He is an Albanian of Kosovo, distinguished for his evocative photography style and travel experiences in many countries. His latest trips always involve his wife, who seems to be his true soul mate, for they are sharing the same passion for outdoor adventures. No wonder their wedding photoshoot took place in a very special spot.
While going through his photography albums, I feel like entering an incredible exhibit so real and vivid for the variety of emotions, colours, people and places, never the same and always surprising and entertaining. Furthermore, while reading this exclusive interview for Albania360, you will notice his humble personality, his love for Albania and Kosovo that he promotes so greatly, his sense of gratitude, nostalgia and great dedication for a life full of adventures.
He is also known as:
- The Winner of the First prize at the “Colors of Albania” photography contest – First Edition,
organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania, 2015.
- The Winner of the Second plrize at the “Shkrepe” photography contest; within the administrative-territorial reform project, organized by the Ministry of State for Domestic Affairs, 2014.
- The Winner of the “Wiki Loves Monuments” photo award in Albania – organized by the Ministry of Culture in Albania, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the Kosovo Institute for the Protection of Monuments and Open Labs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Meet Nentor Oseku!
1. You and your wife travel so much, but how do you cover your expenses? Is it a full time thing or you work while traveling?
We usually travel during the weekends or even on official holidays, our trips are modest because most of them are camping in nature.
2. How many countries have you visited so far?
So far, I have visited 20 countries including Canada and the USA.
Which cultural or historical site has surprised you the most?
I love Italy. I have a strong connection with Italy, starting with the war in Kosovo in 1999, a time when we were placed in an Italian camp in Mali i Robit. I made many Italian friends there. After the war in Kosovo, I visited Italy five times. Puglia and Rome remain the cultural and historical places that surprised me the most. My future plans are to visit Naples, Sicily, Calabria and Sardinia.
What’s that natural site that has made you feel closer to nature, to humanity, to God?
No doubt, Albania. A part of the Oseku family has been living in Albania since the 1920s and this has certainly deepened my emotional connection with the mother country. This fact has certainly influenced my craving in search of completeness scattered everywhere, in my emotional connection with the mother country, thus encouraging the desire to promote Albania through expeditions to cities, villages, rivers, lakes, beaches, mountainous areas and villages others, almost untouched of Albania. The name of the academic painter Ali Oseku is known not only in Albania and Kosovo, but also elsewhere.
For the first time I visited Albania in 1999 during the Kosovo war, as I mentioned earlier, there we were stationed in an Italian camp in Mali i Robit.
I remember as a child, one day with a friend, out of curiosity about what is behind the fences in a forest, we passed the fences of the camp and went out of Mali i Robit, which at that time was covered with pine trees, and we walked until we went out to the sea. After the construction of the national road, I started to explore Albania more, photographing and promoting those beauties through social networks: Instagram and Facebook, also through newspapers, TV, radio. However, even Canada is also one of the countries that makes me feel very good with its extraordinary nature and good people.
What’s the place you call home?
In 2018, the Minister of Tourism and Environment, Bledi Klosi proposed me to the Presidency for the granting of Albanian citizenship due to the promotion and presentation of the best image for Albania. That same year, by the decree of President Ilir Meta, I got Albanian citizenship.
“The Albanian passport is proof of faith in freedom, citizenship, and love for every part of the homeland.”
You have been around Albania as well discovering some true hidden treasures even for those who can only taste a bit from your photography. What’s your favourite place to be during autumn season?
Valbona is one of my favorite places during every season, but also in autumn. Valbone is also close to Gjakovo, and it used to be the highlands of Gjakovo. I consider it exactly like a part of Gjakovo.
Which are the mountains you have climbed so far in Albania?
I have climbed many mountains in the north of Albania. My plans in the future are to climb some mountains in the South of Albania. The two peaks I have in my near future are Maja e Cikes and Maja e Qorres in Llogara.
Where do they welcome travellers best in Albania?
I cannot distinguish any place. I have made good friends in most places in Albania. In every place where I go that I have friends there, I feel comfortable like at my own home, due to the exceptional hospitality. What is special about this is the variety of food from the North to the South. Each area has its own traditional food that makes the trip even more special.
The winter doesn’t stop you travel. Can you shortly describe a day in a snowy mountain?
Unfortunately, due to climate change, this year we have a big snow crisis. I hope that we will become aware and in the future we will protect our land where we are living and where we think that the generations after us will continue to live. During the winter I prefer the sport of skiing. But there are also weekends when we go hiking in the snow, usually in the mountains of Junik and Decan, as well as in the mountains of Tropoja.
Your wedding photographs were taken in a very special place. What was it like for you and your wife?
I took the wedding photos on the highest peak in Kosovo, Gjeravice – 2656 meters above sea level. We carried the wedding costumes in our backpacks, climbing to the top and taking pictures of the wedding act. Maja e Gjeravice has an extraordinary geographical position. It gives you the opportunity to see the endless mountain ranges of Albania and also the beautiful mountains of Kosovo.
Have you experienced any scary moment during your travels in Albania?
There hasn’t been a moment where we felt scared so far. We usually spend our summer vacations camping on the virgin beaches of the South of Albania. Many of our friends ask if that’s scary. But I tell you, we were safer there than anywhere else. The peak of Jezerce was a little scary, but we climbed it without any problem.
Take lots of short trips or one long trip?
Short and frequent trips. Because they help you get away from the routine and come back full of energy and motivation for work. We usually make the longest trips when we are visiting Canada or Italy. But usually, we do nature trips for 2-3 days.
What’s the most stressful thing about traveling for you?
The most stressful thing is the atmospheric conditions. When we make plans in advance for a weekend and the weather changes, it causes us problems, especially the fog in the mountains.
What is the best genre of music you listen to while traveling? Mention a song
My favorite music are Albanian songs from South, Central Albania and songs from Shkodra. I also prefer Italian songs and English ones such: Albanian – Fitnete Rexha “Bukuroshe e lala”, Vace Zela, Elina Duni, Irini Qiriako, etc., Italian: Andrea Bocelli, Jovanotti and Gigi D’Alessio, English: UB40, Red Hot Chill Peppers, Coldplay , Maroon 5 etc.
Which places will you visit again and again in your life?
Albania and Italy. These are places that I am spiritually connected to. I created the connection with these two countries at the most difficult moments of our lives, the Kosovo war, continuing to this day to explore them and deepening the love each time more and more with these two countries. I want to mention a touching moment during an experience in the Mali te Robi camp in Kavaje. As I mentioned earlier, I made many Italian friends there. One of my Italian friends, Michele Stallone, has been looking for me all the time after the war in Kosovo and after 20 years, in 2019, he found me on Facebook through his daughter. We got back in touch then, he invited me to visit his family and the Puglia area, and immediately after 4 days I left for Puglia. It was one of the most touching moments, because he helped us a lot during the war and always considered me as his son. Even last year, we spent our summer holidays at his house in Puglia, where we visited the most beautiful places in Puglia for 10 days. He promised me that this year he will be our guest in Albania and Kosovo where we will visit some of the most touristic places. We now contact each other every day.
What would make you stop traveling?
Nothing but health. I have experienced travel restrictions during the pandemic. It has been a very difficult period and I hope that the restrictions on travelling will never be repeated.
What’s your dream destination?
I want to visit the countries of Asia and Latin America. These are my dream places.