Growing up, I desperately wanted to be a Boy Scout. I wanted to hike, camp and sail away on a home built raft. All of that was denied to me, as I was a girl. Now that I am older, and society has renegotiated gender boundaries, I am able to enjoy participating in mixed groups. But I also support the rise of women only adventure communities, and was delighted to see the arrival of the first Australian adventure magazine for women, Travel Play Live.
The rise of the Adventure Goddess
Travel Play Live are right on trend: the average adventure traveller is 47 and female. There has been a 230% increase in the rise of women only travel companies in the last 6 years. 75% of those who take cultural, adventure or nature trips are women.
We are bolder and braver when tackling a challenge with our girl friends. We can be both fearful and optimistic, serious and silly, slow and fast, in a way that we can’t be in a mixed group. We self-organise, encourage each other with girl-talk, and celebrate in our uniquely female way.
The first edition of Travel Play Live, produced by Amy Heague and KerryAnn Hayes, is 100 pages of quality writing and gorgeous photos. Eight writers have contributed stories that range from cycling to trail running. Of course, no women’s magazine would be complete without food!
There are a number of successful women’s adventure publications in overseas markets, such as MisAdventuresMag and Women’s Adventure Magazine. But the truth is, we identify with and are most inspired by those who are like us, who talk our language and share our concept of country. Now we have our own Australian magazine that highlights our local destinations and our own amazing outdoor girls, such as Kate Leeming.
Women’s Adventure Communities
Over the past decade, various communities and businesses have sprung up to service the growing need for adventure among Aussie women. These include Wild Women on Top, run by the ludicrously enthusiastic Di Westaway, who also started Coastrek. On the west coast, Sue Hile operates Adventurous Women.
On the sporting side, groups have sprung up in response to the rise in women’s cycling, such as Gear Up Girl, while Girls Ride Out is for those who prefer their wheels powered by an engine. For fleet of foot girls, there are the cheeky Coogee Cougars or the Summit Sisters. Increasingly, businesses are offering women only skills training events, everything from bike maintenance to rock climbing.
Travel Play Live’s website includes an Australian Women’s Adventure Directory which lists even more women only adventure communities and businesses.
Go check out the website and subscribe to the magazine. Then get active outdoors, make new friends and have healthy fun with other women! If you are based in Sydney, you can join us.