Adventure Solo Travels

My Adventure Solo Travel are just flow with a very loose schedule and minimum preparation. All information I get at the place where I land for hiking or biking.  That how the “movie” starts and I’m curious to see what will be the next episode.

How I’ve got my trail name Brave

In 2014, I hiked the Appalachian Trail. It was supposed to be a group hike but accidentally, just 2 days before the start, turned out to be a solo one instead.  I was planning to learn all wilderness and mountain skills and the logistics from my non-existent group… Would going solo into the 2186 miles of woods turned me into Mowgli, barely surviving? I didn’t know yet about the existence of another 3000 hikers in Appalachian! At the meantime, I had a choice either to fly back home to South Africa or …  And I choose “or”. I came close to crying from fear, driving to the starting point of this epic hike, unlike the others who were prepared, excited and looking forward to it. There is a tradition at the Appalachian to use trail names. I was given  ‘Brave’ straight away once everyone had heard my story on the first night during a big gathering. It took a while but eventually, I got used to it.

From Road Trips to Long Distance Hikes

3 days test drive

When I was writing The Track, I was almost living in the car. Even though the newspaper was willing to pay for a hotel, I preferred to stop where the night took me, not where the hotel was. I really liked to live in the car. I kept it smart and cozy.

I don’t enjoy road trips anymore because of the global speed restrictions. In my opinion, 120km/hour on a hi-way is very dangerous. During such a slow monotonous motion I lose the concentration, temper, become dizzy, lazy, sick and tired, always about to fall asleep. Road trips became extremely boring now – definitely not what I was looking for. Then I learned how to run.


Conversation with me in one American cafe:
– Where did you park your car?
– In South Africa!

Running, cycling, hiking. There is minimalistic gear for any occasion in any place and specific new technology clothes which I have liked since I started running. I just can’t figure out how to join the parties. A little black dress is not a problem, but to carry hi heels…

I don’t stay in the hotels/motels. Having a fridge, TV, microwave and air con in the same room looks ridiculous for me, and I don’t like the hard orthopedic mattresses. Another reason: I travel solo and need common areas to meet people at night time, so it should be either a hostel or campsite.

If I am cold I run to warm up rather than carry spear clothes. I never carry food because I would eat them immediately, so what’s the point.

It is possible to wash the running clothes by hands if there is no laundromat around so I don’t carry too many clothes for changing. Big luggage is not the most flattering accessory. My backpack is always tiny.
The only bookings I make for traveling are air tickets and they became a time frame of the trip. I don’t like flying, but, unfortunately, I can’t cut off intercontinental flights. A TV screen 20 cm from your nose ( I hate you Lufthansa), being waked up at 3 in the morning for tax-free shopping and to adjust your chair vertically for somebody’s food behind you, non-stop live announcements and paying extra for the bicycle. Even me+bicycle is much lighter then my non-charged neighbor.

I don’t like restaurants – they never bother to take pictures of their food. I am quite picky and ordering without seeing food doesn’t make sense for me.

In other words I try to avoid the traveling infrastructure and service as it never meets my needs but forces me to pay instead for something I not just dislike, but hate.


Lena Faber used to work as a journalist at a mainstream Russian newspaper, she wrote books for a major publishing house, and directed her original concept on Drive TV in Russia. In 2009, she moved to South Africa and taught at the University of SA, where she took up running competitively and won a silver medal at the World Masters Athletic Championship. She has also won an international photo contest and had a photo exhibition of her work. In 2014 she decided to try fast long-distance hiking and started with the Appalachian Trail where she earned a trail name "Brave" from other hikers. She has also cycled US Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, as well as other parts of the world. Still hiking and cycling somewhere.

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