• Steyning from Above
    Steyning,  Tieran Meets the World,  UK

    Lockdown in my Hometown | Steyning

    Lockdown Gives Sussex Locals Time to Reflect in Steyning VIDEO [Article Below] Summary: How did the coronavirus lockdown impact a small British Town? How do residents feel the community has changed during the pandemic? And what was it like to grow up in Steyning, a quaint English town? In this closer to home episode of Tieran Meets the World, I returned to Steyning, my hometown, after 1.5 years on the road as a pandemic swept across the world. In the midst of all the Covid restrictions, I spoke to locals in socially distanced interviews to find out how they thought their community had changed during the lockdowns.  Home at Last…

  • Naftalan Crude Oil Baths - Vladimir Iakovlev Enjoys Naftalan Therapy
    Azerbaijan

    Azerbaijan’s Crude Oil Baths

    The World’s Weirdest Bath | Crude Oil Baths in Azerbaijan: Naftalan’s Bizarre Medical Treatments VIDEO [Article Below] Summary: People travel from all over the world to bathe in crude oil in Naftalan, a small town in Azerbaijan. What pushes people to take a dip in black gold, what makes Naftalan oil special, and what other bizarre, alternative “medical therapies” are hidden in the Azerbaijani countryside? Azerbaijan: The Land of Fire If I asked you where the Caucasus were, would you be able to point them out on a map? If not, don’t be embarrassed; you’re definitely not alone. They might not regularly be on the forefront of Western media platforms,…

  • Georgia,  Tieran Meets the World

    Stuck in Limbo Living in Abandoned Soviet Buildings

    IDPs Displaced by War and Stuck in Abandoned Soviet Buildings for 28 Years VIDEO [Article Below] Summary: Georgian IDPs (internally displaced people) have lived in abandoned soviet facilities for 28 years after they fled their homes during the Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflicts. I was able to meet some of them, and learned how their situation is linked to Russian occupation and the 2019-20 Tbilisi protests. Chapter 1 Tbilisi Protests: Anger in Georgia’s Capital The red and white of Georgian flags waved from side-to-side above a sea of people, shouts and screams echoed down Rustaveli Avenue, and a row of riot shields formed a wall in front of the crowd.…

  • Lenin statue in Tiraspol, Transnistria
    Moldova,  Tieran Meets the World,  Tiraspol,  Transnistria

    A Brit, a Bike, and a Breakaway State

    A Brit, a Bike, and a Breakaway State – Transnistria (AKA Pridnestrovie/the PMR) VIDEO [Article Below] Summary: Pridnestrovie (AKA Transnistria, or the Pridnestrovien Moldavian Republic [PMR]) is a breakaway state sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine. A relic of the USSR, statues of busts and Lenin still dot it’s streets, Russian peacekeepers man the border with Moldova, and UN restrictions mean there are no chain franchises here. After cycling through Moldova in winter, I travelled to Tiraspol, the capital of the PMR, to find out what’s it like to live in “the country that doesn’t exist”.  Thoughts From the Road   The road is quiet. The last vehicle I saw was…

  • Turkish Imam in Rize, Turkey
    Tieran Meets the World,  Turkey

    Ramadan & Religion in Turkey

    Cycling through Turkey During Ramadan – VIDEO [Article Below] Summary: What are the rules for Ramadan, why do people fast, and what’s it like to visit turkey during the islamic holy month? My cycle tour through Turkey coincided with Ramadan, a religious period I’d known embarrassingly little about before my arrival, but that was about to change… Thoughts From the Road  I should be scared, but I savour the rush. The wind picks up, roaring against my face as my eyes begin to water, and I allow momentum to take control. A car pulls out in front of me, and I veer left, tilting my entire bike into the stream…

  • Tieran Meets the World Header Photo
    Norway,  Tieran Meets the World

    The Kindness of Strangers

    How the Kindness of Strangers Saved my 6,000km Cycle Tour VIDEO [Article Below] Summary: The prospect of cycling 6,000km from Norway to Azerbaijan was daunting at first. With the intense physical challenge, the isolation, and my lack of experience, I considered quitting and coming home every day for the first few weeks of the cycle tour. But the Kindness of Norwegian strangers soon flipped the entire experience on it’s head… Panic The end of day one, and panic was setting in. 65km… 11-and-a-half hours… That’s an average of less than 6kmph. I sat on the edge of a bed, stunned at the extent to which I’d underestimated how hard this…

  • Why Jon Finley Supports Trump for President
    USA

    Why this Conservative Supports Trump

    Conservative American Explains why he’s Voting for Donald Trump in 2020 [VIDEO] Want to know more? Two years ago, back before Covid was even a dot on the horizon, I packed my bags and headed off to the USA. While I was there I took a road trip through the land of whiskey, rock and roll, and southern twangs; Tennessee. At a small, roadside café in Cornersville, I met Jon Finley. We’re at opposite ends of the political spectrum, and he was supporting Republican President Donald Trump in the 2020 elections, after doing the same in 2016. With the election coming up, I decided to try and get out of…

  • Lezgîn Kitêbçiyan talks Kurdish issues in Turkey
    Istanbul,  Turkey

    What’s it like being Kurdish in Turkey?

    The Place: Istanbul, Turkey (2/2) “I was starting to learn more about Turkish society; its quirks, its nuances, and its fractures… the warmth exuded by locals to foreigners masked some of the divisions that separated them from each other… Erdoğan supporters, Kemalists, Gülenists, Kurds; different factions clashed with one another over everything from politics to religion to ethnicity. Rather than fight the biases, I resolved to embrace the diversity of opinion, and take everything that I was told during my time in Turkey with a pinch of salt.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Lezgîn…

  • Mert Himmet Gümüş Featured
    Istanbul,  Turkey

    Islam, Erdoğan, Turks and Kurds

    The Place: Istanbul, Turkey “It took me 9 hours to cycle just 40km halfway into Istanbul, but by the end of it, it was as though I’d spent a lifetime there. It was alive; a living, breathing entity in its own right, and was saturated with an energy unlike anything I’ve ever felt. It coursed through narrow alleyways and over cobblestones, and swirled in the air. It felt electric, like at any moment it could explode from all the intensity, and my brain reeled from the assault on the senses… It was pure, perfect anarchy.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily…

  • Ivo Gospodinov Featured
    Bulgaria,  Burgas

    Was Communism better for Bulgaria?

    The Place: Burgas, Bulgaria “Spring was breathing life back into the Bulgarian countryside, and the browns and yellows of last years’ shrivelled but stubborn flora were slowly forced aside… I whizzed between trees reaching towards me from the roadside, and felt the invisible scowl of ‘Baba Marta’ tracking my movements…. the mythical, grumpy old woman is the living embodiment of the month of march, her mood swings reflecting the meteorological whiplash emblematic of this time of year.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Ivo Gospodinov, 27, Bartender “I prefer my hometown, but after graduation from…