Journal Of A Yogini – Travel Interview

I’m a backpacker yogini from Turkey, who used to work for corporate companies. Before traveling as a backpacker, I traveled to European countries many times just for vacations. After taking my Yoga Teachers Training Course, I decided to stop working for capitalist system and to spread yoga philosophy to the others. As a yogini, I accepted a minimal lifestyle, but it was a big transformation in the beginning. So I started backpacking to always be able to out of my comfort zone. So this is the brief history of how I became a full-time traveler.

When and why did you start blogging?
I started one with a friend in 2015 in our native language. http://www.dunyakacbucak.com www.dunyakacbucak.com is still going on as a lifestyle blog. When I first started writing, I had a dream to travel around the world. So, I think I am making my dream come true by being out of my comfort zone and being able to go anywhere, anytime because of my new lifestyle. Now, I write only about Traveling and Yoga in both Turkish and English to my blog called “Journal of a Yogini” (www.journalofayogini.com)

What do you blog about? Any particular niche within travel?
Yes! I write about yoga & wellness as well as traveling. Traveling is like a journey to my inner self and it serves to my goals regarding yoga.

How did you decide your blogs names
Being on the road and teaching yoga as well as being a constant student, made me feel like I need to share these experiences to inspire people. So the idea of writing a journal and being a yogini created this name.

How long have you been blogging for?
It has been 3 years. But I founded ‘Journal of a Yogini’ in January 2018.

What plans do you have in the future for your blog?
I have a project that I started last year, but haven’t finished yet. In order to continue, I need to keep traveling and at the moment I’m in Istanbul and will be here for a while.

Places to visit
I have always wanted to be in a Shamanic tribe. That’s why I want to travel to Central and South America. But it’s not only a passion to see those continents, I also want to see the places I haven’t been yet…

Does your blog cover anything else other than travel? If so what?

Yoga. I am a yoga teacher for 2 years and since I started I have been writing about yoga.

Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers that might want to start a travel blog?

Actually, as a spontaneous decision maker, I can give only one advice that ‘be sincere’. Cause I gain a lot because of my sincerity.

What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging?

It’s challenging, to be honest. There are so many people like you doing that. How you can make people to search and read your blog? You have to adapt yourself, writing good content as well as challenging with the rules of search engines.

What type of traveler are you?
I used to work 9-6 and travel, which was very tiring and kinda touristy vacation. I wanted to engage with the locals, be on the road for a long time that ‘I’ can decide the time lenghth. So I sometimes worked voluntarily, mostly back packed and once I taught 1 yoga class per day and made some money and traveled.

What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain place or destination?
I don’t use anything exactly. Whenever I have an intuition about a place, then I search for the sources. Mainly LonelyPlanet is a source for me. But in general, I follow solo backpackers on social media like me, and sometimes ask for advices.

Do you have any favourite travel books you have read or use?  Only LonelyPlanet

What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why? 
India – Because of its spirit.
Nepal- Because of Himalayas and hikes.
Myanmar- I love Burmese people because of their humility.
Morocco- Interesting spot bringing African, French, Islamic and Mediterrean cultures
Italy- Good food, good natural attractions

What equipment do you use to blog or for your blog?
Equipments:I have Fujifilm XE2 for a camera, Iphone for instant photos, Macbook Air
Apps: Lightroom for filters, Duoling for learning languages, Xe for currency exchange, maps.me for online maps…

What’s the TOP blog posts on your page? 
Another Kind of Bangkok Trip

Morocco Travel Guide; with its Amazing Colors | 10 Q&A

Journey to the Unknown; Myanmar Travel Guide 

Do you have any tips or suggestions one how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?
My objective is on the strength of my content. So, I wouldn’t recommend them to produce commercial stuff, cause eventually the good ones will survive. They should be patient about that…

Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations?
Fingers crossed☺
To see the volcanic mountain Bromo Tengger Semeru in Indonesia
Costa Rica
Machu Pichu, Peru
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Patagonia, Argentina

Top 5 travel experiences you can’t wait to try out or do?
I haven’t tried travelling with bike. So I wanna try it. It will be cheaper than other options cause I wion’t be paying for transportation a lot. And I can camp everywhere. So I won’t pay for the accommodation as well. So Riding bike and camping, and also hitchhiking. I felt a bit insecure as a solo female traveler but next time I will try hitchhiking. And I also wanna try to travel as a pedestrian.

Do you have a money saving travel tips?
I am always open to new options but so far I have done this: Break Out of the Comfort Zone

Do you have any funny or strange travel experiences to share?  
Many many… I wrote down some of them but it was in Turkish. I will share one:
So when I was coming back from Morocco, the flight company didn’t let me take the flight because of bureaucratic reasons. Actually, according to embassy I was able to transit from Germany as a Turkish citizen with an exclusion; having a valid American visa. But I was gonna take another flight from Cologne which was from another company. So because of their regulations, I couldn’t take the flights. The funny part is, just before going to the airport when I was in taxi, I realized that my wallet wasn’t there. I didn’t have money, I had cancelled my debit and credit cards and I was stuck at the airport like the movie ‘Terminal’.

While I was trying to get better at the airport, my brother booked a flight in order not to let me stay there without money and compensate my loss. But since he was so amateur about booking cheap flights, he booked a very expensive indirect flight with a 17 hours layover. And the first flight was 24 hours later than the current time. So, I had do handle 2 days with no cash in Morocco. I went back to my hostel with a traveler without paying taxi. The hostel guys gave me a bed for free and also breakfast and lunch and a taxi to the airport. The other day during the layover I bumped into a Turkish couple whom I met in Sahara Desert. And they bought me some tea and gave me some snacks. So I went back home safe and with so mch gratitude.
But I fought with my brother because of his fault☺ Cause I had to pay him back this huge amount of money…

Was there a place you visited that did not live up to your expectations & why.
Cambodia. Maybe it was because I was feeling bad that time. But, as a vegetarian I couldn’t find proper food there and it made me alienated. I have been to Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh. Because of tourism, people behave like you are an object bringing money. I was there to see some local attractions but local people see the others as money makers… I wasn’t comfortable there.

What’s in your travel bag?
My kindle: I can’t travel without my books
My camera: I can’t travel without my camera
My laptop so that I can write my articles wherever I go.
Powerbank always works when there is no charger.
My music list survives me

What travel apps do you use and why?
Maps.me: is the best mapping application
Xe: I need currency exchange
Tureng: for dictionary
Duolingo: for learning languages
Tripadvisor: taking advises about the place I go
Lightroom: for filtering my photos

What are 3 things travelling has thought you?
I become more flexible. Whatever it happens I see the gratitude in it.
I am stronger and I am less depending on money. Cause it’s possible to travel/live with a limited amount of money.

Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved? What was good about these places?
Fethiye, Datca, Olimpos, Kas from Turkey. Turkey’s west side has so many beautiful bay areas, canyons, valleys, beaches.
Koh Phangan/Thailand has many beautiful spots as well.
And I love Santa Monica and Venice beach in Los Angeles/US. Sunsets are so amazing there. And there are so many different outdoor activities for different people.

Best places you have visited or want to visit for cultural experiences?
I wanna go to Amazons and stay with Shamans.
And also I am very curious about Tibetan culture. But there is no opportunity to go there…

What are 5 things you wish you knew about blogging before you started?
SEO☺ In my first blogging experience, I wasn’t aware of those kinda rules and for 2 years I have written many articles. Now I feel like I wish I knew SEO optimisation rules and share my posts with more people.

Where do you see your travel blog in two years? 
Actually, blogging is a baby steps of writing. After some time I wanna transform my journal to a book. We’ll see☺

Please share one travel quote you love?
Traveling doesn’t always mean going somewhere. It is a travel to your inner side.

(If I have not covered a specific question you want to talk about relating to your travels or blog) you can add anything you want to this post and I will be happy to add it).

Please give a short description of your blog and what you cover.
I mostly write about my travel experiences, guides and also write about yoga; covering yoga philosophy and my yoga journal.

Social Media: 
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/journalofayogini/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/journalofayogini/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/journalofayogini/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/GoncaGengonul
Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/117543480160244760603
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL3TJ_m8T61iKNy6nhdt7Uw?view_as=subscriber

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Comments
  • Shannon Keary
    Reply

    I love reading interview posts, there so inspiring and being a nosey traveller I love to hear about other people’s lives! The beaches in Koh Pagnang were stunning, I totally agree! I’m just off to read a few more interviews here, thanks for sharing such an interesting post! Shan xoxo

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