After more than a decade of working in medical rehabilitation of people injured by conflict or disaster, I allowed myself some time to explore also the nice and peaceful places in the world. By motorbike, free from any contractual commitments. But it would be a waste of my skills and knowledge not to use my professional experience when reaching places that could benefit from it. And so, last month in Turkey I reached out to the Syrian border for a temporary assignment with an international humanitarian organisation.

Perfect timing

Antonella, a former colleague and super-supporter of my journey, dropped me a message about the assignment without even knowing that I had just entered Turkey the day before: an international NGO was looking for a consultant to assess the rehabilitation services along the Turkish-Syrian border and to compile a proposal for future interventions. The job seamlessly matched with my professional profile and the matter was rather urgent – and so I set course to the head-office in Ankara in order to prepare my field visit to the border area. For a couple of weeks I traded my tent for a room, nature for city, and I parked Harry with the promise of a full maintenance treatment after I’d finish the job. Read more

Taking care of my bike is common practice for me, as I regard Harry not only as my motorbike, but also my travel companion, and the platform of my freedom. So, keeping Harry happy is important.

If I keep him going, he might keep me going

After approximately 20.000 kilometres it was time for a new chain and sprockets. Via Facebook I got in touch with a Turkish traveller who’s riding the same bike, who knew a friend of a friend, who recommended a workshop in Ankara, where I would be stationed for a short job. When I went to check out the place and mechanic, there was another customer who spoke English and helped translating.

I came back at 8:30 am on the agreed date, and left the workshop at 6 pm. In between phone calls, visiting friends and customers, cigarettes and coffee breaks, the mechanic took his work serious. Very serious. Being a solo female traveller might be of help in these kind of things: I noticed that many people want to be sure that I’ll be alright. Read more

After 7 months on the road, it happened. For the first time… with Harry, that is…

I expected it to happen at some point, just not now. Harry’s been down for the first time, since he is with me. Not something to be proud of, but all firsts are special in a way.

 

What happened?

Nothing really, I just slipped on a sandy hump and couldn’t keep him upright. Even before I could take off my helmet and take a moment to mentally prepare myself for lifting the fallen one up again, a shepherd came around the corner. Yes, really. It was just like a too predictive movie: I heard the goat bells ringing and there he was … Universe provides, right? Read more