Explorer of the Week: Robyn Davidson

In 1977, 27-year-old Robyn Davidson, along with her dog and four camels, embarked on a trek across 1,700 miles of the Western Australian desert. She was setting out into one of harshest environments on Earth in a time before satellite phones and GPS seeking transformation, epiphany, and freedom. Without any kind of support and carrying everything she needed to survive on the backs of her camels, Robyn intended to reach the Pacific Ocean 6 months later. In the wild, Robyn had almost no human interaction apart from an Indigenous elder, Eddie, who walked with her for a month.
Before leaving, Robyn only told one other person about her trip, a National Geographic photographer, Rick Smolan. Rick had met Robyn when she had first arrived in Alice Springs as a Aboriginal lands rights activist, at the time she only had $6 in her pocket and the clothes on her back. He convinced her to let him chronicle her journey, giving us these incredible photos of Robyn and her camels. Over the next few months, Rick drove out three times into the outback to meet Robyn along the way and take more pictures. He quickly fell in love with her.
After walking for 9 months using only old maps and star constellations as her guide, Robyn managed to successfully complete her journey by reaching the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, she battled dehydration, the poisoning of her dog, and “the antithesis of loneliness.” Her journey inspired her to live a more nomadic life because it causes “less damage to ourselves, the environment and our animal kin”. Davidson has since written a best-selling book about her experiences which was made into the major motion picture, “Tracks” starring Adam Driver and Mia Wosikowska.