Many riders have the dream of one day setting off on their bikes and not looking back. Not having a return day set or back to work date confirmed, but hardly any people actually live this nomadic lifestyle. It takes a brave person to leave a comfortable, stable life and set off into the unknown.
Travelling the world on two wheels, Rosie Gabrielle is a solo female motorcyclist who has shocked & amazed people by accomplishing incredible things. We Buy Any Bike managed to get some intel from the explorer herself!
Jenny: When did you start riding motorbikes, and what inspired you to continue?
Rosie: When I was 19, I ventured off to SE. Asia in hopes to have a cultural experience backpacking. However, when I got there and had to take the bus from point A-B, missing everything in between, and also having to be around so many tourists, I didn’t feel that this was the experience I was after. When I was in the north of Thailand I had rented a small moto to do a weekend trip to the next town.
It was the first time I had ever ridden two wheels before. I was completely hooked. I decided just then that that was going to be the way I was going to travel from now on. Then I bought my very first bike in Chiang Mai, it was a 125 cc Honda dream, and it took me 12,000 km across Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. As soon as I got home I bought myself my first “big girl bike” a 1983 Honda shadow, and I’ve travelled by 2 wheels ever since.
Jenny: Where have you ridden on your bike so far, and where would be your dream place to go?
Rosie: I’ve ridden all over the world but never on the same bike. I don’t have the luxury at the moment to afford a nice touring bike, but I have managed to borrow bikes in many places to do some pretty Epic trips. My latest trips this year have brought me to Oman and South Africa and currently on route across Africa. My dream would be to go around the world.
Jenny: A big reason why people say they can’t do more travelling is the expense. Do you save up before setting off on a trip or just work as you go? Do you really need that much money to live the wandering lifestyle?
Rosie: That’s probably my number one question, but to be honest… I actually save money traveling. Its more expensive for me to pay rent and live at home than it is to be on the road traveling! Of course that not be the case for all people. I don’t eat a lot, and I eat very simply and mostly local fruit and veg. I also don’t need to stay in fancy places, don’t mind camping every night and have no problem not taking a shower for a week or so.
What most people spend on a night out back home, I can spend living for one week on the road. I do still make visits back to Oman where I had a reputable photography business. There, I usually work a few months of the year, save up, and then travel, but I’m hoping with the videos I release and my Instagram that I start to make this my full time job.
Rosie: I want to inspire people. To open their minds, to be able to share my experiences and my encounters with amazing people. To show them that if a “vulnerable” solo female can go out an do it, then they shouldn’t be afraid. There is so much negativity and fear driven mindsets in this world being fed to us by the media. But I want to show people that this is not the reality. I hope to reach as many people as possible. I’m also quite vulnerable and transparent about my health struggles and am aiming to give hope to others through my experiences.
Jenny: Do you prefer to travel solo, or would you sometimes like a travelling companion? Would it be easier to document your travels with another rider or are you happy with your own routine?
Rosie: I Love traveling solo. I’m not one to travel in groups or with others, unless it is just one other and we have similar ideals of travel. I traveled with my Ex for 2.5 years and it was great having a companion, especially when it came to taking photos and also having someone to motivate, support and enjoy things with. I would like one day to find a traveling companion. As much as I love to adventure by myself, the thought of being able to explore the world and have endless stories to tell with the one you love really appeals to me.
Jenny: What do you say to the people who think travelling alone as a female is too dangerous?
Rosie: I’ve been traveling 12 years by myself, and I’ve never once came across someone who wanted to hurt me. As a female, people mostly want to take care of you. They are shocked that I’m alone and immediately invite me for food, or to meet their families etc. I’ve had my bike break down, been stranded, lost and all people want to do is help. Its a beautiful experience to witness and I’m so glad I can share it!!
Jenny: Some people seem scared by thought of needing help from others on the road, but you often write about the kindness you receive. Why do you think people have these preconceptions?
Rosie: I think its generally a mindset that people have. Especially men, who often have trouble asking others for help. There is a fear behind letting go and having faith that everything will be okay. There’s also a lot of fear driven from the media, as I had mentioned. We’re brainwashed to think that people are bad, especially the regions I’ve traveled to. Coming to Africa, I was told countless times that I’ll be raped, murdered etc… and I experienced nothing but warm, hospitable people, who I completely trusted.
Jenny: What advice do you have for people who wish they could go travelling on their bike, but can only see the reasons not to?
Rosie: There are no reasons not to. The only reasons are in their mind. If you really truly want to travel, you can make it happen. Life it too short to just dream and not do. Make the “one day” a TODAY…you would hate to be at the end of your life with regrets thinking, “I really wish I got to see the world”. At the end of the day, all of the material things that we save up to buy can be taken away. And at the end of our life, we won’t be thinking about all the fancy things we got to buy, or how much money we made. We’ll think about the experiences that we had and the lives that touched us and the lives that we inspired and the beautiful souls we met along the way.
Jenny: How did you make the decision to just set off, what motivated you to get on your bike and leave?
Rosie: Just over a year ago I got out of a very serious relationship.. I wanted to travel the world with him. We traveled to more then 15 countries and I did all of his photos and filmed his videos for him (you-tuber). Unfortunately, things didn’t end so well, I was left deeply hurt. I hit an ultimate low in my life and my health also plummeted. I had been trying to heal myself through every natural medicine I could for 2 years; my health got worse, I was trapped. Imprisoned by my own body and the threatening thoughts of my mind.
I knew the only thing that really made me happy was traveling by motorcycle. Just last summer, a good friend of mine passed away. I was reading through our messages over the past 8 years. Every year it seemed to be the same thing… I was miserable with my job and where I was and all I wanted to do was travel the world! Why didn’t I listen to my own words. It struck me then, just how short life was. How in an instant, life can be taken away.
The fact that I had been working so hard my whole life, killing my body, my soul. Only to then spend all my money fixing my body. I figured, I will always be in pain, but at least I can make my heart happy and fulfil my dreams. With the experience I had filming with my ex, I decided to make my own travel videos. I was deathly afraid of the camera before, but then something just clicked, and it became so natural after that.
Thanks so much for your time Rosie. We love hearing about your adventures, and can’t wait to see what you have planned next!
All photos in this interview were taken & provided by Rosie Gabrielle Photography.