in Solo Female Traveler / by Duncan
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 Suzie.
Q: What generation are you?
A: Gen X
Q: Where do you live?
A: Milford, PA
Q: What do you drive? Year, make, and model, please.
A: 2021 Toyota RAV4
Q: Which model of Roofnest do you have?
A: Sparrow Adventure
Q: Tell us about your vehicle. Do you have any awnings or accessories? Does your vehicle have a name?
A: I bought and had the manufacturer’s roof rack replaced with a Thule roof rack that matched my vehicle. I had everything shipped to my favorite local bike shop, Sussex Bike & Sport Shop. Jason installed the Thule roof rack and the roof nest. I love it! I do not have an awning. I do have a gazelle clam tent. I love my solar powered string camping lights that add to my little paradise.
Q: Travel Mishaps — Has any crazy stuff happened?
A: Luckily nothing! Oh wait, I just remembered a story. It happened on my camping trip as I participated in a triathlon. I left my mesh door unzipped and I went off to do my race. When I was done with the race, I needed a nap. I climbed up and Immediately I saw a wasp on the inside of the window across. I rolled up that window entry point and walked around I tapped on the window on the other side and fortunately, it flew out! Lesson learned.
Q: What are the top challenges you face, and how did you overcome them?
A: I always think about safety. My truck is new, so I don’t worry about it breaking down. I feel like I can enjoy my roof nest so much more knowing that. I love that I can set up and take down the roof nest by myself. Safety items that I keep with me inside of my nest – my truck keys have a panic button on a cell phone, an additional battery charger for electronics, a bright flashlight, two metal pot covers, wasp spray, and more. I’m about to buy and add “Aootek New Solar Lights” to the front and back of my roofnest. These are motion activated lights for outside security.
Q: Do you have some wisdom from your solo travels that you’d like to share?
A: I went to a campground for my first night sleeping in my roof nest. My friend slept nearby in her RV. That was all confidence I needed to travel solo from that point on. Prior to leaving my house, I charge up all my electronics. In addition, I carry a mobile battery to charge all of my electronics during bike rides and more.
Q: Where are you going to explore next? Do you have a dream camping trip?
A: I’m excited and look forward to watching a movie at a drive-in theater sitting in my hooch. The summer is not over yet! I’m considering sleeping up in my nest during the times that I have to work late at school this year. In June and July of next year, I’m planning on sleeping in my roof nest for a month, while I train for my Lake Placid Ironman. It’s very expensive to stay in hotels. I’m not worried, I’ll be staying in a campground in my roof nest “Hooch.”
Q: Where are your favorite places to explore? What makes those spots special to you?
A: This summer, I used my roofnest camp in Lake Placid, NY. I also drove to Culpeper, VA to participate in an Olympic triathlon. I slept in the parking lot at a park on the race site. I had front row, superstar parking! It was the best, not having to wake up early and travel to the race.
Q: What drew you to solo traveling to being with?
A: I am a special education teacher and I have had a very strong desire to travel freely. I bought my roof nest three weeks before the 2022 school year was over. I didn’t want to sleep inside in my truck, nor did I have a budget to stay at hotels. The only time I’ve camped in a tent was with the Army. I don’t feel comfortable or safe sleeping in a tent on the ground. In the roof nest, I feel giddy with excitement and safe being up above my truck. I feel like I’m climbing up into my treehouse “Army Hooch.”
Q: Do you have any favorite pieces of gear you’d never be caught without? Why?
A: I am a teacher and retired veteran that is ready for adventure! My bike is always on the back hitch. I always have gear in my vehicle that makes me ready to swim, bike, and me. In addition, I have rain and cold gear. Another favorite, I love my 8inch led fan and light! I use it every time I sleep in the nest. The fan has flexible tripod legs that I can easily twist around any of the gas strut corners. It gives me air flow, white noise, and light. I added a 4-inch memory foam and used a ceramic knife to slice the foam around the struts ~ Hello extra comfort. I’m thinking about putting together a craft bag of paints when I head off to my next adventure.
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