A new book about an amazing girl on the incredible adventures of Aloha Wanderwell *The Border-smashing, Record-Setting Life of the World’s Youngest Explorer*

A new book about an amazing girl on the incredible adventures of Aloha Wanderwell *The Border-smashing, Record-Setting Life of the World’s Youngest Explorer*
Photo Credit: Goose Lane Editions

Arts:Non-fiction- The incredible story of Aloha Wanderwell.

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It’s an absolutely amazing story: and if it had been written as a novel, people would think it too outlandish and impossible. But in fact it is true.

A young girl, barely 16-years-old, joins up with an older man on a wild expedition in an alleged car “race” around the world in the early years of the 20th century when cars themselves were still a novelty in much of the world, and actual roads were few, and often non-existent.

The original announcement as viewed by the then 15-year-old Idris Hall. She would convince her mother that this adventure would provide more learning than the school she chafed at. Just turning 16, she embarked on a world adventure.
The original announcement as viewed by the then 15-year-old Idris Hall. She would convince her mother that this adventure would provide more learning than the school she chafed at. Just turning 16, she embarked on a world adventure.

It’s the story of a young woman, a girl really, who broke all societal barriers and broke record after record, including the first woman driver to cross India, and cross Siberia.

What’s also amazing is that so few now have even heard of this once world celebrity and of those that do, fewer still know that she was Canadian.

Christian Fink-Jensen is lead author of the book about the fantastic story of Aloha Wanderwell.

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Co-authors of *Aloha Wanderwell*, Christian Fink-Jensen (L) and Randolph Eustace-Walden © Gooseland Editions

What is known for a fact is that Aloha was born and spent her early years in Canada, and that she later spent years in Europe.

It is here that the story gets more amazing at each step.

At a time when women, let alone girls, were expected to be demure, she smoked, learned to drive, drank, carried a gun, learned to fly, wore not just men’s clothing, but military styled uniforms all of this unheard of at the time, and she travelled to places where strangers had almost never been seen before, let alone cars.

It begins when she had just turned 16, and joins up with a self-described American army captain (who as it turns out is neither an American, nor Army Captain) . She joins what is an alleged race around the world, during which time they will film their adventures and show them to audiences while selling memorabilia to finance the adventure.

Tall, blond, brave, barrier-breaking Canadian Aloha Wanderwell
Tall, blond, brave, barrier-breaking Canadian Aloha Wanderwell shown wearing the gold cuff she was given in 1924 in Vladivostok where she had also been made honourary Colonel in the Nihinsky Regt of the Soviet Army

But the story involves love, jealousy, exotic international travel, hints of sexual impropriety, accusations of smuggling, espionage, and a mysterious murder and along the way travelled through regions on the verge of civil war.

Osaka Japan, 1927. Aloha stands atop one of the cars as ii is loaded aboard ship. The stunt was a crowd pleaser and she would repeat it on other occasions
Osaka Japan, 1927. Aloha stands atop one of the cars as ii is loaded aboard ship. The stunt was a crowd pleaser and she would repeat it on other occasions

Almost forgotten the authors have dug through the misinformation to find that the true story is even more amazing about this young Canadian girl who embarked on a record-breaking, world travel and exploration adventure.

Aloha in front of car Unit 4: Though still a teenager, the young Canadian travelled to exotic places, camped on the back of the Sphinx, drove on the Great Wall of China, barely avoided civil wars, and later met with the Bororo Indians of Brazil tens years before they were *discovered* and so much more.

Additional information

NOTE: several Wanderwell films can be seen on YouTube

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