I was talking to Jean about my trip after the fact and said something to the effect of, “If people only take what I talk about to be representative of the trip to North Carolina, they’d think it wasn’t much fun.” I know I said I had a good time, but the stories were more about the bumps (which I maintain added their own flavor to the trip that made it more memorable and, honestly, more enjoyable). She pointed out that I didn’t really have any specific stories about the good memories. So, I thought, now that I’ve had time to stop geeking out over how much fun I had and really think about what experiences were particularly fun or interesting, I’d share some of those as well.
What meant the most to me was that, while we were gone, I wasn’t a girl; I was a person on a motorcycle who had abilities and limitations, just like the rest of the group.
I understand that some girls really go for the chivalry thing and I suppose it’s nice sometimes. But, for the most part, I just want to be a person. I don’t mind people holding the door for me if they’ll hold the door for men as well. I don’t particularly like being made to go first just because I’m female. I don’t particularly like people worrying about my carrying things just because I’m a woman. And for the most part, the guys on this trip treated me like I was one of the group, rather than a girl and I appreciated that.
All of that is not to say that they weren’t considerate – they were just considerate of everyone fairly equally. If we stopped for gas around lunch- or dinner-time, we’d start asking each other if it was time to stop for food. At the beginning of the trip, we were all asked if there were particular things we wanted out of the trip. I appreciated the thoughtfulness, but I also appreciated not feeling like I was the odd one out just because I was a girl whose riding companions were guys. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I appreciated not feeling like I was crashing a weekend out with the guys.
Honestly, this is what made the trip for me. And it’s hard to express that in a way that people will appreciate it unless they’ve had a similar experience (not necessarily feeling like they were just a person, but having an experience that meant a lot to them…that could be something like having a weekend with a guy who was the most chivalrous person ever, if that is something that makes you really happy). Ugh. This “disclaimer” is getting messy, so I’ll just assume you all understand what I’m trying to say and let it be at that.