in Solo Female Traveler / by Roofnest Team

Nancy Duclas

Roofnest wants to highlight the stories of solo female travelers within its community. These are individuals within The Flock willing to share their experience of life on the road and in a Roofnest so that we might all benefit from what they’ve seen and learned along the way. If you are interested in sharing your adventure stories as a solo female traveler in a Roofnest, please take a moment to complete this form.

The following is an interview with Nancy Duclos. See more on her Instagram: @NancyADuclos

Q: What generation are you?
A: OLD!! I am 68 years old and proud to show my daughters to grab life when you can and just go for it.  

Q: Where do you live?
A: Currently live in Vero Beach FL. In the past three years, I moved from Amesbury, MA to Kirkland, WA to Vancouver BC and now Vero.

Q: What do you drive? Year, make, and model, please.
A: I drive a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek.

Q: Which model of Roofnest do you have?
A: Sparrow EYE

Q: Tell us about your vehicle. Do you have any awnings or accessories? Does your vehicle have a name?
A: No extras – and I’ve thought about a name but just ended up calling it ‘the car’!  

Q: Travel Mishaps — Has any crazy stuff happened?
A: Is this a reflection on my hyper vigilance? During my 6400 mile trip, things went pretty much according to plan. I never anticipated getting sick at the Grand Canyon. I remember being so happy that I could set up my hammock and just sleep for the entire day and then remembering that I had a box of tomato soup to drink for dinner. Perfect!  

I was driving through California and a fire was very close. Driving through it was scary and I was so sad to realize all those acres of trees were on fire. 

Q: What are the top challenges you face, and how did you overcome them?
A: I am of the mindset that when faced with a challenge, you just dig in and face it. I recall being in Abiquiu and the wind was relentless and it was cold. I doubled up on my layers and just embraced it. No fire because it was so windy so it was bundle up, get cozy and read a book.

Q: Do you have some wisdom from your solo travels that you’d like to share?
A: I was super organized with where I was going, where I was camping, and my safely. Not being a 30 something spring chicken, I liked knowing where I was going to stop driving and where I was going to camp. I left very little up to chance going from point A to point B but once I landed, I was very open to what I would do.  

Q: Where are you going to explore next? Do you have a dream camping trip?
A: I have done 2 cross country trips, one with a ground tent and one with my roof nest. The roof nest was a game changer. My next trip will be driving from Vero Beach to Vancouver, BC cutting a diagonal path through the country. I want to see as much as I can and hit as many national parks as I can.  

Q: Where are your favorite places to explore? What makes those spots special to you?
A: I remember being at Joshua Tree and thinking this has to be the most incredible place. I was in a section of the park where there were probably 50 spots and 3 were taken. I was pretty much alone in a beautiful 4 site section. At first I was scared but the sunset, the night sky and the sunrise was so beautiful. I was in a little enclave surrounded by rocks that filled me with gratitude that I was a part of this. So special.

Monument Valley was so beautiful. The red rock, the buttes, and the land formations were just stunning. It made me feel kind of embarrassed that the Native Americans were so mistreated. I was so appreciative of the tour and what I learned.  

Being a painter, I was especially drawn to explore the land of Georgia O’Keefe. I wanted to gain inspiration from her juju!  

Q: What drew you to solo traveling to begin with?
A: I am curious and adventurous and love the outdoor. I was moving from Massachusetts to Washington and couldn’t imagine doing anything else but camping. I was armed with a ground tent and supplies and explored the Canadian side to the Great Lakes, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and onto Washington. This trip really piqued my desire to do it again – only easier.  ENTER ROOF NEST!  My next trip necessitated my moving from Vancouver BC to Vero Beach FL. Drove the west coast and then a southern route.  Still not done though. I think I’m addicted now.  

Q: Do you have any favorite pieces of gear you’d never be caught without? Why?
A: My head lamp – My Zenbivy blanket – My pour over coffee maker!  

I need to get better at building a campfire so a really nice ax/hatchet would be great. I was not great at starting a fire and keeping it going because of lack of good kindling. A hatchet or ax that is easy to wield would be great. On my list of things to get good at. 

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