Özlem Tunca Esirgenç, Yasin Esirgenç and Yakupcan Esirgenç are one special family from Turkey! They are travelling all over the world and making documentaries for Turkish Kanal 7. Their lifestyle attracted a lot of fans, which is pretty clear on their social networks. For example, just on Instagram their show Dünyayı Geziyorum has almost 200 thousand followers. We managed to catch up with Özlem just before the family left Dubrovnik, which they visited because of the Good Food Festival.
You are quite famous in Turkey, can you explain to our readers what is your show about?
We have been travelling around the world for eight years now. In the last four years, my son Yakupcan joined us. So, I’m travelling with my husband and my son and this is very unique project in the world. In these eight years we’ve been to more than 120 countries and my little son is almost four years old and he has visited around 90 countries! He has his second passport now. Our aim is to visit tourist destinations and promote them. We are showing everything about the beauties of one country, historical places, beaches, museums, food...
So, you are travelling all over the world, filming and raising your child? Is it hard to manage it all?
Yes. It is not easy, but I like to travel. Also, when I was pregnant I travelled for all nine months! When I gave birth to my son, we stopped travelling for 40 days and then continued. We are always on the road, always travelling.
How do you choose your destinations?
First we are looking the weather and what documents are needed to visit the destination. Then we think about where we want to go, but also where our audience wants us to go. When it’s summer in Turkey, we are usually going to cold-weather places. When winter comes to Europe, we mostly travel to Asia, Africa or Latin-America.
Are you surprised that you have so many fans?
Well, yes. I like my job and I am always natural. We are showing really nice destinations and sharing great pictures on our social media pages. About a year ago we didn’t even use social media channels and now we have almost 200 thousand fans! It’s because our TV show is very popular in our country - people always want to travel and we are doing something like a dream job. People are watching our TV show because we are like their guides. And since he’s just a little child travelling around the world, Yakupcan is also interesting to our audience.
So, is it a dream job?
Yes, it really is. When you ask people what are they dreaming about, they say – I will earn my money and will travel around the world. I love my job! When I was a child, I always wanted to work on television as a presenter and I’m very lucky – I am doing my dream job and travelling.
What did you like about Dubrovnik?
If you ask me, one of my top three favourite places in the world is Dubrovnik, for sure. It has very nice history, very nice people and we have similar culture. This was actually my fourth time in Dubrovnik. We came before but this time I really felt it. We stayed in the Old City and when you do that, you can feel history and everything else much better. We were here for five days and I am very sad to leave. I want to stay more! I hope we will come again and stay longer because every time we come I feel different things. It feels really nice. There is the amazing Adriatic Sea, very clean. I am travelling around the world and I can tell you that this is the best sea in the world. It’s like crystal. And when you look at the Old City, it has such an amazing history.
How did your little son like Dubrovnik?
Yakupcan liked it very much. It’s very clean everywhere, so he can play wherever he wants. In the Old City there are no cars and that is also very good for small children. Dubrovnik is really children-friendly.
You had a chance to visit Good Food Festival, how did you like it?
The festival was wonderful. For example, at the Dubrovnik Table, in one hour we saw very, very delicious, beautiful, traditional food. It was very good and next year we hope to come again and film it. Also, since we are planning to show the Good Food Festival to our audience, we expect many Turkish people to come and enjoy it next year.
What was your favourite meal?
There was a chicken noodle soup at the tastes of Srijem and Slavonia presentation and I loved it. Also, I love sea food, it’s delicious because it comes from the clean Adriatic Sea that has so many great fish in it.
And do you have a favourite place in Dubrovnik?
Old City is for sure my favourite place, the Old Port... Also, we visited Cavtat and it was amazing. Such a beautiful sea and environment. We went to Majkovi as a part of the Good Food Festival and it was really nice and traditional and the people were great.
What do you think about the people in Dubrovnik in general?
They are very nice, really helpful and smiley! When we were filming in the Old City everybody helped us so much. If I compare them to the people in the other countries I can say that they are really welcoming, always smiling, wonderful people. You feel that just by looking at them.
So you would really like to come again to Dubrovnik?
Oh, yes. When I go to Turkey I will tell all my friends to come because they really should. History, food, sea, nature – everything is great. I’m just in love with this city.
We heard that you were teaching Yakupcan also to host your show?
Actually, I am not doing anything. He is doing what he sees. He is copying me and when I’m telling something about the destination we are in sometimes he takes my microphone and starts talking to the camera.
I suppose people love that?
Yes, now he has a lot of fans in Turkey! Sometimes when I share picture without him, people say – there is no Yakupcan in this picture, we don’t like it, please put a picture with him!
Do people criticise you because of travelling all the time with a small child?
When we started to do this program with Yakupcan, some people said that is bad and that we can’t do it because that’s not good for him. But, it’s really good for him! His body is really strong because he is always travelling, changing weather... Sometimes we change winter and summer in one week and he is used to this. He learns a lot and sees a lot – things that children his age can only see on TV. He is used to travelling and there is no problem for him.
Do you have any countries that you didn’t visit but would love to?
Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, we didn’t go yet but we are planning to visit.
What are your next plans, where are you goingnext?
Slowly, winter is coming, so we are going to start our Africa trip for this year. Next week we are going to Tunisia.