Time For You to Talk

That’s right, this time it’s your turn to talk. Though I tried to do a survey a few weeks back, I somehow didn’t add the little buttons people have to press to answer the questions so I took it down after I realized it hadn’t worked. So I’m trying again, without the survey part. What would you guys like to see? This blog is for you, so help me out!

Why do you read my blog? Do you like the cultural stories I share, the photos of mountains, the cycling and gear posts, or the posts about how travel changes you and how to travel as two? Do you like posts which motivate you to travel, which teach you how to live with less money, or which share different cultures through homestays and cultural exchanges? What would you like to hear more about, and what would you like less of? This blog is for you! I know everything that has happened and don’t need to read about my own ideas, so if there is something you want to see/learn more about through my eyes, this is your time to speak out!

Also, a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me so far along my journey. This blog, which started out with a whole five followers (four of whom were family) now has over 1,200 “email followers!”

60 thoughts on “Time For You to Talk

  1. As an armchair traveler who WILL venture further on foot and on cycle I particularly enjoy your cycling posts, The photos certainly inspire me to travel!
    Keep your excellent posts coming!!

  2. I find your blog very inspiring. You are one among the inspiring blogs to check in my blog roll. So I personally like the inspiring stuff you write, that inspire me to do a lot of things, inspire me to travel more, follow the dreams and stuff. How to travel cheap is also something that I will enjoy reading. I would love to see more pictures from your travels. And of course the interesting stories from different parts of the world. I think that’s all about my interests ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I think you write with passion. I love your lack of cynicism and your strong touch with reality. So, that’s all kinda vague. I know you want solid answers. I like the window you give into the bike riding aspects. I’ve never done that so I enjoy that. I’m a photographer too (or aspiring photographer I suppose) so I love your pictures. I always enjoy reading about how to travel cheaply too. Practical advice and suggestions are what I like. Keep it up. ๐Ÿ™‚ ps. How did you get so many followers?! That’s awesome.

    • Thank you! I am a super passionate person (if I love something, I’ll bounce around in excitement, if I hate it, I hate it) so I’m glad that comes through somewhat in my writing. And thanks for the feedback! And I have no idea ha I think I did a few interviews which helped, but I’m still surprised every time I get on to see my numbers slowly growing. Of course, once I realize that other bloggers have like 100,000 I’m a little less excited but hey, for me I’m pretty excited.

      • As her father I can definitely confirm that if she loves something she will bounce around with excitement. This blog is Shirine being Shirine.

  4. I like your stories very much!
    I like to know about the travel with less money, your experience in a country I am not likely to travel / cycle I think is very interesting still!
    Gear stuff reviews are nice too, but it doesn’t make a trip better. More comfortabel Maybe. Stories about the cultures are very interesting for me.
    Pictures are always good!
    I am in a long trip (6 months) myself so I don’t have time to read it all but I am definately interested!
    So keep up THE good work!

  5. I started reading your blog after I met you guys in Georgia. Have to say it grabbed me. I love to read about travel, and other traveller’s experiences. Though I’m not a cyclist the road is the same. I love the photos, I love the insights into life on the road. Its all good! Keep it up.

  6. I am interested how young people (you and Kevin) are touring with bicycles. There is a gap of generations between us. My way of bicycle touring is different. During last years I have developed interest of other bicycle tourers habits. I still want to keep my recipe.

    Of course I am interested in your route too. Some of countries you have crossed are too hot for me. (I have born near Arctic Circle and again living close to it.) Some countries are too crowdy to me. I hate all cities having more citizens than 10 000. But you like mountains too. I do not count kilometres but I do count over 2000 m passes what I have done. That Caucasus region where you are wintering now interests me too. I hope that I can visit it too. It is not too far for me. I do not fly because of ecological reasons.

    And the way you write in English is not too complicated to me. If texts are linguistically too difficult I easily skip them.

    • Great! I have learned that I too hate cities, and crowded places, and as I was also born very far north (Canada) I understand skipping countries for heat! Thanks for your input. Happy cycling!

  7. I like reading your blog for motivation to travel. I’m an engineer fresh out of school and don’t want to lose my desire to travel while I save up some money for the next couple of years so I can go out and see the world. I really enjoy the pictures of mountains but would also like to see more pics of people to try and capture the culture (though you have done some of this). Personally I’m not huge on the bike tour info rather than the experiences you go through as well as tips on how to travel long term. Reading your blog makes me want to visit Georgia someday where previously I had not considered it as a potential destination.

    • I know, I never knew about Georgia either! I would love to take more people pictures as well.. I’m just not comfortable asking people if I can take their photo, but hopefully this will inspire me to work on it.

  8. I wish that you just continue to write as you do now!! I feel very great about you! It takes guts to do whatever we want to do. So I really appreciate whatever you are doing. And the places that you visit, I am not sure if I will ever be there at anytime in my life. So through your blog, I get to see them! Thanks a lot dear!
    You are one of the inspirational people I know ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lots of love!! โค

  9. I like the observations about the human behaviour, attitude and culture you encounter on your journey. The photos are very composed and bring your prose to life. I agree with others about your writing style – straightforward and honest.

  10. There are tons of touring bikers out there that write like they are getting audited by the tax collector. Today I rode 48 miles, had lunch at McDonalds and stayed in a motel, spent $4.87
    Then they are the record breakers who rode another 250k today or the “doing it for a cause” group.

    I, like you ride for the joy of waking up to an amazing sunrise, the fun of meeting new people and the thrill of being on this awesome planet. You convey this in your writing and because of this I follow your blog.


    Today is a good day to Ride
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/easilydistracted – Tasmania Tour

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/80cafes – Chile Tour

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/oregoncyclenu – Greece Tour

  11. I enjoy your blog for its photography and your insights. I’ve been riding bikes since I was a kid ( I’m almost 56 now) but only got into touring a few years ago. I could never have done what you have at your age since I lacked the maturity and selfreliance that you so clearly demonstrate. You really are an inspiration to all who love traveling by bicycle and I would think especially so to young women. I believe I learned about your blog through Alastair Humphreys on FB. He who cycled around the world and, like you, did so on an impossibly modest budget. He went from “unknown” to Nat.Geo. explorer of the year, or something like that, so keep that in mind. You, Shirine, have every bit as much ability and if you market it, you’ll have it! No question in my mind. BTW, it was Alastair and another blogger, Jill Homer, ( if you don’t know her you should check her out) whose bicycle adventures inspired me to live my dream this summer and cycle from my home in RI to my sister in WA. When you have nothing better to do, here’s my journal and photos http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/13725
    I’m sure you know “crazyguyonabike” but your readers may not. Its THE site for uploading touring journals. There are over 9,000, I believe.
    Keep up the great tour and keep us posted. I like hearing about gear, but I know that’s not your thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks for the thoughtful post! I started to keep this blog as a way to inspire others, because like you, alastair amongst others are the reason I’m here today. I know, Kevin was bugging me the other day to talk about gear more on my blog and I basically told him he would have to write the post since I find it so boring ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Great! I didn’t know if the mix was annoying (like if I should find a theme and stick with it) but judging by the comments I can just keep writing whatever I feel like at the Time!

  12. I am a passionate cyclist and love to read about anything cycle related. I live in London with my partner. We are both keen to travel more than we do and certainly I hope to do more by bike. On one level it seems extraordinary the trip you are doing, but on another it seems like of course the best thing to do! Best wishes to you both xx

  13. I’m about to leave on an open book bike powered journey into the world, and you have been a great inspiration and source of information for the last couple of months since I found your blog, so thank you very much.
    Not that I think one should expect people’s blogs to be tailored towards their ‘readers’, but if you’re asking, I think you weave a good blend of emotions, experiences, landscapes and logistical/gear topics and you seem to keep things very updated and current…and are very level headed for a 20yr old!
    I’ll be heading East from the UK in Jany/Feb so I might even catch you guys out on the road!

  14. Our paths crossed at Fort Bragg California in July 2013, shortly before I finished my Transam/west coast ride and headed back to Australia. Such a long time ago. Congratulations on still being on the road. Well done. I’m sure your parents are much happier now that you are not travelling solo.
    I like the varied content mix. The cycle touring info motivates me to do another ride and your photo journalism etc provides a wonderful insight into the lives of people and places I would otherwise would never have experienced. Having done a daily blog myself I know how demanding it can be. I am amazed you have kept it going for so long. Great effort!

  15. Don’t begin to think about what people want to read from you. It is your journey and you are not a staff journalist with an editor in chief behind you. Only the fact that you travel in this way at your age through the world, with an unprejudiced self-evidence, is something special. Don’t make a show of it. I want to read, what do you see, what do you think about it, what do you experience and how do you manage unexpected difficulties. How is the realation to you partner, what changes began since you decided to travel for two. And so on. But you can also decide to write like a journalist. But it is another job.

    • True,mNd I’ll continue to write what I want, but I was curious if people enjoyed both the cultural stories and the effects of travel on a person or just more of a one sided thing. I’ll keep writing whatever comes to mind!

  16. Shirine- enjoy reading about your adventures and what you have learned about the people and their cultural practices. It makes me appreciate the beauty and diversity of our fellow human beings all over the world. Love your pictures. They bring your words to life. Thank you.

    • Great and nice to hear from you! From what I have heard about turkey I should be able to share many wonderful cultural diverse and amazing people so I’m excited to go there in a few weeks. Say hi to your family for me!!

  17. What have been your inspirations in the realm of books and cinema? What do you read as you’re traveling? You could do some interesting surveys yourselves, take a couple of questions from your readers and ask local people as you travel through the diversity of cultures and ethnic groups. For example, “what makes you happy?”, “how important is money?”, “what is your dream for your life?”. I would love to read a collection of answers on questions like these, from a large diverse range of people all over the world. Cheers:)

  18. Hello Shirine! My thoughts:
    I enjoy hearing about your every day experiences as you travel.
    I enjoy hearing about the people you meet and what you think about them.
    I enjoy hearing about the food you eat.
    I enjoy learning anything which may help turn me into a wiser budget traveler.
    I enjoy hearing about the gear you carry, and why, and when you get something new-to-you.
    I enjoyed learning about this business of traveling you have created for yourself – your post-writing process, the tools you use, the way you have made things work for you.
    I really really really enjoy your photos!!!
    I would enjoy hearing more tales from your prior South American trip you might be able to recall, particularly because you were more inexperienced then and still learning your way, as some of us still are.
    And I am mostly neutral about the “traveling as two” topic, except that now we do not hear any more stories about traveling solo as a female. That was a unique voice you offered.
    Buen Camino!

  19. I love cycling and photography but I am not adventurous. I guess I read your blog so I can get a glimpse of what it is like.

    I loved your blog about the encouragement you got from your parents. When I was little, I wanted to join the Cub Scouts but my father wouldn’t sign the consent form. He told me that I couldn’t handle it. So that’s that. I was like Jim Carrey’s character in the Truman Show.

    I look forward to your future blogs, whatever the topic.

  20. I like your mix of subject, so keep on with your own style. Do not let “marketing” decide the direction of your writing, because then it could loose the originality/sole of your writing. I am finding inspiration in your writing, to make my own blogs more inspiring. Keep up the good work. Happy Traveling. Claus.

  21. Hi Shirine,

    The very first thing that grabbed my attention about your blog when I first started to peruse the internet for cycling blogs – was just the idea of it. I was thinking very much of my own position at present. ‘Here, I thought, is a woman whose the same age as me, doing something that I’d love to (and eventually will) do, and the only difference between myself and her is that she’s just gone and done it’.

    I find each post inspiring, I find each post interesting. I find each picture incredible and beautiful because you take such great pictures, and I find your wisdom and knowledge, written word and parlance to be incredibly easy to read and keep reading. Your vocabulary is excellent and the way with which you use the words to string a sentence together is quite spectacular.

    You clearly are an inspiration to many more people than myself, and I am just one of thousands that you are inspiring with every pedal stroke. I bet you’re glad you left nursing behind to pursue this life of travel and writing. When your book comes out, let me know. I will buy it.

    Best of luck to you, and I hope to one day meet you.


  22. Hi Shirine,

    It was your photographs that first drew me to your blog! The first pic I saw made me click to find out where it was taken.

    Georgia; I feel like I’ve been to Georgia!

    Your blog has just the right balance; a little bit of this and a little bit of that; it’s nicely rounded.

  23. Dearest Shirine!! I love reading your blog to vicariously share in the exhilaration of seeing new things and meeting new people. I traveled a fair amount in my day…though never as ruggedly as you… And cherish all my vagabond memories. Glad you are creating memories for yourself! Keep it all coming! Hugs! Suzanne

  24. I can’t pinpoint why I like it. Sometimes I just look at the pictures, others I need a bit of inspiration and then I do like your deep posts too. As a traveler I just like to follow other travelers’ blogs and read from time-to-time when I have internet or a chance (I am not as good at reading blogs now that I am traveling than when I sat at my desk 40-50 hours a week).

  25. I love your blog and only follow yours. Your original voice and perspective flow from your beautiful writing and masterful photos. I feel I can share your adventure and go places I may never go to in my lifetime. I continue to learn after reading about something that you have experienced. You expand my life and my imagination with your gifts. Thank you.

  26. Well… for me personally i am just glad that i figured out why i haven’t been seeing your posts come up as of late, i’m guessing i accidentally some how through my phone maybe unfollowed :O
    Took me a little bit to catch up ๐Ÿ™‚

    Im grateful for your style of sharing what you feeling like talking about or are inspired to share ๐Ÿ™‚
    this to me is what makes this blog so very unique and beautiful, that it is coming from what comes to mind for you.

    Although sometimes i do wonder how you pick your routes,
    Also the youtube videos that you have been starting to make are really creating a great combo.

    Enjoying every pedal stroke of the way ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best of wishes,


  27. I truthfully love everything you write! But as a 25 year old female who has been taught that some places and things are beyond my reach because of safety issues, I am truly grateful to see you breaking the boundaries of what is considered normal for females. I’ve always felt that just because I’m a girl I shouldn’t have to put my dreams on hold to wait for someone to come along to protect me. It’s not what I’ve been taught, but it’s what I’ve felt. My passion and zeal for life and culture are fueled even more from your posts. Keep going. Keep exploring. Keep living. And keep encouraging the rest of us to follow suit.

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