Wanderwell Aloha (w2893)

Wanderwell Aloha (w2893)

  • Alias-Pseudonimo-Pseudonyme: -
  • Nationality-Nazionalità-Nationalité: -
  • Birth/death-Nascita/morte-Naissance/mort: -
  • Means of transport-Mezzo di trasporto-Moyen de transport: Various, Diversi, Différents
  • Geographical description-Riferimento geografico-Référence géographique: Around the World, Giro del mondo, Tour du monde
  • Internet: Visit Website
  • Wikidata: Visit Website

Aloha Wanderwell from Winnipeg in Canada has been described as a female Indiana Jones. The teenage adventurer toured the world aged 16 after answering an ad for a driver in a French newspaper. She went on to travel 380,000 miles over the course of the 1920s and became a global celebrity.

Nowadays, backpacking around the world has almost become a rite of passage for a certain breed of teenager.

But back in the day, the spectacle of a 16-year-old girl touring the globe was enough to turn her into a worldwide celebrity.

Aloha Wanderwell from Winnipeg in Canada has been described as a female Indiana Jones after becoming the first woman to drive around the globe, visiting 43 countries in a Ford Model-T in her teens.

She went on to travel 380,000 miles over the course of the 1920s, visiting a total of 80 countries.

During her travels, she made some of the earliest films of the Bororo people of Brazil, became the first woman to fly the country’s Mato Grosso state and filmed the first flight around the world.

Wanderwell, who was born as Idris Galcia Hall, first got a taste for travel as a child when she began reading her British Army reservist father’s collection of boy’s adventure books.

In 1922, at the age of 16 and now living in France with her mother and sister following the death of her father in the First World War, she answered a newspaper advert asking for, ‘Brains, Beauty & Breeches – World Tour Offer For Lucky Young Woman… Wanted to join an expedition!’

The advert had been placed in the Riviera edition of the Paris Herald by a man called Captain Walter Wanderwell (real name Valerian Johannes Piecynski), an adventurer, inventor and former sailor who was looking for a French-speaking secretary and driver on his expedition to promote world peace.

The captain met Idris in Paris and was so impressed with her sense of adventure that he immediately gave her the stage name ‘Aloha Wanderwell’ and signed her up.

The pair embarked on a decade-long trip around the globe just a few weeks later and Aloha quickly became the star of the show.

In their first adventure, the duo visited 43 countries on four continents, including the battlefields of France, post-war Germany, Egypt, Palestine, India, East Africa, Indo-China and Siberia, where she was given the title of 'Honorary Colonel' by the Red Army.

On a subsequent tour of the US, Aloha and the captain got married and they went on to have two children, Nile and Valri, but the new arrivals didn’t dull their sense of adventure.

They released a documentary about their first world tour that made them famous across the western world. They then followed this up with a second tour, which incorporated the Amazon jungles of Brazil, where their plane crashed.

After the crash, Aloha befriended the local Bororos tribes and made her second documentary called Flight to the Stone Age Bororos.

Unfortunately, Captain Wanderwell was murdered in 1932 in California, but Aloha continued her travels.

After marrying the cameraman for the next stages of her adventures, Walter Baker, in the early 1930s, she went on tour the world with him for much of her life, making films and writing about her experiences - and the results are displayed in museums across the world.

She passed away in California in 1996 at the age of 90.