The story of the time my favourite author made a bust of my head (true story).

Author and artist Douglas Coupland has been a hero of mine since, as a teen, I stumbled upon his novel The Gum Thief. It's essentially a story about a bunch of losers working at a Staples store, hating everything and stocking printer paper. Two of the main characters are lost and trying to build their lives. One, an angsty teen named Bethany, struck a chord with the moody shades of myself—not that I identified as her, necessarily, but I understood her in my bones.

Woman Wanderer: Nellie Bly, foreign correspondent

How many times have you been told you can’t do something because you’re a girl? I still remember taunts from schoolyard peers and sharp corrections from family members, reminders received (if not really understood) about what I should be like—of how I should behave.

I’m one of the lucky ones, of course, not having basic things denied from me based on my gender. And I know my list of memories shrinks compared to the harsh examples many others face.

Woman Wanderer: Sylvia Earle, ocean explorer

Love mermaids? Me, too. I remember getting a copy of The Little Mermaid one Easter—and the blur of re-watching its’ namesake Disney princess under grand, wild waters.

My seven-year-old self never knew a betrayal quite like when Ariel traded her fins for legs. Why would you give up the entire ocean for some boy? (For the record, that one still baffles me.)