My Icebreaker Speech

One day, my cousin called me and asked if I wanted to go to London. I said that I never wanted, simply because the visa was too expensive and the country as well for that matter. A 6 months visa for 160USD? I’ll pass. I could travel to another country with a bit more money. When he told that he’d already cover the accommodation, I reconsidered it and said yes.

When I came to London in May 2018 I fell in love with the city. We also went to Edinburgh for a couple of days. I loved it as well.

The weather was amazing, I saw construction sites everywhere and with a bit of a research, I learnt about the construction industry here. I wanted to move here immediately. I was already looking to move abroad for some years back then and thought the UK would be a great new country to start living.

After returning, I looked for a job for the next 6 months. Only a couple of companies answered and told me that they wouldn’t sponsor. I held my thoughts for a while. Then in 2019 September, a colleague at work told me “Chief, I am moving to London”. Yes, in construction sites, they usually call me “chief”, since I am an engineer. I asked how he managed to do it and found out that it was something I could do, with rather ease. So, I prepared my business plan and got my approval on Valentine’s Day in February 2020. I moved to London on 3rd March and have been here almost ever since. Initially it was supposed to be a 10-day trip and then I’d come again but it didn’t go as planned.

I founded my company right away and started trading but as you’d know, life happens when we are busy making other plans.

Lockdown for several months let me see London in a different light, an empty London for the first time, ever? And you may remember the free bus rides. I enjoyed London with them. I went around the city, on foot and discovered what London had to offer. I took hundreds of photos of London. Empty streets everywhere. Ah yes, I love photography and since I didn’t bring my real camera, I had to rely on my phone camera for several months. If you want to see my photos, azemalptekin is my Instagram account. Not the personal one though 😉

I think it was my first month in London and I joined to a Toastmasters meeting in New Zealand, Auckland, a morning meeting. Pretty interesting it was for me. I wrote about it on my website with a zoom screenshot in it. Ah yes, I have my own website, I even use my email address via my website. It’s really cool 😉 Yes, I love writing. What I write, mostly what goes on in my mind. And sometimes some informative posts I have. Not to forget about the places I have been to.

As I said, I love photography. One day, I was taking photos in Green Park when I saw a photographer with several Leica cameras around his neck and in his hand. He was an Iranian photographer based in here and we met. He told me that my name meant traveller in Persian language. Just like the first person to tell me the meaning of my name, an Iranian refugee back in 1995 in my hometown. He told me that my name meant traveller in the dessert. Later, during my research of my name, I learnt that I had a palace named after me in Syria. Azem Palace. You’re welcome to search it online. I don’t use the term “google It”, since I’m not using Google as my default search engine anymore.

To return to my tale, a police officer signed him and he had to go away from me and my friend. I hope he got what he was waiting for, an admittance to a refugee accepting country. I kind of remember him wanting to go do the Netherlands. I also don’t remember his name.

To be worthy of my name, or in other words, for my name’s sake, I’ve been travelling almost since the day I was born. First between Istanbul and my hometown, Ağrı. 24-hour long bus rides. People smoking in the buses. Not something one would want, I guess.

As a traveller, I had to travel and also live in different cities, different countries. After living in few cities in Turkey, the final one being Istanbul, I decided that it was time for me to live abroad for a while. During my university studies, I was quite active socially and started volunteering. Then I thought I should do it abroad too and I went to Cologne for one whole year, volunteering. Best experience of my life. Ich habe Deutsch gelernt und dann zürück nach Istanbul. (I learnt German and returned to Istanbul) I tasted the life abroad, I wanted more. I finished my studies and went to work and live in Dubai. I’m sure you know all heard of the Palm Island in Dubai. That’s my first work experience. I had amazing experience there and even thought of emigrating to Australia. But then changed my mind. It was too far away from Turkey. So, I returned to Turkey and have been living there, while also travelling around the world. Sorry, I forgot to tell you, I love traveling. Even during the pandemic, I travelled to and fro Istanbul. I intend to start travelling soon. My feet are getting itchy. Although I currently live in London, I’m sure I’ll not live here for all my life. New countries, new life.

Thank you for listening and hope you learnt a bit more about me.

P.S. I recently joined London Victorians Toastmasters public speaking club. As it is common practice, my first prepared speech was an icebreaker speech. In my speech, I give information about myself to the members, in order that we break the ice inbetween and become better known by one another. On the other hand, this was my fifth icebreaker speech. Or maybe sixth. I kind of lost count 🙂

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