One woman. One horse. 48 states for Domestic Violence Awareness

Check back often for the latest updates and stories from Meredith and Apollo as they journey 10,000 miles on a four year ride around the USA.

The illusion of safety

I get a lot of questions from folks when they hear about the Centauride.  Most of them are the same - where will you stay?  how long will it take? - but recently someone asked me a new question that was such a good one I wanted to answer it here too.

"As a domestic violence survivor, aren't you afraid your ex will find you and hurt you on your ride?"

This is definitely a valid question.  The most dangerous times for an abused woman is while she is leaving her abuser, and after she's left. 

Taking this ride, which requires publicity, instant social media updates about my progress (and thus location), and other details about what I'm doing each day certainly is a risk.

However, it is one that I am willing to take, because this ride means a lot to me. 

Additionally, I am not willing to live a quiet, private, unambitious life.  If I wasn't planning this ride, I would surely be working some entrepreneurial venture which would also require publicizing.  I also have written and continue to write and publish books, which I certainly hope will someday become bestsellers! 

Prior to planning this ride, or publishing my first book, when I had first left my ex, I was in a lifestyle of hiding from him.  If it hadn't been based in reality, it would have been called paranoid.  He hacked my email account and facebook page, successfully requested the police visit every relative with which he thought I might be living, and sent a process server to my new workplace (which I had to disclose on the divorce paperwork) to try to serve me with a bogus lawsuit. 

At one point it was so bad that my lawyer advised me to quit my job and travel to the other side of the world - which I did for several months, in India.  Which definitely led to some interesting conversations with other travelers: "Why did you pick India?" "Because it was as far as humanly possible from my ex"

Fortunately it has been over a year since he has tried anything like that.  With any luck, he has moved on.  And if he is still monitoring me online, he could find me again even without this ride...

My point is that even when I tried to keep my life and location secret, it failed. 

That is not to say that I am being flippant about my safety, currently or during the ride.  There are quite a few security measures I will have in place.  Obviously, for security reasons I am not going to list them out here, but I feel that there will be bigger, more constant dangers - such as dangerous drivers - than my ex-husband.


  1. Yes, I agree that the biggest danger is traffic, not people, and perhaps not even someone whose ego you have mortally wounded. The more stories you can tell about overcoming a violent relationship, the more people will be empowered to believe they can too. Thank you for sharing this.

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