A Free Spirit and Her Incredible Bike Odyssey

30, Aug 2019 | nepaltraveller.com

A solo biker, a teacher and a TedX speaker from Turkey, Azil Ozbay shares her experiences from the road which began when she was still a teenager

One Bike. One woman from Turkey. One road leading to uncountable destinations. Azil Ozbay, the biker from Turkey, is breaking all stereotypes the world has regarding women. And she is doing it alone with the help of her two wheeled ride!

A solo traveller from Istanbul, Turkey, Azil Ozbay’s story is one that inspires the soul, ignites the damp fireplace shut down by societal standards and empowers humans. What started as a passion to travel and explore is now motivating women all around to break free from the shackles of society and do what their hearts want!  

After a two month journey on her Honda CRF, Ozbay arrived in Kathmandu, healthy and happy! Although she acquired quite a few scratches on her way to the capital of Nepal, those hiccups certainly didn’t deter her free spirit. The journey took her to many countries from Turkey, her homeland to Iran, Pakistan, India and finally, after two months on the road, Nepal. Turkish Airlines, the national flag bearer of Turkey, supported this fierce rider by offering the services of Turkish Cargo which will be shipping her bike back to her home. 

Ozbay has been travelling since she was 17 years old and has not turned back since then! In the last five years, she has covered 28 countries. All of these journeys were undertaken only with one other companion: her faithful bike! She loves her ride and has been using it for both small and long commutes. With so many countries and experiences in her bag, one may wonder whether this is her full-time profession, given the exhaustion being on the road brings. However, Ozbay proves to be a jack of all trades as when she is not travelling she is teaching Physical Education to students. She has also spoken in TedX events and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Brand Management! One thing is for certain: she has all the priorities in life sorted for her. 

To venture into the wild unknown and the land of other cultures alone is truly daring. But it doesn’t come with its own set of challenges. While riding on the highest motorcyclable road in Ladakh, the biker faced all sorts of problems from lack of oxygen to slipping of bike. But when she recalls it, all she remembers is the memories through sweet smiles.

They say it is not the destination but the journey that actually matters. And truly so! When listening to a musical piece we do not skip to the end of the song at once but enjoy the music through all its highs and lows because that is, in fact, the essence of the music! Azil too follows this ideology. She recalls one such story out of her memory jar which resonates with this ideology. On her way to Kathmandu, she met a few bikers who she became friends with. However, they were following a different route from her. Venturing into this route would set her back from her destination a few days. Instantly, as if not caring about the arrival date, she chose to go with her friends!

“For me, it is the memories that matter. I don’t have a specific goal set where I follow a strict schedule. Instead, I go with the flow and make memories as and when they come,”  she said. 

Although she travels for her own leisure and her passion, there is a very strong message deeply embedded in her. She hopes to inspire women and show them that they too can do what they want! She says this is not just limited to motorbikes but in any area of life! A true visionary, she hopes that more women follow their passion. On her journeys, she has met many other female riders who share the same vision as her. Needless to say, she has made friends from all around the world.  

Over the last five years, she has traveled around 200,000 km on her bike sometimes riding for over 10 hours per day! And she does not intend on stopping. So much is her passion for riding bikes, that often when she wakes up she finds her arms clutching the air as if imaginary throttles were present! 

Turkish Airlines is immensely proud of this national wonder! “As an airline, we believe traveling is therapeutic. Our motto is a travel and explore and Miss Ozbay is doing justice to this motto! We are extremely proud of her to encourage more of such riders!,” said Abdullah Tuncer Kececi, General Manager of Turkish Airlines, Nepal. They hope to continue helping other such travelers!

Her reasons for choosing to travel alone are simple. She feels free. Freedom is a feeling many of us wish for but it only the truly daring who attain the wings of birds! Solo travelling, she says, helps empower her soul. An added factor is her love for getting to know new cultures and different travellers!

Azil Ozbay arrived at Kathmandu on August 26. She entered through the Sunauli border which separates India from Nepal. Ever since her arrival, she has been fascinated by the people of Nepal and their smiling positive attitude. But like all of us after tiring holidays, Ozbay now longs for home having been on the road for 2 months! 

More women should venture into the unknown to free their soul, something that is heavily imprisoned otherwise! More women should follow their passions because the results are startling as showcased by Azil Ozbay of Turkey!

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