A Turkish academic, who traveled thousands of kilometers in tens of countries across Europe and Asia for a dream of touring the world by motorcycle, will explore African countries alone on her motorcycle for a documentary project.
Asil Ozbay from Istanbul Gedik University’s Faculty of Sports Sciences made a 60-day journey of 15,200 kilometers (9,444 miles) to reach Khardung La, a mountain pass in India known as the top of the world, on her motorcycle with the motto of Freedom Suits Women.
She took another 60-day trip to Morocco as well as tours to many other European countries in 2020.
Ozbay will start her Africa journey on Tuesday with a flight to Kenya as she could not use highway due to security and pandemic reasons.
As she did in her previous trips, Ozbay plans to shoot documentaries reflecting on tribes, village life and the daily life of the African continent.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency about her 19 years of passion for motorcycle, Ozbay said motorcycle journeys are filled with challenges and charms.
“I especially prefer to visit less traveled geographies,” she said, adding she enjoys producing objective digital contents and sharing them with communities.
Ozbay, who hits the road with a goal of bridging different cultures, said that this year’s Africa trip has different aims than the previous ones.
“This time, it is both a trip and a discovery journey, and I will also be open to scientific collaborations,” she said, adding that together with her university, they plan to offer scholarship to promising students who would like to study in Turkey.
- Social aspect of solo trips
She also tries to draw a profile of a Turkish woman who travels alone across continents by land for the world media.
Pointing out the social aspect of her solo trips, Ozbay said she receives hundreds of inspiring messages.
She tries to prove people that there is nothing that cannot be achieved with passion.
Ozbay said that she would produce both daily and feature digital content in Africa and that she wanted to convey the wonders of the continent as much as possible.
She pointed out that motorcycle is generally linked with men’s world, and added: “People are surprised when they see me on that huge motorcycle. This makes me happy and motivated.”
Ozbay said she is planning to document the tribes that still exist in Africa and she is so excited for it.
Traveling alone with motorcycle, she said, improves one’s sense of responsibility and it improves one’s ability to produce solution in crisis moments.
Prior to her trip, Ozbay prepared for hot weather conditions that she will face on the continent and got a tent with her which will serve as a home.
“I will set up my tent and stay in places that I find safe, but I prefer hotels and hostels that have parking lots and will ensure the safety of my motorcycle,” she said.
“In terms of security, I first research the country I will go to, I try to establish connections before I go. But I always have pepper spray with me. I've never used it, and I hope I will never have to.”
Ozbay will start her African adventure, which will cover approximately 30,000 km (18,641 mi) in six months, from Kenya and will continue in sub-Saharan countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Zambia.