Sarah Marquis, explorer

She spent three of the last four years on the road, literally. On foot. Alone. She left on her thirty-eighth birthday, June 20, 2010, from Siberia. She crossed the Gobi Desert, China, Laos and Thailand, then climbed aboard a cargo ship bound for Brisbane, to continue her journey in another continent…

Her profile on Linkedin (the application dedicated to networking business) defines her as ‘adventurer’. But Marquis, who was born in Switzerland and is 42, is anything but reckless. She’s definitely not a self-indulgent moron courting puerile risks only for the adrenaline rush. Meeting her in person after reading the reports and seeing the photos of her expeditions is a surprise. The contrast is overwhelming: instead of the nest of bats hidden under a turban to hide her feminine features, a cloud of honey-blond hair perfectly layered; instead of her suffered, introspective and constantly alert expression while on the trail, laughing eyes ready to light up frequently; no blisters or bandages on her hands but tapering fingers, which often intervene to reinforce what the words communicate.

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