She's Riding a BIKE Across Two Continents, ALONE!

She's Riding a BIKE Across Two Continents, ALONE!

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I just didn't really even know what I was like  getting myself into if something breaks or if   you crash which like that's going to happen at  some point how often do you get the opportunity   to watch your clothes you don't want to know  how long do you think it would take to ride a   bicycle from the bottom of South America all the  way up the continent over mountains around lakes   and then crossing over through all of Central  America and then up through Mexico which is a   huge country and then halfway up the United States  Olivia is a friend that I met while traveling for   a few months in Peru at that point her Journey  had taken about 10 months to get a little bit   more than halfway up the continent what's more is  that she's doing this epic adventure by herself   biking through some grueling sections of road and  asking locals if she can pitch a tent near their   property in order to sleep in this conversation  Olivia and I are going to talk about why on Earth   she's doing this what she gets out of it and all  the little details of what it's like to travel   across continents by yourself I wanted to know  if you could share like the route that you've   taken and like the main countries and the main  cities or towns that you've been through up to   this point I started the journey in Puerto Natales  in Chile and then I crossed over the border into   Argentina and went through the Pampas through  like the really windy section and then over into   El Chaltén which is like famous mountain climbing  center of South America and then did like a pretty   crazy hike-a-bike section through NoMan's land in  Chile and then follow the whole Carretera Austral   through Chilean Patagonia crossed back over  into Argentina through Bariloche through the   Lake Region of Argentina went back over through  Pucón into Chile up along the coast of Chile which   is super beautiful kind of like the Big Sur of  California but like in Chile and then back through   Santiago and over the Andes and then I cross to  the desert Northern Argentina all the way through   that whole section up until Bolivia then cross  through Uyuni (the salt flats) kind of crisscross   the Andes through La Paz, by Lake Titicaca  through Cusco then I did the whole Peru Great   Divide bikepacking route through some mining roads  or remote areas of Peru, all the way to Huaraz and   then from Huaraz I crossed up and over the Andes  once more and descended down into the jungle   which is where I am right no. Yeah and I'll be  continuing the journey North through Ecuador next,   so who knows where? I haven't really planned the  route out exactly so I don't know about how long   did it take you to get from your starting point  just simply through Argentina because that looks   like a lot of land yeah it's far um well it took  me about 10 months to do all of this like minus   the two month break that I took in Colorado but  it also really took my time...anytime I was in a   town where I really liked I would stop and stay  there for a week or so I think on this next like   half of the trip I'm not going to have as much  luxury to do that to like stop and stay in places   for like a week but yeah took about 10ish months  taking my time and I definitely did not take the   most direct route through these places. A lot of  times I took like the hard route the gravel roads   the mountain roads and stuff because they were  like more scenic. I was reading the blog post   that you put on Medium and I think it was I think  it was that that was talking about like the crazy   headwinds and I mean just the whole thing there's  like sections of it that sound pretty hellish,   pretty insane! When you were even thinking  about doing this was it just simply from the   tip of South America back to Colorado. That was  the only vision? That was the vision yeah and I   don't think realized how hellish a lot of it would  actually be when I had this idea in my mind did   you know anybody that had done that before yeah  so I read a book by Jedidiah Jenkins and he had   done it and I was like okay I know it's possible  I know somebody's done it before there's there's   no established route because there is people  that do this by bicycle but there's really like   no established routes kind of like create your  own adventure and especially through Peru I've   taken like a lot of the rougher roads I'd say  like probably like some of the most difficult   sections of road that I've taken like since I  last saw you from Cusco to Huaraz and then I   would say honestly most recently the section from  Huaraz over the mountains into the Amazon was like   one of the most difficult sections of road that  I've done on this whole trip, minus maybe the   hike-a-bike section down in Patagonia it's just  been like Peru...anything through the Andes has  

been really really hard and I just didn't really  even know what I was like getting myself into it   kind of just looked at a map and I was like, "All  right I want to get from here to here and what are   the options what are the road options to take  in between A and B?" and then there was really   only you know you of like looking at the map on  Google Maps and you're like I can do that but you   actually that's what I'm doing right now I'm I'm  smiling because I was I was on Google Maps I was   looking at the place that you're at right now and  how far away it is from Pucallpa, which is where I   was, and then I zoomed out at the whole continent  and it's like it's insane to think that you've   gone from the bottom of South America to where  you are now that's a lot of land yeah when did   you have the idea of even trying this and when  did you start the the adventure or the journey   the idea conspired very quickly at least to the  outside bbserver it would have like appeared to   be a very impulsive decision although it I would  say it wasn't it was something that I had thought   about for a while I think maybe in some different  forms. So, I read To Shake the Sleeping Self by   Jedidiah Jenkins which is an amazing book. It's  about his like bike trip through South America.   Part of like the idea came from that and then  I also met Tom Turcich while I was in India so   he spent seven years like walking around the  world with his dog which is exactly as crazy   as it sounds so meeting him and then reading that  book I think those two people kind of like really   inspired me and I was like okay it is possible to  do some sort of like grander scale adventure like   this and I just remember when I heard what these  people had done I was like I want to do that too   and it was just kind of put on the back-burner  of my life for a long time and I really just   thought it would never...something like that would  never happen because I was too scared I was in a   relationship I was married, etc., like all these  other things. And then there came like a time in  

my life a few years ago when everything was just  completely like ripped out from underneath me um   I split up from my partner, I lost a lot of money  throughout that job, everything was   just very uncertain but I had saved up a chunk of  money that was just sitting in my bank account to   go and travel and go on an adventure and I had  left it there and this was like I think it was   before COVID actually and I never spent the  money so it was just sitting there and then   when all of this happened I was like, "What  am I doing? If I don't do something right now,   I could miss the opportunity...something could  change in my life next year or the year after   I need to go do it now." There was like just the  sense of urgency that I need to take action and do   just go on the adventure that I had always dreamed  of like this was the time so I remember I was like   sitting down at dinner with our friend of mine  and just kind of like verbally processing like   I want to go do something I don't know I want to  do something that's going to like take me out of   my comfort zone and then I idea of the bike trip  just kind of came up like it just I verbalized it   for the first time in my life although it was like  something I had thought about I never verbalized   it to somebody else and by like speaking that  into existence I feel like it just kind of it   was like making the dream more real by speaking  it yeah um and it just happened so quickly like   I'd say I actually remember the date exactly cuz  it was the date of the RY X concert in Boulder   um it was October 4th,, 2022 sorry and  then I think I bought the bike a week or two later   and bought my flight and I was leaving in like  a month so by the time I had the idea and by the   time I flight down to Argentina it was like just  about 30-31 days I think I had to like buy my bike   get all the supplies get ready for this trip and  just go which originally I was like that's going   to be enough time but it was so cramped like the  whole the week or two before I left on my flight   I was incredibly stressed out because there was  so many logistical I didn't anticipate each part   of the bicycle I had to research and like make  sure that it was going to be like a really high   quality part of said it was going to be good  for cycle touring like there's so many things   you just don't think about like for example your  bicycle seat like you're going to be sitting on   this for literally a year so you need to buy the  best possible bicycle seed the most comfortable   bicycle seed that can enter like what all weather  conditions, etc. You know, you got to like think  

about this for your tires, for your tubes, for  your pedals..."Do you want to strap in? Do you   want to clip in? Do you want to not do that at  all?" There's so many things you need to consider   and I just was so overwhelmed with all the choices  that I had to make and some of the choices I ended   up just like making pretty like on a whim really  not knowing a lot because I had to make a decision   um there's a lot of small decisions and and now  looking back I would probably do a lot of things   differently but it is what it is at this point so  are you describing like the process of ordering a   custom bike and you're thinking about all these  parts or you got the bike and then you're like   ordering more or you're changing things out it  was like I bought the bike I bought a touring   bicycle that had a lot of things included but then  I had to buy like the paneers and buy pedals and   buy a seat and all that other stuff too because  that wasn't included in the bike oh okay is it   safe to say that you weren't a cyclist before if  you're buying if you were just buying the bike I   don't I mean like I learned to ride a bike as a  kid yeah yeah right I bought the bike I got it I   think I took it for maybe like two or three test  rides up the canyon I just like rode up Boulder   Canyon before taking out this trip I like was not  a psychos at all damn and so this this was like   you said October late October of 2022 so it's been  a year you've had like your Oney year anniversary   it's actually the one year anniversary would be  like yeah it's coming up in like 10 10 days I   think it's coming up they began a bicycle for  basically a year just so crazy thinking about   that the other day yeah and like you just came  back from Boulder so you flew out for a couple of   months and then came back were there other periods  where you did the same thing no this that would   have been the first and only break that I had okay  yeah and then from what I've seen it's been like a   single day involves I don't know like nine seven  n hours just on a bike I would say it ranges like   between probably four to nine hours depending  on how I'm feeling yeah yeah that's pretty cool   because I've seen a picture of your bike setup and  it looks like you have some pretty good well the   bike itself and the I for they call it but like  the packs the paneers you would put all your stuff   in paneers can you walk me through like the the  bike setup that you have what's what's on it what   are all those racks that we're looking at or the  paneers and like what's in all of those packs sure   yeah so I've got a Surly Long Haul Trucker which  is kind of like the classic long distance touring   cycle bike. It's steel, it's in indestructible  I feel like and I can attest that because I've   crashed a number of times on this bike and it's  like still still kicking still fine um and this   is an old bike too I bought it off of a guy from  eBay that cycled across the country okay and then   it was like sitting in his garage for like 10 or  15 years and then he just decided to sell it to   me so um this bike is fantastic like if you're  doing any sort of like ultra long distance cycle   touring trip you really need like a steel frame  bike because if you have carbon fiber or aluminum   or something they can't like weld it if something  breaks or if you crash which like that's going to   happen at some point when you're doing a long  trip so this Long Haul Trucker is amazing. I   have a Brooks saddle which is super comfortable.  I was pretty skeptical at first because I remember  

looking at the seat and thinking "How am I going  to sit on this for like a year?" and yeah it looks   like a proper saddle like on a horse or something  it's really comfortable I don't know how it works   exactly but it kind of like morphs to your body  and then then it's just it's comfortable and it   is it look doesn't look comfortable but it is  surprisingly so that um and so my two panniers   in the front the little like white panniers that I  have they're ort Le um and they I mostly. Can you   explain what panniers is exactly? It's basically  like saddle bags that um go on your bike. So,   the bags themselves? Yeah. so I've got orle  waterproof panniers and I I will say something   I remember when I first started this trip I  was thinking about skiing on my paneers and   buying like really cheap like canvas or something  paneers that weren't were not waterproof I can   tell you you would not want to do that because  it is going to rain on you 100% and it has like   a lot yeah like you need to I think I I think  I read something where you were saying at some   leg of the trip it was raining so much that the  jacket that you had that was waterproof reached   its saturation point or something and it actually  was no longer waterproof yes it was literally just   soaked you need to have waterproof everything  on the bike like for sure yes so I am so glad   that I did not skimp and I got the waterproof like  really panniers because you absolutely need that   um so yeah anyways in the front I keep my food,  my stove, my matches, my cutlery, my pan and stuff   that I have like Sea to Summit...that's all in the  front? Yes, this is all in the front. and that I'd  

say the weight like varies pretty like it's it  varies a lot because like if I'm doing like one   day in between towns I don't carry a lot of stuff  but if I'm doing a longer section through the   mountains like I just did like my panniers are  pretty heavy like my bike probably is weighing   like almost 85-90 pounds um at that point my water  filters in the front also in the back two paneers   in the left one um I've got yeah by the way I'm  looking at an Instagram photo that you have the   picture itself is the bike from a side view yeah  so in the back black panniers that you're looking   at the Thule ones those panniers I I got to be  honest I've had a lot of problems with those   like the little clips that go on the rack have  broken and like right now my paneers are hanging   onto the rack by zip ties because that's like I  okay so there's like zip tie on there right now   because the little like knob broke and then I just  like obviously you're not going to you can't just   like stroll into REI and get a replacement part  you know cuz like you're in the middle of nowhere   so yeah my bags currently zip tied on right now  which is great but yeah I have a sleeping bag,   a sleeping mat from Sea to Summit and they're both  like super lightweight like I think my sleeping   bag and mat weigh like probably less than a pound  and a half um but they're super warm and then I   also have like a sleeping bag liner um which is  great because like some days the sleeping bag's   too hot so you can just use a liner sometimes it's  so cold where you need the liner and the sleeping   bag so you can double up um and I've used that  in both different situations I have a rain poncho   uh jacket from Sea to Summit that's also like an  emergency tarp and I've used that in a number of   different ways like there's been some times when  it's been raining so hard at night that my tent   just starts to like again reach its saturation  point in leak so having the tarp as like an   extra layer has been great and then also you're  cycling during the day and it starts raining and   like pouring you can wear the tarp the poncho um  and then I have a small like bag with some of my   clothes in it so I think I have like two shirts  that I can wear when I'm not on the bike and   then I have one shirt from conation Collective  that I just wear that's like my cycling shirt   that I wear there's one shirt it's like a Marino  wool t-shirt so it's amazing cuz like it doesn't   smell at all like even if you wear it like 3 days  in a row it's like the material is just amazing   it doesn't smell it dries really quickly uh it's  like yeah it's like a good techy kind of fabric How often do you wash your clothes by  the way or how often do you get the   opportunity to wash? You don't want  to know! Few and far between I mean like honestly it varies a lot but like  whenever I'm in a big town where I can   actually clean my clothes I will clean  them but if I'm just like by myself in   the middle of nowhere like I don't I didn't  wash my clothes I wash them now um here in   Tarapoto but I didn't wash them since  I was in W which was like two weeks ago so yeah that's how it is well just so you know  when I when I met you I I didn't notice a thing   so they must have been clean pretty clean in p z  to honest I was living a relaxed like comfortable   pace of life it was great yeah that was a totally  different thing I'm sure um nice yeah that's a   that's a long time though I appreciate I've gone  like camping and not washed things but at some   point there's like you can start to smell yourself  I mean you definitely like get to that point but   like sometimes when I'm just like in the middle  of nowhere it just doesn't matter you know like   you're just dirty and you just kind of accept it  and that's like part of how I don't know it just   doesn't yeah but it does help to have like that's  why I do have like my cycling clothing and then my   clothing that I wear normally because like the  cycling clothing gets really gross but I only   wear that when I'm like riding and then my normal  clothing obviously I'm not typically sweating as   much when I'm just chilling and like walking  around sleeping and stuff so at least having   something clean and dry to change into is great  like you definitely need that just for like a   morale boost I think yeah and how do you map out  where you're going to go like how do you how do   you choose a route and then how do you even find  it because like I'm sure some of these roads that   you're taking are not well defined on a map and  maybe like aren't even on maps or have all kinds   of weird construction and stuff because you're  going through some really rugged places so how   do you map out where you're going to go and how do  you actually find the the routes that you need to   take um I think honestly it's less of like a like  how do I find the route and more of it's like I'll   look at the map and I'll be like okay where's  the next big destination or bigger city where   I want to go and I like look and I'm like okay I  want to go to like for example when I was in W I   was like I want to go see the rainforest I want  to go see the Amazon so I looked and I was like   okay well Tarapoto looks like the next big city  in the Amazon and then I just kind of fill in   the blanks based on like I want to get from A to  B and this is how there's like 10 different ways   you can go to get there and I I kind of just  figured out like that so I mean honestly like   this section of road that I just did was amazing  like I actually want to write like an article on   it because it was super beautiful like I think  it was pretty comparable to like the Peru Great   Divide bikepacking route that I did from Cusco  to one is like a famous bike packing route that   people will take it's like the number one bike  packing route in South America I think what I   just did was more beautiful than that but it's not  documented like nobody there was no instructions   or like any information how to do it I just kind  of like looked at the map and figured it out and   I would love to write an article on it because  it was amazing because you're going from like   a mountain climate to down to Jungle which is  so cool to see um I don't know like I kind of   just I just wing it just look and while you're  on the road are you like using a GPS or is it   just your phone that you're navigating with yes  I use offline maps um so I have MapsMe I I use   a combination of three different maps because  all three Maps provide different information   at different times um but like I would say Maps  me is number one and then Google Maps sometimes   says information that MapsMe doesn't have and  vice versa and then I also use Gaia it's like   a mountaineering app cuz sometimes you need  to know like you look at the map and you're   like oh I can do this 50 miles in a day but  then you look at the elevation game you're   like oh shoot this is going to take like two  days um like really helpful for that sort of   information um yeah I actually don't know MapsMe  or Gia what is the benefit of using those I mean   should definitely use that it's it's amazing I  should especially when you're traveling like it's   like an offline map that's extremely accurate  um oh you you need to use it it's amazing okay   I've never heard of it stuff oh it's so good  I'll send you a link after this okay yeah yeah   you'll never use Google Maps again like like when  Google Maps doesn't work math me will save you so   then from where you are now what do you kind of  have an idea of where you want to go in Ecuador,   Colombia and then how you're going to cross  over into North America? I don't know if I   thought that far ahead but as far as like Ecuador  I think I'm going to cross through um Ilcabamba I   think and then probably go up through like quink  and Bonos up through Iquitos like I'll probably   take the quickest route for Ecuador um and then  Colombia I haven't really looked at yet honestly I   I feel like Colombia is such a beautiful expansive  country I'm like really excited for um I've heard   that Columbia is like filled with a lot of uh  cyclist so I'm excited to see what that looks like um I don't know yeah I haven't thought about  like as far as like getting to Central between   South and Central America I know that like you  have the Darién Gap there I was think came out   sailing around it but I'm not exactly sure yet I  haven't thought about it too much are there any   places on your journey back that you know you  want to go to for sure like towns or anything   yes so there's a bunch of like kind of smaller  surfing towns in El Salvador and Panama that I   would love to check out and then okay there's also  like an island with a volcano on it in Nicaragua I   actually can't remember the name of but it's kind  of like a touristy hub it sounds like and then   I mean honestly there's like so much of Mexico  that I really want to check out like Mexico is   amazing and I've heard the food is incredible like  there's so many different towns like I would love   to check out in Oaxaca, Mexico City I've never  seen before and Baja all this stuff I'm I think   I'm like really looking forward to Mexico honestly  of everything yeah it's a big country and there's   a lot there's a lot of beautiful places there  for sure yeah I've hardly really seen Mexico so   excited oh you've hardly seen i? No, not really  honestly I've been to like what's the city at the   border by like El Paso and Juarez I've seen like  yeah which hardly could count I think that'll be   interesting too CU Mexico I think especially  if you're from the US you probably more than   other countries since it's so close you think of  Mexico as like a destination but people have a   lot of fears around Mexico and I've never had  any problems there but I've also never gone to   like places that maybe I shouldn't go to yeah  um so I wonder how that's going to be in terms   of like planning your routes and whatnot I don't  even know if it's maybe some things are overhyped   too but um but I've also had local people tell  me like oh yeah you shouldn't go to that town   like it's it's dangerous and I'm sure you've heard  everything but I've heard a lot on this trip I've   kind of like i' just try to ask local people is it  safe like on this whole section actually like over   the mountains I was like really scared of because  that guy had been robbed and stuff and I've asked   the local people in each town that I've met and  they know that I'm traveling alone too and I'm   like they ask me usually this how the conversation  goes they ask me if I'm traveling alone they ask   me if I'm scared and I Sayes I'm traveling alone  and like yeah I'm a little scared and I then I   ask them like is it safe and they're like "Yeah  it's tranquilo, it's peaceful here. It's fine,   no worries." I'm like well it's fine then so yeah  I mean like you know a town is safe and you see   like kids outside like little kids playing outside  at like 10 11 o'clock at night like playing soccer   and football it's fine like it it's okay you  know it's reasonably safe I would say so I felt   very very safe like this whole section over the  mountains that I was like really nervous about a   few weeks ago now that I've done it I'm like it's  totally fine like nothing I never felt unsafe at   any SEC at any point during this whole part so  yeah always well that's good were you did you   know Spanish before starting this trip nope you  didn't nope not even like zero Spanish yeah and   you've been picking it up it sounds like you've  been picking it up yeah I think I'm I'm picking   it up like pretty slowly how's your Spanish mine  is it's okay I can get around a little bit um yeah   it's improved over the years and every time I I  do go somewhere like I I visit a Spanish speaking   country it improves a lot faster but it's not I  wouldn't say it's fluent like I can have a ation   but it's pretty limited still I'd say that's where  I'm at too yeah I think that's really cool though   that you're picking it up as you go because I  mean I think I mean Brazil speaks Portuguese   but everywhere else that you've been through is  Spanish speaking country right Spanish and then a   little bit of like some indigenous languages like  Quechua and I think it's um amaru or something and   how are you sustaining yourself while you're doing  this like are you working as you're like working   from a computer or did you just save up money  and you're I just using that savings money and   then I mean I I did go back to Colorado like for  two months to go and work a bit but it's pretty   much just this is mostly self-funded. I have some  like sponsors and stuff like RMU, Sea to Summit,   and some other like Colorado sponsors a Conation  Collective also like has sponsored some my gear   which has been super super helpful and I'm very  thankful to have the gear that they've given me   on this trip because it's been amazing and  like it is really important to have Hightech   like lightweight gear when you're doing something  this long an Overland Journey but basically the   trip is like self-funded um and I saved up money  to do it so yeah are those sponsors asking for   for like video or content because I know you're  a photographer or videographer yeah uh like for   photo content is that paid or is that they're  providing the gear they're providing the gear   okay yeah uh where is what was your headspace  like before going on this trip like it sounded   like you're going through a lot of stuff were  you like processing everything and or were you   kind of just like numb to it I think the head  space that I came into on this trip was I think   I was a little bit confused and dealing with a  lot of emotions that I was uncomfortable with   um from my past relationship from just life and  like where I was at and I think I just I don't   know this trip it it wasn't necessarily about  like running away from things. I think people  

make a very wrong assumption when they think  that people who are traveling are running away   from their problems. I think I wanted to run TO  them, to confront them and the bike was just a   very beautiful space to confront those problems  because when you're on the bike for that many   hours a day it's practically like meditation. You  can't really run away from your own thoughts like   you're just you're dealing with them I think  a part of me wanted to go and confront those   feelings and things that I was uncomfortable  with and then also I want I just really want   truly wanted to explore to go out into the unknown  and like face things that I was uncomfortable with   and I don't know I was just curious I wanted to  see what was out there and I think the only way   to really do that was to just kind of immerse  myself in the environment that I was maybe   potentially uncomfortable with and see what it  was like and the bike was just the perfect to do   that yeah just being on a bike for that long you  probably are confronting a lot of things that are   in your life maybe that you might distract your  distract yourself from in if you were living in   Colorado still but like in this environment it's  like there's nothing else to do for miles and   miles and the mountain range in front of you is  probably barely getting any closer so it's just   I imagine those thoughts are just there they're  just present with you I think there was even a   thing that I read where you were saying like the  winds were so fast that you couldn't even listen   to an Audi book or listen to music it was just  the wind in your ears and then whatever was in   your your head and so now that you've been on  this journey where do you think your your your   mind is at now like how are you how are you  feeling what's been going through your mind So I would say like I felt like the first bit  of the trip and the journey was really just like   getting used to life on a bike and learning a lot  of functional skills like how to be resourceful   how to be patient when things go wrong and  that sort of thing and there actually became   a point all those skills were very important and  I don't want to like dismiss those I think they   were amazing life lessons that I'm going to carry  with me for the rest of my life um but there was   like a point um right before I arrived in Cusco  actually where I was like on my way to Cusco and   I was like I just felt I I don't really know  how to describe it but I was like disappointed   and kind of angry with myself because I felt  like I wasn't getting to the hard stuff that   I wanted to confront and I was like what am  I doing this trip for like I feel like I'm   not learning I was I was getting impatient and  frustrated with myself um on the way to Cusco   and then ironically like that's when I ended up  kind of getting stuck in Pisac and I was I mean   that's where I met you and like where I was  kind stuck there for like a month and a half   I think a long time which is why I like my Bea  situation for Peru it's a good place to be stuck in but um I feel like one of the most like  accelerated parts of my journey where there   was like a lot of personal growth happening was  when I was in Pisac when I was in Cusco like   doing Ayahuasca and doing San Pedro and that  is definitely going to be an experience with   me that I will carry with me for the rest of my  life yeah I I think if I'm not mistaken I met you   before you had done it for the first time or maybe  right after it was your very first time but I know   you were still doing you were still planning some  ceremonies I think it was just right after like I   had I had only done like Wachuma I think a few  times yeah yeah that's right yeah yeah I think   that was it because I met you at Kasa kamanja was  it? No what was it called? La Chakan. Yes, yes.   and so how many ceremonies did you end up doing of  Wachuma and Ayahuasca I did three Wachuma and then   I did three Ayahuasca in that order also because I  think I was just like very afraid to do Ayahuasca   beforehand and then doing what you would kind of  like warm me up for that a bit personally I've had   like a better experience or a better I don't want  to say that like a better connection with Wachuma   than I have with Ayahuasca just seemed to be so  far out there that it's just like didn't feel   applicable to my life. what do you mean by that?  I felt like the lessons that I learned learned   doing Wachuma were more easily expressable and  relatable whereas Ayahuasca I feel like it there   was like some inner healing happening but I can't  really put words to it or I don't really I it's   impossible for me to describe what happened  when I did it though I felt better afterwards   I just don't know how to like put words to the  experience. What's one of the most memorable  

experiences that you had from either one of those?  So with Wachuma I don't know what to call it like   a really it wasn't really like a vision it was  just like an an old memory resurfacing from my   childhood that I had never thought about since it  had actually happened and I don't know why it came   up but it did I like literally had never thought  about this experience before it had happened but   for some reason this is what came up so I think  when I was about seven or 8 years old um my family   would go camping at the State Park in New York  called Allegany State Park every summer and my   brother and I would like ride our bikes around  the campground all day and go to the playground   and buy candy and all that kind of stuff and one  day we were like riding our bikes up the hill   and I remember seeing like a trail of blood and  milk just going down the hill like running down   the hill was kind of a weird thing to see so we  kept going up the hill and following this Trail   and what had happened was a girl a young girl had  was riding her bike down this hill and she hit an   old woman that was walking that had two drugs  of milk in her hand and when she hit the older   woman the older woman like fell and hit her head  and then the jugs of milk spilled and she cracked   her head open and she died like right there.  You saw her there and I like we saw so I didn't   see her exactly because when we arrived there was  already an ambulance and like there was a blanket   over her and like yeah it's pretty crazy for like  an 8-year-old to see basically someone die and   like I remember seeing the girl that had hit her  and she was like crying and stuff and this was   like a weird kind of traumatic memory for a child  to see and like I never ever thought about this   before until I did it like this was like a memory  that resurfaced for some reason and the way that   I perceived this memory was like I was like oh my  gosh I can't believe I experienced that and I was   like was that actually real and I was like who can  I go talk to this about I was like well of course   my brother like I want to see if he remembers  if this happened and like I had messaged him   and like about it and I was like do you remember  this happening he was like yeah yeah I remember   I remember that whole day and like everything  that happened and the way that I had perceived   that I was just like so deeply thankful for the  connection and the bond that I had with my brother   um like it's something you can't really put words  to like it's just like this very deep bond that   you feel with like your sibling because you've  literally there's no one that knows you as a peer   that well literally no one like not even your best  friend unless they like grew up with you like your   sibling did but I just felt like I had this really  deep love and connection with my brother through   that experience that was always there but I became  more aware of it um through this memory like being   resurfaced and I think that was something like  that I will carry with me for what did you feel   like when that was happening in the ceremony were  you terrified or were you just observing and like   pretty calmly just thinking about it at all I was  just observing and I was very emotional I think   that's what a lot of these plant medicines do is  like they take something they take your life and   reality exactly as it is but it's like you're  looking at it upside down and you just like see   it from a completely different perspective and  then you like come back to reality and you see   things as they are in a different way yeah it's  not your I don't know I think people have this   like weird perception of like plant medicines  and psychedelics like you're like hallucinating   or something but like I don't really see it like  that or like that hasn't been my experience it's   like I'm very vividly aware of what I'm seeing  and then I come back and I see things from both   perspectives like you're really forever changed  once you do them yeah I'd imagine being on a bike   after that too is like a lot of time to process  or U what do they say integrate yes to yes you   and your brother are you like pretty close in  age he's four years younger than me okay and   do you ever get to talk while you're on your bike  and just like traveling through countries oh yeah   I just called him the other day I would imagine  he's pretty supportive if you guys are pretty are   close like that he is he's he's totally different  than I am he's more of like a he likes his comfort   zone and um he he's totally different but we  get along really well in some ways I think yeah   yeah yeah it's funny how siblings can be like so  close and yet so different yeah that would be us   but there's still that connection right yes um  you mentioned this the word comfort zone and I   remember when I met you I was that like topic was  always in my mind because I would see the things   that you were doing and I think of myself as like  a fairly adventurous person especially compared   to like generally just people around me maybe  people in my family although some are adventurous   too but um I see somebody like you and then it's  like five levels beyond that because when I met   you you were I think you were doing a filming  project for somebody in which you were biking   no running alongside them filming their Escapade  and it was like the a whole 24hour period I think   yes I hardly sto and then obviously you're doing  this biking the whole expedition itself and then   I've seen on your Instagram like all of these  pictures of you climbing and like I'm I'm a   climber like I go to the gym and every once in a  while I'll go outdoors but the stuff I've seen on   your page is like legit Trad climbing in the like  mountaineering basically yeah and so I remember   specifically having this thought when I had met  you in pck about you you had asked me if I wanted   to I don't know if it was join you for a ceremony  or if it was something else maybe it was just like   a day Excursion or something and I specifically  remember thinking like I don't know if I'd be able   to keep up with this girl like she's so beyond  like outside of the comfort zone I guess so I'm   just I'm really curious about your mindset on  that being out of your comfort zone and like I'm   sure you've heard for instance people like Alex  Honnold they just this climber that does climbing   without ropes right like yes I know him people  feel like he or I don't know if it's actually a   thing or it's just what people think but his fear  response is like much less than normal people yeah   what do you think about that for yourself your  relationship to comfort and discomfort I think   that I just have a tendency to push the boundaries  of whatever I'm doing um and I always have so I   think what I used to think was absolutely crazy  like 10 years ago I'm doing now all the time and   it's like not it's like not crazy it's normal to  me and it just kind of pushed those boundaries all   the time on this trip especially like before I I  did this trip I had never camped alone in a tent   by myself ever and obviously that's something  I do all the time now that I'm like mostly   comfortable with depending on the environment and  the situation but like that's pretty normal to me   now and it doesn't bother me at all I don't know  you just kind of keep pushing yourself and pushing   yourself and like I'm definitely uncomfortable  on a weekly basis I would say sometimes I look at   the map and I'm like wow I'm really nervous about  this section of real this scares me um like more   recently like this specific section coming from  W like over this mountain pass I had heard that   there was a cyclist three days before I left on  my trip that was doing the same route that he was   robbed at gunpoint like by like some narco people  like while he Wasing literally like basically   three days before I was doing this and I was like  holy crap this is so scary and I did it anyways   I because I mean like I I was going for it I had  to do it I didn't know exactly where the robbery   happened I just knew that it was somewhere  within the vicinity yeah and like a little   bit more careful about where I was camping and um  what I did basically to try and keep myself safe   was like and I would say like as a woman traveling  alone I personally don't I don't love wild camping   where I'm in the middle of absolutely nowhere by  myself there's nobody around that freaks me out   more I would rather go and ask permission from  like a hotel or a restaurant or somebody's house   a farmer or somebody and be like hey can I camp  on your property and if they say yes and they   know that I'm there I know that somebody's like  kind of looking out for me or that they know that   I'm there that makes me feel safer and obviously  like I'm very careful about who I trust because   like on a daily basis I'm basically meeting new  people all the time um and I can pretty quickly   like analyze someone just by talking to them  for a few minutes be like is this somebody I   can trust like this this okay and honestly most  I really do believe that most people are good;   they're not trying to harm you. So I try to like  kind of gauge where I can camp and I've had a lot   of really good experiences through that like a  lot of times people will I ask them to camp and   they're like no just like we've got an extra  room in our house or like here do you want to   have dinner with us or like nobody ever says no  they're always like very kind and very welcoming   so these are usually people in very rural areas  right yes yeah I I find the more rural the area   the more kind that people are I never try to do  this sort of thing and like if I'm like in any   sort of urban environment I just pay for a hotel  because people like just don't really care as much   when you're in an urban environment um I just stay  in hotels um but in any sort of rural place where   like a lot of times I'm passing through through  these little towns and there literally is not a   hotel like there's nowhere you can stay so you  have to become resourceful and like be like hey   can I sleep in the soccer field tonight and  they're like yeah that's fine um yeah I think   one thing I'm curious about is like what what do  you think it is about you that makes you look at   these things look at the the adventure that you're  doing the risks that are involved and like just do   it anyways because I mean for instance most people  would be terrified to approach some farmer and ask   if they can camp on their land most people would  be terrified to even like even if they thought   this was a cool idea they'd be terrified to  actually buy the bike and then fly down to South   America and do it knowing they've never cycled  and knowing that they've never camped alone like   what do you think it is about you that makes you  say like well I'm just gonna do it I don't know   have you always been like super adventurous and  I think I think I've always been like this I've   just kind of like pushed the boundaries of who  I am um I think I like to like see what is out   there and see what's possible and I just kind of  like push those boundaries a little bit further   and further each time I really think that a  lot of this adventure I feel like I used to   be really uncomfortable talking to strangers and  then asking them for things like for example to   like camp on their property or whatever like Camp  the soccer field and all this stuff but like now   that's pretty normal to me and I'm not afraid to  do that anymore um I've just had to learn and you   just I think a lot of it is like you just have  to throw yourself into a situation where like   there really is no other choice and then just kind  of do it um but you have to take that first step   which is like the hardest part in like taking  this step and actually putting yourself in a   situation where you're not in complete control  of everything that's happening around you and   that's really where the adventure kind of starts  yeah you don't know it's going to happen which is   scary because you're like letting go of control of you're letting control of what's happening   yeah well I think I've heard somewhere that  usually when you're doing pretty grand things   like the why behind it has to be bigger than  the fear that's there so for you like what what   would you say is the biggest why about like why  you're doing this why it's worth it to face all   of these things I would say the why for me is  like a very multifaceted reason. Like why would   you do something so crazy like ride a bicycle  through an entire continent? It's so crazy. I   think I think the reason that I started this trip  is not the reason that it's it is currently and   what it's going to become it's kind of like  transformed throughout my whole trip as I've   also transformed as a person um I think when  I started this trip it was like just a like   a conviction like something I really wanted to go  do I was so curious and I wanted to like see what   was out there in the world and I wanted to see  what I was capable of doing physically and also   in like an adventure sort of capacity and I felt  like there was a deeper reason as to why I wanted   to do it but I wasn't really sure at first and  I think throughout the trip it's given me a lot   of time to reflect um being on the bike a lot and  meeting new people all the time and going through   like really difficult experiences I feel like  it's kind of like softened my character a lot   in so many ways like I'm such a more patient and  flexible person than I was before I feel like I'm   just kind of like unfaced by a lot of difficult  things that have H that can happen or will happen   now um because of being on the bike you're  dealing with like you're just not in control   of your environment and you just kind of deal  with it and even though that could be in a very   like physical way like I'm not in control of the  weather or like where I sleep or all that kind of   stuff but like I feel like those life lessons have  applied in a lot more in ways that are just like  applicable when you're not on the bike. I  would say another big thing I really just  

want to inspire other women to not be afraid  to go and do things on on their own yeah to go   camp alone to go on adventures to go out to eat  by themselves like all that kind of stuff like   almost on a daily basis I meet someone a woman  here and they're they're always like amazed that   I'm alone and just confused like how are you  doing this like you don't have a husband you   don't have kids they're always asking me this same  questions every day and I don't want those things   to be like seen as bad because I think they're  really beautiful things too that like maybe one   day I will also like that will be my life path  but I also want other women to see that this is   something that they can do too if they want to  yeah let's talk about that because I when I was   in Peru um around the same time that you were  I remember thinking about specifically I just   felt like I was running into including yourself  I was meeting and running into a lot of very like   strong independent adventurous women and it was  it was really inspiring and there's definitely a   part of me that you know I I I really admire that  and at the same time I think it's still hard to   deny that women face some very real um risks that  men also face but probably not as much or as dire   perhaps yeah um so I think for instance if I had  a daughter I would love if she was adventurous and   strong and independent and I would I would want  her to raise her that way if I could um but it   would be a special fear as well because it's just  I don't know maybe that's my conditioning but I   think that's a a reality too so for instance for  yourself yeah what's your relationship to that and   how do you what are some special considerations  that you've taken as a woman doing this type of   adventure yeah that's definitely a hard thing to  talk about. I'll share like a story with you that   comes to mind so I remember I think I was like  in I was around the border of Northern Argentina   in Bolivia and I ran into a group of like five  German guys that were cycling they're just like   on the side of the road that's how you run to  other cycl you just see them on the side of the   road which is kind of funny to just bump into some  other foreigners just sitting there with and stuff   so I stopped to talk with them and I think it was  around 4:00 and I was like ing to get to the town   before it was dark cuz this was also like I think  it tup Pisa or something it was like a Border Town   and honestly it was like kind of sketchy like  most border towns are pretty sketchy because of   the drug trafficking and stuff and um I think I  left them they were like having their snack break   and I was like all right I'm going to go because  I want to get to town before it gets dark and so   like I left I checked into my hotel and like got  dinner and stuff and I got their WhatsApp number   and they texted me around like 9:00 at night  saying that they had just arrived into town   and that they were going to the bar to like get  some beers and stuff and that I could go and meet   them and I just remember thinking like they just  arrived this sketchy border town and they don't   even know where they're going to sleep and they're  just going to go and get drunk and then what they   ended up doing so they like went to this bar had  a bunch of beers and then set up their tents in   like a park at like 11:00 at night to go and sleep  in a sketchy like Border Town I was like I could   literally never do that as a single woman ever  like that's so even I honestly I feel like it's   pretty reckless for them as a group of guys to  be doing that too um but I was like wow I can't   do that like the amount of freedom and like the  fact that they could just go into a town at 10   o'clock at night with nowhere to sleep and just  get drunk and I was like I just don't have that   like Freedom like I have to be like I'm very very  conservative I like I need to be in town or have   my tent set up before six o'clock before it's  dark like that's like a like I never go anywhere   at night for sure like especially on the bike um  so there's like those are a lot of considerations   that I have to like take into account I'm also  just very careful about like how I interact when   I'm on the street when I'm anywhere like how  I'm interacting with men um just kind of keep   my distance and just acting I don't know I think  a lot of it is like honestly how I conduct myself   like I'm pretty confident but not flirtatious  in any way and I'm like very careful about that   how I interact with other men um usually if I  have a question I try to ask women as much as I   possibly can um and that's like not been a problem  thankfully because like in South America women are   just as as involved in like a working process as  like men are which is great because like in some   other places in the world it's like only men are  working in markets and stuff and like here that's   not really the case women work a lot yeah so yeah  I just try to like usually ask women for help if   I can um and I haven't like I can't really even  think of like a close call that I've had on this   trip where I'm like wow that was like a weird  interaction because I feel like I try to avoid   it before anything can have the potential bad  of happening um like I've I've been completely   fine in the whole trip I felt very respected and  nobody has really like given me a problem um but   I've also been very cautious too so I think that's  part and how I conduct myself yeah I mean that's   amazing considering how far you've gone too and I  I know you you were saying like these German guys   that you ran into were setting up a tent at night  which was the big like thing that you wouldn't do   but um but I mean you've obviously had your share  of setting up tents in random places granted it's   usually daylight like you said but um always I  never would show up to a town especially a Border   Town yeah and in a park like night I were you  just could do that yeah is there ever fear that   maybe like you're being watched or followed or  anything because you're a foreigner and you're a   woman riding through a place that you're not from  um I mean like a fear yes that has never happened   and I've like feel like I like think about that  sometimes and I'm like watching but that that's   never happened well I still have so many questions  but I think we'll like come to the end so I think   the last one that I want to ask you is is okay  so let me premise it by saying like I've been   recently I've been trying to create content that  has been around I want it to be around traveling   but specifically about using travel as a way to  to grow to like expand So that obviously fit very   well into our time in Peru because the all of the  ceremonies and things we were doing there was all   about that um and so I guess with that in mind  up to this point like what do you think you've   grown or what what has been a transformation  or at least the start of a transformation that   you've seen in yourself on this journey I think  that this trip has given me an opportunity to   stop and like reflect on my life and also be very  present when I'm on the bike cuz it's kind of like   a meditation when you're doing the same motion  over and over your mind is like allowed to kind   of wander and I think that's such a beautiful  thing and I think I could have done that it is   possible to do that without being on the bike  but for me I think the best way to do to like   go back and reflect in my life would be to do it  actively um like through an active meditation so   the the bike was like a really good solution for  that um I think I've grown to be a lot more of   a patient person throughout this experience like  things go wrong a lot and you just have no control   over your environment and over your situation and  by immersing myself into to experiences that were   really uncomfortable and that I didn't have any  control and I think it allowed me to just relax   and let go and like because I think that was like  a problem that I had I was like a little bit of   like a like I had to be in control of everything  before um and if something didn't go my way it   just like made me really anxious and I didn't  like how that was like like I was just like a   very rigid person in a bad way and I think that  this trip has like smoothed a lot of that out   and I'm so much more relaxed now than I used to be  like I can I'm really like fairly unfazed by like   when things go wrong I'm just like well that's how  it is that's life like and I think those lefts can   like those can be applied to so many different  situations life outside of the bike um totally   I think it would make me you're saying that's new  for you yes yeah yeah I think that's definitely a   new thing I think it would make me a better  partner like if I ever am in a relationship   with somebody in the future or a better mom or  better wife or whatever um I think it would just   like my character has been smoothed out a lot  throughout this trip and I'm only like halfway   done there's a lot more more growth that needs  to be done and that will be done so I'm excited   to see where it takes me yeah same I like I said  I've been following your Instagram re

2023-10-29 19:47

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