Glen Gilmore is an author, attorney, social media strategist and adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University in the USA. He twice recognized by Forbes as a Top 20 Social Media Influencer, he has a large online community that follows his thoughts on travel, digital marketing, and technology. He works with some of the world’s largest companies. As a Travel influencer, Professor Gilmore has trekked across the Wadi Rum desert on camelback in Jordan, paraglide in Croatia, earned his scuba-diving certification in Thailand, and even worked (a day!) at a women-owned chocolate factory in the Dominican Republic – just a few of his adventures from travelling to over seventy countries. He also traveled in Turkmenistan in 2017 after being invited to speak at a conference during the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. He continues to share to his global community his fond memories from that visit – and he is eagerly planning his return visit!
And our reporters of “Atavatan Turkmenistan” International Journal had an interview with Glen Gilmore for the web site of https://atavatan-turkmenistan.com/
Could you tell us about yourself?
I’m a lucky person who has been able to explore the world sharing my thoughts on travel, social media marketing, and technology, working with some of the world’s biggest brands.
A lawyer and adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University, I’m a consultant who has a passion for travel. After serving two terms as mayor of a US city of about 90,000 people, I took a break to travel – and that sent me on a new career combining social media, technology and travel as a digital nomad and “futurist”.
We know that you are the top influencer. And what are advantages and disadvantages of being an influencer?
The key advantages of being an influencer are that you are given opportunities to experience many wonderful things, visit many beautiful places and make so many kind friends across the globe. You also have the privilege of a community of friends who value your thoughts.
The key disadvantages? I have a tough time thinking of “disadvantages” that come with being an influencer, other than the challenge of always trying to create compelling and unique content. Frequent travel is one is one of the joys and challenges of being an influencer. Before the global shutdown, at active times, it can be tough to be away from home so often.
Could you tell us about importance and influence of social media in human life?
Social media has a bright side and a dark side. On the bright side, it helps the world connect in new and powerful ways, crossing boarders and time zones. It lets everyone share their thoughts to a global audience encouraging new ideas, collaborations and innovations. At the same time, social media can also be a divisive platform when some use it for bullying or to spread hate or to spread lies or to create unrealistic expectations of how others should look or live. Everyone and everyplace is special in positive ways. The best way to connect with others, whether you’re a business or an individual is to be who you are and share who you are. If you do, you’ll find a supportive community.
Your advices to people who interested in social media marketing?
It’s important to understand that social media marketing for business, like social media for personal use, is about connecting with others. So think of what it takes to succeed in any social setting: you must be respectful, attentive to others and generous in your sharing. It’s about a two-way conversation and building trust. Listening is just as important as sharing content.
Social media marketing success not a viral video. It’s about creating a community of trust that responds to what you share. And it’s about sharing what makes you unique – in marketing that’s known as the “unique selling proposition” – what differentiates you from your competition.
Success in social media rarely happens overnight. It takes time and effort and experimentation. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes as long as you learn from your mistakes. Give it time. Give it soul. And it’ll pay a dividend over time.
About our country what was your first impression when you came in
You have an absolutely architecturally stunning airport that announces you’ve arrived in a special place. That was impressive to see. Yet when we arrive someplace new, the thing we’re generally most interested in is how the people will be and how we’ll be treated. I felt immediately welcomed by everyone I met, regardless of their position, and that really is my first and most lasting impression of Turkmenistan – a feeling of welcome.
Your travel or tourism perspective to our country?
Turkmenistan has much to offer visitors, from ancient historical sites, rich traditions, to natural wonders as well as modern architectural wonders.
In here where did you travel and which places did you like most?
Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat is absolutely gorgeous, an oasis of beauty, with many architectural wonders. I was particularly enchanted, though, by the city of Mary, formerly the ancient city of “Merv”, a major hub along the Silk Road, once called the “mother of cities”. The towering 12th-century mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar is just one breathtaking site among many ancient structures still found at that UNESCO World Heritage location.
Turkmenistan holds many history lessons for the rest of the world. While I was preparing for my trip, I read that there is also a UNESCO Site just outside of the capital city of Ashgabat, a fortress city, Nisa (Nusay), that had once been the ancient capital of the Parthian Empire. Who were the Parthians you ask? According to UNESCO, they were a people who “dominated” central Asia starting in the mid 3rd century BCE.
Knowing of the historical significance of Nisa(Nusay), I grabbed a taxi from my hotel and headed on the twenty-minute ride. The taxi wasn’t expensive and the site, with the majestic Kopet-Dag mountains as a backdrop, is stunning! It is a living testimony to an ancient empire nearly forgotten by the rest of the world. This is all part of what makes visiting Turkmenistan so exciting – learning about important pieces of our world history that must not be forgotten and should be studied – and visited – more!
According to UNESCO, the fortress at Nisa (Nusay) is just one of “1,300 historical and cultural monuments of Turkmenistan”!
Have you tried Turkmen meals and which food or meal did you like most?
I was treated to many delicious feasts in Turkmenistan. The dishes never seemed to end. I particularly enjoyed the Dogroma chorba soup with lamb and tomatoes. The comforting Chorek bread! The stuffed flatbreads, Gutab. And many other dishes that I must confess I don’t know the names of!
How do you describe our Turkmen people, culture and traditions?
The Turkmen people, culture and traditions are unique, beautiful and steeped in ancient history. The traditional garb that can still be seen, the equestrian mastery of the famed “Golden Horses, and the painstaking process of hand making Turkmenistan’s legendary carpets are examples of culture and traditions that awed and delighted this visitor.
Any advices for people who want to visit Turkmenistan?
Visit Turkmenistan! Find a way! When you get there, talk to the people: they’re open, kind, and friendly. Explore. There is so much to see and do that when get there and start exploring, you’ll start planning your return!
Would you like to come back again?
Would I return to Turkmenistan?! In a heartbeat!
There’s so much left to explore in Turkmenistan, old friends to see again, and new friends to make! I look forward to my return!
Thank you very much Mr. Glen Gilmore, best of luck!
The student of International University
for the Humanities and Development