I have never been camping. I won't lie, I was scared before. I never went through with my Duke of Edinburgh Award 3 day hike. Regret isn't the right word to describe how I feel about missing out... More like embarrassment. Although I had quite legitimate reasons for not doing it then; it was around exam time and it was wet and cold and I didn't want to have to deal with the repercussions of some savage flu during exam conditions.
Except now these reasons seem like good excuses. Perhaps I had a more reasonable brain then, unlike my restless thirst for recklessness now (I'm starting to think my brain is developing backwards starting from the frontal lobe), but it seems like I missed an easy and safe opportunity for that pretty cool award.
I have never received any awards before.
How did I suddenly remember to mourn the passing of this opportunity? WELL, go browse around National Geographic's website and stumble upon their list of Woman Explorers. Have you read about Hayat Sindi and Kira Salak? How about in depth about Salak or any other lady on that list?
Now go on living your life. No pressure.
Salak has been described as the “real life Lara Croft” by the New York Times for a very good reason, she is just one of many remarkable women who have gone and destroyed stereotypes. Most of these women have done and will keep doing so for years to come while we sit on our asses and complain about how far the nearest Starbucks is. Mind you, I speak from my own experiences of whining, it's too cold, too hot and so on. I'm not urging everyone to give up all comforts, just sometime we really need to recognise that we aren't being reasonable when allowing such mediocre problems get the best of us when our comforts (when put in such perspective) are so close and so incredibly rewarding.
Originally I found the article while researching information on internships for National Geographic. Naturally, I'm too European and I am studying all the wrong subjects at the moment for that kind of position, so I started browsing around.
My interest was sparked when I saw Salak's photo, she reminded me of Anna Torv's character in Fringe, Olivia Dunham. Gorgeous, blonde woman with playful eyes and somewhat masculine elements to her facial features and a bucket of charm to go. It seems rather amusing how some of these things are so visible from just a photo, but you don't need to see it to understand that a woman who travels to such remarkable locations where the locals have never seen a white man before, with their unknown culture and customs, dare I even add, as a female, you have to be confident and charming. Because confidence and charm translate well to any language whatever gender you are. The little information I have found about her has all been very personal (or at least very telling), like the FAQ section on her website. It seems like this woman has endless curiosity that drives her and without excessive recklessness, she achieves her goals.
A lot of us are convinced that generally women are incapable of braving hard conditions and surviving in dangerous zones, when in truth only a handful of women bother trying. It's true that as nature's trend goes, the ladies have less upper body strength to begin with, but better balance, agility and a higher pain threshold. Realistically, a woman can always condition herself to a required level. The only setback for most females is interest in the matter and myths from the Dark Ages of how a woman who exercises may grow a third arm and there's a high chance of getting possessed by the Devil. Once upon a time, we all survived in the harsh wilderness together, helping each other on the way.
Somewhere along the way we went through some horrifying sexism (according to some Victorian publication women actually have a walnut-sized brain, I don't even...) and myths were spread, today we are outgrowing many myths (though reading that Lady Gaga has balls makes me doubt humanity all over again) and as Ferdinand Magellan actually sailed and proved that Earth is indeed round after centuries of speculation, there are individuals who do the same in everyday life from both genders, on many subjects.
On a barely related subject, I'm planning to start training for a marathon. I have never liked running before but I feel like it would be cool to run a marathon and finish some physical competition in my life.
- Remarkable Ladies