Friday, October 25, 2013

Interview (4) - let me introduce you to Nomad Bird

Name: HILAL AY

Nationallity: Turkish

Occupation: Just graduated, facing the new cruel world, unemployed.

You can learn more about me here: http://www.nomadbirds.com/all-about-me/


."..NomadBird who has a base in Istanbul; the great city. My name is Hilal. It means crescent moon in my language. My horoscope is Aquarius which if you are interested in astrology, you will understand where my that adventurous travel spirit comes from...."


"I am a world citizen who was born in a small city in South Turkey. I study, travel, and work during winter in Istanbul. During summer, I follow the wind wherever it takes me to. Currently, I'm a newly graduate and teaching to save up some money to be able to travel again."





1. What was your inspiration or the event/idea that made you want to travel?

I always wanted to travel. But until the age of 19, I couldn’t because I was living in a little town in south of Turkey and may be no one has ever felt the great feeling of travel. The most they have traveled is within 200 km of its surroundings. Almost no one has even passport. However my desire was surpassed though, I just kept looking at the maps…

2. What was your first travel experience?

The first travel experience was amazing. I was alone, it was my first time to get on a plane, first time to go abroad. I had registered to a language course in Italy. So I made my way to 
Rome and Perugia, then I never stopped!


3. Have you ever felt lonely travelling solo?

Sometimes yes. So that is why couchsurfing is great especially if you travel alone. Most of the time I was making friends easily but there were times that I wouldn’t wanna be alone.

4. Do you have any fun stories of things that happened to you that you realized even at the time, “This never would have happened if I had been traveling with someone else?”

I have soooooo many stories for this question. I have traveled alone a lot, especially in Italy. So if you are a solo young female traveling in Italy, uff life is so easier for you. I don’t say that I took advantage of Italian men but they were so all around you, trying to help with anything, offering you everything, etc etc. 

Also I have traveled alone in Morocco for a month and this travel would have never had been better if I had been traveling with someone! So many amazing things happened to me and almost never I stayed alone there. I met so many great people and just to be specific, I would like to give an example. I was worried how to go to the dessert alone cause I was kinda afraid of Moroccan men when I was alone in the middle of nowhere etc. So, a group of Italians rented two cars and they were 7 people. I met them on my last hours in a city called Chefcauen and not me, they offered me a ride to the dessert with them because they had one available seat on their cars.


5. What was your best travel experience?

I think my best travel experience was one month of traveling all around Sicily. It was so spontaneous, fun, delicious, crazy, and everything!


6.  Is there anything you would have done differently/ any regrets, if you could do it over again?

I wouldn’t be graduated. I regret it so much because everything was so much easier when I was a student and traveling. 

7. What was your worst travel experience?

Haha, my worst travel experience is when I was trying to write and erase my travel date on my interrail ticket, the Italian ticket lady on the train understood what I had been doing and gave a fine 92,5 euros. It was so sad at that time:)
Uhh no, sorry, this is just an unpleasant story. My worst worst worst experience was when Slovenian police took me out of the train on the way back from Zagreb, just because I was Turkish and they didn’t believe that I was the same person on my id. They made me spent a few hours at the police station at the border, I was so young and na├»ve, I was crying etc. Even to remember that makes me ache! 

8. What’s the strangest situation you have found yourself in?

The strangest situation must be to see everybody eating with their bare hands from one plate in the middle, and knowing that they don’t have toilet paper or soap in the toilet. It was in Morocco, I spent a week with Berber people on a tiny village and uff everything around was so strange. 

9. Where will you never return to?

I haven’t visited anywhere that I wouldn’t wanna return to yet. Thanks God!

10.  What advice would you give women traveling solo to your home country?

Be careful. Don’t become crazy to travel outskirts alone or Anatolia, especially east Turkey. 

11.  What are your future travel plans?

To be able to make some money to travel when I travel.

12. What are your top three tips for women traveling solo?

Don’t trust men so easily!

Find someone that you can trust.

Be aware of the dos, and donts of the country you are off to. 

13. What would you tell women who are looking to travel alone but worry about their safety?

As long as you are cautious and know what to do, there is nothing to be afraid of.


14. Couchsurfing..what do you think about that?

Ohh, what can I describe it! If it didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have lived the best experiences of my life. Couchsurfing is a great idea and you can really meet so cool people by it. It is totally 
safe if you know how to use it properly and I believe it should be respected first! Couchsurfing makes me respect to it and its members. 

15. How do you pay for a life of travel?

Mostly I used to find a scholarship (mostly by EU) work a lot and save up for travels, and leaving the rest to the life, hoping to be lucky.

16. Tell us about the best food you have ever eaten on your travels?

I have tried so many amazing tastes all around but I think the best food was the crazy sandwich in Chefcauen. You cannot believe what they put in a single sandwich, from mashed, fried potato to rice, to tuna to olives, onions etc etc. Plus it only costs less than a Euro.

17. What is the most breathtaking view you have ever witnessed on your travels

I am mostly a sea person. I love the view of a sea, beach, cliffs etc. But the most breathtaking view was an oasis on the way to the biggest dessert on Earth, the Grand Sahara. 


18. What do you miss about your home when you go traveling?

Of course I miss my family, friends, my university. Plus I used to miss a lot ‘Cigkofte’. A crazy food in Turkey. You should try it no matter how strange it looks to you!

19. What item will you always carry in your backpack?

My swimsuit first! If not I am wearing them on me. My travel diary. My little camera. My passport which I am so crazy psycho of always thinking of loosing it. 

20. Who was the kindest or most generous person you met on your travels, and what did they do?

Really difficult question to choose only one of them because there were too many! Margarita/Katerina/Flippos from Greece, Jesus from Spain, Flavio from Italy, Hassan from 
Morocco, Anja from Slovenia and so many other great people!

21. What have you learned from travelling?

I don’t know how I can describe what I have learned from traveling but I can tell you that I have changed a lot after discovering the world of traveling! I became different from others and I don’t know. The only thing that I know is that I love that world! I love chatting with the people who have the same passion as me! 

22. Who inspires you? What other travellers do you look up to?

I was most inspired by a close friend of me,; Sara with whom I travelled all around Sicily. 

Other that this, I follow a lot of travel blogs, I check the greatest photos of travellers. Most of the time I also look at my own photos as well. Sometimes I find myself spent hours in front of computer or my travel memories looking at my old pictures. 

Nowadays also, I am mostly trying to put together what I wanna share on Nomadbirds.

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