Zenith Irfan, a 20-year old girl from Lahore, Pakistan paved her way through the stretch of the roads from Lahore to Kashmir on her motorbike, embarking on one of the bravest and heroic solo trips there exists!
Pakistan, a country which is still under the curtains of stereotypical norms of lifestyle, society, culture, traditions and education, a 20-year old girl is defying these taboos and has risen as a testimony for women, not just for Pakistan, but for women across the world. Zenith Irfan, the girl carrying an indomitable spirit and solemn intentions deserves a salute for her valiant efforts and dauntless adventure.
She embarked on an intrepid six-day solo ride from Lahore to Kashmir on her motorbike. Drifting on highways, trailing her bike through dissolved roads alongside streams in the Kashmir valley, camping on the wayside; her only recourse to civilisation are her several saddlebags, packed to bursting and her faithful Honda 125.
She is truly a daring and passionate woman, inspired by the dream of her deceased father. Quoting her words, “My father wanted to travel the world on a bike. I was 10-months-old when I lost him and at a very tender age I understood that “some things just don’t last forever. I guess it’s the whole emotional roller coaster that ignited the inner biker girl. I was 12 when I first rode one. All I could remember saying was “How do you stop this? How do you stop this?” With a twist of the throttle, the shift of the gear, I went to places carrying my father’s legacy. If I fall, I have to get up by myself. Dust the dirt caused by my own failure and face the raging road again. There is no helping hand. You are the designer of your own catastrophe. We all try to find our escape routes. We all try to seclude in something or someone. For me, it was motorcycles.”
Zenith started her six-day journey from Lahore on June 14, 2015 and completed it on June 20, 2015. On her return, Zenith documented her journey in a personal photo blog on Facebook,- ‘’ Zenith Irfan: 1 Girl 2 Wheels’’.
She describes herself as a “free hearted soul”, which is quite self-evident the way she achieved her mission and how courageous she indeed is.
Zenith-true to her name, meaning, ‘’the time at which something is most powerful or successful’’, has conquered the pinnacle of strength and resilience, triggering the initial stage of her dream, becoming a reality. Aiming to elevate, uplift and encourage women to embrace their passions and goals, Zenith has challenged not just the societal taboos and conventions but has also made a prodigious beginning towards destroying gender stereotypes.
For some women, their immediate societies enforce upon them, few obligations and lifestyle practices, which takes away their essential essence of freedom. Some consider female motorbike riders as a symbol of disgrace and shame to the society. This is was one of the perception that Zenith aimed to change and hence, wanted to create cognizance towards a much more liberal society with rational minds.
She did not face any resistance when she decided to make this journey. Her mother is a very liberal woman and in fact, she was the one who motivated and pushed her to ride a motorcycle.
Despite the difficult terrains and rocky mountains, one thing she found challenging was “public stares”. She said that being a Pakistani woman there are certain limitations, “I have to calculate my speech and body language.” Her carefully documented journey can serve as a guide for future women adventurers. Be it a journey through rocky plains, rugged landscapes or broken roads – a natural combination of all trails ahead of a rider, must be aced. She traveled through the perilous terrain of northern Pakistan along with her luggage tied on bike behind her.
A true pioneer and an awe-inspiring testimony for women in her country, Zenith did her bit in carving a niche for Pakistani women on the world map.
This quest has helped her connect to nature and has even renewed her spiritual senses. Her lifestyle on the road includes a lot of camping, meeting the locals and playing with kids. She even made it to Humans of Pakistan and shared her inspiring story with the nation.
The perks of traveling are unimaginable as it restores faith in life. The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time. It makes monotony, interesting and passes vigor to celebrate little things.
That is how noble it is.
And that is what makes it so indispensable.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch.
Zenith Irfan. A front runner and an inspiration to millions. We salute you.
-This article was first published on the official blog of ‘Campture’. The travel community I interned with, as content writer and campus ambassador. One of my first few articles, published by a company/firm. And yes, I say this because I know I have a long way to go! 😀
The link of the published blog-