When we saw a guy with a polar bear mask standing on Porporela in the Old Town of Dubrovnik on the photo on Instagram, we just had to know who he is and why is he doing that. We discovered that his name is Elnar Mansurov, he's 29 years old and lives in Russia, near Ural Mountains in Perm city. He organizes expeditions and also has a family cafe. In short, but sweet interview he discovered why he wears the mask and what are the reactions.
I must ask, why the polar bear mask? How did you get an idea and does it have any special meaning?
In my city I have been promoted an idea of independent tourism. Unfortunately even 10 years in our country many thought it is impossible to travel without agencies. It was difficult to get a visa and my purpose was to convince people that it’s not that way.
Therefore we created mishka.travel web-site about traveling and its symbol of white polar bear.
I think Russia is associated with a brown bear while white one does not have enough attention. ;)
For the beginning we posted stickers with a white bear image as a symbol of independent traveling, then we decided to have a head of white polar bear with us while traveling. It was made by a puppet master.
Do you wear it on every trip?
Yes, I try not to forget it for every trip, it brings a lot of joy for kids. This head was my companion from Grenland and North Korea to Tanzania, Argentina and Japan.
How do people react to the mask?
They are always interested in it and ask me «why bear?» and «what does it man?». And of course take photos of me. Some people have even recognized me because of following me via Instagram.
I saw on the Instagram that you were in Dubrovnik, how did you decide to come here?
We came to spend 10 days in Montenegro and it would be a crime not to visit Dubrovnik.
What are your impressions?
People often write me words of gratitude because in my Instagram account and blog I tell russan-speaking users how to save money during the trip and travel rationally (miles of avia companies, how to find a cheaper ticket etc.) The main thing is to inspire people for traveling. Seems like I manage to do that.