This morning I read an article in the Huff Post entitled “Why Every Woman Should Travel Alone (At Least Once in Her Life)“. Though I find a good many of the Huff Post’s women’s section articles pretty darned trite, I did find this one quite interesting, even though it was not geared to motorcycle rides specifically, much of what she states applies. I did want to respond to her points of why as well as state a few of my own.
Traveling alone because no one would go with me.
I find my reasons for solo travel a conscious choice bordering on selfish. The idea that I’d travel solo due to having no one to join me, is absurd. I wouldn’t even bother to ask anyone. I go because I enjoy the solace. Motorcycle travel is a solo experience, even when you go with other riders. You alone handle your machine, making safety decisions all by yourself. You don’t consult anyone on what gear to be in or how much lean should be in a turn. It’s solely up to you, the rider. There are riders that carry communication systems, but still the riding decisions are theirs alone. Motorcycling is a solo activity, even with a companion.
Traveling alone to live without compromise.
I totally agree with Hermal! I enjoy traveling solo, knowing the daily decisions of where to go, what to do, what to see are mine alone. I enjoy the process of mapping out the area I plan on reaching after a day of moto-travel and settling in for the evening. One of my least favorite activities when traveling alone is eating dinner out. Upon arrival, I usually find a open market, buy what is acceptable to call dinner and eat in my motel. It’s rare that I go to a restaurant and sit by myself, only because I don’t enjoy it. I’d much rather peruse the web with wifi in my room and eat something light. Now, I have to admit, if someone has shared a restaurant that has gotten rave reviews, I will partake in a meal, but that usually isn’t the case.
Travel alone and you will discover that you are a total bad ass.
As silly as this sounds, she is quite right on this point. Nothing is as empowering as doing something totally on your own. You alone are making daily decisions which ultimately lead to personal triumph and a sense of autonomy. This is a good thing!!
Have a Plan A, Plan B (And a Plan C, Plan D etc.)
This goes without saying. When motorcycle traveling, always have alternate routes. I rarely make motel reservations, since most charge you to cancel. When I know I am going into a town, I will often call my husband and he, using his computer, will situate me in a motel and let me know where. If he isn’t available, I just chance it and scan the places as I come into town, looking for good rates, wifi and a decent looking place. The evening before, with wifi access, I usually check motels alone my planned routes so upon arrival, I recognize some of the places and have some idea what I am in for. When the routing completely changes, so does my entire game plan, but then that too is part of the process of empowerment! I always have alternate plans and routes handy.
Get wherever you’re going before nightfall
I always TRY to adhere to this rule, however sometimes it’s simply not possible, due to road construction, following the GPS to the letter only to discover that the road it led me to was 40 miles of dirt or just leaving late in the morning for one reason or another. It’s a good rule to follow, but know there may be times, you end up arriving after dark.
Never get trashed when you’re traveling alone.
This goes without saying. However, I do like having a ritual drink after I arrive and secure my night’s lodging.
You will get a little bit lonely
As I explained earlier, it get a little bit lonely when dining alone, so I think that’s part of why I don’t do it. However, I enjoy my solo time sorting photographys, writing, watching a chick flix, or simply relaxing. If I am feeling lonely, I can start up a conversation with another guest, or someone at the store, or another rider at a rest area or wherever. I usually have plenty of resources for meeting others on my journeys. I adore hot springs and undoubtedly when I go soak, I meet others who can add to the color of the journey. I also visit National Parks and have many opportunities to chat with people. On an occasion or two, I have had a cocktail somewhere after arriving at my destination, knowing riding for the day is done. That is another opportunity to visit with others. I never really seem to lack people to visit, so loneliness really isn’t any issue for me.
I did find this article interesting, after responding to Hermal’s reasons, I considered my own reasons that women should travel alone.
Gaining Confidence You feel good about yourself and your confidence grows.
Exploring One’s inner thoughts otherwise called Introspection Where there is no one else around, you have the opportunity to take both a critical and supportive look at yourself and your inner works. I always have time to reexamine my feelings regarding my live.
Learning how to travel safely which contributes to your confidence What do you do to assure your safety? Every woman should consider her own safety and when traveling alone this is imperative. One must always exercise common sense, and take some of today’s safety assessories. You can carry ICE information, bring along a SPOT GPS locator, carry a cell phone, have emergency contacts and numbers on your person, either with a dog tag, a wrist strap or within ones jacket. Some motorcycle jackets have special pockets for ICE information. I know women riders that carry pepper spray or even a licensed firearm. I do not carry either, and have never felt unsafe without them, at least thus far! Which brings me to the my final reason that women should travel solo at least ever so often.
The kindness of Strangers One of my favorite aspects of solo travel is finding how soulful and kind most other travelers can be. When I am on a journey, I usually meet others just as passionate regarding travel as I. I find people sharing “secret” roads to hidden wonderlands, places that should not be missed, advice for me regarding my motorcycle, or any number of wonderful stories. I have had others share meals with me, or ask me to join them as they converse. People have sought me out to talk motorcycles, politics, travel, and any number of other subjects along roadways, in NPs, or in rest areas among other places. It’s always nice to meet other motorcyclists and especially if I get the privilege of meeting female riders, of which we are seeing more and more.
One of the magical places I was sent: Lee’s Ferry.
I do hope that more female riders get out and experience a solo ride on the open road. It’s exhilarating, fun and absolutely one of my favorite way to ride. It gives me plenty of helmet time to reflect upon how I live my life and even more time to thank my lucky stars that I am fortunate enough not only to travel when I desire but to have the time to put it to memory with photos and write this blog post!! Cheers and Happy Riding!!
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