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

Follow Lone Rucksack

 “The stars we are given. The constellations we make. That is to say, stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the sky, the stories we tell.”⁣ ― Rebecca Solnit⁣ ⁣ Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and all the way back again. It took three days to get to this flight from the coast in Ecuador, crossing borders and cramming my luggage into tiny mototaxis, but seeing the lights of Lima spread below the moon heading home to Medellín made it all worth it.  “Create. Not for the money. Not for the fame. Not for the recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it.” ⁣ ―Ernest Barbaric⁣ ⁣ The alapacas surrounded the hammocks, desperate for the tiny bowls of feed we carried down to the garden.  @misadventures_of_sarah
 “The key to being a warrior is not to be afraid of who you are.” ―Tom Spanbauer  “Nothing is lost. . .Everything is transformed.” ― Michael Ende
 “Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.” ― Rebecca Solnit  “Don't waste your energy trying to change opinions ... Do your thing, and don't care if they like it.”⁣ ― Tina Fey ⁣ ⁣ @misadventures_of_sarah and I prepared for an epic backpacking weekend in Copacaba at Lake Titicaca. Two flat bus tires later, and a bout of food poisoning, we arrived in the dark in a town square as it started to rain. Luckily, we had a plan B. And when the sun came out the next day we were lounging in hammocks surrounded by alpacas. #antidirtbagging
 “Anyone who isn't embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn't learning enough.”⁣ ― Alain de Botton⁣ ⁣ All geared up in the van headed to the start of mountain biking in Bolivia. Oreos stuffed in pockets for easy accessibility, rain gear, knee and elbow pads— lista por todo.  “There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I'm born to leave.” ― Charlotte Eriksson
 “You're under no obligation to be who people think you are. Change, grow, rearrange yourself. Free and beautiful things always bloom and spark with no holding back.”⁣ ― Charlotte Eriksson⁣ ⁣ Laughing on the death road while riding hard and getting soaked in waterfalls and eating oreos and spending time with other amazing humans in the spectacular mountains in Bolivia, arriving at the end of the road completely covered in dust. We drank beers as the light faded and kittens played at our feet and I remembered something small but important— despite who we think we are and what we think we should be doing at any given moment adventure is out there— it’s always out there waiting to embrace us.  “It is easy to see the glow but hard to recognize the awakening of silence.”⁣ ― Dejan Stojanovic⁣ ⁣ When you desperately need a shower while chilling at a cafe basking in the afternoon sun at Lake Titicaca, and your friend @misadventures_of_sarah takes a photo because you ‘look cool’. #thankyoufriend
 “For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go.”⁣ ― Rebecca Solnit⁣ ⁣ The softest of blues rimming the mountains in the distance, the edges of dry earth crumbling at the ends of the canyon, the air dry and always, always, waiting.  @misadventures_of_sarah  “Dreams, after all, are insubstantial things, like mist itself.” ―Stephen King
 “Getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.”⁣ ― Rebecca Solnit⁣ ⁣ Canyon exploring. Dust all over the pants. Toothy grin all day long.  @long_rode_home  “I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.”⁣ ― Roxane Gay⁣ ⁣ My office is usually a corner of whatever AirBNB I’m staying in. Here in La Paz, most afternoons I’m crouched in the corner of this sofa by the window, feathers strewn around on the floor from the sofa cushions, empty coffee mugs, camera equipment and cables, wrapped in a down blanket tapping on the keys of my laptop like a crazed, burrowing rodent.
 “We're all building our world, right now, in real time. Let's build it better.”⁣ ―Lindy West⁣ ⁣ Venturing outside La Paz to explore the Valle de La Luna, and spotting some viscacha along the way— a chinchilla-type rodent native to South America.  @misadventures_of_sarah  “If you have women who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want women who will come if there is no road at all.”⁣ ―David Livingstone⁣ ⁣ It’s incredible to me how places are settled over time, falling into the cracks of the earth, spreading out through the valleys like water filling the lowest points, then rising. Overlooking La Paz fills me with such hope, that it’s fundamentally human to change and build and shape, and just by being part of the city itself, standing there surrounded by its energy, I too, am rising.