Fellow:Furkan Varol

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Furkan Varol
School (Cohort)
Boğaziçi University (2022 cohort)
Majoring in
International Trade


We have something to learn from any being in life, but for me, the most precious and magical thing is the acquisition of others’ information that’s retained from their experience. Since childhood, I was a very curious kid asking my parents about any interesting thing that encountered and nothing changed when I grow up. My parents were replaced by searching on the internet and strangers that I believe they’ve got the answer namely professors, writers, philosophers, scientists, and, of course, locals that I encounter on the journey. At first glance, it might seem it doesn’t worth mentioning ‘locals’ in this order but I firmly believe that being present in a brand new place that you have never been in is like being born again. This time you have facilitators of communication but nothing more. The locals or the materials you read, watch or listened to are your guide to experience the ‘place’ with eyes fully open, with curiosity. It is the source of inspiration to build yourself in any combination of paths you want to follow in other words creating your way. That’s why I am on my way to selecting different paths to follow. When I was in high school I have never been away from my hometown for a long time. I started to investigate the instances that characterized the city in history. The forgotten ones were very attractive to me, and as an assistant to my high school history teacher Füsun Genç I started to investigate earthquakes and fires that occurred in Balıkesir (my hometown) for 2 years and our articles were accepted in Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. In the first path of the middle of adolescence, it was the professors and the newspapers that I found to gather information about the instance I want to learn more. The second path came during my freshman year at university. The Covid-19 Pandemic locked all of us in houses and for me, there was a long summer ahead before the first year of university. The new adventures were calling me, I had to find a way to explore new things without even leaving the house so I started to read classical novels. In my entire life, I have never stayed physically inactive, so I also started to do yoga practices on YouTube, and take long walks in the forest near the house. It was the writers from whom I was fed during this time and my economics professor Mehtap Işık, she also suggested me many different books after the first academic year began for me. I am still on the third path and it started with a 3-day Antalya trip to run a half marathon. I trained hard to be able to finish 21km without stopping. In addition to this, it was the first time I traveled so far from Istanbul. I liked the idea of attending an organization that involves physical activity and meanwhile traveling those places. Therefore I planned my next activity in the spring, I was going to attend a yoga retreat camp in Fethiye and I was expecting to learn how to do handstands. Unfortunately, it has been canceled the day before I hit the road. Anyways I didn’t cancel my trip and for the first time, I went to a place without any purpose, just to discover and all alone. In early June, my travels around Turkey started that way. I met with a yogi in Fethiye who lived in India for 2 years to learn the essence of yoga and now was turning back to his home country, France. Hanuman as he called himself taught me many concepts on traveling as well as yoga practices. From the inspiration I had from what he told me, I traveled to the southeastern part of Turkey, by myself. It was also my first time using an app called Couchsurfing which enables travelers to stay with locals for free. It was my thing, discovering new worlds under the guidance of locals and seeing new lifestyles in their place! Right now I want to focus on those trips and getting to know new people and see their lives to get inspiration for the next path I will follow!


  • Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey's Competition 2nd and 3rd place in south Marmara region in 2016 and 2017.
  • A beginner solo backpacker.
  • Crafter of gourd lamps and I have a store on Etsy: vibeanatolia
  • Half marathon runner in Runtalya 2022
  • Coirmaster in the jazz choir of Boğaziçi University 2022-2023

Social media profiles

Linkedin profile: Furkan Varol Instagram profile: @varolfurkan2 Couchsurfing profile

Related links