We are joined today by Hollie Ernest. Hollie is a botanist and forester whose dream is to ride around the world on her bike.
Hollie liked riding her bike as a kid but never really thought about taking a long cycling tour. Years later, while working as a tour guide in the Yukon, a friend convinced her to take a 6-day, 360-mile cycling trip through Alaska. She was hooked! Even during adverse weather conditions and running into some unfriendly wildlife, she knew bike touring was for her.
Hollie spent the next few years working in a bike shop to learn more about the mechanics of bicycles. After reading Barbara Savage’s book, Miles from Nowhere, she decided right then and there to ride around the world on her bike. Hollie finished her schooling, worked to save up some money, and took off on her dream trip.
Hollie started her planed 3-year tour by biking from her home in California to southern Chile. She had beautiful experiences everywhere she went but admitted that her favorite country was Columbia. It is a stunning and ecologically diverse country with almost aggressively hospitable people. She stayed with several wonderful Warmshowers hosts there that made her feel like part of the family. The warmth and graciousness of the Columbian people inspired her to be a more generous and open person herself.
Unfortunately, Hollie’s journey was cut short by the Covid pandemic. After so much planning, it was hard to cut her trip short, but she knows she will finish her world tour someday.
Hollie encourages solo women travelers to get out there. She advises always to be cautious, but not to let fear stop you. Hollie believes that the amount of good people in this world far outnumbers those who want to cause you harm. Fear is not a good reason to hold you back from the joys of solo bike touring.