Looking for a feed worth following? With International Women’s Day just around the corner, we tracked down 11 inspiring, amazing, kind of badass women from around the world, the ones who definitely warrant an Instagram double-tap. From ballet dancers to rock climbers, activists, photographers and adventurers, these are our favourite women on Instagram in 2017.
Anna McNuff has an impressive resume. Not content with riding a pink bike across 11,000 miles in the US in 2013, she’s run 1,911 along New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail, jogged Hadrian’s Wall and rollerbladed 100 miles around Amsterdam. Her best advice for young adventurers? “Just start.”
2. Hannah Engelkamp: @seasidedonkey
Hannah Engelkamp describes herself as an “amateur muleteer”. We’re not sue what it takes to go pro, but surely trekking 1000 miles around Wales with only a donkey for company has to count for something. Hannah and her donkey Chico walked for six months straight back in 2013, with no set course and no itinerary. She wrote a book about the experience too: Seaside Donkey.
The first African-American dancer to be a principal in the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has made a name for herself as an athlete and spokeswoman in a sport where tradition usually rules. She served on the advisory committee for the Ballet Theatre’s Project Plié, a program in 2013 that offered training and mentorship to dance teachers in racially diverse communities around America.
Rachel Brathan (aka Yoga Girl) is one of those Instagram yoga sensations who manages to make yoga look effortless and awesome (even when 7 months pregnant…) She lives on the Caribbean island of Aruba with her hubby and spends most of her days doing handstands on paddle boards. But its her captions that really hit home: through her feed, Rachel explores issues like suicide and depression, and how yoga has helped her overcome her problems. Inspiring stuff.
Tatiana is a local Haitian photographer and editor who dedicates most of her life to telling the story of Haiti through photos. These aren’t the world=changing political sort of photos – more a calm, unobtrusive look at local life in all its ordinary beauty. She’s also founded a not-for-profit, Fotokonbit, an organisation “created to empower Haitians to tell their own stories through photography”.
Ever wondered what it’d be like to flee to Swedish lapland and take up life as a reindeer herder? Turns out someone is here to save you the leg work. Anna-Maria is an indigenous reindeer herder from Sapmi in Sweden. Her feed is a spectacular photo diary of her life in the wilderness…and the challenges of raising a toddler surrounded by snow and ice and other cold things. That kid is going to have one very awesome childhood…
A professional rock climber (and part-time professional badass) who has free climbed some of the most beautiful rock faces on earth. Treats her followers to vertigo-inducing shots on a daily basis.
Iran is one of the most misunderstood countries on the planet, but one woman is trying to remedy that. Her name is Sina Shiri. She was a pro photojournalist at just 16, taking snaps for Iranian student-run news agency Qazvin, and now works freelance to document the life of everyday Iranians.“The cliché photos, they usually show the limitations of Iran, like the hijab, the covering of women, the hardship or the limitations,” says Shiri. “I don’t want to show only the limitations. I want to show that Iran is a different country than what you are seeing in photos.”
Documentary maker and photojournalist Glenna Gordon is on a mission to tell the stories no-one else can. Case in point? Her latest photobook, Diagram of a Heart, a pictorial essay on the lives of women in Northern Nigeria. The New York Times named it their photobook of the year in 2016. A good feed to follow if you want a close-up, all-access pass to the developing world.
An Armenian-American photographer who was born in the Soviet Union. These days Diana shoots for The New Yorker, Nat Geo and the New York Times, travelling the world to “explore the relationship between memory and place.” She visits some interesting destinations too: recent trips include Haiti, Armenia, Georgia and Mexico.
Want to see the world? Check out Intrepid Travel’s small group adventures.