Aloha Wanderwell – The First Woman to Drive Around the World

by Curtis Guise on July 8, 2016

Aloha Wanderwell is known as the Amelia Earhart of the automobile.  I’ve never heard of Aloha and the Wanderwell Expedition until coming across this great story that was linked to a photo of her and a Model T.  Although they didn’t have 4wd, the Wanderwell Expedition probably did more off-roading during their travels than most of us will do in a lifetime.  Below is a quick summary about Wanderwell and the expedition.  Be sure to check out the story and more photos that are linked below.


Aloha Wanderwell, the Amelia Earhart of the Automobile.

In 1922 Aloha Wanderwell joined the Wanderwell Expedition at the young age of 16.  This Expedition led by “Captain” Walter Wanderwell traveled through 4 continents and 43 countries in 7 years.  Model T Ford’s were their vehicle of choice and was very challenging at times.


Wanderwell was born Idris Galcia Hall in Winnipeg, Canada and grew up in France.  When she joined the Expedition after seeing an ad for it in the Paris Herald, Cap gave her the stage name Aloha Wanderwell.

Wanderwell, who served as a cinematographer, photographer, translator, driver, actress, and seamstress, filmed and wrote detailed descriptions of parts of the world that hadn’t been documented yet.  She became famous in the 1920’s and 1930’s but was mostly forgotten until now.  Recently Wanderwell’s grandson Richard Diamond archived her life online, putting together all of her photos and films from their travels around the world.

Click here to see the full story and photos on Atlas Obscura.

Aloha Wanderwell Twitter account with photos and films.


A lot of days were spent trying to keep the Model T’s running.


Pulling the Model T through sand from Cape to Cairo in 1924.


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