April A to Z Challenge 2017

April A to Z: {I}sabella Lucy Bird

II believe I have finally found someone with a wanderlust bigger than my own. If I had a Tardis I would go back to buy Isabella a whiskey and listen to her stories.

Born in Yorkshire in 1831 to a reverend Isabella became acquainted with moving around a lot at an early age. Considered frail due to her ailments as a kid (which included but were not limited to headaches, insomnia, and a spinal issue). She was encouraged to venture outside. There she learned to row and horseback ride.

In 1850 a tumor near her spine was removed however, her ailments did not improve. So under the advice of her doctors in 1854, she undertook a sea voyage. She accompanied her cousins on a trip to the United States with $100 and instructions from her father not to return until she spent it all. Based on this trip she wrote the book “An English Woman in America.” Which was published in 1856.

Isabella began traveling again in 1872. Her first trip was to Australia, then Hawaii, followed by a move to Colorado. While living in the newest state in the union she explored over 800 miles of the Rocky Mountain range. Her letters home to her  sister Isabella Birdformed her most famous book, “A Lady’s life in the Rocky Mountains.”

Her next adventure led her to a tour of Asia where she visited Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaya.

Isabella was briefly married in 1881. After the premature death of her husband she studied medicine and set off again as a missionary to India, Ladakh, Persia, Kurdistan and Turkey. While in India she helped in creating a hospital. While in Baghdad and Tehran she assisted British soldiers in surveying the region.Her last

Her last adventure was in 1897 where she traveled with the Berbers of Morrocco. She even had her own stallion that was a gift from the Berber sultan. She died while at home planning her third trip to China.

I have to admit, I kinda have a girl crush on her.

  1. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of her books are available through Amazon Kindle either for free or for $.99! If you want to splurge you can get her whole collection for $1.99.
  2. Without Reservations: The Travels of An Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach In this book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist you travel with her on a voyage of self-discovery as she goes to Paris, Oxford and Milan.
  3. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed Having lost everything she made the impulsive decision to go backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail which goes from the Mojave desert up to Washington State.



4 thoughts on “April A to Z: {I}sabella Lucy Bird

  1. I always love how 19th century people get sick and the doctor tells them to take a sea voyage or climb a mountain or something like that. I wish I could get those prescriptions today (covered by insurance of course).


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