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
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.