The hosting service dropped me an e-mail the other day reminding me that this site needed some caring. To this day, there are no other records of this journey so I decided to sit down and go through all the broken links and media files. I spent two days reading the words and watching the old familiar faces. Needless to say, I was emotional. It wasn't just nostalgia, but also the fact that some of the words were still able to speak to me. It's been seven years since I took off on this journey "around the world". Back then, before the trip, I had calculated that it would take me six months to complete it. I did it in five months and 28 days. It felt like nothing had changed when I was back with my wife at my apartment and my colleagues at the office. Everything looked exactly the ...Read More

I have recently obtained some decent quality sound recording of the presentation (the second one) in September 2010. So I decided to publish it online. Enjoy! "Every year, hundreds of travelers are trotting the globe with their cars, motorcycles, bicycles and on feet. Overlanding has become an increasingly popular way of traveling and connecting with the world. Erdem Yücel presents his solo motorcycle circumnavigation and also explains what's significant about overlanding, how and why these people travel the way they do. It's a 45 minute trip around the world, full of interesting photographs, videos and surprising facts that can possibly change the way you look at traveling. " Read More

The bus drive to Incheon airport, through the morning mist felt like a dream as I watched the countryside through the foggy windows falling into sleep occasionally. Soon I found myself in the airplane rising above the clouds. After a short transfer in Tokyo and a long flight over the Pacific, we landed in San Francisco. I entered the passport and customs line. There were more than 10 booths and hundreds of people waiting. I enjoyed the fact that despite the technological and organizational differences, this whole thing was essentially in the same category with most of the other borders I had been through. I remembered the crossing into Kyrgyzstan, where the guards took turns to pose for photos on my bike. I didn't expect such a thing to happen here. For one thing, I didn't have my bike with me. It was waiting for me in a cargo bay ...Read More

During my days in Chita, I met a nice guy named Max. He was interested in what I was doing so we spent some time talking and exchanging views. He helped me look for a new tire, which proved to be a useless struggle, and get the new suspension from the DHL office. We also talked a little bit about Amur Highway. Max drove this road more than a few times so he seemed to know it well. As I was leaving the town, I expected to spend at least 10 days on this part. It felt quite exciting and maybe a little distressing to begin yet another hard section. But the conditions turned out to be much better than I expected. In about three days, I was done with the first 1200 kilometers, supposedly the hardest part of it. My suspension had failed yet again by the way! And even ...Read More

I left UB at around noon. Got lost trying to find the road north to Ulan Ude, and therefore couldn't make it to the border before it at 6 o'clock. 70 kms from the border, I noticed a heavily loaded road-bike with elaborate aerodynamic fairings parked in front of a local rest-stop. The rider was a Bulgarian named Costa. He wore a leather jacket, big round earrings and long hair. It would be an ordinary sight somewhere in California, but definitely not so in Mongolia. Costa is also a graphic designer. He left home 4 months ago and rode through Russia to Ulan Ude. He had just crossed the border less than an hour ago, and was curious about my trip. We had some food together talking about each others experiences. It was past 5 so we decided to camp together. We left the pavement and started climbing on the ...Read More

I have to admit that I was a little scared. First, the little incident in Kyrgyzstan that served as a prelude, then the story of a cyclist I met on the road - poor guy had been attacked by four men, who stole everything except his passport and bicycle then left him in the middle of the desert tied up with the cover of his sleeping bag around his head - and Jehan's SMS message - stating that he had been attacked, fleed a home at night and spent another one in jail... It seemed almost impossible that I would make it through without any unpleasant occurances. At least that's what I thought when leaving Bishkek and crossing the border to Almaty. I know by now that travel stories do not reflect their land of origin precisely. If a place is nice, you hear amazing descriptions. If something is gone ...Read More

The Kyrgyz side of the border was so easy to cross, it will be hard to describe. I knocked on the the door to notify the soldier of my arrival. He wouldn't know if I entered on my own will. He put on his hat. It had a soviet emblem on it. Looks like they didn't feel any need to change the uniform after the independence. He called his friend to have his photo taken on the bike. When that was over, I reminded that I was actually there to cross the border. So they asked for my passport. They looked at other visas and colorful pages and asked if I had a Kyrgyz one. I said "No" and told them that Turkish citizens didn't need one. They didn't know about that but didn't bother checking the book. He stamped my passport and told me to go. I asked for ...Read More