Campsite at Monument Valley

This week’s (ok, last week’s) Indie Travel Challenge prompt is: What makes an Indie Traveler?  To be quite honest, I had never heard the term “indie traveler” until I started reading BootsNAll’s blog.  I have no idea how I found the blog, but I am glad I did.  It’s not not just for long term or RTW travelers, but for travelers of any kind.  Which leads me to my answer of this week’s prompt.

As I sit here on my couch with a glass of vino, I realize I have been contemplating this question for awhile (which is why this post is late).  I guess I consider myself an indie traveler.  I travel on business trips with my tent, sleeping pad, and bowie knife knowing I’ve got a few days of travel to places unexplored ahead of me after my meetings and conferences are over.  I’ve spent time in the Okefenokee Swamp, Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island, Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite, Monument Valley, Santa Fe, and Taos this way.  (note: this year I know I will get a chance to get to California’s northern coast in between conferences and plan to camp, hike, and wine taste my way through one of my top bucket areas of the US).  What surprises me are the constant comments I get from other travelers:

“You’re so brave to be out here by yourself”

“Really, you’re camping?  By yourself?  Out here?”

“Wow – I wish I could do that”

“You packed a tent with you?  For real?”

“Why don’t you stay in a hotel?”

No matter where I go, it seems there’s always someone else who has a comment about how I travel with tent in tow or that I’m a woman by myself and it must be so scary (mom, I’m completely safe and aware of my surroundings) or that they couldn’t imagine doing what I’m doing.  And my answer to them is usually, “If I waited around for a travel partner, I’d never go anywhere” or “You can do whatever it is that you want when it comes to travel – just figure it out and do it.”  I’d give a million bucks to talk to the cleaning crew at the hotel in San Francisco where I aired out my tent all over the room!

So, my feeling is that an indie traveler is one who travels the way they feel most comfortable and works for them, others be damned.  Someone who experiences places and time in a way that makes sense to them.  Someone who has no problem with going their own way even if it’s not normal as other people would define it.  Someone who is comfortable exploring the world the best way they know how.  Someone who doesn’t wait to see all the world has to offer.

This is just me.  There are a million different definitions of what makes a traveler an indie traveler.  Let me know your thoughts – are you an indie traveler? 





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