Stories of Wonderers

“Place, People, Passion! – meet traveller, writer and future engineer Bengüsu!

Bengüsu is a Turkish writer, traveller and engineer in the making. She has published two books as “Maskeli Kedi” and “Antika Adam”.

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1.Hi, Bengüsu! Can you describe yourself with 3 words?

Places, People, Passion!

2. You are both writer and traveller. How do these two aspect affect each other?

Definitely mutual! Writing is nothing but story telling and traveling means so much food for your stories. Apart from this trivial reason, I feel traveling as a privileged time that I book for myself, pausing all the responsibilities that sometimes exhausts me even if I enjoy doing so; and open myself to me, speaking up to myself !

3. When did your travel passion start?

I used to say “I love traveling!” all the time, like everyone else and not really meaning it, now I see. During my exchange semester in Hong Kong, for the first time in my life traveling has been my top priority, since it was a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to travel all Asia for low cost using Hong Kong as a hub.
Luckily, those travels proved me wrong! I realized that you do not need to prioritize traveling because it does not mean that rest of your life – let’s say your routine – will malfunction! Conversely, I felt more willing to catch up with the classes that I missed, didn’t mind staying up late for a deadline, definitely complained way less about everything in my life. I succeeded at almost everything with this motivation and if I failed, I embraced failing with a smile on my face.
My only advice will be “Discover what traveling can do to you !”

4. Have you ever feel like -okay, I have travelled a lot. Now I want to settle down and live in one place!

Sometimes I feel like it, but only if I fall in love with a city that I traveled and begged for a couple of months with rent-free accommodation to live there and explore more.
I believe there would be a time that I’ll have less time to travel, since I also have a passion for my professional career and future writing adventures. However, it does not mean that I am going to settle at somewhere, I will only be aware that I should make my limited days worth it wherever I go!

5. What is the 3 city which you suggest that everyone must see there before they die?

It must be the most difficult question for every traveller. It might sound like cliche but I do not believe there should be cities on your checklist to “see”, “have pictures in”, and “get souvenirs from”. The journey and freedom of traveling is far more important than the destination you go.
Here is just 3 recommendations out of more than 20 cities I’ve been to, if you are up for some certain things. Let me kindly exclude the countries I lived longer than a month, it is an irreplaceable emotional bond.

Hanoi – For breathtaking views of Sapa and Ha Long Bay, for life lessons, for meeting best backpackers ever
Barcelona- For a Europe city that you can find architecture, good food, warm people and peaceful beaches all together
Tokyo- For the most original country and culture that can disconnect you with the rest of the world.

6. What is your perception of life? And how does being a traveller fit in? 

I believe only one thing : “You are not the same person you are going to be tomorrow!” I see the biggest challenge of my life as discovering myself, adjusting my life for my changing dreams and traveling is just a remedy for that. Every new city, every new culture and every new stranger is another window that you never looked at yourself from.

7. Final question, who was your shero when you are growing up?

To be honest, when I was a kid I didn’t known many influential women like everyone nowadays name “Frida Kahlo!” or “Sheryl Sandberg!” at a glance. I remember looking up to Gülse Birsel, a Turkish actress and screenwriter, since I really admired her creativity and her strong position as the only woman who could succeed in comedy genre in Turkey, way better than other many well-known names. I believe we both love traveling, at least “have a thing for New York”, she lived there longer than I did !

Read Bengüsu’s travel experiences and short stories here or follow her on Instagram.

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