Women on expedition… I salute you! I’m preparing for the onslaught of sexist comments after saying this but – we have it harder than men. From being able to whip out their thing to urinate ABSOLUTELY ANYWHERE to looking like they always do even after 3 months in the bush – it’s a little frustrating.
Would I give up being in the bush for anything? Absolutely not, but these are too funny not to share and I’m sure my fellow lady flower holders will relate to more than a few of these!
Travel Hacks for Women on Expedition
- Urinating on the road.
Let’s get the major, in your face ones, out the way first. You’ve been driving for 6 hours; you’re hydrated because every health nut tells you to drink 2.5 litres of water per day. What them health gurus don’t understand is the pain of having to pee on an expedition every 5 minutes. You’ve stopped the convoy because a bladder infection is on the horizon and you look around only to find vast desert with zero bushes helping you keep your dignity. Hide around the side of the car? No problem… if you suffer from ZERO stage fright – otherwise, you’re screwed. I feel I could dedicate an entire blog post just about peeing on an expedition.
- Urinating behind a bush and hearing something move.
A lot of the time, you’re in the wild and animals become a factor. When you’re urinating with your pants down, bum and flower exposed, hearing a rustle in the bush a couple of inches behind you leads to the sharpest inhale of breath and the fear that you might not be able to urinate again in your life. Protect your lady bits and check the bush for any wildlife before you squat.
- Urinating at night with wild animals in camp.
I recently had the pleasure of camping in Khwai Camp Site in Botswana and it’s pretty well known as having elephants come say ‘Hello’ a couple times a day – which we luckily got to experience. I also got to experience a hyena saying ‘What’s up’ all up close and personal by the fire… and baboons, and monkeys… and and and… Amazing experience. In the morning, lion tracks were identified in the camp and so did a bunch of stories of lions getting a little too close for comfort.
Needless to say, that night when I woke up with a full bladder, the idea of me taking a trot to the loo or even walking out of my tent rendered me terrified and unable to do anything. This resulted in me sitting for 3 HOURS with a painfully full bladder moving in and out of sleep… finally getting a lift to the loo at first light. Ah, my bladder does not remember that night fondly.
- Having your period on the road.
If you’re ONLY traveling with girls, this won’t be a problem because us bloody sisters are in this together and we know the struggle. Guys aren’t being dicks when they don’t take your menstrual cycle into consideration – they just have no idea what the struggle is all about. My favourite was when I spent more than my usual ‘wee time’ in the loo and the gents commented that I must have been having a Number 2. Ah, the simplicity of men! If you haven’t checked out my post about moving over to the Mooncup instead of tampons – read it now! You’re welcome.
- Shaving your entire body.
On this last trip, we had a few days at a campsite without water, which of course means no showering and long drops for toilets. This was by far my favourite campsite but it also lead to some hairy situations whilst on the road. I had dreams of being as smooth as a dolphin running around the Namibian desert when in reality I was a hairy smelly child with unwashed hair. No matter – inner beauty counts the most. Right?
- Revealing thy true face AKA – the Naked Face.
For those ladies who wear makeup on expedition, I applaud you. I can’t seem to find the time or energy to brush my hair or even look in a mirror (tell me how you do this?!) so I’m pretty much naked face from Day 1. The annoying thing is that men start to look more bladdy attractive as the days go on… They grow some stubble, get a tan and start to look more masculine with each beautiful day. Myself on the other hand, by the end I’m a hairy, unwashed gorilla of a mess. If you wanna see if your man loves your inner beauty – take him on an expedition.
- Your domestic skills are on full display.
If you’re an undomesticated pigeon like me, you will start to panic when you see the kitchen set up. How exactly do you fry eggs again? I struggle in a 5-star kitchen, bring in a single cooker on the side of a car and you enter into full panic mode. As a woman, I know we’re meant to be decent in the kitchen – but I literally burn toast; luckily I have weird man strength and can carry wood.
- People will be nervous when it’s your turn behind the wheel.
Let’s all be completely honest and realize there is a massive stigma attached to women and how we drive. We’ve all got an ex-boyfriend or brother that has attacked our driving one time or another and your confidence takes a bit of a knock. Imagine men being nervous about you driving to the store on a tar road in a Polo – now introduce the roads in Africa along with a massive vehicle with a house on top. I can bladdy hear the men starting to sweat! Take a deep breath, ask the questions you want to know about off-road driving and take it slow. Back yourself – you are more than capable!Some of my greatest memories have been on the road in the great unknown with little else but the clothes on my back.
Looking for adventure? Send me any questions about being on an expedition and I’d be happy to give you some feedback! It’s about time there were more women on expedition!