Brittany King: How to Make Your Own Adventure
“Embrace the unfamiliar and trust yourself,” says Brittany King when we ask what single piece of advice she’d give to young women. That attitude powered the Victoria, B.C. radio personality on her solo motorcycle trip across Canada this past summer. “The not-knowing is where you build some of the best character and have the most fun.”
Adventure, according to one of its chief definitions, involves risk and an uncertain outcome. So that first step is always a brave one.
For Brittany, that meant climbing on a bike for the first time. She was first introduced to motorcycles as a passenger on a boyfriend’s Harley-Davidson Softail Springer, but when he suggested she learn to ride herself, she balked. “I’m just a girl. I can’t ride a motorcycle.” Or so she thought.
She’s thankful that “dumb idea” didn’t persist. “Everything new is difficult, and just because something is unfamiliar or hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it; those are probably the things you should push yourself towards.”
In the years since, she’s embarked on road trips through eighteen states, including explorations of the Oregon Coast, Colorado Rockies, Badlands of South Dakota, Utah’s Great Salt Lake, Hawaii’s North Shore and the never-ending farmland of Texas.
“I think travel is one of the most powerful tools for self-discovery and perspective,” says Brittany. “Riding has taught me independence and confidence. It’s also brought so much adventure and camaraderie to my life and constantly makes me ask, ‘What else is out there to discover? Who else can I meet on the road?’”
She shared her travels with a pair of constant companions – her Blundstone boots. “Motorcycle boots can be stiff and uncomfortable, so I really appreciate the lightness and flexibility of my Blundstones. Whenever anyone comments on my boots, especially when I’m riding, I always go off about how awesome they are.
“Blundstones are supportive in all kinds of situations and environments, they look good dressed up or oil-stained and dirty and, like me, they’re always up for a good adventure. I also love the scuff mark the gear shift makes on my left boot; it reminds me how far I’ve gone.”
Brittany’s American travels whetted her appetite for a more ambitious tour across her own country, a ride she ultimately decided to do by herself. But for years she hesitated. She’d come up with reason after reason to put it off, until she acknowledged what was holding her back.
“Once I admitted to myself I was actually intimidated to ride that far alone, I became determined to do it,” she told Toronto Blogger Celina Torrijos. “I feel like the longer you wait to try something, the more you build it up in your head and the scarier it becomes. I decided I wasn’t going to let the unknown or my nerves prevent me from doing what I’ve always wanted.”
Canada’s 150th birthday presented the perfect occasion. She’d take her Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron from coast to coast in three-and-a-half weeks. “My goals on this ride are to have an epic Canadian motorcycle adventure,” she wrote, “celebrate and promote Canada’s 150th birthday, and grow and connect riders from coast to coast, particularly young women like myself.”
The motorcycle community responded enthusiastically, and it wasn’t long before she had a place to stay in 16 communities from B.C. to Newfoundland.
On July 29, she set off on an adventure that took her up to 800 kilometres a day for 23 days, working her way eastward across that big, wide map of Canada.
And while her trusty Blundstone boots were always going to go along for the ride, they took on a greater significance. When she first reached out to Blundstone Canada to help sponsor her journey, she’d just learned that another hopeful sponsor had declined We were in, naturally, and Brittany told us how much Blundstone Canada’s support kick-started her confidence and energy all over again.
The journey also introduced her to Blundstone CSA-approved steel-toed boots. When she heard the story of how Mike Scott fought back from a devastating motorcycle accident to return to duty as a firefighter, she wanted to ride with the same boots he wore.
“I’ve worn a pair of steel-toed boots before and they were clunky, heavy and uncomfortable, so I was a little apprehensive about wearing steel toes everyday,” says Brittany. “I’m happy to report my experience with my Blundstone CSA boots was completely different. They were so light and comfortable, I didn’t even notice the steel toe. I also love how much they resemble the classic Blundstone boot. They look good, feel good and offer my feet added protection.”
As the start of her trip approached, Brittany had her reservations. She’d be alone and staying with complete strangers she connected with on social media. Unsure of what to expect from her accommodations and trip, many questions rushed through her mind. What if her bike had issues? What about the weather? Who were the people willing to host her?
“I did my due diligence and got to know my hosts a bit through email and phone calls. I took my bike to my mechanic for pre-ride maintenance. And, well, you can’t control the weather. There comes a point when if you’ve done all you can control, you just have to let go and trust yourself and the people around you. I did that. And it was the best time of my life.
“I love that I put myself out there in a vulnerable position and stayed open to adventures with new friends.
“I had the best time leaving behind the familiarity of my bubble, and it made me think, ‘Wow, this is living and this is how much fun can be had!’ A really good adventure often makes you realize what you want in life and perhaps what’s missing. This trip woke me up from routine and status quo. I’m not sure what’s next, but it won’t be either of those things.”
Whenever I’m feeling most like myself and doing the things that make me the happiest, like riding my motorcycle, I’m wearing my Blundstones. These boots let me be me. I’ve found a brand that celebrates adventure, going off-road, getting dirty, cleaning up… and doing it all over again.