Meet Our Expert Tour Leaders

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Our experienced Tour Leaders will bring the history and culture of your destination to life, as well as ensure the smooth and safe operation of all aspects your trip. All of our Leaders possess an amazing breadth of knowledge and love of travel; their expert guidance is a critical element of all of our tours. Below are biographies of just a few of our Tour Leaders:

FREE TRAVELOGUE

Name:
Acelle Garipova

EDUCATION:
Bachelor of Arts in World Literature at Tashkent State University.

LANGUAGE:
Russian, Uzbek, Uighur, English, some Italian and French.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Italy, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, UAE, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia.

TOURS LED:
The Five Stans, Egypt.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Bukhara, Uzbekistan - for its architectural variety and fascinating history. Florence, Italy for its museums, wonderful pace of life, and gelato!; and the Turquoise Coast of Turkey, especially when sailing on a gulet(traditional Turkish boat).

ABOUT:
Acelle has been guiding and leading tours in her native Uzbekistan for over six years as an English- and Russian-speaking guide.

Name:
Andres Fernandez

EDUCATION:
Communication and Psychology.

LANGUAGE:
English, Spanish and French.

TOURS LED:
Costa Rica and Panama.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
I love travelling in Central America. The natural history is astounding, all the birds, mammals, flora and fauna! As a certified diver and avid sportsman, the area offers many opportunities for diving, kayaking and rafting.

Name:
Ann Curran

TOURS LED:
Ireland

ABOUT:
Born and raised in County Kerry, Ireland, Ann grew up surrounded by traditional Gaelic culture and is, herself, fluent in Gaelic. She worked in a variety of careers before finding a calling as a trip leader specializing in cultural journeys/hiking adventures throughout Ireland, a vocation in which she has excelled for many years since. Ann is an extremely warm-hearted, joyful person with an infectious enthusiasm for all things Irish. She also invests a great deal of her time in voluntary organizations, most notably in outdoor programs for kids.

Name:
Chris Tripodi

EDUCATION:
The 3 M's; Mathematics. Music. Maps.

LANGUAGE:
A little English, et un peu de Français, y un poquito de Español. Fluently Hilingual; I can say "hi" in countless languages.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Over 125 countries. From Jamaica to Japan, Ethiopia to Estonia, Moldova to Myanmar, Samoa to Suriname, and Uruguay to Uzbekistan.

TOURS LED:
In over 50 countries including Mongolia, Morocco, Jordan, Japan, Croatia, Montenegro, Scandinavia, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Baltic States, Peru, Greece, Turkey, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Ethiopia, Russia, India, Nepal, Tibet, West Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Central Asia, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Home. But a very close second place goes to the road between any two departures. That is where the magic happens.

ABOUT:
Shortest trip: 47 minutes in NYC. (Don't ask.) Longest trip: 2 years through 6 continents across 108 international borders before returning home.

Name:
Claude Morency

EDUCATION:
Human Geography and Anthropology.

LANGUAGE:
English, French and Spanish.

TOURS LED:
Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Morocco, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Reunion, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Gabon.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Indochina—the diversity of landscapes and cultures. From the mountain tribes of Laos to the Khmer civilization... with the great Vietnamese cuisine as a bonus!

Name:
Diego Vidal

EDUCATION:
National Tour Guiding and Tourism Management; Naturalist Guide with a mention in Taxonomy and Ornithology; Exchange Student in Senior Year at Saint Fulgence College in Quebec, Canada.

LANGUAGE:
Spanish, English and French.

TOURS LED:
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Ecuador because of the amazing variety of landscapes, people, weather, fauna and flora; Peru and Bolivia for their colourful markets, ancient history and the majesty of the Andes.

Name:
Jonathan Hodgson

EDUCATION:
BA in Psychology at McGill University; MBA at the University of British Columbia.

LANGUAGE:
English; conversational French; improving Spanish, German, Russian, and Laotian. And a decent Scottish accent.

TOURS LED:
I have led tours in over 80 countries over the last 9 years of working for Adventures Abroad in all the continents except for Antarctica. Have to work on that one next!

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Where to begin? Each place has something that makes it a special destination. A few that spring to mind: Kaieteur Falls in Guyana; the snow-covered mountains of Ladakh, India; camel trekking in the Moroccan Sahara; and sipping tea in a chaikhana of the old town of Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Name:
Laura Rudderforth

EDUCATION:
English Literature, Art History, Education and PADI Instructor.

LANGUAGE:
English, French, Spanish, Italian, some Tagalog, Thai, Turkish and Mandarin.

TOURS LED:
Iceland, Greece, Switzerland, France, Gulf States, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Madagascar, Malta, Costa Rica, Panama, Adriatic, Turkey, Scotland, Chile, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Tibet, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
The Philippines for the fascinating underwater landscapes and life, Sicily for the abundance of delicious cuisine and wealth of antiquity, everywhere on Rapa Nui.

Name:
Lorna Lissner

EDUCATION:
Ongoing.

LANGUAGE:
English and some Spanish.

TOURS LED:
Adriatic, Caucasus, South America, Middle East, Europe, North Africa and Ethiopia.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
I love to travel anywhere that is off the beaten trail...Yemen, Columbia, Ladakh and Ethiopia have been a few of my favourites of my recent travels. Drinking butter tea with newly made friends in Ladakh or learning new ways to set a sail in Turkey make this job one of the best you could dream of.

ABOUT:
Lorna has been with Adventures Abroad for 10 years, interspersing work in the office as a Destination Specialist with numerous stints on the road as a Tour Leader.

Name:
Martin Charlton

EDUCATION:
Bachelor's Degree in Geography; further studies in Archaeology & Anthropology.

LANGUAGE:
English and some French and Spanish.

TOURS LED:
Over the past 20 years I have led over 180 tours through over 100 countries. Everywhere from North Korea to Saudi Arabia, Madagascar to the Solomon Islands, Iran to Kosovo.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
My love of travel and infectious enthusiasm for different cultures has taken me to over 130 countries. The further off the beaten path, the better. For a favourite: perhaps South Georgia Island, Isfahan in Iran, or Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. World's best city = Istanbul!

Name:
Ondrej Strejcek

EDUCATION:
Music and History.

LANGUAGE:
English, Czech, Slovak, Russian; some German, Polish, Italian, and Spanish.

TOURS LED:
Poland, Austria, Ukraine, Moldova, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia and Baltic States.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Czech Republic-rapidly developing but still very cultural and historical.

Name:
Pablo Gonzalez

EDUCATION:
Tourism business at Technological University of Quito.

LANGUAGE:
Spanish, English and German.

TOURS LED:
Nicaragua, El Salvador, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Honduras, GuatemalaPeru and Bolivia

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg in France, but I have a special interest and attraction for Peru and Bolivia since I began travelling to these countries.

Name:
Pam Schewe

LANGUAGE:
English. Yo puedo hablar un poco de Espanol et je peux parler un peu de Francais aussi.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Closing in on a personal challenge to see 60 countries before she's 60 with trips ranging from active adventures in the Himalayas and Andes, cultural escapes in India and Asia to finding the best beach in the South Pacific. With 40 or so under her belt, she's on her way but loves the fact that there's still work to do.

ABOUT:
Pam spent many years working in radio broadcasting but decided that instead of working in order to travel, she would be much happier traveling for work. She brings along the ability to converse in spanish and french and is always looking to broaden her knowledge of other languages and cultures.

Name:
Peter Barathan

EDUCATION:
Business and Sports Management.

LANGUAGE:
English, some French and passable Tok Pisin.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Extensive travel through over 60 countries, ranging from New Zealand and Philippines to South Africa and Papua New Guinea.

TOURS LED:
Caucasus, Albania, the Balkans, the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Southern Africa, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
There is no place on earth like Papua New Guinea; breathtaking sites combined with a fascinating culture, and amazing people. Anywhere in the Middle East; delicious food, friendly and hospitable people, a place you can never get bored. Singapore, best food in the business.

Name:
Rachel Kristensen

LANGUAGE:
English.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Over 60 countries on six continents with trips ranging from active adventures in the Himalayas and Andes, cultural escapes in Europe and Asia to finding the best beach in the South Pacific.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Whether it is hearing the call to prayer in Istanbul, smelling the rain-forests of the Inca Trail, feeling the sun setting on the African plains, watching the kaleidoscope of colours on any street in India, or tasting a freshly baked scone smothered with Devonshire cream in England, I love the destinations that offer something unique to experience.

ABOUT:
Raised in small town British Columbia, her travels also include living on two continents and aboard a cruise ship sailing the high seas.

Name:
Robert Ogden

EDUCATION:
Recreation Management.

LANGUAGE:
English, French and learning Czech from my 2 children.

TOURS LED:
50 countries from Austria to Zambia.

ABOUT:
A planned 3 month back packing trip to Europe in 1988 turned into years of working as a hotel barge captain on canals and rivers of Europe , hotel manager in the French Alps, fisherman in Australia, sailor in Greece, tour operator in London and international tour leader based in Canada. My latest and biggest adventure is raising my children.

Name:
Rustem Baksoy

EDUCATION:
Ongoing; TESL certification.

LANGUAGE:
Turkish and English.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Across Southeast Asia and Southeastern Europe.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Istanbul, Turkey (because there's no place like home).

ABOUT:
Rustem has been leading tours since 1998 and has a wealth of travel guide experience in his native Turkey. When he's not on the road, Rustem is a translator for TV channels, film festivals and publishers, and he has translated several books into Turkish.

Name:
Serra Hughes

EDUCATION:
Middle Eastern and Islamic History and English Literature.

LANGUAGE:
English and Mandarin.

TOURS LED:
India, Greece, China, Silk Road, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Malaysia, Gulf States, Cuba, Israel/Jordan and Egypt.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Tej honey wine in Lalibela, Ethiopia; the vast, supernatural beauty of Wadi Rum, Jordan; sailing down the Nile on a felucca; the jaw-dropping futuristic skylines of Hong Kong and Shanghai.....and whatever/wherever is next!

Name:
Stephen Scrogings

EDUCATION:
Visual Arts and Sociology.

LANGUAGE:
English and Japanese

TOURS LED:
Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
I am fascinated by the art and culture of Asia, and in particular Japan. The far north of Japan is one of the region's most intriguing areas.

Name:
Subash Tamang

EDUCATION:
Bachelor of Arts (Geography and Economics).

LANGUAGE:
Nepali , Hindi and English.

TOURS LED:
Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kumoan and Rajasthan.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Watching the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga from Tonglu in Darjeeling, especially the first rays touching the mountain.

Name:
Victor Romagnoli

EDUCATION:
HBA English BA History

LANGUAGE:
I speak several languages and this certainly has made travelling an enriching experience; the conversations one can so easily slip into with locals -who come from all walks of life- add greatly to my feel for a place. In most countries one cannot form a

TOURS LED:
Over a span of 24 years, I have lead tours virtually all over the globe for Adventures Abroad.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Some of my favourite tours just come into being suddenly as a result of a request; someone will ask me to put together an itinerary that will include the high lights of several countries and the next thing you know we have for example a tour to Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia, or Lesotho and Namibia and Botswana. Sometimes I will be asked to arrange a detailed itinerary to to just one region within a country - like a close up look at Sicily or Crete or the Basque Country or Newfoundland. Without the keen curiosity that so many of you travellers have (and clearly without the dedicated staff at AA ), none of these "spontaneous" tours would come into being. But they do. These are some of my favourite tours of all because they were inspired by you.

ABOUT:
I love the excitement of getting up each morning on a tour and not knowing exactly how a day will unfold. It keeps me on my toes so to speak and adds a breath of excitement to each day on tour. As I enter my 25th year of leading tours for Adventures Abroad I thank all of you for being a part of this exciting journey with me.

Name:
Yasemin Reis

EDUCATION:
Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies

LANGUAGE:
English,Turkish

TOURS LED:
Yasemin has been guiding tours through East and West Turkey since 1997.

ABOUT:
Also a translator, Yasemin has worked for Discovery Channel Turkey, Nippon TV and several film festivals. She has published several articles presenting an anthropological look at the confluences of medicine, medical culture, history, myth, religion and art, in Asklepios: Journal of Medical Culture, Plan B Publications, Istanbul.

Name:
Yvette Haakmeester

EDUCATION:
MA Classical History and Archaeology

LANGUAGE:
English, and some Turkish, French, Greek, Italian and bits of Arabic.

TOURS LED:
Turkey, Greece, Italy, Malta, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Croatia, Spain, Slovenia, Ethiopia, Mali and Burkina Faso.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Turkey, Syria and the Near East - the rich cultures and deeply embedded spirit of hospitality. But from Morocco to Sicily to Eastern Turkey - it is difficult to choose.

ABOUT:
I have been leading tours since 1997 - and I love it! Had I continued in Archaeology, would I have been able to return to these countries year after year, see new discoveries, watch another level of Troy being uncovered, see the countries evolve, and make such dear friends and see their children grow up? I love the Mediterranean region - the people, history, traditions, cuisine, music...and the imprint of antiquity on the modern cultures. I have lived in Turkey and Greece, but Tunisia has been my home since 2008.