Nurgül Büyükkalay is the one who was born with a travel gene. She is a traveler who thinks that traveling is the biggest investment she makes, learns as she travels, and never hesitates to travel alone. Let’s take a look at her traveling story!
|Job||Academician, Travel Writer|
|Hobbies / Interests||Traveling, writing, cinema, tennis|
|Number of Countries Visited||? 52|
|Social Media Accounts||Instagram/nurgulbuyukkalay|
When and how did you start to consider being a travel blogger?
I have been traveling for a long time and I’ve visited quite a lot of countries. I always loved to share my travel experiences to be useful or inspire others for traveling. Besides my passion for traveling, I love writing, photography and I am good at self-management. When these things become together, there is not any reason not to start your blog. It was many years ago I had the idea to open a blog; however, I opened my blog nearly three years ago.
Was there any specific incident that you decided to start it? Was there any person that you encouraged you to do it?
My friends from Turkey and even from abroad have been asking me where to go, what to eat before their travels. I’ve been giving them recommendations. I always take specific notes while traveling and it was time for me to use all of this information for my blog to reach more people. Also, some of my traveler friends were telling me that I create good content for Instagram and why I do not open a travel blog? Then I thought why not? Before my travels, I read some of the blogs that I follow and trust. When you read a blog, you just don’t get the information or facts, you get the experience. This was also my motivation.
Do you think traveling changed you? And what’s the hardest part of being a travel blogger?
Yes, of course! Travel changes all the travelers in some way without any doubt. It changed me in a lot of ways. I can list a lot of things about how travel has changed me but to give some examples; I can say that after traveling to a lot of different countries and meeting different cultures, you start to take simple things for granted. You become more open to meeting new people and making friends. As you can face some problems or different cultural issues, you improve your critical thinking, your reactions become quicker.
About the hardest part of being a travel blogger; first of all, you always need to stay updated and for this, it is better to have a schedule. You should have a schedule and write regularly but you shouldn’t just throw something to follow your schedule, your content should always be its best. You need to produce effective content by aiming your target group. Making your blog busy with a lot of writings is not important, you need to make it readable. You need to answer the questions your readers have with your content. There are a lot of blogs popping up every day so this makes your job tough.
Do you plan the trip yourself or do you do it through an agency? How far in advance do you usually plan your trips?
I always plan my trips by myself. I am flexible and I don’t plan my trips many months ago. Actually, I am sometimes a last-minute person. Sometimes, I travel without making any hotel or other travel arrangements. I just go and find on the way or when I arrive. Depending on my destination, I plan a few weeks or one month in advance.
I saw you are pretty into series and movies. Did you visit a concrete destination because of that or do you plan to do it?
Yes, I love to watch movies and series. I’ve visited some of the Harry Potter spots in the UK. I’ve been to Universal Studios. I also like to discover cafes, restaurants where movies took place. For example, I’ve visited some of the Godfather locations in Sicily, such as Bar Vitelli in Savoca.
How many countries do you visit per year?
It depends but I mostly visit more than 5 countries. This number goes up to 10 – 15.
Which destination was the most relaxing one for you?
Bali and Maldives
In which of your trips did you wish to stay there for more time?
Did you have any “meeting” with an animal during one of your trips?
Yes. In Maldives I met baby sharks.
What’s your favourite destinations for winter/summer?
For winter I like northern countries like Finland where I can enjoy real winter. For summer, Greek islands, Sicily and tropical countries.
Where’s the next destination after all these coronavirus days?
I had planned to go to Zanzibar and Kenya but because of coronavirus, I had to cancel it. If I can, I still prefer to go there. If this destination will not be possible, I would like to go to the Greek Islands.