Kural – A wanderlust
24 August, 2018, 1:00 am
A TURKISH man, who visited Fiji last week, is the 41st most travelled person in the world, according to global tracking website — Nomad Mania.
Professor Orhan Kural wears many hats.
He is a Professor of engineering at the Istanbul Technical University and a lecturer at the Istanbul Aydin University in Turkey.
The 68-year-old academic is also the president of the Turkish Travellers Club and honorary consul of the Republic of Benin.
When he is not teaching, he travels.
“I have been to 189 of the 193 countries in the world and I hope to travel to the four countries I have not been to during this trip,” he shared.
“There are 1281 regions in the world and I have been to 762 — I hope to visit all the regions before my time is up on planet Earth.”
Prof Kural said he was able to travel at his leisure because he had nothing to tie him down.
“I am divorced and have a daughter who is a journalist — so she understands me and my passion to always be on the move.”
Travelling and his curiosity for the world outside of Turkey began about six decades ago, as a youngster growing up in Istanbul.
“My interest in travelling began when I was in elementary school and it has never stopped.
“I travel at least three months in a year and I have never regretted the decision to venture outside of my comfort zone.
“The world is full of interesting people and if you don’t travel then you will never get to meet them and find out how they live and experience life from their perspective.”
Prof Kural said this was his fourth visit to Fiji and he always found ways to live with Fijian families by using an online accommodation booking platform called Airbnb.
To offset his carbon footprint — from travelling via aircraft and vehicles — Prof Kural says he only wears recycled or used clothing.
“I also visit universities and speak to people about the environment and how important it is to minimise our impact.”
At 68, Professor Orhan shows no signs of slowing down.
He speaks four languages — Turkish, German, Italian and English.
He has written 17 travel books and his life has been turned into a musical — Turk Don Kisot.
“I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t watch football, I live to travel and if I am not travelling, I am not living.
“And it is very difficult to travel with a Turkish passport, it is not accepted in many countries but somehow I have managed to get through to 189 countries and hopefully I complete the 193 countries soon.
“I will not stop travelling, as long as my legs can hold me up I will continue and I hope I will die while travelling.”