The trailblazer of women-only travel has created two itineraries where few travel. On five departures in 2018, Wild Women Expeditions immerses women in the physically challenging, poignantly stunning landscape of Newfoundland in the remote northeastern corner of Canada.
Two distinct, week-long adventures engage guests on Newfoundland’s western shore, separated from Quebec by the Gulf of St. Lawrence that eventually pours into the North Atlantic.
This is home turf for Wild Women Expeditions that offers more active travel departures for women only than any other tour operator in the world. The company was founded in Newfoundland and maintains its headquarters here. Owner Jennifer Haddow grew up near Gros Morne National Park where many of the itineraries’ activities take place.
“This is a place of stark ancient beauty, where the ground beneath your feet tells the story of Earth’s geological history. It’s also a place where icebergs stroll up and down coastal waters and where fjords claw their way into the interior,” explained Haddow, noting that few other adventure travel companies offer tours here.
Indigenous peoples predated the Vikings who arrived some 1000 years ago. England first raised a flag on the North American continent in the late 16th century in what came to be called Newfoundland. Fishermen soon discovered some of the Atlantic’s most productive waters here. The park’s Long Range Mountains testify to this once geologically charged world rife with volcanos and glaciers. These mountains are part of the Appalachian chain rising from Georgia through Maine.
“Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is as important to Plate Tectonics Theory as Ecuador’s Galapagos Archipelago is to the Theory of Evolution,” Haddow added. “The challenges of this environment become metaphors for the challenges faced by the women who choose to travel with us.”
Hiking first through a barren landscape, women discover where the peridotite ends and ancient oceanic crust begins. They hike through a boreal forest to the rugged coastline where pillow lava and sea stacks dominate the shore. They move to the rich marine wonderland of Bonne Bay and a landlocked lake before summiting Gros Morne Mountain in a hike of up to 10 hours.
Following are two 2018 Wild Women Expeditions’ itineraries in Newfoundland. Daily challenges reflect the company’s philosophy that women can discover and build on their own inner strengths by mastering hurdles in the safe company of other women.
“Canada is a country designed for adventurers. For women who want it all, Canada delivers the goods,” said Haddow. “We’ve been trailblazing outdoor adventures in Canada for over a quarter of a century. Increasingly women want to feel the freedom of connecting with wild space in its finest form. In Canada are some of the wildest and grandest natural treasures on the planet.”
Wild Women Expeditions’ Canadian programs are prototypes for the baptism-by-wilderness experiences that Haddow’s team arranges in 26 countries this year. These journeys reflect that…
- Women need opportunities to just be themselves, together;
- The wilderness helps women connect with elements of their psyche that may be lost in the daily hustle and bustle;
- Pairing women and wilderness often encourages women beyond their comfort zones, leading to increased confidence;
- These ingredients can be transformational, perhaps leading to answers to the question that Poet Mary Oliver poses: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
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