Sarah Marquis

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Sarah Marquis
Sarah Marquis (3330961593).jpg
Sarah Marquis speaking on February 25, 2009
Born (1972-06-20) June 20, 1972 (age 46)
Montsevelier, Switzerland
OccupationAdventurer, explorer

Sarah Marquis (born June 20, 1972) is a Swiss adventurer and explorer. From 2010 to 2013, she walked 20,000 kilometres (12,000 mi) alone from Siberia to the Gobi Desert, into China, Laos, Thailand, and then across Australia. In 2011, she gave a TED talk[1] and in 2014 she was named one of National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Marquis was raised in Montsevelier, a village in the Canton of Jura in northern Switzerland.[4] Her father worked as a watchmaker for Swatch and her mother was a housewife, and she had two brothers.[5] She began exploring at a young age, and at sixteen years old she took up a job with a European train company so that she would be able to travel for free.[4] At age seventeen she traveled to Turkey, where she rode a horse across the Central Anatolia Region.[2]


Marquis cites a trip she took to New Zealand in her twenties as the first time she "actually got in touch with the wild": she spent a month in Kahurangi National Park without bringing any food. Her subsequent travels included canoeing through Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada, camping in Patagonia, and hiking the United States' Pacific Crest Trail.[4] In 2000, she walked border-to-border across the United States in four months, and she spent seventeen months of 2002–03 walking across Australia, covering a total distance of 8,700 miles (14,000 km). She hiked through the Andes of South America for eight months in 2006.[2] In 2006, she followed part of the Andes from Chile to Machu Picchu]] 7000 km for eight months. She received the help of a guide and her brother to place water caches along parts of her route. The guide revealed that she used a bike for 500 km and the guide transported her by pick-up to the foot of a volcano. The TV show « Mise au point »[6] of the Télévision suisse romande revealed Sarah Marquis didn't mention this in her book (La voie des Andes).[7]

In 2010, Marquis began a three-year-long solo walk from Siberia through Asia and, traveling by boat from Thailand, across Australia. During this time, she maintained little human contact and pulled a 120-pound (54 kg) cart that contained her clothes, equipment and supplies. She was forced to evacuate her route in Mongolia in 2011 after developing a periodontal abscess, but returned to her exact location where she continued her journey. Along the route, she was harassed by a group of Mongolian men on horseback, threatened by Laotian drug dealers, and contracted dengue fever.[4]For reasons of security, she sometimes disguised herself as a man and tried not to leave tracks so as not to be followed. She completed her journey in May 2013,[2] when she arrived at a particular tree in the Nullarbor Plain that she had identified on her previous trip to Australia.[4] In total, she walked for approximately 20,000 kilometres (12,000 mi) on her three-year journey.[5][8]

Marquis wrote a book, Sauvage par Nature ("Wild by nature"), in 2014.[4][8] She was awarded one of the National Geographic Adventurers of the Year prizes for 2014.[2]

In 2015, Marquis walked 500 miles across Kimberley in Western Australia where she passed three months and survived in the wilderness.[9]


  1. ^ "TED 2011". TED (conference). February 28 – March 4, 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Adventurers of the Year: Explorer Sarah Marquis". National Geographic. 2014. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  3. ^ Clark, Jayne (15 November 2013). "Meet National Geographic's top adventurers of the year". USA Today. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Weil, Elizabeth (25 September 2013). "The Woman Who Walked 10,000 Miles (No Exaggeration) in Three Years". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Une journée avec Sarah Marquis". Elle. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  6. ^ Mise au point, 24 october 2010
  7. ^ Sarah Marquis a menti sur son parcours au Chili
  8. ^ a b "Sarah Marquis, femme vs wild". Metro International. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  9. ^ Eddie, Rachel (15 October 2015). "The woman who crossed a wilderness: Incredible story of explorer who is the first to walk across Australia's deadly Kimberley, fighting off crocodiles and surviving on bugs". Mail Online. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2017.

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