Updated: Jan 8
Would you kindly share a little bit about yourself for Battuta readers? Who is Elif Kübra Genç?
Elif Kübra Genç is a person who follows her dreams, loves to read, learn, has learned to enjoy the moment, has blogged for many years, now produces video content, loves to dress up, experiment, share and produce content on every social network.
Traveling starts with inspiration is one of our mottos. What inspires you to travel?
I guess traveling is in my soul. When I was 18, I told my family that I was going to travel around the whole of Turkey. Of course, no one believed me. In fact, they didn’t feel comfortable with me studying at the university, which was out of town, but my mind was set. I was finding myself as I traveled. Learning and trying new things, seeing a new place just makes me happy. Even not knowing what I will encounter where I am going makes me curious. I guess the passion to learn is what drives me. :)
‘‘I guess traveling is in my soul.’’
Your Instagram page is entertaining, elegant, and informative. As an influencer, how do you keep your 152K followers engaged?
They are like my family. I share everything I do, every experience I have. They witness everything I do in a day. There are even those who recognize when I am sad and send me messages. I try conveying the good things I learn as much as I can. It is important for me to add even a tiny bit of positive energy. Some women started their travels being inspired by my story. Some women recreate my photographs and send them to me. These kinds of occurrences make me happy. Sometimes we meet on the road and we chat like friends. Some people knew me and greeted me while traveling in Macedonia and Montenegro, and even in Ukraine (: As I said, many people continue to follow me because I sincerely see them as my family.
2020 has been a difficult year for travelers, as we approach 2021 what are your travel plans? Which country is on the top of your list?
Since I have traveled to every corner of Turkey, I was planning to visit a different country every month in 2020. I visited a new country for the first 2 months of 2020, but unfortunately, the rest did not come to reality. In 2021, Morocco tops my list and Azerbaijan is the second. But to be honest, I am not someone who makes long-range plans. I live in the moment. As soon as I find a cheap ticket, if there is a place I want to go, I buy it immediately. I hope 2021 will be a healthy year. I always say that one may not have anything but if one has health, one can do it all.
You have traveled to all the 81 cities in Turkey, we know it is difficult but if you were to pick your Top 3, which cities would they be and why?
Yes, it is very difficult to answer. I am actually going to answer this question by category:
Black Sea Region for its nature, Eastern Region for its food, Aegean Region for vacation (Turquoise Waters)
I love Izmir and Rize very much. Hatay has a special place in my heart. I have already visited these cities many times, but I am eager to visit them again. :)
As a hijabi traveler and a backpacker, do you have any suggestions on how to pack wisely?
The more I traveled, the more I knew about the things I needed to take with me during my travels. Frankly, I haven’t purchased anything I didn’t need up until now. You can not take a lot of items when traveling with a backpack anyway. What you take is your basic needs. My advice is to pack clothes that do not wrinkle, that you can easily match with other pieces you packed, and that will suit any occasion.
I traveled with a backpack on my last trip to Ukraine in 2020. Because of the new baggage rules of the pandemic, I continued to travel with a small suitcase. I really miss the days I traveled as a backpacker. But I think the pandemic has changed something in everyone’s lives and changed my way of travel. Now, I prefer to travel with a small suitcase as it is more hygienic.
Most of your posts are in nature or in historical places? What drives you to these places?
I love being in nature. It energizes me. It relaxes me. It increases my gratitude. The more I look, the more I want to see. Who knows what beauties are out there that we haven’t seen yet! I do not like city crowds. I find myself spending time in nature whenever possible. I love animals very much, spending time with them makes me happy.
‘‘Nature is where I’m happy, and that’s why nature is where you will find me. :) ‘‘
Historical places have always impressed me. Just think about the events that took place in those ruins. I love and share historical places because it excites me.
As I said at the beginning, I am in places where I am happy. If I am not happy in a place or I don’t like the energy, I will not go there. Life is too short, one should spend it wisely and happily.
Since we can consider you an expert on Turkey, what Top 3 cities would you suggest to a tourist visiting Turkey in the Summer of 2021?
First of all, let me remind you that I had to work hard to become an expert I did my master’s in Professional Tour Guiding and I hope that I will be an expert in the field soon. My humble suggestion would be Muğla, Trabzon, and Mardin.
There are many places to visit in Muğla. They can rent a car in Trabzon and visit Rize, Artvin, or even Batumi. Mardin is a city that must be seen for its history. FYI, Diyarbakir is just an hour away from Mardin. By choosing these three destinations, they will end up seeing more than three cities. They will be learning more about Turkey and capturing incredible photos. :)
‘‘Life is too short, one should spend it wisely and happily.’’
Lastly, do you have any recommendations for Battuta readers traveling in 2021?
If we cannot travel abroad, I think we should discover the beauties of our own country and share it with the world. It won’t be easy because of the restrictions, but if there is a will, there is a way.
This was a delight, and thank you sincerely for taking the time to answer our questions. Any final thoughts you would like to share?
Thank you. If one truly desires a thing from the heart, they can accomplish it. I will continue to chase after my dreams. Limits are in our minds.
Maybe I will come across someone who read this article on the road ahead. Who knows.
Stay well. Happy New Year!