Today’s Solutions: September 22, 2023

As we learn to live with Covid-19, many of us are dusting off our suitcases and getting ready to embark out into the world once again. However, travel isn’t always the most accessible or welcoming activity for everyone, so today we’d like to highlight three trendsetters working to make travel more inclusive.

Lor Sabourin, trans climber and coach

Lor Sabourin is an Arizona-based climber, guide, and coach. Sabourin identifies as trans and uses the pronouns “they” and “them,” and for them, climbing is a means for exploring identity and building resilience.

Sabourin was introduced to climbing at the young age of 12, and since then the activity has positively impacted their life. “Climbing has this amazing opportunity to provide safe space for gender non-conforming people to participate because our sport isn’t as highly gendered as others,” they explain.

The outdoor clothing company Patagonia has even backed a recently released documentary revolving around Sabourin called They/Them. In the film, viewers can follow Sabourin on their journey into the sandstone canyons of northern Arizona, where they climb one of the most challenging routes they’ve faced to date.

“I hope that this film paints a story of what sports can mean to a person who has experienced systems of oppression, and how being outside can be really liberating,” they add.

Dwayne Fields, the first black Briton to reach the North Pole

Dwayne Fields’ story is nothing short of remarkable. He was born in Jamaica, where he reveled in the forests and hills and was constantly inspired by nature in all its wildness before moving to the UK at the age of six.

Growing up in inner-city London, Fields became a victim of violent crimes, and after a life-threatening incident, decided to reconnect with his childhood love of nature. In 2010, Fields resolved to become the first black Briton to reach the Magnetic North Pole. Once he achieved this goal, he focused his attention on motivating and encouraging young people to explore the great outdoors. 

In 2019, he co-founded the #WeTwo Foundation, which is a charity that helps disadvantaged youth from across the UK take life-changing expeditions. The organization’s very first adventure is a trek to Antarctica with 10 this year.

Elise Wortley, following in the footsteps of history’s forgotten female adventurers

When we think of history’s greatest explorers, we often think of men who set sail to “discover” new lands and settle unfamiliar countries—however, there are several female explorers, too, who are often overlooked. 

To bring these amazing women to the fore, Elise Wortley is replicating the journeys that female explorers took in the past, using only equipment that was available to these women at the time of their expeditions. 

Wortley has already followed the journey of French explorer Alexandra David-Néel, who walked across the Himalayas in the early 1900s and retraced the steps of Scottish explorer Nan Shepherd who crossed the Cairngorms 75 years prior.

With the help of her all-female team, Wortley raises money for women’s charities and documents her travels which can be followed on her website, Woman with Altitude.

“Throughout history, female adventurers have been overshadowed,” she says. “Woman with Altitude can truly show what ‘the will of a woman can do.’”

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