There's a new foreigner in town and her name is Rosie Gabrielle - you best remember it, because she's not going anywhere anytime soon.
The Canadian solo traveler has been biking her way across Pakistan and she says that although "everyone told me it was too dangerous to come to Pakistan as a single female, let alone ride a motorcycle across the country," she has been treated with nothing but love and kindness.
She decided to share, "the true heart of Pakistan," as she said in her post. "The PEOPLE. I hope to change the mindsets that have been conditioned and indoctrinated to think negative views on this country."
Speaking to Images, Gabrielle shared her story: "I’m from Canada, I travel all over the world by motorcycle solo. A couple years ago, I started a YouTube and social media pages to capture my experiences and to inspire people. I made videos of my personal encounters with the people and what it was like to travel as a solo female."
"After my series in Oman went viral, I saw what a difference my videos could make especially for the Muslim community on an international level. This really inspired me to want to come to Pakistan because I knew what a negative view the media has on the country, and I wanted to change that. There was a group called 'Pakistan Awaits', an initiative started in Oman who invited me to come to Pakistan for one week with them on a project."
"After that, I decided to stay, get a bike sponsored by SA Gardens and cross the country and document my experiences to share with the world. Hoping to shed a positive light on the people and country."
"I’m staying with friends of friends here. I also get invited into homes along the way, Pakistan is great like that!"
She added, "Apart from the bike, nothing in my trip was sponsored. I've been here two months and have another month to go. I might even extend the one month and just stay here and not go to India, it’s not certain yet. Because of a delay due to some issues, the plan is a bit tossed at the moment. But I’m loving Pakistan, and can’t wait to do the north!"
Right now, Rosie is headed to Karachi from where she will move on to Gwadar before heading back up north. But will that be the end of Rosie's trip to Pakistan?
"I'm already planning on returning to Pakistan in the summers to move across the mountains."
Like Cynthia's experience of riding a bike on the streets of Peshawar, Rosie too sensed a warm welcome when Pakistanis saw that a female was riding a motorbike in this country.
"I can tell you first hand what it’s like to travel Pakistan as a solo female and what I’ve experienced so far. Countless smiles and cheers of joy as I pass people and they realise it’s a female riding."
She added in her post, "Basically it’s just me walking the streets here at night alone, to show you - just how SAFE it is here. And now, 5 days solo on the road and I can’t tell you how amazing everyone has been along the way, and just how safe I really feel traveling alone here and how well cared for I am."
Having been treated as family since she came to Pakistan in December 2018, she has been overwhelmed by the love she has received by the Pakistani people.
"I, as a non Muslim foreign female, have been so accepted into this culture. Without judgment, without question. I’ve been treated as family knowing that this world, has such a negative view on Muslim people and of Pakistan. That they have NO idea what Islam is actually about or the true heart of these people. That THEY are the ones terrorizing these beautiful peaceful souls. If they only knew. That Muslims, and Pakistani people, are model citizens for the entire WORLD. For all of humanity."
Rosie is making waves on social media with her travels and wholesome posts and as many times before, desi men have found a new hero. While we admire Rosie for her travels and adventurous spirit, we find it ridiculous that desi men on social media, who cry shame at desi women travellers like Zenith Irfan or go in rage mode at Sohai Ali Abro for her character in Motorcycle Girl are full of praises and calling her their "hero."
Also, remember when a women's bike rally in Peshawar was cancelled after religious parties threatened to protest against the event?. Yeah, we can go on...