Who is Road Trippin' Red?
Hi, my name is Rachel! I am a nature, travel and animal lover from Denver, Colorado, USA.
I currently have a full-time job in the corporate world (which is going wonderfully), but I am forever drawn to the great outdoors. I NEED it! I need it to breathe, to learn, to thrive.
I was one of those people that dreamt of traveling the world, but let doubt, insecurity, fear and lack of funds get in the way. I got my first passport in 2004 but didn't actually get my first stamp until 2012. When I got my passport, I was living in NYC and working 3-5 jobs just to get by so there was no room in my budget for travel - or so I thought at the time.
The truth is I was scared! Which is hilarious, considering I had moved to NYC solo in September, 2002, during a time NYC was operating in fear on a daily basis from the year prior. Somehow, even though I was terrified of moving to (and living in) NYC, I moved there anyway because my desire to act (more on that later) was stronger than my fear.
This is something that I have grown to absolutely love about myself. Even if I am terrified, I've got to do it anyway. It is so important to push past your boundaries and fears to really find the core of who you are, what you are capable of, and what it is you truly want out of this beautiful adventure called 'Life.'
Jump to 2011, when I was asked to host a bachelorette party in Charleston, SC by one of my very best friends. I was living in Iowa at the time and didn't have a lot of money, so I planned my tail off, jumped in my car and drove the 16 hours trek solo - and threw one heck of a weekend extravaganza. You know you have seen WAY TOO MANY scary movies when all you do during a road trip is think about the things that could go wrong - way wrong. This 16 hour drive was no different. But I did it anyway!
After a relationship heartbreak in November 2011, I was asked to speak at a friend's wedding in Asheville, NC. So here I go again, jumping in the car for the 12 and a half hours (one way). At the wedding, I met so many lovely Dutchies who really shed a light on where I was at in my life simply by talking about their own lives. And again, I found myself scared. Scared to get stuck in Iowa; scared to go back home to Colorado (or one of the other five states I had called home at some point in my life); and definitely scared to try something new... so when the offer came through to go to Amsterdam that summer, I jumped off that ledge of fear that had me crippled with every ounce of courage I could muster. To others, it seemed like, "There goes Rachel again, doing something crazy and brave, wish I could be like her..." - or so I heard later. But to me, I was terrified of being terrified, so jumping was my only option!
Once again, my desire was stronger than my fear. I quickly researched flights, deals, and sold the majority of my personal belongings. Not only did I plan my trip to The Netherlands, but I also plotted my move back to Colorado - simultaneously.
Six weeks later I was on a flight to Dublin, Ireland! I spent three days there, then took a quick flight to Eindhoven, The Netherlands and then a train from there to Amsterdam where I ended up spending nearly three weeks. My new friends were kind enough to offer places to stay (you guys are amazing! thank you) and one of them (thank you, Jenny) had a spare bike, so I was set to explore...
I wish I could say it was all sunshine and roses (or tulips), but the fear set in as I realized that I would need to explore solo as they all had to work during the day. I often stayed in during the day, too afraid to leave - especially after my mishap with cycling down the wrong side of the street and consequently get knocked out of the bike path over the curb and crashing on to the pavement in the middle of the street! Not my finest moment...but I pushed past it. I had to remind myself daily to just GO and that I would be okay. Each new day had its own challenges, but day in and day out I went out that door, rain or shine (and it was mostly rain).
Immediately following the trip to Amsterdam, I moved back to Colorado, and then to Texas a couple of years later. My love for the outdoors (and my desire to explore, understand and grow) has definitely taken the lead over the fear I have had of being stranded - not knowing a language, getting a flat tire with no cell service, getting abducted (yes, I really did consider that), etc. I still have a healthy level of fear, but I no longer allow it to dictate my life.
Since moving to Texas, I have been on countless road trips (solo and otherwise); camping trips, and a favorite highlight: a midnight hike at the border of Texas and Mexico in Seminole Canyon State Park because the moon was just so beautiful. I also went on my first FULL solo trip abroad in 2016 to Iceland (thank you to the wonderful man I now call my fiancé who encouraged me to just book it) where I drove the entire Ring Road - exploring waterfalls, hiking the unknown, horseback riding, and dipping into random hot pots; I explored the San Juan Islands in Washington; and most recently, went back to Iceland for a longer trip with my then boyfriend (now fiancé)!
May 25, 2018 - Snaefellsness, Iceland
I never really thought that my love of traveling could mean something to someone else, but it turns out it does. I have helped encourage countless folks to set out on adventures of their own just by sharing my own stories, pictures and videos with them. My stops through some of the Earth's most beautiful places (or seemingly forgotten places) are much more than simple hikes and vacations. They have taught me that I know absolutely NOTHING and that adventures, people, places, music, foods, and cultures can teach us so much more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. They are journeys of self discovery through courage; journeys of stomping-the-sh!t-out-of that horrible roadblock called 'Fear.' So here I am - ready to share with a larger audience - in hopes of inspiring more to do the same!
I am here and I am listening. Help me to create content that makes sense for you!
Right now: what is your biggest challenge when it comes to travel? Answer below to opt in for my travel tips, tricks and advice on how to kick those excuses to the curb and do it anyway.
Orcas Island, Washington, USA