Local man prepares for world tour with caravan
A 30-year-old Turkish man from the Black Sea province of Samsun is preparing for a world tour with a caravan he has converted from a clunker bus.
“The first time I saw the bus, I said, ‘It should be my home.’ It was like the school buses I saw in Hollywood movies,” Kadir Mert, a software specialist and paragliding tutor, told daily Milliyet on Dec. 8.
Nowadays, he’s been spending all his time in a garage restoring and fixing the decaying bus he bought for 250,000 Turkish Liras ($18,300). He estimated that it eventually will cost him some 600,000 Turkish Liras ($44,000) to be on the roads across the globe.
His first stop will be Nepal, the Asian country he calls his “village.”
“My life changed after watching the sci-fi movie, ‘Doctor Strange.’ I left my career here and moved to Nepal,” he said.
He spent two years in Nepal without knowing any language other than Turkish. “A tourism agency offered me a paragliding service job. With no English, I made the weirdest job interview of my life.”
After Nepal, he said he traveled all over Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Singapore and earned money through paragliding. But Nepal holds a special place in his heart.
“It is like my village. I cannot feel the peace I felt there anywhere else,” he admitted.
He is still unsure on when he will start the world tour, but any time after the renovation of the caravan finishes, he said.
Though he does have a route in mind. “First Nepal, then Cambodia. Then all the countries in south Asia,” he said.
He is more confident than yesterday as he has learnt and improved English in time.
“After Asia, I will turn my attention to another continent. But who knows for now? We will see after I hit the road.”
According to official data, there are some 5,000 caravans on the roads across the country. The sales of caravans have risen by 30 percent amid the pandemic.
A caravan society in Turkey, the Turkish Camping and Caravan Society, has been running since 1966.