Before and after the trip, which questions did the people raise most, what did they wonder, all here! Including the cost and visas issues, here is the frequently asked questions of the trip;
1. Do you travel with excursions?
Definitely no. We never attended such tours and we won't. Because our understanding of mobility conflicts with this concept. We like to travel freely without adhering to the rules, people or a predefined program. During our previous trips we have changed our route many times. Our main principle is to visit spontaneously. What we like is to take our backpacks and travel independently.
After trip comment: The travels having discovery spirit always brang out good stories. For instance when we rent a motorbike in Laos it gave us the chance to go anywhere we want. Going inside the unknown villages, being guest at the people's meals, swimming with the children in the river, water fighting with people at Songkran festival was priceless. Unlikely there are few places we were supposed to attend a tour in order to get to those places. Such as traveling Tibet. Foreigners are not allowed to travel independently in Tibet. If you try you will be arrested by the Chinese security people. Joining a tour is an obligatory. In this tour you must have a Tibetian guide as well as a driver. You have to get some special permissions in advance. Chinese visa is not enough. We made a group with minimum number of people (4 ppl in total) and minimized the annoyance. The couple we traveled with was lovely and we spent great time together. Truly, let me send them a message, what are they doing now?
2. Why do you travel that much?
"The world is like a book and those who do not travel read only a page" - St. Augustine
After trip comment: 10 points, even a pictorial book.
3. Why starting a round the world tour? Interest rates are too low, why don't you buy a house instead?
Our biggest entertainment since childhood is to travel, we have been to many countries before. But each travel we had was for a short time during our busy work schedule, we had a very limited time for each. Round the world will take much longer but our time belongs to us. This is about traveling the world, but in fact this is an inner journey.
After trip comment: It is difficult to call it a travel. In the begining it feels like you are traveling and you will go back home soon but after several months you realize it is Başka Türlü Bir Şey (something different). It turns to a life style. The feeling of belonging to nowhere settles your inside. You feel the freedom at maximum level. The first time we realized this was the moment we found ourselves in the middle of Gobi Desert and a week we spent there. Time to time this feeling becomes such intense that brings some tears from the eyes.
4. Aren't you afraid? A lot of strange and distant countries, disease, theft, lions, tigers, crocodiles or similar stuff?
We had similar experiences before, but we are going to take the necessary measures, so there is no reason to fear. But if you refuse to try different foods, different cultures and are afraid of people, staying at home may be a better choice for you.
After trip comment: All of these happened more or less. Due to lack of hygiene in Nepal and a tick biting issue in India we have been to the emergency services of hospitals. First robbery of the trip happened in Mongolia. Our bag was stolen including Özcan's passport, wallet and camera. The second robbery was in India. Again the bag was stolen but this time the result was more harsh. Because both of our passports were inside the bag also including more staff such as wallet and camera again. For few days we had to sleep in the train station and survive by eating only bread. In Thailand there was fire inside the carrier of the train which we were sleeping in and the people were squeezing other people in order to escape. About the tiger, during our elephant safari in Chitwan National Park of Nepal, accidently we disturbed one of the tigers and it showed his reaction in his own way. During its huge roar our lives were playing like a movie in front of our eyes. God, what a sound that was, we admired this beautiful animal once again. Fortunately we came back to Turkey in one piece.
5. How do you plan to travel? Will you use aircrafts ?
We don't plan to use aircrafts. They are expensive and contrary to our understanding of traveling. Our goal is not to reach somewhere, we like to be on the road.
After trip comment: As we decided we didn't use aeroplanes unless it is mandatory. We took flights 5 times in total. The travel over land reached to approximately 90 thousand kilometers. Particularly traveling by train is priceless. Looking out from the window and listening some music at the same time and falling into thoughts. Besides if you have a glass of tea...
6. Hotels are very expensive. Where will you stay ?
We do not intend to stay in the hotel. We will use CouchSurfing as much as possible as we did many times before. This will help us financially, but more importantly it is much easier to get into local life with this way. Our goal is not to take photos like a tourist. We would like to know more about cultures, people and their lives by traveling. Our second alternative is hostels. They are much cheaper when compared to hotels and we can meet a lot of different people and travelers in hostels. Besides that we also have friends in various countries, they're also going to host us.
After trip comment: We used Couchsurfing many times. But as it turns to constant we started to feel uncomfortable. Because you stay at somebody's house and you become dependant to that person. Therefore for those countries which have cheap accomodation we prefered to stay at hostels and keep our indepedence. For instance in China it is possible to find a clean and comfortable bed for 5$.
7. Which countries will you visit ?
In the first stage, we plan to go to Greece, Macedonia and Hungary. We want to reach over to the Baltics and Russia at the end of first phase. Our journey to east begins there. We will take Trans-Siberia Express to go to Mongolia and China. Japan, Southeast Asia, India and Australia will be our next stops.
After trip comment: No such thing! It didn't happen as we wrote before. As we encountered some problems with Schengen visa and after all as we got the easiest visa from Poland our starting point became Poland (my dear). On the way sometimes we had deviations. You can find asnwers to questions related to our route in the itinerary page. Don't expect everything from the government!
8. What about the language ?
Both of us are fluent in speaking English, English is an acceptable language all over the world. If we can not speak English, Ismail will try to salvage the situation by his Spanish, if it does not work, we will try to communicate with our hands and gestures.
After trip comment: Look at what we wrote before the trip! Being fluent in English, speaking Spanish! That is true English is an acceptable language but only in big cities' central places. It is almost impossible to communicate in these languages in local places even no need to try in villages. These moments body language is the only way for communicating. In south China when the villagers invited us to their dinner we had so much fun all the dinner even if we didn't communicate either in Chinese or English. If the people want they can communicate in some way, this increases the intimacy. Particularly in China the alphabet, pronunciation is totally different from all over the world sometimes we used to take photo of the phrases we need and used them in case. It is useful while buying train tickets but unfortunately doesn't work if you are looking for clubs.
9. So how did you set this route ?
We have many locations to visit. We don't want to draw a definite route among these places. Because everything can change at any time on the road, so we will not stick to a plan.
After trip comment: I heard a lot of interesting things are told in the Itinerary section, go and have a look. No worries, this window will not close, just click it.
10. You need a lot of money, do you have a wide budget ?
If you stay at luxury hotels, eat in sumptuous restaurants and feel comfortable only in taxi and aircrafts, yes, you need a lot of money. But in fact, we don't need much, we will try to stay at lower or even zero-cost alternative places and we will try to use the basic transportation such as trains as well as hitchhiking. Besides we plan to eat in cheaper places instead of fancy restaurants.
After trip comment: Yeees. Crucial topic everybody is wondering about. Apparently it seems we shooted from the hip about the budget issue before the trip. We could keep the target in terms of expenses in the begining but it became difficult in the following months. Sometimes we craved for a cheesecake at Starbucks. Those moments we got inside and eat without minding. In addition there were unexpected expenses such as getting new passports 4 times in total. Besides we spent more than 1 month in Japan where our daily budget was twice more than other country budgets. These things affected the finance. Total cost of the trip is around 17,5 K $ per person.
11. Not satisfactory but anyway, how did you find the money for a round the world tour ?
We have been working for some years, so not much but we saved some. We have also decided to sell our cars, a kind of wise with Ferrari.
After trip comment: How crowded are the public buses !
12. How long will you travel? You must have long vacations.
We do not have long vacations, so we decided to quit our jobs. We will travel around 12 to 15 months.
After trip comment: I sat opposite my boss, I hit my thump on the table, I said "I resign!". No, we quit our jobs but in a polite way. Total duration of the trip was 400 days which is around 13 months.
13. Isn't resigning risky ?
Depends on the poinf of view, perhaps a new life awaits us.
After trip comment: Once upon a time in a universtiy, one of the lecturers ask a question at the exam, "what is risk?". One of the students gaves an empty sheet where there is only written "this is risk". And the student gets the top point. We believe this story is kind of fake. But we gave an empty sheet to the life, let's see what point we will get (became such an artistic answer).
14. But what will you do when you return ?
To make a long-term plan does not make sense. We will think about it when we return.
After trip comment: During the travel we realized that we would love to deal with so different things. In order to achieve that a budget is necessary. As we did save money for the trip we will do saving again for these goals once again.
15. Won't you miss your home ?
Of course, we will especially miss our families and our friends, the purpose of this web site is a bit of this, as much as possible to keep in touch with them.
After trip comment: We missed our home, friends and beloveds. As we could find internet we used to communicate with our family and friends via skype. We also missed the Turkish food. Occasionally we used to go to Turkish restaurants ate what we missed. But apparently it is not the same food comparing to Turkey. Sometimes we could not take a warm shower for several weeks. In India even it is difficult to find a shower at all, we had to use a bucket of water and toilet pan and tried to get clean in the toilet. Iyyyghh...
16. So what if you have a fight on the way, who will beat ?
Ismail is slightly larger, but one never knows.
After trip comment: Traveling together is a big deal. We met some people who started a trip as a couple and broke up in few weeks. An Irish guy whom we met in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, his words explain it clearly how difficult traveling with somebody is.
"You have been traveling 11 months together and you can still sit and eat at the same table huh?"
No wonder we had arguements but we never felt like leaving each other. Because we always think "No matter where you go, it is important how you go".
17. How did you manage to get the visas, wasn't that difficult?
Before leaving our country we got a Schengen visa from Poland valid for 6 months, a Russian visa valid for 1 month, a Belarussian visa valid for 1 month, an Australian visa valid for 1 year and a double entry Chinese visa valid for 3 months. We are planning to get other visas on the way.
After trip comment: It would be better if we only got Schengen visa and start the trip. The others were not necessary. Because we realized that getting visas on the way is much more easy than getting them from Turkey. In order to apply for a visa in Turkey we are always asked plenty of documents. Unlikely we were only asked for photos, passport, application form and money most of the time for the applications we did on the way. Apperantly how easy to get them. We only encountered problem while applying to Vietnamese visa. There is a kind of animosity between two governments which is kind of legendary. We intended to get this visa in Bangkok but we were even not allowed to apply as they saw our passports. In these cases it is better to try in smaller cities' embassies which increases the success rate. Since we didn't have enough time to go to another city we didn't accomplish that. There is no certain rule for this issue. At the same embassy where we were not allowed to apply for the visa one of our friends could get this visa just a week ago from our application. It depends on the initiative of the officer. Problems are solved by means of talking to the officers usually. Visas are not an obstacles for traveling, even for a Turkish citizen. Nobody should excuse it.
18. Did you ever say "we wish we could..." ?
We wish we could go to Xinjiang province of China, open our arms and embrace our fellows there. Anwyay we managed to that with Uyghurs who are living in other parts of China. We communicated in Turkish with them, such a good feeling. By the way we send our greetings from here to our fellows in China.
19. If I bring you one Chinese, one Korean and one Japanese person can you manage to differentiate them?
They all look same right, so interesting? How they don't confuse each other?
After trip comment: We can do it immediately. But do not try it unless you observe these three nations enough. Because assuming a Chinese as a Japanese and saying "konnichiwa" or doing the vice versa and saying "nihao" might be considered as an insult. Although we tried to finish, they have a animosity coming from the history. There are 1.5 billion of Chinese and 130 million of Japanese how can we convince all? Besides for those who think that how they don't confuse each other here is a sample. We were always considered as brothers when we were in Asia. Truly do we look like each other?
20. My son how can you wash your clothes?
This question raised by my mother all the time. She didn't care neither about Chinese Great Wall nor Taj Mahal. She always worried about such things. That is the difference of being a Turkish traveler. But we love this. I am kissing you mom. Anyway we are answering for those who also wonder.
Answer: At washing machine. So interesting, there are such machines even in Japan, they are not only in Turkey surprisingly. Benefits of traveling a lot. But once we left our clothes to be washed in Nepal, when the clothes came back they looked more dirty than we left. Of course the intention is more important here.
21. Have you ever falled in love on the road?
Love is inside people. (what is that mean?)
22. What is the meaning of BTBŞ in other words Başka Türlü Bir Şey, damn you use it everywhere!
It is the name of a poem which inspired us. It means something different. Here is the content of the poem.
"Başka Türlü Bir Şey"
something different, what i want is
neither like a tree nor a cloud
the land i will go, is not same as here
its sea is a distinct sea,
its climate is a distinct climate...
23. Soooo...You have traveled and what happened as a result?
Forget it what about the singer İlhan İrem, what happened to him ?
24. Would you do a similar travel once more again? What is the destination of next travel and when?
This travel was a kind of travel that we would do once in our life. No wonder we will be traveling again. But these travels will be shorter ones. The next travel's destination and date would appear spontaneously.
25. How much weigh each backpack and what does it include inside ?
Each bag averagely weighed 20 kg, have a look at preparations page to see what we put inside.
26. Where did you like most ?
For traveling: Mongolia, Laos, Bolivia
For living: South Korea, Japan
27. Which country has most beautiful girls ?
ismail: South Korea and Japan
özcan: I would say Poland anyway.
28. How many shoots did you make with your cameras ?
Totally 28150 shots made (including videos)
29. Did you ever become sick ?
Once İsmail had a stomach problem due to lack of hygen in Nepal after a week a tick stuck on his body in India thus we have been to emergency services of hospitals in these countries. (don't ask where the tick bite)
30. How did you reach your money, did you ATM ?
Yes we used ATM. If we got all our money with us as cash we would lose it in Mongolia in the robbery. If not it would happen in India robbery. Yes banks get commissions and we lost some money because of the rates but it was still the most convenient way to keep your money. We used our local banks ATM cards. In some countries (Sourh Korea, Japan) some ATMs did not function for our cards, we needed to try in several ATMs. In S.Korea and Japan ATMs in 7Eleven markets always worked.
Note: We never used credit card, even we didn't have it.
31. Dude it is off topic but the word written as "desert" refers to a land and "dessert" refers to a food or vice versa, I always confuse them ?
Now listen, I always differentiate these words from the Sting's song "desert rose". In this song the mentioned desert is the land one. I remember the song, mumble it a little and the problem is solved. You can listen this beautiful song from here.
Our regards for you. We appreicate your patience that brings you to the bottom of this page. We expect that we provoked and inspired you about traveling. For those who couldn't feel anything we advise to click here, we are pretty sure they will feel a jowl otherwise it is better to visit a doctor and show their Endoplasmic Reticulum, there must be a symptom.