It was whilst scrolling through Instagram one evening that I came across an image that made me smile, all about the importance of living an ‘adventureful life’. Further investigation led me to Caroline Paul and her book The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure.
And who doesn’t want to live a life of epic adventure? Whilst girls might want to, they’re certainly not expected to. Be it the books they are expected to read, toys they are bought, colours clothing comes in, and language that its used. Despite growing up a self confessed shy and awkward child within the feminine framework, Paul now flies planes, climbs mountains and was the first female fire fighter in San Francisco during the 1990s.
Part memoir, part journal, part education, part field guide, Paul shares not only her own great escapades but those of daring women and girls throughout history, including Fanny Workman who climbed the Himalayas in the 1890s; American journalist Nelly Bly and parachutist Bessie “Queen Bess” Coleman.
Activities and prompts to encourage a bit of daily daring are compellingly illustrated by artist and graphic journalist Wendy MacNaughton and deserve to be on the walls of any bedroom.
Of course, she’s not actually encouraging girls to abseil bridges and jump out planes – yet. But to challenge convention and be empowered to do what they want, not what anyone else expects. We can all, young and old live a life of adventure – on our own terms.