top, you feel incredible.

Can you think of a book or a film that inspires you to try something new?

cassie de pecol

In 2018, Cassie de Pecol released her book, "Expedition 196: The First Woman on Record to Travel Every Country in the World", which tracks her journey around the world.

She is the first documented women to travel every country on the planet and officially holds the Guinness World Record for “fastest time to visit all sovereign countries”.

If you want to follow in her footsteps, why not find out more about the ten countries she most recommends: Mongolia, Bhutan, Maldives, Vanuatu, Pakistan, Oman, Tunisia, Peru, Costa Rica and the USA.

What country would you most like to visit in the world?

alyssa azar

Alyssa’ exploring achievements started at a young age.

She trekked the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea at eight years old and climbed Kilimanjaro when she was 14. At the age of 16, Alyssa set her sights on Mount Everest. After two unsuccessful attempts, Azar was able to reach the top of the world's highest mountain at just 19.

After these bold adventures, Azar started a podcast called Girls Can Do Scary Things Too. The idea for the podcast came about when she shared the experience of climbing Everest with her younger sister’s classmates. She decided she wanted all girls to know that they can do anything they set their minds to!

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

kira salak

The New York Times calls Kira Salak “a real-life Lara Croft,” and for a good reason.

She was the first woman to cross the whole of Papua New Guinea and the first person to kayak 600 miles to Timbuktu solo.

Salak has won great recognition for her writing about her solo exploration of the world and has a reputation as a very daring traveller.

Salak pushes back against the idea that women shouldn’t travel alone in remote areas. Although she does feel afraid at times, tapping into her fear and overcoming it, drives her.

How do you overcome your fears?