FAQs

What equipment do you use?
I shoot with the Sony Alpha a7s and use predominantly 3 lenses: FE/4 24-70 lens, f/4 10-18 lens, and the FE/4 70-200 lens. I also use a GoPro for shooting on the motorcycle or in the water.

Where do you get all your quotes?
I read A LOT, and never have any less than 3 notebooks on me at one time, filled with quotes and notes.

What are you afraid of?
Wearing high heels down a cobblestone street. Also, pincher bugs— those are the fucking scariest things I know. I found one in my salad once and it was truly horrifying. 

How do you make money while you travel?
When I was younger, I would work for a year or so, then take a year off, but in 2017 I founded a design studio called Hazard House and work from the road full-time, as well as working as a freelance writer— for my own brand Lone Rucksack as well as other companies. (You can read more about that here, in my bio section.) If that isn’t enough, I also work as a freelance photographer. I love digital storytelling, so at any moment of the day if I’m not asleep, I’ll be working on something, whether it’s a story or photo or design project. Ultimately, I have a lot of years logged in my field, working with many different companies, and I work very hard at what I do.

But, I also spend very little. I’m a minimalist, I don’t agree with consumer culture, and only have a small closet-sized storage unit in the US for anything I can’t take while I’m traveling (my bicycle, books, important papers, extra gear, etc.). I stop there every now and again to swap out gear. I don’t buy clothes or jewelry or entertainment— I bike everywhere and don’t replace anything until it breaks and can’t be fixed. When I was younger, I was horrified to see how much of my money was going to insurance and car payments, house payments, cable and heat, entertainment and cocktails and impulse purchases. I found by traveling full-time and minimizing my expenses, I had a much more fulfilling life.

Aren’t you afraid of traveling alone?
No. Fear of being alone, as well as the fear of traveling alone as a woman, are things that are culturally taught— it’s not inherent. There’s no point in being afraid of the world, of things that may happen— so head to the mountains my friend, and spend the night alone. It may seem strange and a little scary at first, but I promise if you do it again and again and again, soon you’ll feel nothing but peace, and the fear will be gone.

How do you plan for these trips?
Depending on the type of trip, planning is definitely a lot of work. To have a successful trip takes some thought about what you’re going to need on the road— especially on a motorcycle trip. Replacement parts, maintenance, camera equipment, route planning, maps, timeframe, budget— all these things need to be taken into consideration when planning. I have multiple spreadsheets for travel, and am constantly making notes and doing research before, during, and after a trip.

Sites like the ones below can be very helpful in determining what type of gear to bring and what kinds of situations may be faced in country.

CIA Factbook
Checking in-country info like water quality, political climate, and border issues. (Keep in mind the travel warnings aren’t always accurate.)
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

iOverlander
Map app that has detailed notes on where to find wild camping spots, wifi access, and more.
http://ioverlander.com/

Maps.me
Offline maps app, great for walking around towns or using for directions on a motorcycle tour. Be sure to download the maps of the areas/countries you need before hopping off wifi!
http://maps.me/en/home

When you’re traveling, is it a problem if you don’t speak the language?
Not at all, communication is a lot more than words. I speak Spanish and English, and between these two, I get around just fine.

Do you carry a weapon with you?
There’s no point in being afraid of the world— fear is a negative emotion, and should have no part in planning.

#notyourbro

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 “There's no denying it now. I'm in the world. And, too, the world is in me.” ⁣ ―Nicola Yoon⁣ ⁣ @eliaspk.fr killing it.⁣ ⁣ Photographer: Fernando Moreno @luisferchat⁣ Production/Assistant Art Director: Gaby Silva @magasicasnd⁣ Motorcycle Jefe: @lonerucksack⁣ ⁣ Models (and athletes) @ng_urbano Crew: ⁣ Jesfran Salcedo @jsfranlife⁣ Victor Duno @dunopk_⁣ Elias Gomez @eliaspkfr  “We accept the love we think we deserve.” ⁣ ―Stephen Chbosky⁣ ⁣ I’ve been hibernating.⁣ ⁣ Hiding from myself in the dark corners of my mind. Being dishonest with myself. Making excuses for inexcusable things. I started dating a man who treated me like an emotional (and literal) ATM. I stopped being curious, I became small.⁣ ⁣ I knew these lessons— I wasn’t unaware of what was happening. Sometimes to value the light we need to trudge through the darkness. And there’s value in dark things, but we can become trapped there. These past few months I’ve realized more clearly than ever the people we surround ourselves with can allow us to expand in ways we don’t understand or anticipate— they make us big. They raise us up. Or they can shrink us down to a smaller size, make us less than.⁣ ⁣ I am not small.⁣ ⁣ Onward.
 “You belong here.”⁣⁣ —Queen of Katwe ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Rolling into the week like, which tool do I need first?⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I wanted to create a commentary on the sexualization of women in motorcycle culture, a nod to the woman in the room being the experts— it turned out pretty amazing. Thanks to brilliant photographer @luisferchat for bringing this to life. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Photographer: Fernando Moreno @luisferchat Production/Assistant Art Director: Gaby Silva @magasicasnd Motorcycle Jefe: @lonerucksack⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Models (and athletes) #NgUrbano Crew: ⁣⁣ Jesfran Salcedo @jsfranlife Victor Duno @dunopk_ Elias Gomez @eliaspkfr  “I know how to speak And I know where I'm going.” —Manchester Orchestra
 “It's the loneliest people who love books the most...it was the opposite of loneliness, too, like there were too many people around me, forced connections, that I needed a little isolation to think on my own, to be my own person.” ⁣ ― Etaf Rum⁣ ⁣ Overlooking this beautiful spot in Guatapé in the morning, moto gear at the ready- one of the stops on the Motos + Muay Thai tour over Labor Day Weekend! Link in bio.  “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” ⁣⁣ ―Ursula K. Le Guinz⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Excerpt from latest post, “In Which I Drink My Own Urine”: The sun would rise at 5:33 every morning, but I rose before it, lacing up my shoes and pulling my hair back into a tie. I brushed a few pieces away from my face in one of the long mirrors in the boxing ring. A moment later I was off, feet pounding down the narrow walkway and out the gate, listening for the sound of motorbikes over the soft sound my shoes on the white hot concrete. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Link to full post in bio.
 “Don't ever let someone tell you, you can't do something... You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” ―Pursuit of Happyness  “You have a story,” Luna told me, “that you’d always wanted to travel and own your own business, and suddenly… that thing you wanted became that thing that you did.”⁣ ⁣ “Recognize that what you want is possible, and that you should have it, and move past feeling like an awkward introvert who doesn’t know things and embrace the incredible, brave person you are who doesn’t take any shit from life at all.”⁣ ⁣ Yesterday working from my apartment, the dog downstairs who exists solely to pee on my boots and loudly squeal bark every hour of the day started yapping loudly on the balcony below as I was struggling in Spanish to have a heated conversation with a friend over video chat while responding to emails and working while my phone buzzed frantically and I was late to a meeting. And then I had this conversation, which was exactly what I needed to hear. The narratives we tell ourselves can be so different from how we’re perceived by others, different even from who we actually are— but we can shed those layers. To change. To evolve. To move forward.
 “The measure of a woman is what she does with power.” ⁣ ― Plato⁣ ⁣ The sun was bright, the winding road to Guatapé twisting through the hills, tall, green grass hanging so far into the road I could touch it with my fingertips, leaning into the deep turns on the motorcycle. It’s a funny thing, distance. Perspective. When riding and you can’t see anything in front of you at all, you lean into the curve and watch and wait and hold the turn, until you come out the other side. ⁣ ⁣ And now I sit atop this little terrace, looking into the distance, watching the lake curl into the hills like a winding road, and wondering what’s on the other side.  “Don’t take what you don’t need from me.”⁣ —Ron Pope⁣ ⁣ It’s been a wild year of ups and downs since my last birthday, trying to get to a place of emotional and physical normalcy post accident. We don’t always get to be the person we were becoming. In a moment, everything changes— and it changes who we fundamentally are, and how we see the world. That beautiful person we were is just a branch on the tree of the person we are becoming now. It isn’t fair and it isn’t easy, but upward we grow.
 “I would always rather be happy than dignified.” ―Charlotte Brontë  “And that's the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.” ⁣ ― Khaled Hosseini⁣ ⁣ I’m grateful for this time, this space I created for myself, to simply exist and find small moments of happiness in stillness. Sitting on the beach and watching the sunset, perching atop a tiny stool at a friend’s breakfast stand drinking juice and chatting the entire morning, riding my motorcycle down a dirt road in a tank top, feeling the flecks of grit and air on my bare skin.
 “Don't let what he wants eclipse what you need...he's not the sun, you are.” —Shonda Rhimes  “If she wants to stay she stays, if she wants to go she goes.”⁣ —Eric Hutchinson⁣ ⁣ #WayBackWednesday Four years ago today I was riding my bicycle across Europe, en route in Portugal. I was on such a budget, I didn’t even have a sleeping pad— every night I would dump all my clothes out of my pannier and line the bottom of my tent with them, lay my sleeping bag on top, and curl up inside to sleep. Some nights I would wake up to my tent covered in frost, the blades of grass sharp and crispy outside with cold.
 “There are people who dislike you because you do not dislike yourself.” ―Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  “I am the shore and the ocean, awaiting myself on both sides.” ― Dejan Stojanovic
©2017 Lone Rucksack