A Woman to Know: Audrey Sutherland

Be happy and comfortable alone for ten days, ten miles from the nearest other person. — Audrey Sutherland

Be happy and comfortable alone for ten days, ten miles from the nearest other person. — Audrey Sutherland

(image via Thrift Books)

Audrey loved being alone.

In her 90 years of adventuring, she paddled alone in an inflatable kayak, hiked Alaskan mountains on her own and even swam solo to remote islands. She began chronicling her solitary trips in a series of best-selling books that inspired other women to think of traveling alone as a spiritual enterprise.

Audrey grew up longing for a deeper connection with nature. She wrote about this yearning in “Paddling My Own Canoe,” her first book charting one of her early kayaks:

I stalked deer at dusk and fireflies at night, ran wet and exultant in cloudbursts and thunderstorms, and climbed to the tops of young pine trees to swing them in whipping circles … Sometimes you have to go ahead and do the most important things, the things you believe in, and not wait until years later, when you say, ‘I wish I had gone, done, kissed.’

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