About Mustafa Dogru

Mustafa DogruAlthough I grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, I spent an important part of my adult life in New York City. Apart from Turkey and the United States, I was also lucky enough to live in Brazil, Colombia and Germany for a while.

Among other things, I have three passions in life: Traveling, photography, and learning and teaching foreign languages.

Backpacking the world overland

From an early age, I have always had a strong penchant for anthropology and exploring other cultures. Thus, in my travels, I have immensely enjoyed immersing myself in local cultures and spending extended periods of time with locals to photograph them and their lives.

80 countries in six continents in five years

My strong sense of adventure led me to the idea of traveling the world overland. Hence, I tried to avoid flying and crossed all the continents – except Antarctica –  overland in separate trips:

Mustafa Dogru Overland World Trip

*Asia: from Indonesia to Turkey crossing 15 countries overland in 10 months,

*North, Central and South America: from the United States down to Tierra del Fuego – the southern tip of South America – crossing 16 countries overland in 25 months,

*Europe: from Istanbul in Turkey to Morocco – via Spain – covering 18 countries in about three months,

*the Middle East and East Africa: from Turkey to South Africa overland (except Sudan) covering 11 countries in four months,

*the Sahara Desert in West Africa: from Morocco to Senegal crossing four countries overland in two and a half months,

*Australia: from Melbourne to Cairns overland in three months.

Photography

My favorite genre of photography is personal portraits. I love people and believe that people in each country are unique. My goal is reflecting the culture of a country by showing its people in my photos. I am also very much interested in social documentary photography, which refers to highlighting the lives of underprivileged and disadvantaged people. In my opinion, this specific genre of photography does not only tell about the local culture, but it also conveys valuable life lessons for many of us.

I usually pick a different theme and photograph a different group of people in each country, such as Mayans in Guatemala; sex workers and gang members in El Salvador; and Garifunas (people of West African descent) in Honduras, and try to spend some time with them to portray their lives.

Apart from personal portraits and social documentary photography, I also enjoy shooting HDR (High Dynamic Range) and long exposures.

Some of my trips were covered by several media outlets, including print media, and radio and TV channels. Also, some of my pieces and photographs are published in the print media.

Learning and teaching languages

Being a polyglot, I have been on both sides of the table. As a student, my travels fortunately enabled me to learn different languages fluently while being immersed in the culture. As a teacher, I had the privilege of teaching English in different countries around the world, including Myanmar, Guatemala and Ecuador, in addition to teaching Turkish classes in New York City for many years.

14 Comments

  1. David Greene says:

    Hi Mustafa!

    What a fantastic site you have created. And I look forward to reading about your future adventures.

    I was in Philadelphia Feb. 25-26th. I am sure everyone had a wonderful time on the 25th.

    Enjoy your globetrotting. Hope to see you when you visit New York.

    David

  2. eni says:

    You have to visit San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. You will do justice to the place with the pictures you take and hopefully it will do you justice with its inspiration.
    Many hugs!

    • Mustafa Dogru says:

      Eni, I am in Guatemala now and it will take me at least six months to reach Chile. However, I will definitely look into visiting San Pedro de Atacama once I am there. Thank you for your suggestion and best wishes from Antigua!

  3. Natalie says:

    Mustafa – Do you not have a Facebook page or Twitter account? Anyway, I have signed up for your newsletter. Good luck with everything you do and congrats on being so adventurous in life

    • Mustafa Dogru says:

      Thank you, Natalie! Unfortunately, I don’t use social media as much as I should be. I only have a personal Facebook page to update my friends.

  4. laurarose says:

    It’s refreshing to see people like you in this world, who are truly ALIVE. Travel has changed me for the better. It takes sadness to appreciate happiness, challenges to understand peace. Thank you for your great tips/stories! Best wishes!

  5. serkan says:

    mustafa abi ben türkiye’de yaşıyorum,aydın kuşadası.hürriyet gazetesinin seyahat ekini okurum genellikle.bugün senle yapılmış bir röportaj vardı,okudum çok hoşuma gitti.internet siteni de yazmışsın hemen girdim :).gerçekten benim de ciddi bir şekilde hayalimdir tüm dunyayı dolaşmak.tabi sorum var :).biraz maddi olucak ama; seyahat ederken gerekli parayı nerden buluyosun abi? sonuçta hep yoldasın,yani önceden mi biriktirmiştin.çok istediğim için bu mesajı yazdım abi.inşallah cevaplandırırsın.şimdiden iyi eğlenceler ve teşekkürler abi.

    • Mustafa Dogru says:

      Serkan, ben belli bir sure calisip birikim yaptiktan sonra geziyorum. Bir de sana tavsiyem sadece Amerika ve Avrupa’yi degil daha ucuz seyahat olanaklari sunan bolgeleri de degerlendirmen. Mesela hemen yani basimizda muazzam bir tarihi barindiran Iran var. Karadan Hindistan’a veya Nepal’e de cok az para harcayarak gidebilirsin.

  6. Yasemin says:

    Çok beğendim ve gurur duydum. Bilgiler, resimler bir harika… tüm yolculuklarınızda iyi şanslar yanınızda olsun. Çok imrendim 🙂

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