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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 “It wasn't the big decisions that set the course of one's life; it was the slow accretion of all the little ones.”⁣ ― Lauren Willig⁣ ⁣ In the morning in the mountains, there is only a short amount of time between the light beginning the peer through, and the clouds dissipating— but— it happens every morning.  “She surrounds you Iike a python and squeezes until you have nowhere to go. Such aggressiveness in a girl is quite a treasure.” —Queen of Katwe
 “Don't do what you want. Do what you don't want. Do what you're trained not to want. Do the things that scare you the most.” ⁣ ― Chuck Palahniuk⁣ ⁣ I often think fondly of the opposite of my current situation. When I’m on the road, I remember past apartments and clothes too impractical to bring along and what it feels like to have a shelf in a bathroom with all my things instead of a plastic bag I carry with me. Subsequently, the times that have shaped me the most, allowed me to discover and create who I am, have always been the times when I have less— less things, less comfort, less support. While it’s important to balance those times with community and structure, making space for those moments when we feel off-balance and unsure of ourselves is how we grow.  @luisferchat shot for @the.life.of.maga bigger project on powerful women.  “You don’t know the power of the dark side.” —Darth Vader
 “All my life I have lived and behaved very much like the sandpiper just running down the edges of different countries and continents, looking for something.” ― Elizabeth Bishop  “There was a tale he had read once, long ago, as a small boy: the story of a traveler who had slipped down a cliff, with man-eating tigers above him and a lethal fall below him, who managed to stop his fall halfway down the side of the cliff, holding on for dear life. There was a clump of strawberries beside him, and certain death above him and below. What should he do? went the question. ⁣ ⁣ And the reply was, Eat the strawberries.⁣ ⁣ The story had never made sense to him as a boy. It did now.” ⁣ ―Neil Gaiman
 “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  “Courage comes when you love yourself for who you are.” ⁣ ―Amit Ray⁣ ⁣ 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
 “You can't write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”⁣ ⁣ “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.⁣ ⁣ “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”⁣ ⁣ “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”⁣ ⁣ “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”⁣ —The Velveteen Rabbit ⁣ ⁣ Today, two years ago, I was riding my motorcycle in Honduras when a truck crossed the highway and hit me. I can’t believe it’s been two years already, I can’t believe it’s only been two years. Sometimes I miss the person I used to be before the accident— she seems like this more innocent version of me, less heavy, full of light. I think of her in the way I think of people I’ve lost— I think of the beautiful memories we shared, and that life goes on. We grow, we change, we become more complicated with more depth and experience, and there’s no going back, and that’s okay. We don’t get to hold onto everything, and what we do with loss makes life beautiful. ⁣ ⁣ Link in bio to the Podcast with She Explores sharing my story.
 “Look up, always. Look back, never.” ―Karen Quan  “It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ―Leo Tolstoy
 “She often felt, early in the morning, when the world seemed most malleable, that she contained these potentials, and more. It wasn’t merely that she could be anything, but that she was everything, all at once.”⁣ ― Rachel Hartman⁣ ⁣ The giant palms towered above me, and shortly, I towered above them, climbing the dusty path up the side of the valley, the sun glinting silver on the millions of leaves below.  “Show a people as one thing, only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.” ⁣ ―Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie⁣ ⁣ Photographer: Fernando Moreno @luisferchat⁣ Production/Assistant Art Director: Gaby Silva @magasicasnd⁣ Motorcycle Jefe: @lonerucksack
 “My road was meant to be hard because anything worth having in this world will take me to the very edge of myself.” ⁣ ― Shannon L. Alder⁣ ⁣ Photographer: Fernando Moreno @luisferchat⁣ Production/Assistant Art Director: Gaby Silva @magasicasnd⁣ Motorcycle Jefe: @lonerucksack⁣ ⁣ Models (and athletes) @Ng_Urbano Crew: ⁣ Jesfran Salcedo Victor Duno @dunopk_⁣ Elias Gomez @eliaspkfr  “If you are going to accept anything, accept who you are.” ⁣ ―J.R. Rim⁣ ⁣ When you’re the least sexy person in this group of gorgeous guys (@NG_Urbano) but it’s okay, because you get to wear the @vansonleathers jacket. ⁣Another shot from this project commenting on the sexualization of women in motorcycle culture. ⁣ 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