Backpacking through South-East Asia at 19, the thought of missing out whilst travelling long distances troubled this curious soul and she decided she didn’t want to become just another tourist but experience the regions diverse culture, people and food as organically and authentically as she could.
This is where Rosie Gabrielle’s journey started, she said, “When I was in the north of Thailand I had rented a small motorbike to do a weekend trip to the next town. It was the first time I had ever ridden two wheels before. I was completely sold, I decided just then that that was going to be the way I was going to travel from now on. I didn’t know what I was doing but the thought of an adventure excited me, I bought myself a paper map (this was before phones had GPS and things). I bought my very first bike in Chiang Mai, it was a 125 cc Honda dream, and it took me 12,000 km across Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.”
This was just the beginning, since this eye-opening journey, Rosie continued to travel far and wide, some on bike and others without but continued her mission to see as much of the world as possible.
But, deep her in heart, she was determined and knew that what she would love to achieve — to travel the world on a motorcycle! “Although this didn’t make my mother very happy since I was little, she was well aware of my love for travelling and trying and doing new things. Being a mother, she did worry but she would always support and cheer me on to do whatever it was that I wanted to do.” Rosie said.
Although most people love the idea of travel and many spend a lifetime planning their very own solo trip but in reality, most of us cower away from ever actually doing it. Money, safety and time are just some of the things that convince us that the time isn’t right. After her tours across south-east Asia, money became a little tight and this is when she took a break from her biking dreams to get a “real” job.
Also a talented singer, Rosie looked at bands and gigs to tour with and this is when she landed a show in the Middle East. Never having heard of the country before, she decided this would be a good opportunity to not only earn money but travel to another country that was completely unknown to her — The Sultanate of Oman.
Rosie Said, “I got a singing contract out there, and then later I opened my photography company. I kind of got caught in this revolving door of work. My company did really well. I worked a lot, and I just kind of got stuck with working for almost nine years.”
Stuck in the rut of working and running a business, Rosie held on to the idea of getting back on the road. Struggling with chronic illness, holding back seemed like a good idea but it wasn’t making her better anymore and she was no happier.
In 2016, a friend of Rosie’s passed away and in the midst of the struggle of dealing with her loss, she decided enough was enough. She said, “I was going through our message threads, re-reading over and over again. All I was saying over the past eight years was that I was so miserable and all I wanted to do was ride a motorcycle around the world. We spend our lives miserable, stuck in these lives that we are not happy with. We work so hard that it not only affects us physically but mentally and we end up working towards this goal, to achieve this life that may never come because we never know when we just go. It just occurred to me, life is so short. I thought, ‘you know what? I’ve got to start doing something for me.’ I wasn’t happy with where I was in life. I had to just go out and do it. There are challenges, but that’s what makes my heart and my soul happy. I always said, ‘oh, one day I’ll do this. One day. One day…’ Then I just woke up and said, ‘I’m going to make that one day a today.”
In 2017, Rosie has travelled extensively throughout the world and in the Sultanate, only this time, she started documenting her trips and her journey as a solo-female biker taking along her watchers through a journey through diverse cultures, rich heritage and a collection of excited and happy children and people. Having the confidence to put yourself in front of the camera is no easy job. The first video is always the hardest and the same went with Rosie, she said, “I had the experience I had filming with my ex-partner (a travel blogger). And this time, I decided to make my own travel videos. I was deathly afraid of the camera before, but then something just clicked, and it became so natural and easy after that.”
Oman holds special to Rosie as it’s been her home on and off for the last 13 years. She had travelled extensively throughout the country, using every opportunity to take her bike out and finding new and exciting places, terrains, nooks and crannies to capture on film and share with the world the beauty of this incredible country.
In many parts of the world, even today, Oman and the middle east are still an unknown part of the world. Many rely on the news they get from these areas and are hesitant due to the bias about these places. It was these ideologies that Rosie wanted to challenge, she wanted to share with the world her experience as a solo female traveller and show everyone the amazing treatment she experienced. She said, “I do believe in the greater good of humanity, but I’ve never had anything but positive and amazing experiences, especially travelling across the middle eastern countries. That’s why I started doing video documentation. I want to show people in great detail that my experiences and interactions with people aren’t what you see in the media.”
In Oman, you always say “As-salāmu walaykum” which means “Peace be with you.” Then they always start asking, “how is your family? How is…” It doesn’t matter who you are, you know? You don’t even have to be Muslim. Everyone cares about everyone.
To follow Rosie and her two-wheeler on their journey through the globe, check out her YouTube – Rosie Gabrielle for a series following her travels through different places and her experiences. Also, follow her on @rosiegrabrielle on Instagram to receive regular updates about what she’s been up to.