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Meet a Female Solo Adventure Traveler - Part 2 (Ep. 1b)

This is Part 2. If you missed it, check out Part 1 here.

Many of us will be hesitant to step out of our comfort zone and travel solo. For 64-year old female solo traveler Gabriele, this has become a normal way of life. From walking The Camino in Spain and France, to a pilgrimage across Germany and the Czech Republic, or her solo biking adventures in Ireland and group travel in Madagascar, Gabriele will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and take that journey you've always wanted to take.

In this episode, after a brief introduction to Travel Fuels Life, Gabriele and I will discuss:

  • A progression through Gabriele's journeys
  • 2001 walking trip to India and Himalayas
  • Making friends with a sheepherding family
  • Anticipating the Continental Divide bike ride
  • The process of planning for a 2 1/2 month journey
  • Solo vs Group Trips and adjusting
  • Russian Adventure via Florence, Italy
  • Finding an Uber at the base of Bryce Canyon
  • Biking in Ireland and following people's recommendations
  • Barriers to language and how you dress
  • To GPS or not to GPS
  • How to afford all of this travel
  • Advice for getting started
  • Dealing with fear


Gabriele Marewski's Presence Online

Group Travel Biking


Also, thank you to Marilyn Ball and Randy Houston of Speaking of Travel at WWNC and iHeart for introducing me to Gabriele.


Remember, we'd love to have you rate and subscribe to the show on your favorite app! Good ratings and subscribers help me bringing in great guests. Thanks!

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 female solo travel


Gabriel (00:00):
Hi, this is Gabriel Murky Adventure Traveler on Travel Fuels Life.

Drew (00:25):
Hey everybody, and welcome to part two of the inaugural episode of Travel Fuels Life, the show where we encourage, educate, and inspire you to make your travel dreams come true. I'm your host, drew Hanish, and if you were here last time, then you heard our great conversation with Gabriela Murky. She is a solo adventure traveler, and I mean, she just has some fascinating stories of her travels. We heard a little bit about her hers at Czech Republic, and we heard some of her walking and biking experience, but we've got a whole lot more. And in fact, I really wanted to take her through a progression on this show and kind of get a feel for where she started in terms of dipping her toe in the water all the way up to this great trip she has planned coming up to the Continental Divide. So we'll get through all of that stuff, and I just want to remind you also that for show notes and that sort of thing, you can check out travel fuels life.com and anything that we talk about on here where we have links and that sort of thing. You won't have to scribble down notes, you can actually just go to the show notes page and check things out there and also leave comments if you will. So we appreciate it. And without further ado, let's jump into part two of our conversation with Gabriela Meki. So let's wander into kind of a progression of your travel, starting with, you took a trip to India to Near the Himalayas, is that

Gabriel (02:00):
Yeah, that was in 2001. Okay. And that was, a friend of mine was going to India and said, would you like to join me? And I'm, yeah, sure. And so we walked in the foothills of the Himalayas and it was just amazing and the people were friendly and being vegetarian, I just loved the food. Everything was fresh and that was just walking from village to village and just amazing. And there I had a story where we ended up in this one village and usually when we'd walk to village, we'd want to have some chai tea somewhere. And we got to this little village and there's a young man outside and we said, where can we get some chai? And he said, well, we don't have a shop here, but I'll make you some tea. So he invited us into his home. We sat out on the porch, and it turns out he was a student and he was interested in art.

And he had some books tucked up in the eve that very carefully, very well taken care of. And they said, so who were those books? And he says, well, thoses are mine. And so I said, were you going to go to college? And he says, well, we're a poor sheep herding family, and so that's not an option for me. So they had some honey and I said, can I get some honey? And he says, well come back tomorrow with a jar and I'll give you some honey. So I came out by myself the next day with my jar. He gave me, honey, wouldn't let me pay for it. His brother was there and I met his mother, and his brother worked at the post office, and he actually accompanied me back down the mountain. And I said to him, so what does it cost to go to a college here? It turns out to be 500 US dollars.

Drew (03:43):

Gabriel (03:43):
So I said, well, give me your address. And when I got back, I went to my neighbor and said, how about if we sponsor him for college? She says, yes, I'm in. So we sent him to college every year until he graduated and became a teacher. And so I thought, this is direct giving at its

Drew (04:00):
Best. Yeah, that's awesome. And he

Gabriel (04:03):
Would write me these wonderful letters and he sent me honey for a couple years until the post office said, this has got to stop. This honey's leaking.

Drew (04:09):
Oh, nice. But he said,

Gabriel (04:11):
You changed my life. You gave me something. You gave me something that my family couldn't do. And I said, no, JAG, Raj, you did this. You opened your doors and you invited us in. Invited this change. And so then we asked him after he graduated and became a teacher, said, well, do you have a young woman in the village we could sponsor? And we didn't get a response on that one. Oh

Drew (04:33):
No. Well, maybe so you may get a something in the mail one of these days. That's awesome. Did that kind of open you up to the idea of, oh, was that kind your first introduction that opened the door in your mind to saying, Hey, I'd like to do more of this kind of travel, or was that before

Gabriel (04:59):
I'd always kind of traveled in college. I would take off, I'd drop out of school to go travel and then go back. And so it took me eight years to get my bachelor's degree. Cause I would get the travel bug as that my mother had given me.

Drew (05:17):
Thanks, mom.

Gabriel (05:18):
And when I go to Europe, I usually stay with friends or relatives. So I would go by myself, but it was more I would be stationed with people that I knew. And so the Camino walk was the first time of just going out and walking on my own and seeing what happens and not, that was completely out of my comfort zone.

Drew (05:40):
So here you're on the Camino, and then did you decide you were doing your next trip while you were on the Camino? Or did that sort of evolve?

Gabriel (05:50):
It evolves.

Drew (05:51):

Gabriel (05:52):
Yeah. And I guess it, I need to get back to work, and then it would take a year to kind of percolate. And I realized what happens. So for example, this year I went to Russia in June, may and June and I came back and then I realized I get a little antsy and I know I'm processing the trip and I put, pulled together a presentation and my skirts about the trip. And then this antsiness happens and I realize it is me wanting to think about the next adventure. And then when I had that, so this year I decided to bicycle the Continental divide. And in 2019, and then once I have made that decision, then I have my avenue of research. And then I guess I, then I'm excited because I have something to engage in and go down that rabbit hole and read up on and what bike am I going to get? And I think my gear is all good, but I have to recheck my gear and just thinking about all that stuff. So I think what happens is that I do an adventure, I come back, I chill and process, but then I want that excitement and that next adventure.

Drew (07:07):
So for a trip, I mean, that's going to be a long trip, is it not?

Gabriel (07:09):
Two and a half months.

Drew (07:10):
Okay. And so the process of planning for a trip like that, I mean now that's next year, and you started planning for it? Actually,

Gabriel (07:21):
I just decided in last month, and then it'll be next July, July 14th. And that trip I decided I'm not doing solo because I researched where all the bear attacks are, and it is kind of along that line, but I didn't want to be out there by myself. Days at a time. It felt a little too exposed. And there is grizzly alley and there I was reading in the book, there's one place when campground that says, no tent camping due to grizzly bears and one thing or another. And I thought, I'm not sure I'm really up for that. And psychologically I've done, usually my average is 400 miles at a time by myself. So psychologically to go from 400 miles to 2,500 miles would, I wanted some support for that. So I signed up with adventure cycling, and they do all these wonderful maps around the United States and adventure travel stories. And so they lead this and it's just 12 people we camp every night. We prepare food together. And so then the nice thing is, is that they have it's van supported that carries your camping gear and carries the kitchen. Oh yeah. This

Drew (08:36):
Is a mint on the pillow kind of thing. This is easy peasy, but still a great adventure, but amazing. Could be

Gabriel (08:43):
Steep. Yeah, it's going to be steep. And the reason I decide that is because I moved to Asheville area and I realized all these mountains here, it's just perfect training. And so I thought, well, what matches what I'm doing now, which is mountain biking and road biking and hiking. And so I thought, ah, the continental divide just country to country. So it kind of being in this space helped make that decision or what was next. But I have a whole binder full, my bucket list of trips, I've excel spreadsheets and all that.

Drew (09:12):
Wow. So I'm thinking the Appalachian Trail will actually be a little easier to do after doing that Colorado and Rocky Mountains all the way up through Montana, all of that. I mean, that's going to be a lot of terrain. You're climbing and dropping. And

Gabriel (09:31):
I just got an awesome bike, a Kona Sutra, and I love that bike. And I'm just really excited. And now I got the right gear. And so what they say is if, if you got the right gear gut, and I think after the Continental bar, I feel the pool to go actually go back to Europe and want to do a little more traveling, walking or biking in Europe. But then I had an opportunity, I got an email from a friend that said, I booked this bicycle trip across Madagascar and I can't go. Would you go on my place? And it's next month and it's 500 miles. So I checked the airfare and said, yeah, sure. Right.

Drew (10:13):
Why not? And that was with a group.

Gabriel (10:16):
That was with a group.

Drew (10:17):
So because you've been doing so much traveling on your own, how is it adjusting to having a group? Well,

Gabriel (10:23):
That was the first time I'd done a group trip. And I did have anxiety before I went about adjusting to the group thing. And it was great. They were mostly Kiwis, so they were just really fun people and good stories, and a lot of, they'd been bicycling on other trips. So this group kind of knew each other. And I just fell in with them it seemed, and actually I loved it. And I realized that trip, I never was never on my bucket list. I never would've done it. And it would've been too challenging to do that on my own because of cultural difference is so great. And I felt doing, and that was the first time it opened my eyes to see the benefits of traveling in a group, because again, it was van supported and it was culturally very, very different. And it felt, when we would walk out of the hotel, when we, we'd stay in a town, we'd walk out of the hotel, you'd immediately be inundated with people wanting to sell you something. And it was great. They're all good entrepreneurs, but at some point you're like, no, I just want to go for a walk by myself.

Drew (11:35):
Yeah. Well, so I think the thing that probably helped you out, and maybe that other people might struggle with a bit is that you had, when you have a mother who's got wanderlust, you did traveling a lot before, so you were already exposed different cultures and getting a feel for what travel was like. So I wonder sometimes if it's better for somebody to get started with a group and just do these little excursions on and maybe do a day trip on a bike or a day trip, hike somewhere, just to get the feelers there before.

Gabriel (12:18):
Well, meetup is great for that. When I first came here, I did meetup hikes just to expose myself to the different hikes that were around and to see what's possible. And then since then, I've found my own hikes that I do. But yeah, I think that that's a good transition. And I know this last year I went to, I'm a student at Leno, Ron University, and I went to Florence on the creative writing class, and I'd been to Florence before, and it was in the class, so I thought, I don't know, it's going to be a little confined. It won't be an adventure. And so I sent the email to a gentleman who had stayed at my bedroom breakfast years before, and he lived in Russia. And I remember he said, come visit Russia. So I sent him an email and said, I'm going to be in the neighborhood. I could swing by

Drew (13:05):
Now you're saying Florence, Italy. Okay, neighborhood of right.

Gabriel (13:08):
Russia. Russia. I'm over on the side of the world. So I found a ticket from Pisa to Moscow for $99. And he said, come. And so I had this amazing adventure in Russia that I'm going to post on my YouTube channel, Gabriela on the Road. And that was, it's in the style of a esque story of just meeting up with people and having adventures. Wow. And my host, Alexi, is a banker, and his family has a country home. And he said, you can stand in my country home, and here's the bicycles and here's my, I'll introduced it to my friends. And it was just amazing. Yeah. I just absolutely loved

Drew (13:51):
It. So was it St. Petersburg? Moscow, what?

Gabriel (13:55):
Dale? Okay. So Dale is a little town of only 10,000 people and over 45 churches. So I know all those people are going to heaven there.

Drew (14:05):

Gabriel (14:07):
It's part of what's called the Golden Ring, which is it's a four hours northeast of Moscow. And so I stayed there for a week, and then someone said, oh, you must go to St. Petersburg. So I said, okay. And so then I went to St. Petersburg and had amazing adventures there, but nothing that was quite the gem of being in Dale and the people I met there and got to that lived there that just were over the top. Amazing.

Drew (14:38):
I think that's the thing that I discovered too, is that it is going to, you can go Czech Republic, you can go to Prague. Everybody goes to Prague. Yeah. It's a beautiful city. Yeah, it's an amazing place to go, but it's not till you hit those, the smaller towns that you sort of get a feel for what the Czech Republic really is. And it'd be the same as traveling around the United States. I mean, you can go to New York City, but we're all not like people from New York City. It's those smaller towns that you really get kind of the cultural mix and understand what makes a place tick.

Gabriel (15:13):
And you really get to connect, I think. And it's getting that sense of place. And sometimes when I travel, I think, oh, I could live here. And when I get to that point of think, oh, I could live here. And I think I really feel like I've just connected.

Drew (15:28):
Wow. So of all the places that you've been, where's the place that you haven't really would love to go? That where you feel like you get a good cultural exposure to something that you've always been interested in?

Gabriel (15:42):
Well, I think I'd like to bicycle Asia, and I haven't been to that mean I've been to India, but I haven't done other parts over there. And Thailand is, the food is really good and I love tropical fruits. And so that's of interest to me. And Turkey, I'm just fascinated with Turkey that I'd like to bicycle across Turkey and around the coast. And I do want to do the rivers. I do want to do bicycle, the rivers in Germany, and I want to bicycle across Southern France. And so I think what I'm thinking now is that if it's very steep, I'm going to hike. And if it's flat and a longer distance, I'll do that on a bike. So I'll alternate between the two and I'll have my fold up bike and I could just leave that at places. And I don't know, it'll work out some, I'll figure it out as I go along.

Drew (16:40):
Right. Yeah. You always find an Uber somewhere to get you. I laugh because I was at Bryce Canyon, and as we walked down, I was looking and I was going, I'm not walking all the way down there. And I started walking my way down and had great conversations with people as I was walking along. And I get down to the bottom and I was talking to a guy from Chicago and he said, yeah, it's too bad. You can't just call an Uber down here. Oh, sorry. You're out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a national park. It's going to be a little hard to get an Uber, but

Gabriel (17:16):
Sometimes you can. I've hitchhiked, and it was an Ireland, and I had just bicycled up. It was, I can't remember what town I was in, but I just had a really strenuous bicycling the day before. And then the next day I went to go visit the chocolate factory, and I thought, I'll give the bicycle a break today. And I stuck out my thumb and hitchhiked and ended up being picked up by a couple from the United States, from

Speaker 3 (17:38):

Drew (17:41):
Oh, wow. Well, have you had this situation? When I travel around, I go to, I'm in Czech Republic, and everybody starts talking to me in as soon as they walk up to me. Yeah. It's like, do I look like I'm American? I,

Gabriel (17:55):
Well, I don't normally have that experience. I know when I was in Russia, I bought a Russian jacket to, I needed more warmth, and people would come up and ask me something in Russian. So I don't wear blue jeans. I always wear a skirt. I think because of how I dress, I can blend in. And so I think, I don't stand out as a foreigner as long as I don't open my mouth. But when I do people, everybody speaks English. Sometimes it's a little disappointing. Right. I want to practice this language. Or for me, I like to speak German and I say, okay, you can speak to me in English and I'll talk to you in German. Cause I want to practice.

Drew (18:37):
That's good. Yeah. I did that with France. I would use a little of my French, and then they would speak back to me in English, and they'd practice on their end too.

Gabriel (18:47):
And everybody says, oh, excuse my poor English. And you're going, you're like, no, no, no. I think your English is better than mine.

Drew (18:52):
Yeah. The fun part was I went to Dresden and because I looked German of German, right. Heritage, I walked into the hotel and I went to the reception desk and I said, what did I say? See my words escaped me as I'm guten talk. And as soon as after I said that, then I started speaking in English and the woman looked at me. So funny. I mean, I went through all the Czech Republic and people would speak to me in English, and I got to Germany, and the woman's looking at me, you're putting me on, you speak German. Oh, I look German. And I was German. Cause I looked German. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. So that's kind of an interesting situation to have happened. But yeah, I mean, I walked out of a restaurant in the Czech Republic and a woman started speaking to me in English, and I just finally said, just let me know why is it that people start talking to me in English? And she said, universal language.

Gabriel (19:51):
Oh, right.

Drew (19:51):
Yeah. And I went, yeah, that makes sense. And if you're not

Gabriel (19:54):
Sure that's the language you would start

Drew (19:56):
With. And I learned that in Czech Republic, talking to my Airbnb host. He said, in Czech Republic, if you're talking to someone who's native and they're over a certain age, say 40, 35, 40, they're probably going to know Russian is their second language. But if they're younger, they're going to know English. Yeah. I think that takes the fear factor out of traveling as well, is that sometimes you can do the body language thing and you can have a conversation with somebody who doesn't speak your language, but you can kind of get by. Yep.

Gabriel (20:29):
But there's so much fun. Yeah,

Drew (20:31):
Yeah, exactly. There's another obstacle, get over. But it kind of feels like an accomplishment after you navigate your So way through all of that stuff. Yeah, absolutely. I heard you say something about taking or doing your bicycling along the El River, which is a trip that I took, but I took it in a car until I couldn't take it any further because they said no cars allowed, but some beautiful areas through there. How far along the el did you go?

Gabriel (21:04):
I just did, it was around 200 kilometers. Okay. And then was, I think I cut that short a little bit cause I wanted to be inston for the full moon. Cause I wanted to get a picture O on the bridge in Leyton under the full moon. And so I got to the town where I ended, and then the next day I took the train to Layton and I got there to get that shot of under the full moon on that bridge.

Drew (21:33):
Nice. I had it in mind. So the question is, did you see cranes everywhere? Because when I went to dress and that's all I saw were cranes, there was like the whole town is under construction.

Gabriel (21:43):
Yeah. I didn't notice that so much.

Drew (21:45):
No. Yeah. The bridge was actually even under construction when I went, no, no, not what it was there. I mean, it's such a revitalization of that town going on, and they're doing their best to keep it as true to what it was.

Gabriel (21:59):

Drew (21:59):
Which is amazing.

Gabriel (22:01):
And that's why I want to bicycle more of the rivers because I enjoyed that bicycle ride so much. And then my theory is I wouldn't get lost so often, but when I'm out in the woods, everything looks, every trail looks attractive. And you think, well, I could take that trail. I could to that trail. But when you're bicycle going on a river, you're kind of like, well, I guess that's kind of a good guidepost. I'll stay along that river.

Drew (22:23):
Right. Do you just take paper maps with you or how do you

Gabriel (22:27):
Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I do paper. Yeah.

Drew (22:29):
GPS is kind of still iffy. Oh,

Gabriel (22:31):
You were out in the middle of the woods. No gps. Yeah. I

Drew (22:35):
Found it interesting that my gps would follow me all through the, well, actually I lost it coming into Dresden, but I guess I had to just reboot my phone because it came back. But I was so nervous about losing the maps that I had, but at least Google lets you download the maps and the gps always seemed to work when I was in. But yeah, not knowing when you're hiking, you're not going to be anywhere near a road. Right.

Gabriel (23:01):
Well, one time when I was in, where I ended my trip in Tubingen, the town before that, my back went out and I was staying in this pen, and I got up and I immediately fell down and my back went out, and I think I'd eaten too much poppy seed cake. So I had a little too much sugar in my diet. But anyway, that was a joke. My trip was fueled with poppy seed cake, nice. And coffee. Cause I love poppy seed cake. But anyway, I got on my phone and I had the German telephone book in my phone. So I called up, this is actually a Sunday, and I called up a chiropractor and left a message, oh, can I come see you tomorrow? And that was going to be in by and the next town. And he actually called me back and said, I'm close tomorrow, but I will come in and see you as I was a traveler and just coming through. So I had the train schedule on my phone, and I could say I be there at 12 noon because I'd had, I could look up the train schedule. So I take through technology, I got to buy it, and then I looked up Google Maps and walked to his office and I could do all that with being with the phone. It was just amazing. Right.

Drew (24:11):
Yeah. A technology has come a long way. I tried to think of it. It's great when you have it. For instance, in Prague, I could just pick up, I could look at my phone, it would tell me how far the walk, which bus I needed to pick up, or which tram I needed to pick up, and then I would be there. Oh yeah. Time timing was great. However, the time that I was in Austria in Vienna, and I woke up in the morning and my GPS was, the GPS would show, but the maps weren't working. And I'm leaving at 6:00 AM and I have to navigate the entire town of Vienna to get to the other side, to get on a freeway that doesn't go straight through town. And I'm sitting there one hand, and you've got a shift because there's not a lot of automatic transmissions over there.

And so I'm trying to, I'm doing everything you're not supposed to do with a phone. I'm just thumbing it to keep the screen alive so that I can see what street that I'm going down next to get. Yeah. It was an adventure. And then again, it was the same thing, reboot the phone, and all of a sudden everything came back. But I was too nervous to reboot it, so I had to go back to all my map reading skills on a phone that didn't show me street names, but at least would show me that there was a street there and it might get me out of town.

Gabriel (25:29):
And that was challenging. Also, in walking is sometimes finding your way through towns, but the nice thing about walking is it's just easy to ask directions. Right. Because there's always someone around.

Drew (25:41):
The fun part is when somebody, you're in a foreign town and somebody asks you for directions, right? Yes. And you're like, I felt so bad because I told this guy, which I thought, well, yeah, I'll help him. I got my phone and gps. Well, I was turned around and I sent him in the wrong direction. And I realized it about two minutes after he walked away. And I was like, I almost want to chase him down and find him. But I know he's so far ahead of me now that he'll

Gabriel (26:05):
Ask somebody else, he'll

Drew (26:05):
Ask somebody else and get it figured out. So, all right. So then the big question that probably everybody's throwing through their mind is, how do you afford to do all the travel and all that stuff?

Gabriel (26:19):
I just charge it. No.

Drew (26:23):
Well, that's another episode. Yeah.

Gabriel (26:24):
Well, yeah. I mean, then I pay it off, but I travel cheaply because my biggest expense is airfare. And I look for good airfare rates. And when I get to a country, I'll stay in hostels in inexpensive pens. And I've done wild camping, take a tent with me, and then I don't have to pay for transportation because I'm fueled by my legs or a bicycle. And so then my only really big expense is food. And traveling in Europe, I find I always ate really, really well. And in Ireland every day it was whatever local soup they had and soda bread. And I kind of pick a theme and that's it. Yeah.

Drew (27:16):
I probably need to ask you more questions about Ireland, because that's a trip that I have coming up Ireland and Scotland, so that that'll be fun. And you're making me think maybe I should investigate a bike because the only time I've done a bike trip is I've done city tours and it is fun to go on Montreal. I did a bike tour and you do kind of get a little bit more of a feel for the town at a faster pace than on your feet. So you can do it in a day.

Gabriel (27:45):
But when I did all the peninsulas, and so one side, the peninsula, you're going up, up, up. And then when I get to the top, I go, now it's the glorious ride down. And it was just like, yes. And I've in Ireland, I was go to the pub in the evening for tea, and at one place this couple said, oh, you must bicycle sheeps had Peninsula. And I hadn't planned on it. And because whenever someone says You must do so and so, I always do that. And that turned out to be the best ride on the trip really. And then someone else said to me before I left, they said, oh, you must go to Dingle. And so I did. And I ended up cutting that trip short in Dingle because it's such a cool hip town with so much music. I thought, I'm just going to spend the rest of my time here and I'm taking the bus back to the rest of the way. Yeah. When people say that, I always listen and it always ends up being a highlight.

Drew (28:45):

Gabriel (28:45):
Awesome. And then I'm flexible cause I don't make reservations, so it doesn't matter if I change my plans or go a different place or whatever.

Drew (28:52):
I do those non-refundable reservations to save some money and then I go on a trip and I'm like, why did I do that? Yeah. Because there's stuff I'd like to sneak in here. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, if somebody was wanting to get started on doing solo travel, what would be, let's say female, 24 years old, kind of wants to see the world but doesn't really know how to get out there. What kind of advice would you

Gabriel (29:22):
Give? Well, I would have to say it's really all about your curiosity and what gives you a spark. What's, what excites you of on the world map, we ought really excited and curious about going to. So I think that's the first thing. And then the second thing is you book your airfare and then you could find a hostel to stay for your first night and make that reservation. And then you just talk to people in the hostel and they'll tell you where to go. Nice. And I think that's all you need is just do those book that airfare, book that first night, and then just let it allow it to unfold from there. Because people are always happy to say, oh, go here. Go there and check this out. And hostels, you meet other travelers and they'll say, oh, join us for this outing. And that's what the whole world of Hosteling is about. And so that's what I do if I'm going to some place that I haven't been to before, and I'll usually book the first night in a hostel.

Drew (30:25):
And then the idea of overcoming that fear of doing that, because stepping your foot out into that kind of travel for the very first time could be a little daunting. Yeah. I would say,

Gabriel (30:36):
Well, I went through that the first time when I was in Barcelona and I was getting ready to get on the train to go to Irun to where I was going to be getting my walk. And I remember being in the hotel and I just had this fear come over my body and I just said, okay, I'm just going to sit down and I'm going to sit with this fear because I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I don't know anything about this. I don't know. So I allowed myself to feel that and I said, okay, done. And then got up and got on the train and ended up in, I ruined. And then the rest was a wonderful adventure. So I allow myself to acknowledge that I'm allowed to feel fearful about it, but it's not going to stop me. It's just, it's there. I acknowledge it and then I move on. And so I think that helps to just say, I'm not going to push it away. And sometimes a little bit of fear is good because that can kind of propel you to say, well, I'm not going to sit stuck in this. Right. I got to go. And then you just, that's how you get past it, I think.

Drew (31:41):
Yeah. I, the other thing is that you need to realize that if you're going to be ruled by your fear, fear, you're never going to do anything.

Gabriel (31:52):
Yeah. That's exactly right.

Drew (31:53):
Yeah. So to me, fear is a test.

Gabriel (31:56):
And yeah, I think fear is really excitement. Excitement is that heightened emotion without fear. So the flip side of fear is excitement.

Drew (32:12):
It's interesting you say that. I was going through very stressful times younger in my younger years and I read a book and it said that when somebody jumps out of an airplane, they experience this incredible fear and it's just this feeling that pulses through their body. And as soon as they pull the rip cord and that shoot opens up, then all of a sudden they feel this massive elation and this feeling coursing through their body. And the interesting thing is that that's adrenaline and it's just the label that we've put on

Gabriel (32:47):
It. You just put that switch.

Drew (32:49):
And that sometimes we tend to fear things and make them out to be bigger than they actually

Gabriel (32:54):
Are. Well, and the other thing is, I find I don't listen to other people's fear. And so I can tell you that people will, when I travel solo, people would say, why aren't you afraid? I mean, I hear that so much. I finally said, well, I don't watch TV and I don't eat meat. So I didn't get that fear thing and they didn't know how to respond to that. I just had to say something because it, it's always need to be the first reaction to things. And sometimes I have to redirect conversations to say, well, don't write on my parade. Don't burst my bubble and I want you to be a cheerleader, but I don't need to hear, have your fear unloaded on my trip. And so sometimes you have to talk with friends to let them know that support me. And it's your fear. It's not my fear. And you could dump it somewhere else.

Drew (33:53):
Right. Yeah. I think we hold mean, you mentioned going to Turkey. I would love to go to Turkey through, I talked to someone recently at a convention who told me about, he lived in Instanbul for many years and I just wanted to ask him so many questions about it because we get news and we get reports and we're told that's probably not a place you want to travel and this isn't a place you want to travel. And it feels like we could really restrict ourselves on people's, on other people's fears.

Gabriel (34:28):
Exactly. And the reality is you get out into the hinterlands, you get out to the country and everybody's plugged into the horrible political situations. It's just real people out there and they're inviting and welcoming. And that's, in any country is like that I think.

Drew (34:44):
I think it's just a matter of keeping your antenna up and understanding whether that fear is actually logically placed or if it's just something that's keeping you from doing what you want

Gabriel (34:56):
To do. And I recognize when that comes up, it's usually a self-imposed. Yeah. And instead of some real external threat, usually the former. Nice.

Drew (35:07):
This has been wonderful. I've enjoyed the conversation and I know this answers probably a lot of questions in people's heads and also hopefully gets them going, maybe this isn't as difficult as, as I just do it, think it is, break the barriers down kind of thing. So I first journey starts with a single step. Right, exactly. Yeah, this applies here. Well, I thank you definitely for your time and all your insights on stuff. It's

Gabriel (35:36):
Been Oh true. It's

Drew (35:36):
Been pleasure. Thank you. And maybe next year when you get done with your Continental Divide trip. Yeah. I'm sure you will have lots of stories to tell from that. Yeah. Awesome. Alright, well thank you very much and how, if somebody wants to see your video and all that, we can actually post your links up on our show links page so they can see it through our site. Travel Feels life.com. Great. Or

Gabriel (36:02):
Gabriel on the road.

Drew (36:03):
Gabriel on the road. And it's Gabriel on the road.com.

Gabriel (36:07):
Yep. I don't have my website up yet, but right now I'm on YouTube. Okay. On the same Gabriela on the road.

Drew (36:14):
Very good.

Gabriel (36:14):
And it's G A B R I E L E. All right. Yes. There's many different spellings of that. Yeah,

Drew (36:20):
I was going to say, I keep wanting to put the second L in

Gabriel (36:23):
There. Right, right.

Drew (36:25):
Very good. Well, Gabriela, I definitely enjoy this all the way around and I look forward to hearing more about your travels down the road.

Gabriel (36:34):
Awesome. Thank you.

Drew (36:37):
What a great guest. I mean, we had a pretty good discussion ahead of the recording and I really wish I'd hit the record button and be able to capture some of that. Cause she has such great insights. And really, like I say, the idea of inspiring you to get out there and do things that are outside your comfort zone. Because travel's not supposed to be hard. It's supposed to be fun. And yes, sometimes there are things that will make you nervous or maybe you've got a barrier or fear that you need to get over. But man, when you do it, it's, it's just liberating. It really is. So Gabriela, I appreciate you being on the show. In episode two, we're going to do something very unique. Usually when you listen to a podcast, an early episode is going to be devoted to a monologue of the host saying, Hey, here's who I am and here's what the show is about. I thought, why don't we do it a little bit different? Actually, I didn't think about it. My special guest host is the one that came up with this idea and I think it's fantastic. So it's a chance for you to get introduced to me and the show that'll be in episode two coming up. So until we meet again, I am Drew Hanish and thanks for listening to Travel Fuels Life. And remember to step outside that comfort zone. Enjoy the journey.

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