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

 “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  “My mother always told me, “Hide your face, people are looking at you.” I would reply, “It does not matter; I am also looking at them.” —Malala ( @misadventures_of_sarah )
 “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  “Every choice in life sets us on a different path and carries its own set of “what ifs” and consequences that we could worry about, but what’s the use? Rather than plaguing our thoughts with the unknown, we should focus on and accept only what we do know – and all we know is the path we’re currently on.”⁣ ― A.J. Darkholme⁣ ⁣ 4.5 years ago, I met @misadventures_of_sarah of @long_rode_home in Tarifa, Spain, when I was cycling across Europe and she had just gotten started cycling around the world. Years later, here we are spending the holidays together in La Paz. When life throws an opportunity to spend time with an incredible human, you take it. So here we are in the mountains riding cable cars and cooking spectacular meals and plotting for an epic 2020.
 “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  “When you can’t find someone to follow, you have to find a way to lead by example.”⁣ ― Roxane Gay⁣ ⁣ Photographer: Fernando Moreno @luisferchat ⁣⁣ Production/Assistant Art Director: Gaby Silva @the.life.of.maga Motorcycle Jefe: @lonerucksack⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Models (and athletes) @Ng_Urbano Crew: ⁣⁣ Jesfran Salcedo @jsfranlife ⁣ Victor Duno @dunopk_ Elias Gomez @eliaspkfr
 “Dreams, after all, are insubstantial things, like mist itself.” ―Stephen King  “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.
 “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.  “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.
 “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.  “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
 Ahoy there fellow adventurers- from the chilly mountains of La Paz with my incredible friend, Sarah Webb of @long_rode_home. If you’re looking for your next micro-adventure (or a killer gift) we’ve teamed up to launch  the Medellin Adventure project— and to celebrate, I’m offering a few slots as buy one get one free! ⁣ ⁣ It’s the ultimate long weekend experience in Medellin, Colombia in February 2020 (and an alternate to the traditional Valentine’s Day). Come visit me for 4 nights, explore Medellin, train daily in Muay Thai with my black belt trainer Edgardo Hernandéz @edgardo.mma, eating amazing food, cycle to markets and miradors with adventure cyclist Sarah Webb, hike, and practice parkour and breakdancing with the best Venezuelan athletes in the city. And the best thing, if you can snag one of the BOGO spots, you can bring a friend for free. ⁣ ⁣ Limited space available, link in bio!  “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
 “We see in order to move; we move in order to see.”⁣ ―William Gibson⁣ ⁣ Anywhere in the city the teleférico lines can be seen in an endless, silent march. I could ride the teleferico all day— up cliffs and across ridges, through valleys over rivers until, finally, entering the dark mouths of the station buildings, only to be flung out into space once again. It’s an incredible perspective, the cars and people and laundry and dogs, so close sometimes you can see the red stripes in a t-shirt, so far away sometimes they almost disappear, small shadows on the landscape below, disappearing into the crevices of the mountainous city.  “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