Women & Adventure: National Geographic is celebrating women around the world who fearlessly push boundaries in science, photography, exploration, and beyond. Here is a trio of tales from female adventurers who explore all ends of the earth—and what they learned along the way. Then check out these three adventures by sea.

China: Touring the Silk Road by rail
I’d been warned not to travel to China’s northwest Xinjiang Province. According to China’s state-run press, it was far too dangerous for foreigners, due to unrest. Despite warnings, I had no other way to continue by rail from mainland China through Kazakhstan and Russia, partly along the old Silk Route, then eventually back to my home in London. And I was determined not to let anything stop me.

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