Hey! Meet the Crazy Travel Chick!
Have you ever been introduced to someone as the “crazy travel chick”? I have and if you’re a solo traveler, I’m guessing you have been introduced this way, too.
Oftentimes, I find I’m the center of attention at gatherings, parties and events because of my travel adventures. It’s as though I’m an oddity, almost like a sideshow act, invited to provide variety and entertainment to guests.
Women find it fascinating I’m able to head off on my own and I do my best to reassure them they can do the same. Men seem to be intrigued by independence. Ironically, sometimes I’m a big chicken when it comes to travel. I’m not like my friend opens in a new windowBarb who drove her pickup truck with her cat riding shotgun across the Mexican border and along the back roads to her final destination near Lake Chapala a few years ago. Nope. I’m not that adventurous.
While stories of aggressive wild monkeys, bathing naked in a Japanese onsen and how to handle drunk Japanese men are entertaining, the most requested travel narratives are from my 2006 trip to Kabul. A friend in Texas asked I bring the blue burqa I brought back and give a presentation to her book group. They had fun with the burqa and it gave them perspective of the constraints the garment has on women.
As a side note, the burqa gives me the creeps and I have refused to put it on and rarely touch it. I keep it as a symbol of hope – I hope it once belonged to a woman who decided she didn’t need to wear no stinkin’ burqa!
Most recently, over the summer I was introduced to Doug Lansky of opens in a new windowSignSpotting.com (funny signs from around the world – check out his site) at the Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism. I was introduced as “the crazy travel chick.”
How do you transition into an intelligent conversation after that? Somehow I did and learned about Lansky’s opens in a new windowSignspotting Project in which he has taken 100 wacky travel signs of miscommunication, mounted them on metal and created a sculpture garden of signs. Pretty cool project and I hope to see it in the States.
I ask, am I crazy? I don’t think so. I’m living life and seeking adventure. I admit to have pushed the boundaries of traditional travel and if that’s crazy, so be it.
Chime in – are you a solo traveler and do you sometimes feel you’re treated as a curiosity?