Growing up, I always wanted to do the same things that my brothers did. Whether we were camping, hanging out in the yard, or wrestling to settle an argument, the three of us were equals, and I couldn’t imagine any reason that would change. Other people didn’t see it that way though. The first time I got on a dirt bike my worried father pleaded with me, saying that I would fall and it would hurt. When I eventually got on the bike, and inevitably whiskey-throttled right into the only bush around, he came running. He was prepared for blood, tears, and pain, but not for what he found when he yanked off my helmet: an ear-to-ear, dirt-filled grin, and a daughter asking to go again.
Years later, my outdoor adventures surpassed those of my brothers, yet I could still hear those worried voices replaying in the back of my head. It isn’t safe. You’ll get hurt. Why don’t you leave that for the boys? From motocross and mountaineering to my newfound hobby of overlanding, there was a constant stereotype I needed to overcome in order to get some one-on-one time with Mother Nature. A continuous explanation I had to make to family, friends, and even bystanders that for some reason didn’t apply for the guys around me. For the longest time I felt I was alone in this situation, but then I stumbled across Sunny Eaton’s, Karin Balsley’s and Laurie Holloway’s book I can. I will. Women Overlanding the World, and my entire perspective changed, though maybe not for the reasons you’d think.
You see, this book is filled with females just like me, people I found so relatable, and stories I found so inspiring that reading it for the first time actually made me shiver. Yet, the book is really about something more. It’s a stepping stone to conquering your fears, a friendly push toward your dreams, and a reminder that no matter what box society may try to put you in, you can’t escape who you truly are.
Who are we? We are the adventurers, the nomads, the wanderers, the people who sometimes dream of living in a van and don’t always fit the mold. We are the people who take the path less traveled, and the ones who prefer the shimmering stars of the sky to the shine of city lights. More than anything, we are the people looking for greater adventure out of life, and this book can help us find it.
From the moment you open the front cover, you’ll be greeted by stunning images of faraway lands, advice on how to overcome adversity, and life lessons from badass women daring enough to dirt bag it alone in “dangerous” places across the globe. The combination delivers an undeniable reassurance that there are others out there laughing at the warnings given out by “knowledgeable” friends. It’s a reminder that some people take these discouraging comments on as a challenge, and decide to say no more excuses, no more fear, and no more waiting to hit the road and fill their souls.
As I turned page after page, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the urge to travel longer, go farther, and search out places I have never been before. Places that up until now, I was too scared to go. These brave women may have left their ordinary lives with the intention of just overcoming their own challenges, but they ended up inspiring hundreds of others to do the same.
If you’re looking for a book that can give you that extra push to set your fears aside, a book that can show you the ugly side of travel alongside the peace and freedom of it, or even a book that can tell you where to get your hair cut in the middle of Peru, we’d recommend giving I can. I will. a shot. You won’t regret it.
To learn more about this wonderful book, or purchase a copy for you or a friend, visit either of the following websites.