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Guliafshan Tariq: Pakistani Female Biker. Defying Boundaries, Embracing Adventure and Exploration.


Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Guliafshan Tariq is a trailblazer who has made history in the world of biking and adventure travel. Born and raised in Pakistan, Guliafshan has always been fascinated by the world beyond her doorstep. Despite facing numerous obstacles and challenges, she has pursued her passion for exploration with unwavering determination and courage.

Guliafshan became the first Pakistani female biker girl to break gender stereotypes and venture into areas that were previously considered off-limits due to Taliban activity. With almost no support from her family or community, she taught herself how to ride a motorcycle and set out on a journey to discover her country. Despite facing many hurdles along the way, including dangerous river crossings and treacherous mountain paths, her passion for travel kept her focused and alive.

In addition to exploring Pakistan, Guliafshan has also recorded her journey in the form of videos, which she shares with the world. Her efforts have earned her three consecutive national records, including cycling to Khunjerab, the highest border in the world, from Islamabad in 2015, a 20-day motorbike ride through the whole KPK Province in 2016, and a solo paragliding jump at a height of 7800 ft in Chitral in 2016.

Guliafshan's achievements have not gone unnoticed, and she has been recognized by both the Pakistani government and the international community. In 2017, she received a gold medal from the Government of Pakistan and the Nazariya Pakistan Council for her lifetime achievements from AQ Khan. She has also hosted a travel show on BBC and appeared as a motivational speaker on TedX.

By profession, Guliafshan is a computer engineer, but her passion for adventure travel and biking has taken her far beyond her chosen field. Her ultimate goal is to become the first Muslim Pakistani woman to cover the world on her motorbike. Through her daring exploits and unwavering determination, Guliafshan has broken down barriers and inspired countless people around the world to pursue their dreams, no matter how challenging they may seem.

***This episode was recorded live at the Armchair Adventure Festival 27th - 30th July 2023. Buy tickets now for #AAF24 - THE UK'S MOST ADVENTUROUS FESTIVAL. Mt Edgcumbe, Cornwall, 25-28th July 2024. Use TG10 to get a 10% discount on tickets. www.armchairadventurefestival.com. ***


 

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Show notes

  • Who is Gul

  • Sharing her early childhood years

  • What it was like growing up in Pakistan as a female

  • Being told just to stay inside their house

  • Getting more education than the rest of Pakistani girls

  • How she was encouraged to pursue a career in computer engineering

  • Failing her medical exam intentionally to get into computer engineering

  • Losing his father in 2011

  • Her dream to spend one whole night outside the house with her friends

  • Earning and saving money to leave home for her first trip

  • Going on her first cycling adventure with one other friend

  • How her family reacted to her adventure

  • Her mum trying to stop her

  • Becoming an inspiration to a lot of women from Pakistan who wants to follow her path

  • Progressing from bike to motorbike

  • Doing her first longest trip on a motorbike

  • What was the journey like

  • Meeting her future husband, a filmmaker

  • Resigning from her job and focusing on a business with her husband

  • Road to equality with McDonald's

  • Meeting women on the road and one that touched her

  • Visiting one of the most dangerous places in Pakistan - Balochistan

  • The challenge of getting a good bike in Pakistan, and how she dealt with it

  • Learning how to repair her bike and how to fix it

  • Being invited to a motorbiking show in London and meeting a lot of women

  • Moving to the UK in 2021 and being pregnant with her first baby

  • Stopping riding her bike because of her health issues

  • How her husband pushed her to come out of her home and ride her bike

  • Her dream to explore India and other parts of Europe and America

  • Advice for women to learn how to ride a bike

  • Final words of wisdom

 

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