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Falling Iguanas and The Girl Who Rode A Shark

Falling iguana season, tales of daring women throughout history from author Ailsa Ross, and how to duck out in Iceland.

Show Notes:

First Stop:

Falling iguana warnings made the news all of over the U.S. again this year, which is kind of weird since it happens any time the temperature drops below 45 degrees or so. This NPR report about what to do if you stumble upon a frozen iguana is delightful. It also pops up when people retell the story (or urban legend) of the man who filled his car with stunned iguanas he was supposedly bringing home for dinner.

As we discussed, eating iguanas isn't unusual in Mexico, The Caribbean, and Central and South America. It's common in Florida too. Want to try it yourself? As promised, here's a recipe for iguana stew.

Interview: Ailsa Ross

In today's episode, I (Alicia) chatted with Ailsa Ross, author of “The Girl Who Rode A Shark: And Other Stories of Daring Women" about what we can learn from daring women throughout history and how we can amplify the voices of women doing groundbreaking work right now. From Japanese travel writer Lady Sarashina a thousand years ago, to 79-year-old Whina Cooper's 621-mile march for Māori land rights in New Zealand in the 1970s, to Arunima Sinha's modern quest to be the first amputee to climb Mount Everest, these individuals have a lot to teach us, whether we travel or not.

You can learn more about trailblazing women by following Ailsa's @Womenadventurers pages on Facebook and on Instagram. Ailsa also gives us a peek inside the book in a story for The Irish Independent.

This National Geographic story featuring tips from women who have traveled solo is full of practical advice. These female solo travel tips from The Blonde Abroad are also helpful, and a bit more focused on urban travel situations.

Ailsa brought up the fact that parents (and often adults in general) unwittingly send boys and girls different messages about risk and safety. This Journal of Pediatric Psychology study (and this short summary of it) describe that tendency in one sample group. This Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology study also monitors how parents socialize children to understand risk, while this one from the University of Iowa details how boys and girls perceive their own abilities. Some of these studies are almost a generation old, so if this if your area of expertise, please send us links to your research or sources that can help us learn if we are changing course.

We also discussed (both in the main interview and in our discussion about it) that the health and safety risks a woman faces while traveling are similar to the health and safety risks she risks simply for being female in general. Since 1 in 4 women in the U.S. experience severe intimate partner physical violence (see NCADV stats here), The World Health Organization estimates that 1 and 3 women have experienced sexual violence worldwide and the majority of attackers are known to the victim, staying at home (and being in a relationship) are likely more risky for women than traveling.

If you're a victim of violence -- female, male, or non-binary -- you're not alone. If you've been waiting for a sign to leave, this is it. There are resources to help you make a plan, leverage your support, and get out safely. If your abuser monitors your internet usage, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

Language Love:

Skreppa (Icelandic)

“To run off for a bit,” especially if you’re popping out to do an errand or to take a little break. (It's commonly used if you're cutting out of work for a little while.)

Alicia was charmed by this word (and Icelandic in general) after reading this short list of interesting Icelandic words. The instructions for pronouncing Icelandic varied quite a bit, so we went with this tutorial on how to pronounce modern Icelandic from a professor that specializes in Old Norse and Scandinavian linguistics.

What about you?

Have you traveled solo? What did you like about it? What were the challenges?

What would make taking a solo trip more accessible or comfortable for you?

Which female adventurers do you admire?

Do you think female-focused travel is empowering, a gimmick or something in between?

How do you stay curious and engaged in your own life?

What adventures do want to have? What challenges do you want to conquer?

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