Like cargo pants that spend too much time on the road, I was torn, crinkled beyond flat nominated for this best of this blog assignment. Surely, there are plenty of better travelers out there, plenty of real cyclists too. I am just a 40 year old solo female cycling around the world since 2009, 30 countries and the continents of  Africa, Middle East, Asia, Oceania, Europe to date to be exact. It is true, I have met some wonderful people and I have laughed a lot but who hasn’t.

In fact, dressed like a ballerina at a Texas rodeo I traveled across Iran alone by bicycle. People say I must be courageous, but by far the most courageous thing I have done is diving into a pit toilet near Tibet in Western China and saving 1000’s of photos and video blogs for my camera carnival. Unsure of my let’s hear about it status among the other cyclists and travelers, I have dug deep into the laughter of the cluttered archives, accepted the nomination and done my best to come up with some answers.

Best Domestic Travel Location
Without a map, I left the bike shop way back off the charts of this assignment in 2009 with exactly zero cycling experience and zero time spent getting fit beforehand. Granted, my creaking achilles tendons and my throbbing neck may have been an issue if I hadn’t been grinning so hard over the handle bars, deep into the realization of a dream in action. Best domestic travel location? It’s the one that used to live inside my head before it became annoyingly redundant and I decided to stop reading about adventure travel, buy a ticket, get a bicycle and peddle out the door.

Best International Destinations
While pedaling the Karakorum highway (KKH) of Pakistan, I wrote Pakistani My Fanny. After all, Pakistan, Mongolia and Namibia are my picks for best destination; the people are so much fun. Pakistan for some conjures up images of roadside bombs and the Taliban. However, as a traveler, I was shielded by my adventurous spirit and rewarded with a hospitality that quickly detonated any misconceptions the media fires up about the place. KKH, Pakistan is my #1 pick for best international destination.
Best And Worst Travel Experience…for it’s often the same thing
Being a solo female cycling around the world I do receive quite a bit of attention from men. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to be mistaken for a porn star as I was in Egypt while cycling the length Africa. As much as I am flattered and utterly humbled by the mistake, it’s been important this year to laugh and pedal on. At times, the worst travel experience is also the best because anything that makes you laugh the most at exactly the right moment is always the best experience.

Most Embarrassing Moment
Google search the key words world-pissing-girl and the article I wrote while in Thailand called‘Is Peeing In the Snow Really Considered Artwork?’will probably show up. After I was asked by the media and politely refused to talk about stupid plastic peeing devices for women, I wrote an article about how proud I am to pee like a girl. An expert, I have apparently become on road side peeing. Funny, because what woman or man that hangs out in the outdoors isn’t.
Best Location Destinations
In‘Party like a Rock Star’I pedaled into the party scene of SE Asia. SE Asia is a great destination for a 2 pannier bicycle tour or swinging trapeze intoxication. Cheap, fun and accessible, you can’t beat Vang Vieng, Laos in SE Asia for a hangover or a first, second or third adventure.

Best Travel Lessons
I became convinced that despite having only met three in person that women on wheels are growing in numbers. So, I started the WOW (women on wheels) Wall, where women can share their solo female cycling experiences. Best travel lesson? There are a whole lot of amazing women out there, all of whom I could nominate as my picks for best of the best. 

     Email: skalatitude@gmail.com

Skalatitude..."When humans and nature are living in harmony there is magic and beauty everywhere"

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