Wild Women Expeditions believe that we need opportunities to just be ourselves around other women, and the wilderness is the perfect place to do that. We couldn’t agree more.

From horseback riding and backcountry camping to yoga and meditation, WWE can take you on adventures across the world–or right here in Ontario. We chatted with WWE’s owner, Jennifer Haddow, about the organization and how you can do it, too (even if you’ve never picked up a paddle before). 

Jennifer Haddow in Nepal

SDTC: What inspired you to start working with Wild Women Expeditions?

JH: I was going on Wild Women trips for years before the opportunity came up to buy the company. I was living in Toronto and was tired of city life and wanted to spend more time in nature and travel the world. So becoming the director of an adventure travel company was a perfect career change to help me live a more active, intrepid and nature-based lifestyle.

What did you do for a living before this?

I worked for many years with social justice and environmental organizations, promoting women’s rights and wildlife conservation issues. I became very aware of the positive force tourism can play to support community development, to lift people out of poverty and to create sustainable incentives for people to protect animals and the environment.

What is the most rewarding part of your work with WWE?

The love letters. Every day I get messages from women who have come back from a Wild Women adventure and they share the most inspiring stories about the empowerment and transformation they felt from the experience. Sometimes it brings me to tears.

What are some misconceptions about wilderness adventuring that you’d like to dispel?

That it’s just for young, fit women. Adventure is an attitude, and the wilderness is for everyone. Many women are intimidated to try a new activity on their own, so it makes a big difference when they can join a fun group of supportive women and have a guide to make sure they are safe and can fully enjoy the experience. We have women of all ages, body types and skill levels on our trips. You don’t need to have any experience to take the first step!

What was the most memorable trip for you personally, and why?

When I trekked to the base camp of Mount Everest and got to see the sunrise over the top of the highest point on the planet. It was a challenging trek and totally worth it to be rewarded with that peak experience; the scene is branded in my soul. I had been struggling with some big physical challenges before I went on that trip to Nepal, and the confidence I gained from the trek had a huge effect on me and helped me to heal.

What can newcomers expect from their first Wild Women Expedition?

To be welcomed by a fun community of like-minded women who share a love of nature and travel. We are about the journey as much as the destination and focus a lot on helping women to feel ready for a big adventure. Our guides are the best and really have your back.