Route Latin America

a vagabonding journey starting with a one-way-ticket

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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Ever-continuing journey

Posted by Engin Kaban on December 9, 2011

Welcome to the communication channel of the 1 year South America journey of a Turkish traveller Engin Kaban. The journey has been com completed physically in 2010. However by the help of articles, photos and interviews through different media; TV and radio programmes and presentations, sharing and the actual inner journey is still continuing.

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                     Presentations                                                   Radio                                                  Internet

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Presentation in English in İstanbul

Posted by Engin Kaban on August 14, 2011

After several presentations in İstanbul and in İzmir, now I’ll have my first presentation in English in İstanbul for non-Turkish speakers.

So if you are around, come over. If you have any friends traveling in İstanbul, let them know.

You are free to bring your own drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) or snacks if you like.

17th of August Wednesday  19:00   

V Art Gallery,  Nişantaşı – İstanbul

directions from Taxim Square: 

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The return of el Turco

Posted by Engin Kaban on January 30, 2011

The return of el Turco

December 30th 2010  01:30.

The last plane has landed in the international terminal of not-so-busy İzmir airport. There are not many people in the aisle but 4 people waiting at the gates with excitement are significant. They are holding big posters saying “Bienvenido a tu casa Juan el Turco” (welcome to your home Juan the Turk). The youngest of all is holding a video camera in his hand; possibly someone important is arriving and he doesn’t want to miss the arrival moment. Who is this “el Turco” they are waiting for? Should be someone important according to all the preparations.

And the gate opens. Not like a pop star or an actor, someone regular like us appear. A young man comes out with his jacket and trekking shoes as if ready to climb a mountain; in colorful clothes, a beard of a few days, a dayback, many alcohol bottles bought from all transfer airports en route, quite tired after 30 hours of travel and more important then all, a smile with big happiness and energy. Hugs and embraces…

These 4 people that have been waiting have something in common; their last names. They are the father, cousins and the uncle of the young man. Afterwards they all go home; pop a champaigne bottle in the balcony late at night, and chats till early morning… The young man is pleased. Normally if the plane had arrived by daytime as normal, the cousins were supposed to arrange a big celebration at the airport with davul & zurna (Turkish traditional musical instruments played in occasions like marriage, big parties, celebrations, welcomings etc.) but those had to be canceled due to missed flights and late arrival time. As time passes everyone becomes sleepy except for the young man who is still jet-lagged and accustomed to 7-hour-different-time-zone and is feeling like early evening. He is the most refreshed one of all.

First days are quite interesting for “el Turco”. He used to predict many things would have changed and would feel a bit like an outsider. But, no. On the contrary, he is surprised at the un-changed things behind. He feels as if he has just made a weekend trip to the next town rather than having a 1-year-trip overseas. Fair enough. “Apparently I have not missed a lot while I was away” he thinks.

First days he spends with his girlfriend, family and friends. He is very happy to be in the center of interest. He is being spoiled a lot. But he is also aware that this will not last long; so he tries to enjoy it to the maximum until people start to forget about him.

There are also things that he can never understand. Some small details that did not exist in his life for the last 1 year become irritating for him. Paying bills, house cleaning, changing the tariffs for the cell-phone, internet, shopping issues, stupid neighbours, matching the color of the shoes with the pants (which is not an issue if you had only one pair of shoes and one pants for 1 year) etc. As if all these were not enough, the general expenses in any given day without any specific activity seem to be higher than the expenses while traveling in South America; “should I again hit the road?” he asks himself.

After the first 2-3 weeks he is less spoiled, leaving behind the first dizzyness and as he becomes to be hypnotized he gets more used to the enviroment. He adapts back to things as they were a year ago. He also can’t stand still and makes a few short trips out of town. Apart from all these, he is also aware that relaxed times are over; so he starts spending long hours working in front of his screen making future plans and working on projects in his mind. Everything is as it is supposed to be.

January 30th 2011  01:30.

It has been 1 month since the young man is back to his country, city and home.

He is quite pleased.

Engin Kaban

January 30th 2011 – İzmir


For “Juan”, please check:

For “El Turco”, please check:

Posted in News | 2 Comments »

Change in Strategy

Posted by Engin Kaban on August 12, 2010

Change in Strategy

This is an informative message:

You know, I am on the road for 7 months. Many things happen during this
time, enviroment change, people change, I change…

And during all these, I am trying to write. I created a website before
hitting the road; initial plan was to keep it updated, but I couldnt. The
last post on my website now is from 4 months behind.

I love to write, and to share. But I realized it’s so difficult to do all
whilst traveling. Especially updating the website is like torture lately,
with the rare and slow internet. As I stay behind, I feel more under

I also realized I spend too much time on computer, and decided to reduce

I shared my thoughts with a few close friends and made my final decision:

– I will not put my writings for the last 4 months missing on my website.
I’ll only put the photos.
– I will be sharing all my photos after now as well.
– Instead of writing long and staying behind, I’ll send out short
informative posts.
– I’ll continue to write long for myself, but not to share on my site.
– I still have the idea of publishing a book about my trip, from the very
beginning. I’ll put together and edit all my notes in the end as a book.
(it’ll only be in Turkish though, unless I become a well-known travel writer
one day and have my books translated 🙂
– I will devote the time that I gain from all these to the many projects
that have been floating in my mind and those that I could never really focus

That’s it for now.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can write directly to me.

Greetings and love…

Engin Kaban

August 11th 2010 – Puno

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My interview on newspaper

Posted by Engin Kaban on August 10, 2010

On 9th of August Monday, an interview with me about Iguazu Falls was published on the travel addition of one of the most-sold newspapers in Turkey.

You can see it through the link below or clicking on the photo (in Turkish only):

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“Sırtçantalılar” on newspaper again

Posted by Engin Kaban on July 26, 2010

“Sırtçantalılar” that is the Turkish backpackers group that I am one of the 3 founders of, took part in one of the biggest newspapers in Turkey on Sunday 25th of July. You can see me among the penguins on the cover page.

Sorry – no translations 😦

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Turkish passport prices go down

Posted by Engin Kaban on June 23, 2010

Turkish passport prices go down

A while ago I had mentioned that Turkish passport is the most expensive in the world. As the “Sırtçantalılar Group” (Turkish backpackers community), we had prepared a declaration and sent it out to various media channels in Turkey.

This was actually a support to the main campaign called “We want back our freedom of travel” that is conducted through (sorry, only in Turkish).

The campaign worked out well and the cost of Turkish passport has been reduced by 50%. However, it is still the most expensive in the world.

This news is pleasing but we are still working on reducing the costs more to the world average.

Engin Kaban

June 22nd 2010 – Ciudad del Este

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My interview in İzmir Life magazine

Posted by Engin Kaban on June 5, 2010

My interview on İzmir Life magazine

I am in the June edition of İzmir Life magazine, with an interview about our Turkish backpackers group “Sırtçantalılar”, and about my Latin America trip.

All in Turkish though 😦

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Biometric Turkish Passports

Posted by Engin Kaban on June 2, 2010

Biometric Turkish Passports

From 1st of June on, Turkish citizens will be getting biometric passports.

Turkish pasport is the most expensive one in the world. Having a passport that is valid for 5 years costs around 500 USD.

So, we as “Sirtcantalilar backpackers group in Turkey” have prepared a report to send out to all media channels in Turkey. It is only in Turkish, but you can google-translate it if you are interested.

Hoping the passport prices will get closer to world-average.

Engin Kaban

June 1st 2010 – Buenos Aires

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Cancelled opening of Atatürk pedestal in Buenos Aires

Posted by Engin Kaban on May 31, 2010

Cancelled opening of Atatürk pedestal in Buenos Aires

It was planned that a pedestal of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (founder of Turkish Republic) was going to be built in a park in Buenos Aires. Turkish prime minister, among 150 businessmen were on a trip in Latin America. They were going to come for the opening of the pedestal that was planned for today.

However, as Argentina canceled the opening due to “some reasons”, our prime minister rejected to come and canceled his visit to Argentina.

Most possibly you do not know all these, but this was a big issue in the last days in Turkey and it created a crisis between Turkey and Argentina. So, I visited the place where they were planning to put the pedestal and took some photos for curious Turkish people 🙂

I also met with the Turkish journalist living in Buenos Aires, who was the first to inform the Turkish media about the cancelation and get some insider information.

If it was not canceled, the opening would take place today (May 31st) in Jorge Newberry Park in Buenos Aires. I was actually planning to attend the opening and write about my observations there, but I couldn’t 😦

I’ll continue to inform you with the latest news from Latin America 🙂

Engin Kaban

May 31st 2010 – Buenos Aires

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