by Liz Jansen
Solo motorcycle travel is dangerous. It changes the way you look at yourself and the world. It makes you want to travel more, to get out and experience more adventure. It tempts you to re-examine how you’re spending your time; to shift your priorities and re-evaluate your relationships. And it’s a smorgasboard for the soul.
Although I hadn’t intended to do all of a recent trip solo, as often happens, last minute changes left me on my own, although rarely alone. It was exactly what I needed.
1. Independence. You are completely on your own schedule. You can go where you want, when you want. When you find a particularly appealing place and decide to stay an extra day, you can do so without messing up anyone else’s plans.
2. Resourcefulness. You learn to be creative and find out how little you really need to get by.
3. Confidence. This is huge! Things happen when you’re out there and you learn to manage on your own. You’re forced to call on your own strength and ingenuity to sort things out. It’s amazing what you learn about your capabilities.
4. Approachability. People approach you more readily than they would if you were with even one other person. They’re fascinated, especially when they see a woman traveling alone. They are engaging and welcoming.
5. Receptiveness. People are more receptive to you when you approach them. You meet the most amazing people.
6. Preferred seating. Often when all seats are taken at a restaurant or show, there’s room for one more. Or they can squeeze you in somewhere. These seats are often offered at a reduced rate as well.
7. Mechanical aptitude. You get to know a lot about your bike and understand its idiosyncrasies and needs. If something is going wrong, you can often pick up early warning signs. This also builds confidence.
8. Serendipity. It happens when you’re out there with others, but never to the same extent. At least, not that you notice.
9. Freedom. There is something so ultimately freeing when you’re out there crossing the country; something that you only feel when you’re alone.
10. Connection with spirit. This goes beyond freedom. It’s a feeling of being alone and connected at the same time. It’s more than becoming one with your bike.
Something else happens when you’re out there alone, moving through nature and you feel a profound interconnectedness with the universe.
If you’ve never tried solo travel, you owe it to yourself to do so. Start with small steps. Perhaps a half-day ride. Yes, it can be frightening and you may have to give yourself a pep talk before leaving. But once you’re out on the open road, all that falls away. The rewards are incredible.
Many thanks to Liz for permission to reproduce her article. Liz is a writer, speaker, consultant, adventurer and author of Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment
Please check out her website at www.lizjansen.com