Meet Our Expert Tour Leaders

SEARCH TOUR

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 from Tashkent State University.

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

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Italy, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, U.A.E., Turkey, the former Yugoslavia and Costa Rica.

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:
Ahmed Hashem

EDUCATION:
Bachelor Degree in Archaeology from Cairo University. Masters Degree in History & Archaeology from Cairo University. Egyptian National Guide Diploma.

LANGUAGE:
Arabic, English, Italian, Russian & Spanish.

TOURS LED:
Egypt, Jordan & Sudan.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Sipping tea at sunrise in front of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. My dream is to sip tea at sunrise on the top of the Great Pyramid Of Cheops!

Name:
Aleksandra Mulic

EDUCATION:
BA in Geography

LANGUAGE:
Slovene, English, German, Croatian, conversational Italian and French

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Over 20 countries in Europe, from Ireland to Greece ... from France to Malta

TOURS LED:
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
My homeland - Slovenia. It's an undiscovered gem in the middle of Europe. Small, but with a lot to offer.

ABOUT:
I started working as a tour guide some 20 years ago and since then more or less stayed in this field of tourism, working as a tour manager and a tourist guide. For couple of years in between I also worked as a geography teacher in a elementary school. But being a tourist guide has always been my hobby. I simply love this job.

Name:
Andres Fernandez

EDUCATION:
Communication and Psychology.

LANGUAGE:
English, Spanish and French (after living in Belgium for 5 years).

TOURS LED:
Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Poland, the Baltic States, Portugal, Spain and Morocco.

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:
Chris Tripodi

EDUCATION:
University for Mathematics. College for Music. But the greatest education I've received has come from Earth while travelling. "Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled."

LANGUAGE:
I can ask 'Where is the toilet?' in 57 languages.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
80%. I need a new passport every 20 months.

TOURS LED:
West Africa to South Africa, El Salvador to Argentina, Samoa to Seychelles, Portugal to Romania, Jordan to Japan.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Departures hall.

ABOUT:
I travel because it is the most interesting thing I can think of doing between meals. The magic and the challenge of this job is seeing the world itself as the tour with several smaller journeys along the way. I enjoy that time at the end of one trip, before the start of a new one, where the sadness of leaving one place mixes with the excitement of approaching another.

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, Reunion, Ethiopia, Sudan, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Gabon, Jordan, Iran, Central Asia and the Caucasus.

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:
COLETTE STUBBINGS

EDUCATION:
BFA in Visual Arts / Tourism and Business Management Diploma

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Just under 40 countries on six continents

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
The beauty and remoteness of isolated, untouched nature make Mongolia and Iceland two of my favourite locations. To feel as small as humanly possible and swallowed by a dramatic landscape is one of the best feelings in the world. From the alien, multicoloured rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar in Iceland’s Highlands to painting-like orange/yellow pines that dot Terelj National Park in Mongolia during autumn - both are dear to my heart.

ABOUT:
Living a transitory lifestyle whenever I’ve had the means to do so has become a source of personal inspiration, mindfulness, growth and exchange. Convinced there is beauty in all things / people / places, I’m always anticipating the sights and sounds of any place I drift to next!

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, Cuba, 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 90 countries over the last 10 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:
Justin Biehl

LANGUAGE:
English, and improving to a conversational French and German

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Justin spent almost a year in Europe, backpacking himself through a veritable bevy of countries, cities, towns, and hostels. From tomato filled streets in Valencia to the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, he took his show down under for a year in Australia and New Zealand. After that, he had the opportunity to travel through South East Asia, China, and parts of the Middle East.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
There will always be a space in his heart for Lagos, Portugal and Queenstown, New Zealand. Feel free to ask him why.

ABOUT:
Justin goes by the mantra "It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years" and tries to project that into every tour he leads and destination he experiences.

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, Scotland, Greece, Switzerland, France, Malta, Italy, Adriatic, Spain, Gulf States, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Central Asia, Madagascar, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand & Tibet.

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, Baltic States, Italy, Turkey, Ethiopia, North Africa, Middle East, Central and South America

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 over 15 years, working both as a Tour Leader and a destination specialist n the office.

Name:
Martin Charlton

EDUCATION:
Bachelor's Degree in Geography; further studies in Archaeology & Anthropology. Life's real education happens outside the classroom.

LANGUAGE:
English and some French & Spanish.

TOURS LED:
Having led tours for Adventures Abroad for more than 23 years, there are few corners of the globe where Martin’s left a stone unturned: everywhere from North Korea to Nauru, Saudi Arabia to Sudan, Madagascar to the Canadian Arctic. With over 200 tours through over 120 countries under his belt, it might be faster to list the regions where he hasn’t led a tour.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
"My love of travel and infectious enthusiasm for different cultures has taken me to over 150 countries. The further off the beaten path, the better. For a favourite place: perhaps South Georgia Island, the Canadian Arctic, or Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. World's best city = Istanbul!"

ABOUT:
"Don't pack anything that you would be upset to lose, that needs to be ironed, or is encased in glass." - words to live by.

Name:
Melissa Nevison

EDUCATION:
Bachelor of Arts: Liberal Studies (History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Literature) Diploma in Fashion Design and Technology

LANGUAGE:
English, Emergency Spanish/ German (good in a pinch)

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Very hard to choose! I love something about everywhere I’ve been. But I do have a soft-spot for Cuba and Ireland.

ABOUT:
With a background in history and museums I have worked with groups and given tours for years. I love to travel, to experience the thrill of discovering a new place and to witness its differences. For me, traveling is all about the people, those connections you make with locals and fellow travellers along the way. I prefer to truly immerse myself in the culture! My feeling is that travel is one of the few things in life you can buy that truly enriches you.

Name:
Nicole Boycott

EDUCATION:
Undergrad: Medieval History, Greek and Roman History. Masters: Medieval History

LANGUAGE:
English and French

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
It’s so hard to pick a favourite destination as there are so many factors in making a destination amazing! For history my favourite is Ireland but for nature it is Tanzania, ask me next week and you will get a different answer!

ABOUT:
I have been passionate about travel my whole life because it allows you to immerse yourself in a different world. Travel has inspired me to pursue studies such as history, archaeology, art and art history.

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, Baltic States and Italy.

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:
Throughout Central and South America, including; Nicaragua, El Salvador, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Peru and Ecuador due to the rich history, geography, and wonderful aspects of life and the lovely people we find here. After working for 15 years with Adventures Abroad, I may say I am so proud and happy to work here and also for the great experience I have gained throughout the years.

Name:
Pam Schewe

LANGUAGE:
Pam speaks English and can get by in both French and Spanish. Pam is also rather proud of the fact that she can say “thank you” in at least 40 languages.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
The scratch-off map on her wall now has more than 70 countries revealed. Personal trips have ranged from active adventures in the Himalayas and Andes to cultural escapes in India and Asia. Of course there’s also the quest to find the best beach in the South Pacific and quietly enjoy a hammock there. Life goals include visiting more than 100 of the nations on our planet.

TOURS LED:
Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan, Central & Eastern Europe, Iceland, Caribbean Islands, the Guyanas, "The Five Stans" & Southern Africa.

ABOUT:
Pam spent many years working in radio broadcasting in Vancouver but decided that instead of working in order to travel, she would be much happier traveling for work. The only real difference between the two careers is that now she can tell immediately when her jokes are not funny. “Is this mic on…??”

Name:
Peter Barathan

EDUCATION:
Business and Sports Management.

LANGUAGE:
English, passable French, slowly learning Afrikaans and Zulu.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Almost part of the century club, with extensive travel through Europe, the Middle East, Southern Africa and South East Asia.

TOURS LED:
Adriatic, Albania, Balkans, Baltic States, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Caucasus, Iran, Mediterranean, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Southeast Asia, the Gulf States, the Microstates of Europe, throughout Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Southern Africa has become my new home; no other place offers such diverse topography, flora and fauna. Croatia is my go-to for a relaxing, European getaway, but when I'm craving good food, I'll head to Singapore.

Name:
Peter Cercek

EDUCATION:
Always learning something new

LANGUAGE:
Croatian-Serbian, English

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Outside of Europe I have always been fascinated by Asia and its cultures. During the past 10 year travels I have visited most of southern, south eastern and eastern Asia. My job as a tour leader has enabled me to visit several of these countries on multiple occasions ...such as India, Cambodia, Vietnam (visited more than 15 times. I have led a few tours to the western hemisphere and a few to North Africa, but my heart stays home for the summer and in Asia for the winter.

TOURS LED:
Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Bahamas, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia and Malaysia

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
India

ABOUT:
Traveling has been the name of the game for me since my late teens. Before I became a tour guide I tried to explore as much of the world as possible, but with every step I took I realized what a wonderful country I live in. Not to say that I mind packing my backpack and heading to a warm place when the winter arrives at home, but I´m also very happy every time I head back. Never forget where you come from but also have the courage to: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.

Name:
Rachel Kristensen

LANGUAGE:
English.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
Over 80 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.

TOURS LED:
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, China, Gulf States, Morocco, Cuba, Guyana's, the South Pacific, and throughout all of Central America.

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:
Over 50 countries. Everywhere 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:
Sama Mounib

EDUCATION:
School of life with a side dish of MBA in International Hospitality and Tourism Management and a TEFL Certification.

LANGUAGE:
English, French and Arabic. Some Spanish and German and bits of Japanese and Italian.

TOURS LED:
Throughout the Mediterranean, Western & Central Europe,North Africa and the Middle East.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Iceland – the geological mystery of the land of ice and fire, the friendly locals and the yummy food. Egypt – I am proud to be a descendant of such a historical and culturally rich civilization. Japan – the most humble people I have had the pleasure to meet… oh and the food!

ABOUT:
Having lived in nine countries on four continents, Sama takes great pride in the exposure she had to all the different cultures. Her thirst for knowledge and passion for travel have allowed her to see and experience so much more than she could have dreamed of… and she’s only just begun!

Name:
Serra Hughes

EDUCATION:
Middle Eastern and Islamic History and English Literature.

LANGUAGE:
English, French and Mandarin.

TOURS LED:
Throughout Southeast and East Asia, the South Pacific, the Gulf States, East Africa, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Greece, Italy, Malta, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Egypt & Atlantic Canada!

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:
Silke Taeter

EDUCATION:
Bachelor of Education, but I learned so much more from traveling!

LANGUAGE:
English, German, Spanish and French

COUNTRIES VISITED:
30+ countries on five continents. Everything from cultural escapes in Europe to camping adventures in Australia and backpacking escapes in Asia. I've rambled across North Africa and have enjoyed road trips and cycling adventures in Latin America & North America.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
It’s so hard to pick! Perhaps Spain for the amazing architecture & interesting cities, la joie de vivre of the locals, traditions that are still very much alive, and of course Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Mexico, because there is a perfect mix of friendly and welcoming locals, a delicious (and spicy) cuisine, vibrant culture, stunning nature and ancient history. Canada’s Yukon, for the incredible wilderness. There is nothing better than canoeing down an unspoiled river, hiking up one of the nameless mountains or spending a night under a million stars while the northern lights dance above you.

ABOUT:
After working as a teacher in my home country, Belgium, I headed out for what was supposed to be one sabbatical year! Eight years later I find myself having learned two foreign languages, hiked up Southeast Asia’s tallest mountain, mustered cattle in Australia, volunteered in an orphanage in Guatemala, found a second home in Canada’s far north and much more…

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:
Being able to speak several languages has made travelling an enriching experience; the conversations one can so easily slip into with locals - who come from all walks of life - adds greatly to my feel for a place.

TOURS LED:
Over a span of 25 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 highlights of several countries and the next thing you know we have, for example, a tour to Uruguay, Paraguay & Bolivia, or Lesotho, Namibia & Botswana. Sometimes I will be asked to arrange a detailed itinerary 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, none of these "spontaneous" tours would come into being. But they do.

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. With more than 25 years of tour leading under my belt, I thank all of you for being a part of this exciting journey with me.

Name:
Yasemin Reis

EDUCATION:
Social Anthropology & Cultural Studies

LANGUAGE:
English & Turkish

TOURS LED:
Yasemin has been leading tours throughout Western and Eastern Turkey for more than 20 years!

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.