TED Ankara Koleji Vakfı Okulları 10 F sınıfından Damla Ertem ve Gökçe Dilek’in “Quill” adlı okul dergileri için sorduğu İngilizce soruları yanıtladık.
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Please introduce your passion and eho you are , and how other people can get in touch with you.
My name is Gökben, I’m 29 and obtained a Master’s degree in chemical engineering at Gazi University in 2008. I met Nicolas, who graduated in aeronautics engineering and maintenance in France, while he was working in Turkey during three years. Together, we shared the same passions about travels, people, new cultures and challenges. We started to share these interests together in Turkey and Georgia before deciding to set up a biggest project we were already thinking about and planning even before we had met. We are now traveling around the world by recumbent bike, meeting people, visiting new countries, discovering new cultures and learning new languages since April, 14th 2014. So far, we crossed 13 countries in 8 months, riding 8000 kilometers.
have this journey always been a dream for you or did something make you decide to have a world tour with bicycle?
Travelling had always been a dream for both of us since we were very young. Nicolas became a travel addict since he visited his aunt in Tahiti, French Polynesia in 1998 for 2 months. As for me, I was drawing the routes of the legendary heroes and characters from Jules Verne’s books on a map while reading, to also travel my way. After having both travelled on our own (I spent 7 months in the USA with work and travel program, Nico spent 18 months in Canada and the USA traveling by van and volunteering), we eventually decided to perform a long-haul travel around the world. As we were living in Ankara, we hosted dozens of travellers from all over the world, seeking for a visa in the embassies present here in order to carry on their travels. We then hosted lots of cyclists and got curious about their mean of transportation and how they were feeling travelling by bicycle. We liked the idea of being totally independant and autonomous, riding each kilometer exclusively on muscle-power, using a economical and ecological mean of transportation, which also looks like being a wonderful mean of communication as everybody knows what a bicycle is. After having travelled by car, plane, van, hitch-hiking, travelling by bicycle sounded like being the compromise we were looking for for this new challenge. So, indeed, travelling had always been a dream, but travelling by bicycle has a bit been found by chance.
what kind of equipments have helped you during the journey?
Our bike is our transportation vehicle and our tent is our house. Except these, we carry our cooker and cookware for our meals. We have mattresses and sleeping bags, small laptop, e-book, clothes, sandals, first-aid kit, spare parts, lots of food etc.
did you have sponsors that accompained you? If so, in which ways did they ease your difficulties?
Yes, we had couple of sponsors. The bike company AZUB and its dealer in France Velofasto made an extra discount on the bikes and bike equipment. Also an insurance company provided us with a travel insurance. For our next 3 years we found another equipment sponsor called Global Avrasya which will supply a satellite phone. But we are still looking for a main financial to fullfill our budget.
what is your future plans?
During our travel we will be looking for a place we would like to live taking into account nature, local people and economical situation. After our travel we want to live in that place by building our own wooden house. We are planning to have couple of animals that we will use for their milk, eggs etc. We can call it as a small farm that we can also have different kind of fruit trees and vegetables. Apart from this small farm, we are thinking on a traveller cafe / hostel so that we can keep travelling by hosting tourists. In this cafe we will be presenting our memories from our travel like maps, magnets, flags, stickers, patches.
have you ever had a bad situation like bitten from an insect or fall off the bike?
Gökben had been bit by ticks twice. Feeling was like a mosquitoe bite. She realised thanks to itching. When she touched the itching place, something pushed her finger back. We were carrying a tick remover hook. Nico removed its head with it.
We fell down from bike several times but each of us felt seriously once. Nico’s fall happened in Greece. It was a long day and we were trying to reach our host on time. We were distracted with this goal and he did not realise the hole under a small flood over the road. The front wheel hooked into the hole and stopped the bike suddenly so Nico fell down on his bottoms. Gökben fell on a rainy day while she was taking a downhill turn. She fell and was dragged 5 metres. 2 of her bags and her clothes had been torn.
for now on where is your favorite place to live in future?why?
We rode through Europe and the only place we can imagine ourselves living is Eğirdir Lake in Isparta. We could not find a better place. You can swim in the lake. There is a small ski resort. It is close to Antalya, Pamukkale.
how we can support you ?
Our relatives, friends and other people can follow our journey thanks to internet via our blog site www.frogsonwheels.net or social media such as Facebook (www.facebook.com/frogsonwheels.net) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/frogsonwheels). During our Europe trip lots of donators helped us through our website. To thank them for their help, we send postcards from the country they choose. We hope that in our next 3 years of travel there will be more donators so that we can achieve this difficult adventure.