top of page
Big World Made Small Adventure Travel Podcast.png

Meet Our Guests

We're excited to welcome the following adventure travel experts to the Big World Made Small Podcast. Each episode will appear here once they are released, so make sure to bookmark this page and return frequently, or just join our community to get new episode notifications, special email only content, and exclusive offers from our partners.

Items marked "In Production" are being recorded now, and will be released soon, at a rate of one episode per week.

If you would like to recommend an expert speaker for the show, please let me know. If you are an adventure travel expert that would like to share your story, let's book a quick call to see if it's a good fit.

Area/Topic
Career, Group Travel, Antarctica
11/29/23
Publication Date

Tom Smith

Vice President of Sales and Marketing for North America

Intrepid Travel

Tom began his career in the life-science and pharmaceutical sectors, before combining his passion for travelling and his work life, by joining the travel industry in 2013. After working in sales for a few years for a backpacker travel agency in Australia, he moved to Morocco to work for a surf camp (surfing being his other main passion). In 2015 he joined the Intrepid marketing team in our EMEA headquarters in London, progressing to become EMEA Marketing Director in 2017. He then moved to Peru to become General Manager of Peak DMC South America, managing the on-the-ground operations for the Intrepid family of brands across Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. In July 2021 he became the Regional General Manager for our operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and approximately one year later was promoted to his current role as Intrepid Travel's VP of Sales & Marketing for North America.
Area/Topic
Ecuador, Climbing
12/6/23
Publication Date

Karl Egloff

International Mountain Guide / Professional Mountain Athlete

Cumbre Tours Ecuador

I was born and raised in Ecuador, studied business administration in Switzerland, dedicated myself to guiding all over the world (Switzerland, Ecuador, Venezuela, Turkey, Egypt) and decided to return to Ecuador to train professionally as a guide and open my own mountain agency. Since 2014 I started to set speed records in important mountains such as the local ones, Cotopaxi-Cayambe-Chimborazo-Ilinizas as the emblematic 7summits Kilimanjaro - Aconcagua- Elbrus, Denali. In 2022 together with my partner we were able to set a speed record on the fifth highest mountain on the planet, Makalu 8482m without the use of oxygen and climb/descend the entire mountain from base camp in a single push without sleeping in any camp. I am a father of two children and happily married to my Ecuadorian wife and between elite sport, projects, guiding and family I try to have a healthy and ambitious balance but above all fair for everyone. My project is called FKT 7 and it is about setting a world record in speed on the highest mountain of each continent but above all to continue guiding, receiving people from all over the world in Ecuador and with my agency all over the world, helping to fulfill the dream of many and to be part of it.
Area/Topic
USA, Maine, Adventure Travel Trade Association
12/13/23
Publication Date

Russell Walters

President

Northern Outdoors

Born in the U.K. Russell has been involved in the outdoor industry in Maine since the early 1980′s. A registered Maine Guide, he has experience on the east and west coasts of the U.S. including a four year term as General Manager for O.A.R.S. in Angels Camp, California. Russell returned to Maine in 2000 to become president of Northern Outdoors, a four-season Adventure Resort located in The Forks. In addition to his role for Northern Outdoors, Russell is the Regional Director, North America for the Adventure Travel Trade Association. His work for the ATTA takes him the length and breadth of the U.S. and abroad, working with destinations, tour operators, guides and travel advisors to promote the economic, social and conservation benefits of adventure based travel through the ATTA’s network of trade events, educational programs and consumer facing initiatives including www.Adventure.travel
Area/Topic
Canada, NB, Bay of Fundy
12/20/23
Publication Date

Jordan Jamison

Owner & Operations Manager

Bay of Fundy Adventures

Jordan Jamison is an Owner, Ops. manager, Guide, and more at Bay of Fundy Adventures and Shipyard Cafe in St. Martins, New Brunswick. Jordan is passionate about sharing the Province he calls “Canada’s Best Kept Secret” with visitors from around the world. Jordan spends his time in furtherance of the company’s main goal: to showcase New Brunswick’s beautiful landscape and culture through adventure, interpretation, and unique personal experiences.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Podcasting, Trekking
12/27/23
Publication Date

Kit Parks

Podcast Host

Active Travel Adventures

Hi, I'm Kit Parks. I discovered adventure travel when I impulsively joined a friend backpacking volcanoes in Nicaragua when I was 56, and got hooked. Adventure travel - a foreign concept to me until that fateful adventure - turned my world around and galvanized me to start the popular Active Travel Adventures podcast. If I hadn't heard about adventure travel, then maybe others hadn't either, and I wanted to spread the word. On the show, I seek to inspire and empower others to lead a bigger life through adventure travel. I encourage folks to step outside of their comfort zone, train, and then go on an epic adventure. The show features adventures that regular folks can do on their vacation. Over the past six years, I've hiked, biked and paddled my way across all seven continents and have never looked back.
Area/Topic
Colombia
1/3/24
Publication Date

Daniel Buitron

Founder & CEO

Colombia Ecotravel

Daniel Buitron is a seasoned entrepreneur with a passion for leadership, sustainable tourism, and fostering meaningful partnerships. With over 13 years of experience in the travel industry, he has left an indelible mark on the landscape of ecotourism in Colombia. As the CEO and Co-Founder of Colombia Ecotravel, Daniel leads a dedicated team that has established the company as a trusted name in ecotourism travel services. They cater to travelers seeking safe, and unforgettable experiences in Colombia. His commitment goes beyond business as he personally travels to and collaborates with local sustainable travel providers, ensuring the highest quality services and contributing to conservation efforts in the Amazon.
Area/Topic
Mongolia, Ecotourism, Culture
1/6/24
Publication Date

Jan Wigsten

Founder

360° Mongolia

360° Mongolia is a collection of extraordinary bespoke experiences in Mongolia, designed by Jan Wigsten. Jan has been engaged in Mongolian tourism since 1980. Since 1993 as a local entrepreneur. He is widely recognized as Mongolia’s sustainable tourism pioneer. Our approach to travel in Mongolia has always focussed on the places where we develop long-term partnerships with local communities and conservation initiatives. These favourite places have what can only be described as 360° landscapes with unspoiled views in every direction – an immersive experience in another world. To visit these remote locations in comfort and style we have developed a unique travel philosophy utilizing small mobile private camps, comprising of well-appointed traditional Mongolian Gers.
Area/Topic
Chile, Bicycling, E-bikes
1/10/24
Publication Date

Cristian Levy

CEO

Amity Tours

Hi, I'm Cristian Levy, Founder & CEO, father, husband, cycling enthusiast and passionate skier. Master Degree in Hotel Management and Tourism Business Administration. My father and I started Amity Tours in 2003. We are a boutique inbound tour operator in Chile, specializing in 4 products: Bike tours, Hiking tours, Skiing tours and Conservation tours. Likewise, we offer Multisport trips, Family Adventures and Woman tours. Our headquarters are located in Pucon, the Capital of Adventure Travel in Chile. I live 3 months in the Bay Area California and 9 months in Chile's Lake and Volcano District. I am responsible for developing new businesses with European, North American and Latin American clients and strategic alliances with key tour operators around the world. Currently, I'm leading a project to become the first zero waste and carbon neutral adventure company in Chile.
Area/Topic
Africa, Bhutan, Expansion
1/13/24
Publication Date

Ryan Powell

Chief Operating Officer - Sales & Touring

andBeyond

Ryan Powell is andBeyond’s Chief Operating Officer of Sales and Touring. His is currently focused on leading their exceptional touring businesses in Africa, Asia and South America to ensure a consistent, leading, world-class guest and partner experience. He is passionate about the conservation of wildlife and natural spaces, and community development, and proudly works for a company which strives to leave the world a better place for the next generation.
Area/Topic
Chile, Tourism Business, Sustainability & Resiliency
1/17/24
Publication Date

Gonzalo Fuenzalida

Ceo/founder

Chile Nativo Travel

As founder, Gonzalo is responsible for maintaining and developing the characteristics that Chile Nativo is famous for: top notch service, excellent outdoor programs and a continued commitment to sustainability. Eternally optimistic Gonzalo is an eternal fan of Chile’s great south, its sublime landscapes, moody weather and uncharted canals and islands. His Patagonia travel tip? Choose the shoulder season: bursting with flowers and baby animals in spring; followed by crunchy copper-toned leaves, empty trails and more stable weather in fall. Besides Patagonia, his heart belongs to Chile’s superlative seafood (unfortunately the same can’t be said for melon - he’s never liked it!). Adventures on horseback across Mongolia, traveling the Trans-Siberian railway and exploring Vietnam and Japan top Gonzalo’s bucket list.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Family, Culture, Tourism Business
1/20/24
Publication Date

Robin Pollak

Owner & Chief Adventure Officer

Journeys International

Robin is a creative strategist, experienced facilitator, and the second-generation owner of Journeys International. Founded by her parents in 1978 based on a commitment to cross-cultural connection and environmental preservation, Journeys has long been a pioneer in ecotourism and adventure travel. Now, under Robin's visionary leadership, the company continues to break new ground designing experiences that foster discovery, spark human connection, and help people see the world and themselves through new eyes. Her unique perspective on adventure can be traced back to previous work as an experiential educator in summer camp and university settings, with a focus on service learning, immersive experiences, and ethical leadership. Robin earned an MBA from The George Washington University as a Global Leaders Fellow, and graduated with a BA in psychology from Carleton College. She and her husband, Joe, are raising two extremely energetic boys in Ann Arbor, MI.
Area/Topic
Travel Industry Trends, Traveling with Kids
1/23/24
Publication Date

Dan Christian

Podcast Host, Travel Trends

Travel Trends Podcast with Dan Christian

Dan Christian is a highly respected travel industry executive & entrepreneur. Following the pandemic he wanted to create a new travel podcast that told the stories of travel’s return through the experiences of his outstanding travel colleagues, our clients, and the key industry leaders that are shaping the future of the Travel Industry.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Paleontology-centric Tourism
1/24/24
Publication Date

Zach Vanasse

Founder & Director

Dinosaur Trips

Zach Vanasse has spent the past decade plus working across a variety of roles in the travel and tourism sector, including travel journalist, marketing and PR consultant, not-for-profit program manager, and guest services and operations director to create unrivalled travel experiences 66 million years in the making.
Area/Topic
Iran, Russia, North Korea, Tibet
1/27/24
Publication Date

Douglas Grimes

President

MIR Corporation

Douglas was inspired to grow the company after traveling to the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s on a goodwill exchange between members of the Soviet Olympic volleyball team and players of the sport from 11 U.S. states. He has made over 120 trips to our destinations and is a member of the Explorers Club. Whether exploring archaeological sites in Central Asia and the Caucasus or leading specialty tours, Douglas’s trips have spanned MIR’s destinations since our inception in 1986. Recent travels include Georgia, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq including Kurdistan, Iran and Armenia.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Travel Writing
1/31/24
Publication Date

Angie Orth

Author of Flirting with Disaster

Angie Away Media

Angie Orth is a writer and speaker best known for her travel and lifestyle website, Angie Away, and travel series The Jet Sisters. She’s a recovering PR agency publicist, former New Yorker, current Floridian, hesitant risk-taker, and allegedly, a grown-up. She’s the host of the Traveling with AAA podcast and has covered travel for Today, AFAR, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, Lonely Planet, the Today show, and Destination America. To date, Angie has visited more than 60 countries and she absolutely does not have a favorite.
Area/Topic
India, Himalayas, Trekking, Rafting
2/3/24
Publication Date

Vaibhav Kala

Founder

Aquaterra Adventures

Guiding since the beginning of organised and serious adventure travel in the early 90s, he has been at the forefront of conceiving, planning and executing trips that were considered too audacious to run. Those were the days of the telex, fax and shell accounts were barely getting through. We are different in terms of sheer range of trips, the consistency with which they are run, and the quality and safety of each trip. Our trips are less flash-in-the-pan and more consistent departures, into more and more remote regions, valleys and trails. Vaibhav is responsible for helping open up remote Himalayan valleys to adventure tourism, and has helped open up Indian river running like none before – with rivers like the Tons 19 years after it was run in its entirety, the Siang (Upper Brahmaputra), Subansari, Lohit in Arunachal Pradesh, the Pindar. Several of these trips are run by our company alone.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Exotic Destinations, Career
2/7/24
Publication Date

Jon Nicholson

Founder & Director of Planning and Product

Miru Adventures

Jon has been planning trips professionally for over 45 years and is still passionate about finding new destinations that are just opening or returning to a place to have new and different experiences. Believing strongly that the investment in travel to enrich your life is one of the best investments you can make he takes it to heart and travels whenever he can. Having visited over 100 countries on all 7 continents he brings this background to planning adventures at Miru. When not dreaming and planning he is an avid cyclist, hiker and runner.
Area/Topic
Romania, Bicycling
2/10/24
Publication Date

Ionut Maftei

Guide and Owner

Bike In Time

Born during the Communist era and raised amidst the challenges of the '90s, I've had a unique journey that reflects the profound changes Romania has undergone. My life has been a tale of two worlds - from those dark times to embracing the promising economic growth that followed the year 2000. While I always had a bicycle by my side, it was only after the millennium that the idea of launching a business in the realm of cycling tourism truly ignited within me. My educational background lies in Banking and Financing, and my career kicked off with my involvement in Romania's pioneering mortgage projects. Subsequently, I ventured into the world of business consulting. My passion for cycling and the allure of cycling tourism gradually transformed from a mere hobby into a dedicated project. Today, I am deeply immersed in this endeavor. My recent endeavors have taken me into the realm of European projects, where I've played a significant role in shaping Romania's National Cycling Plan. Notably, I hold the prestigious position of a European Cyclists Federation route inspector and serve as a national auditor for bicycle policies. In 2021, I received the honor of being recognized as a Romanian cycling ambassador, a testament to my contributions to the highly successful Danube Cycling Plans project. My ultimate goal is to firmly place Romania on the global map of must-visit destinations for cycling enthusiasts, working diligently to establish our country as a top choice for travelers. Join me on this exciting journey as we pedal towards a brighter, more sustainable future for Romania's tourism industry.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Career, Culture, Group Travel
2/14/24
Publication Date

Yves Marceau

VP Product

G Adventures

Yves Marceau joined G Adventures in 2014, taking on the role of Vice President of Product in late-2017, after running the small group adventure company’s buying division for three years. Both roles place a heaving emphasis on sustainability, as G Adventures prefers to work with locally-owned suppliers in the more than 100 countries it travels to. Yves has more than 20 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry; specifically, with non-profit organizations, in product and buying, and hospitality management. Before starting at G Adventures he spent time working at Road Scholar, which was a natural step into travel given his prior 10 years spent in education as a history and French teacher. Yves has travelled to more than 70 countries and to all continents except Antarctica, which could just be his next choice for a G Adventures tour.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Fly Fishing
2/17/24
Publication Date

Pat Pendergast

Director of International Travel

The Fly Shop

For close to 30 years I have been guiding fly anglers to the finest international fly fishing destinations in the world. From Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Kamchatka Russia to Chile, Patagonia, freshwater or saltwater, I have been fortunate to have traveled the world with a fly rod in hand. I have been a fly fishing guide, owned and operated my own lodge, and have helped develop some of the most sought after fly fishing operations in the world.
Area/Topic
Asia, Japan, Languages, Adventure Travel with Kids
2/21/24
Publication Date

Laura Hagler

Senior Travel Specialist

Global Basecamps

Laura grew up in Missouri counting the days till she could set off and see the world. After jumping at the chance to study abroad in the UK and travel through Europe and Africa, she returned to Florida Atlantic University to complete her Sculpture degree. Following her interest in Asian Art and heeding her ever growing wanderlust, she moved to rural Japan to live and work for the next five years. A passion for road tripping and mountains led her to explore and hike her way through the hidden corners of Japan, obsessing over museums, temples, and dodging the occasional monkey. Living in Asia was a dream come true and allowed her to dive with sharks in Sipadan, taste the finest street food in Yangon, celebrate New Years on the banks of the Ganga, and trade recipes with the local grandmas in Japan's onsen. She loves to help her clients soak up the unique culture of the countries they visit. Talk to Laura about travel to Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania and more.
Area/Topic
Kosovo, Trekking
2/24/24
Publication Date

Virtyt Gacaferri

CEO

Balkan Natural Adventure

Virtyt Gacaferri is the driving force behind Balkan Natural Adventure, an exhilarating hiking and trekking company that calls Kosovo home while serving the entire region. But this isn't just your typical adventure outfit. Virtyt's journey from being an ex-journalist, who once reported on the conflicts in the very region he now explores, is nothing short of remarkable. With an undying passion for the mountains and a fierce commitment to environmental conservation, Virtyt's love for nature was instilled in him from a tender age. As a little boy, his father introduced him to the rugged beauty of the Accursed Mountains, and that was all it took to ignite a lifelong passion for adventure. But Virtyt didn't embark on this incredible journey alone. He found an equally adventurous spirit in his business partner, Nol Krasniqi, and together, they've transformed their company into a major player in the region's adventure tourism scene. The energy and enthusiasm they bring to every expedition are infectious, making Balkan Natural Adventure a top choice for thrill-seekers looking to explore the breathtaking landscapes of the Balkans. Virtyt Gacaferri's transformation from journalist to adventure trip provider is a testament to the power of pursuing one's passions. With every hike, trek, and exploration, Virtyt and his team not only provide unforgettable experiences but also strive to preserve the natural beauty that has captivated them since childhood. So, whether you're seeking a heart-pounding adventure or a deeper connection with the environment, Balkan Natural Adventure is your gateway to thrilling escapades in the stunning Balkans. Join Virtyt and his team for a journey that promises to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime!
Area/Topic
Western United States, Tourism Business, Career
3/2/24
Publication Date

Melissa Chiella

Director of Operations

Bindlestiff Tours

Melissa hails from the great state of New York. Growing up in Long Island & NYC she quickly developed an edge & pursued a Corporate Legal Career – thinking this was the path for her. However, in 2010 after an 8-year stint in law, she left the big apple in search of different dreams after a solo backpacking trip to Puerto Rico that shifted her direction in life. Melissa fell in love with the Adventure Travel sector, leading her to find a passion driven career and exploring the globe – trekking the jungles of Africa to see the Gorillas to walking hundreds of miles across Spain on a pilgrimage to searching for the tastiest ceviche in South America. She has never stopped pushing her limits since. For 12 years she was a front and back-country guide expanding her experience in over 25 of Canada's & America’s National Parks. She was also lead trainer and General Manager for an outdoor travel brand in California. Eventually, her heart was stolen by Alaska’s rising peaks, crisp mountain air, and creamy blue glacial pools, while guiding wilderness backpacking and packaneering for 5 years. In the fall of 2020, during the Pandemic, she took her car with her bike in tow across the country and explored 16 new states on two wheels, while writing about mountain bike travel for her sponsors at Marin Bikes. She is a freelance travel & adventure writer, tying in all the things she has learned and loved over the years. Melissa now calls the West Coast home, splitting her time between beautiful Lake Tahoe and the bright lights of Las Vegas. With decades of travel experience, hiking adventures, cultural exposure, and professional guiding – she looks forward to sharing her colorful experiences with guests and her staff. Melissa is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR), California Naturalist, Swift Water 1 Rescue, Avalanche 2 Rescue (AIARE) and Lifeguard. "I can’t chase the American dream trading life for Money” – author unknown
Area/Topic
Montenegro, Western Balkans, Adventure Travel Guide Training
3/6/24
Publication Date

Hayley Wright

Owner/Operator

Black Mountain Montenegro

Inspired by adventurous parents and after journeying to and living in some of the world's colder places (including the North Pole and Siberia) Hayley turned a passion for adventure travel into a full time job as co-owner/ operator of an adventure travel business together with husband Jack in beautiful Montenegro. The destination is fast becoming known for its incredible mountain and coastal landscapes, rivers,lakes and canyons together with the melting pot of culture, warm Balkan hospitality and endless outdoor adventure opportunities. Working beyond borders throughout Montenegro and the Western Balkan region with a community of fantastic local guides and partners enables our guests to enjoy authentic and often transformational travel experiences, pushing their own boundaries in both physical challenges and cultural discoveries. Hayley is also a member of the Adventure Travel Guide Standard governance board, a framework of global standards of excellence for adventure travel guides and is passionate about supporting adventure guiding as a serious and respected profession which provides sustainable stewardship for the places and people through whose lands we travel.
Area/Topic
Sweden, Fishing
3/9/24
Publication Date

Micke Nyberg

Owner & Head Guide

Anglerman Fishing Adventures

Micke hails from the genuine countryside and wilderness of Sweden, region Dalarna, in the community of Älvdalen. Operating as a professional guide since 2006, he's lead Anglerman fishing adventures since 2013. Micke's committed to delivering fishing experiences to customers from all over the world, exposing guests to the culture, history, surroundings and nature, promoting sustainable tourism throughout the area. All packages are adapted depending on the customers’ wishes. Anglerman's mantra is “By fishermen, for fishermen” and they take pride in understanding what adventurous fishermen expect, and are eager to send them home with much more than a typical fishing trip. Micke and his team focus primarily on fly fishing in the summers, and ice fishing in the winter.
Area/Topic
Ecuador, Galapagos, Andes, Amazon, Ecotourism
3/13/24
Publication Date

Paul Peralvo

Co-Founder

Amazing Ecuador DMC

From a young age, I embarked on explorations across Ecuador, reveling in exciting vacations at my grandparents' rural haven south of Quito. Fond memories linger of long hours spent wandering fields at the foothills of the snow-capped Carihuairazo volcano, picking blackberries, and harvesting potatoes. Every Sunday, these treasures turned into shared family feasts, instilling in me a profound appreciation for our beautiful country. Armed with an ecotourism degree from a local university in Quito, I deepened my connection to nature during a year in the Galapagos Islands. Upon my return, I ignited a 15-year-long career in the travel industry, a profession that fuels my passion. Recently, I achieved a significant milestone by earning my MBA (Master Business Administration). Alongside my wife Belen and our delightful daughters, Victoria and Paula, I feel incredibly fortunate to share this journey in the fascinating world of travel.
Area/Topic
Greece,
Diving, Sailing, Adventures
3/16/24
Publication Date

Stavros Makris

Co-founder

Bearing True South

Based in Athens, Greece, and with a background in Biology, Stavros has worked as a documentary photographer for newspapers, NGOs and media organisations across five continents. Combining a passion for adventure with the curiosity his parents instilled in him from a very young age, it was almost impossible to stay put. Twenty years and over 80 countries later, he still finds himself addicted to travelling, amazed by the complexity of nature, the vast differences - and surprising similarities - of various cultures and the immense beauty of the natural world. Along with Panagiotis, he founded Bearing True South early 2014
Area/Topic
Worldwide Fly Fishing Adventure Travel
3/20/24
Publication Date

Jeremy Kehrein

Manager - Travel Sales

Orvis Adventures

Originally from the Driftless area of Wisconsin, Jeremy spent a lot of time trout fishing from an early age. Once he became an experienced fly fisherman, he made his way to South America for work so he could explore the opportunities in Patagonia. Once back stateside, Jeremy eventually made his way to Montana as an outfitter and a guide. In 2012, he took a job with Orvis Adventures and has been lucky enough to fish multiple continents chasing a variety of species with Orvis Customers for over a decade.
Area/Topic
Adventure Tourism, Family Business, Challenges & Rewards
3/23/24
Publication Date

Kasey Austin Morrissey

Head of Global Product & President USA

Austin Adventures & Active Adventures

Kasey was born in Alaska and raised in Montana. She graduated from the University of Montana, Missoula with a degree in Education. A member of the Austin family (Dan Austin’s daughter), Kasey grew up in the industry and has worked her way up doing just about every job in the company. She’s now the Head of the Product Team, ensuring Austin & Active’s product line-up is top notch and the Operations & Guide teams have what they need to deliver an amazing trip for our guests worldwide. There’s nothing that Kasey loves more than going on a hike with her husband, daughter, and dogs. But she also will try just about anything – skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, etc. – at least once!
Area/Topic
Sweden, Fishing, Tourism Business Development
3/27/24
Publication Date

Helen Lundgren

Founder & Administrator

Catch & Relax

I am married to my husband Bo, 2 daughters 22 and 17 and our dog Minnie. Running Catch & Relax since 2005 and Business Improvement Consultants since 2002 and have my coaching Program Life On Your Terms for 1 year. I live on an island in the Stockholm Archipelago and this life is what we want to share with our clients. I love nature adventures, creating adventure and experiences for our clients to create more balanced lives for people in my coaching business and help companies get better results through my consultant work. I love fishing, boating, skiing, films, and books about personal development and my motto is "Obstacles are possibilities with thorns"
Area/Topic
South America, Destination Management, Career
3/30/24
Publication Date

Dalia Gibu

Regional Sales and Marketing Director

Abercrombie & Kent Latin America

Born and raised in Lima, with grandparents from Peru and from Okinawa. Dalia always had a love for geography and arts. She studied Tourism management in Lima's San Martin University and afterwards two Master Degrees -one from the University of Alicante in Spain. She has over 20 years of experience in the fascinating field of tourism, including working in Mexico as a wedding planner for a five-star resort and later as Sales Manager for top luxury lodges and Amazon boats in Peru. She has been with A&K for over 13 years as their Regional Sales Director, but what she loves the most is creating new experiences along with her teams in Latin America. She is an adventurous traveler who loves hiking in the mountains, trying every local dish and new flavor and who loves blending with locals and more so if that involves music. In her free time, she loves singing, dancing and riding her bike around her hometown Lima.
Area/Topic
Africa
4/3/24
Publication Date

Julia Nesbitt

Director

African Safari Company

Julia’s summers as a child were spent exploring her grandparent’s farm in Zimbabwe, game parks throughout the region and visiting family in South Africa. These experiences shaped her more than she could have imagined, and in her early 20s she packed her bags and headed to Zambia to manage a camp in the South Luangwa Valley. After running the Africa department for another Seattle-based travel company for a few years, Julia re-joined African Safari Company as Director of Sales in 2011 and has been an integral part of the company ever since.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Fly Fishing, Photography, Travel Writing
4/6/24
Publication Date

Jess McGlothlin

Freelance Photographer and Writer

Jess McGlothlin Media

Jess McGlothlin sees her mission as a simple one: tell stories. Working as a freelance photographer and writer in the outdoor industry, while on assignment in the past few years she’s learned how to throw spears at coconuts in French Polynesia, dodge saltwater crocodiles in Cuba, stand-up paddleboard down Peruvian Amazon tributaries and eat all manner of unidentifiable food. She is a passionate writer and photographer who brings a unique, energetic perspective and approach to her work. Her written word is bright, bold, and honest. She’s worked with some of the largest brands in the outdoor sector, in roles ranging from staff copywriter to annual campaign photographer to marketing consultant. Subject coverage ranges from Western rodeos to fly fishing far above the Arctic Circle in Russia. She has proven competence covering everything from international advertising campaigns to multi-day survival training sessions in remote, challenging environments to exploratory fishing trips. Her work has been featured in gallery shows from Germany to Israel, and she has received international awards / recognition for both her writing and photography. Jess is available for contract, editorial, and assignment work, and is currently based in Missoula, Montana, USA. She's an FAA certified sUAS pilot, and has experience working in environments from the Wadi Rum to the Arctic.
Area/Topic
New Zealand, Maori, Spirituality
4/10/24
Publication Date

Jean-Michel Jefferson

Owner

Ahipara Travel

Jean-Michel Jefferson is the founder and CEO of Ahipara Luxury Travel. Educated at various schools in North Africa and the Middle East (son of a diplomat), then Rugby School, and the universities of Exeter and Sheffield, Jean-Michel spent 9 years with Price Waterhouse as a Management Consultant and Aviation Strategist in London and Moscow before ditching the corporate life and starting Ahipara in New Zealand. He grew up with authentic and meaningful travel and this is what he enjoys creating for our clients. He has mentored promising tour providers for a number of years and is always looking for a way to push boundaries, particularly with regard to transformational experiences. Jean-Michel has a special interest in Maori culture and spirituality.
Area/Topic
Chile, Chiloe Island
4/13/24
Publication Date

Cyril Christensen

Director

Chiloe Natural

Cyril is originally from Santiago de Chile. With a bilingual background he studied forestry and his first job was as a Park Ranger for the Chilean Forest Service. He then worked in the cruise industry as a Photographer and met his wife in the city of La Serena in Chile. Together they moved to the remote island of Chiloe as English teachers and offered experiences to visitors visiting their beloved country. Today, after a decade of running unique tours they run one of the most important tour operators in Chiloe focusing on local communities, nature, and sustainability.
Area/Topic
Ecuador, Adventure Travel, Ecotourism, Business
4/17/24
Publication Date

Henry Sisa

CEO-Founder

Adventure Journeys

I love adventure travel. I have been in the tourism industry for more than 15 years, almost all of that time as a naturalist guide and adventure trip leader throughout Ecuador and The Galapagos. I am particularly interested in the Amazon rainforest, and enjoy sharing it with guests while trekking, biking, kayaking, climbing, diving, and even horseback riding. I am committed to creating holidays with a purpose, and off the beaten path. I want each guest to have a unique experience filled with awe, fun, and connection, ensuring long-lasting memories. My team and I take great pride in organizing customized programs, expertly crafted to accommodate the unique interests and needs of each guest.
Area/Topic
Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand
4/20/24
Publication Date

Elodie Courzadet

Senior Business Development Manager

Vivu Journeys part of TMG

Hi ! My name is Elodie. I was born and raised in France, got a BA in foreign applied languages and a Master’s degree in tourism management. Having difficulties finding a job in the tourism industry right after uni, I decided to look for something in Asia and left a few months later (I did an internship in Thailand prior to that so I thought this could be a pretty decent place to live in!). I dedicated myself to Destination Management Companies (DMC) and spent many years in Asia working for several companies in Thailand and in Myanmar. I started in the leisure side of the business for the French market before moving into the corporate side. I specialized myself into incentives’ spaces for different markets such as the Australian one. After nearly 10 years in Asia, I took a break to explore the world for most of 2019. Far away from Asia, I discovered Mexico, Belize and Guatemala for the last piece of the trip and this was just extraordinary. I returned to France with a job in hand and happily started working for Vivu Journeys DMC, part of TMG group, in a purely commercial role. Initially, I was responsible for business development for the French-speaking markets for Vivu Journeys. Today, I am not only working on the DMC part of TMG but I also support all the assets of the group such as hotels, cruises just to name a few.
Area/Topic
Patagonia, Fly Fishing
4/24/24
Publication Date

Pablo Negri Edwards

Associate Director

Palatine by Viajes Temixco

With over three decades of professional luxury travel experience, I hold a BA degree and an MBA in International Business. I'm a well-known ecologist, active conservationist, fly fisherman, high-seas sailboat captain, and professional photographer, with top-notch expertise in Patagonia. Former world-famous Nomads of the Seas, Sales and Marketing Director - since it launched, and over a decade - I hosted two well-known fly fishing + sustainable tourism TV shows (ESPN and later FOX Sports) for years. I joined Palatine by Viajes Temixco, over 6 years up to date.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Luxury Travel Trends, Remote Bespoke Camps
4/27/24
Publication Date

Sam Bradley

Finance and Operations Director

Cookson Adventures

Sam is a travel and adventure enthusiast. He works for Cookson Adventures organising luxury holidays to remote parts of the world, and most of his spare time is spent travel writing for various websites and magazines. He's a devoted husband and dad to three mischievous daughters, and his hobbies include sport, being part of his local church, and more travelling if possible.
Area/Topic
Sweden, Fishing, Spirituality, Sami People
5/1/24
Publication Date

Per Jobs

Owner/CEO

Fish Your Dream

Per Jobs is the jazz composer with a fishing passion that almost 20 years ago turned his love of nature into a full time business. While operating lodges on several locations in Sweden, he tries to push the boundaries of sustainable tourism and conservation of the fisheries, local people and nature. While having fun.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Guide Stories
5/4/24
Publication Date

Kaitlyn Shinney

Adventure Guide

Adventures in Good Company

Kaitlyn lives just south of Boston along the ocean with her husband and rescue pup GoodGirl. She first became part of the AGC family in 2007 with backpacking the Grand Canyon, Northern Cascades, Kilimanjaro and Greece. She was hired in 2017 and led trips to Acadia, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket, Newport RI, Vermont, Adirondacks, Utah, Montana, Virginia, Georgia, Minnesota, Wyoming, U.S.V.I., Ireland, and Portugal to name a few. Her friends and family love when she returns from a trip and talks about all the inspirational women she met. Kaitlyn is an 18 year Professional Firefighter Paramedic with a Masters in Public Administration and Emergency Management as well as a certificate in Labor Studies. Love of the ocean, kite surfing, hiking, camping, cooking and attending the theater making lifelong memories collecting passport stamps. Kaitlyn just returned from stunning safaris in Sri Lanka and sunrise over Mount Everest at 18,500 ft. 2024 will start with an AGC trip snorkeling & kayaking the Paradise Islands in Belize learning about the flora and fauna that inhabit this unspoiled marine environment. Then exploring inland Belize including world class birding, lagoons, waterways, and a Mayan ruin. She hopes to check the Galapagos and her final continent Antarctica off her bucket list sooner than later.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Guide Stories
5/4/24
Publication Date

Lainie Reisman

Adventure Guide

Adventures in Good Company

Lainie currently lives in Washington D.C. with her husband, two teenagers, and two adopted street dogs. She has spent most of her adult life overseas (UK, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Kenya, Turkey, and Mexico) so is a very seasoned international traveler and adventurer. When not guiding hiking trips, Lainie continues to work on international aid programs (thus the living overseas!), specializing in youth violence prevention. Lainie loves meeting new people and learning about their diverse experiences, and is an avid hiker, having done many of the AGC itineraries on her own over the years (e.g. Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp, etc.). She recently summited a pair of 19,000 foot peaks in Peru with her 18 year-old son (and they got matching tattoos, a first for both!). She started guiding with founder Marian Marbury close to 20 years ago after writing her an impassioned 10-page letter (this was before email of course) and has been hooked ever since!
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Tuk-Tuk Adventures, Challenge Travel
5/8/24
Publication Date

Julian Carnall

Co-founder

Large Minority Ltd

Born and raised in Kenya, Julian began travelling at a very young age and has never looked back. He has always harboured a great fascination for discovery, and it was while in the early years of his career that he discovered his true passion - adventure travel. This led to Julian co-founding his own adventure travel company, Large Minority, in 2009 which he has been running ever since. Large Minority provides adventure experiences across Asia, South America and most recently Europe! Most of their adventures use the humble tuk-tuk, or auto-rickshaw, as a platform for adventure, allowing participants to immerse themselves in the destination from behind the handlebars of one of the most versatile vehicles known to man. Whatever the destination, Large Minority adventure challenges are sure to quench the thirst of adventure seekers by getting them off the beaten path, pushing their comfort boundaries and guaranteeing an adventure like no other. Julian is also extremely passionate about making positive difference within the travel industry and giving back has always been a very big part of everything he does. In his spare time, he loves climbing the odd mountain, riding motorbikes and, when possible, simply heading out into the bush.
Area/Topic
Jordan, Mixing Culture & Adventure
5/11/24
Publication Date

Bader Abdel Jawad

Founder

B Adventure

Meet Bader, the adventurous soul behind B Adventure, a true explorer with an unquenchable thirst for the extraordinary. Bader's deep love for creating personalized journeys in Jordan, combined with a heartfelt connection to the country's hidden gems, is nothing short of heartwarming. With a genuine commitment to sustainability and a heartfelt mission to reveal the safe, welcoming, and breathtakingly beautiful side of Jordan, my team and I are on a mission to make the world better through adventure tourism.
Area/Topic
Guatemala, Bicycling & Trekking
5/15/24
Publication Date

Matt Hartell

Owner, Lead Guide

Old Town Outfitters

Matt originally from North Carolina moved to Antigua, Guatemala in the late 90's after a brief visit to Guatemala. Drawn by the vibrance, color, history and seemingly endless singletrack, he Knew Guatemala was the place that needed to be explored more deeply. He packed up the car, drove down and hung a shingle on the wall, and the rest is history. Old Town Outfitters has grown to become the top adventure travel operator in Guatemala.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Climbing, Personal Discovery
5/18/24
Publication Date

Oliver Browne

Founder

True Summit Adventures

Professional guide, adventurer and coffee lover. I am the founder of True Summit Adventures and I love travelling - typically to high mountain arenas but I am up for all sorts of adventures - in January I rowed the Atlantic.
Area/Topic
New Zealand, Nomadic Lifestyle, Travel Writing
5/22/24
Publication Date

Lisa Jansen

Modern-Day Nomad & Writer

Life Done Differently

Lisa Jansen is a writer and digital nomad based in beautiful New Zealand. She spent almost five years travelling full-time in her RV, meeting amazing people, challenging society's norms and exploring the great outdoors of New Zealand. Lisa shares her journey in her latest book, Life Done Differently: One Woman's Journey on the Road Less Travelled.
Area/Topic
South Africa, Hot Air Ballooning
5/25/24
Publication Date

Dale de Klerk

CEO

Bill Harrop's Original Balloon Safaris

CEO of Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris and Owner and CEO of Alpi Aviation Dale de Klerk is a passionate aviator! Having developed an interest in aviation at the age of 7 he has not stopped learning, embracing new opportunities and …becoming fully involved in all aspects of aviation from hang gliding, microlights, gliders, power flying, paragliding and holding ratings for over 140 types of aircraft it was merely a matter of time before he found himself in a hot air balloon! Dale’s passion for flying led him to build, develop and grow his successful flying school Alpi Aviation. When the opportunity as CEO arose in Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris, he knew that this was his next adventure in aviation. He stepped up right away with passion and excitement and, as was predicted by all who knew him, he immediately committed to start gaining his hot air balloon licence! In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with “the best thing that ever happened to him”, his lovely wife Maggie! Together they have travelled to all corners of the globe, including North America, Europe and Africa. His 3 greatest aspirations are to fill Bill’s shoes as best he can and continue to make the company a huge success, to provide an unforgettable experience to all of our passengers and guests, and to obtain his hot air balloon pilot’s license.
Area/Topic
Chile, Bicycling
5/29/24
Publication Date

Fernando Padilla

Co-Founder

Cicloaustral Chile

Fernando, is 34 years old. He was studying Ecotourism when he started Cicloaustral as a school project for a marketing and entrepreneurship class, and now runs one of the most respected cycling tourism companies in the Chilean Patagonia. In 2012 he traveled 2.200 km by bicycle in the Carretera Austral route, and fell in love with the area's natural environment and people. His trip inspired him to design a comprehensive self-guided trip that includes rental bikes, support services, and a detailed itinerary, in addition to their very popular fully guided tours. Fernando is currently living in Japan, studying for his Masters degree in Tourism and Hospitality Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Among other things, he's working to understand cycling tourism and the impact it has both on participants and the local communities. To date, he's ridden more than 1.000 km while exploring cycling destinations in Japan.
Area/Topic
Ecuador, Galapagos, Luxury Cruising
6/1/24
Publication Date

Fernando Diez

Marketing Director

Quasar Expeditions

Born and raised amidst the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands, Fernando Diez is a proud Ecuadorian who has dedicated his adult life to sharing the unique beauty and rare wildlife of this enchanting archipelago with adventurous travelers from every corner of the globe. Fernando is the proud son of the founders of Quasar Expeditions, a high-end expedition cruising company that pioneered small group travel in the Galapagos Islands 38 years ago. His parents dream? To show this precious eco system to the world, ensuring its preservation for future generations through responsible tourism. Beyond his role as the head of Marketing at Quasar Expeditions, Fernando is loving father of 3, a proud husband and a man of many passions. He is a skilled photographer, an avid scuba diver, a high-altitude climber and overall just a lover of nature and the outdoors. A natural storyteller at heart, Fernando has an ability to bring the stories of this unique archipelago to life, connecting listeners with the magic of the place that possessed Charles Darwin's mind.
Area/Topic
Turkey, Anatolia
6/5/24
Publication Date

Aydin Kudu

Travel Designer & Documentary Filmmaker

Turkishmoon

I traveled in my native country, Turkey, on a bike and hitchhiking back in 80s when I was a university student. During those trips I preferred not to reveal that I was local, speaking anything but Turkish, to find out people's approach to travelers. I found people all over the country very welcoming, warm, hospitable, curious about other countries and with no expectation in return. Towards to my graduation I realized this reality becoming a strong motivation to start working in travel. That was back in 1987 and I still enjoy taking guests around Turkey on custom designed various programs.
Area/Topic
Canada, BC, Paddleboarding
6/8/24
Publication Date

Pamela Martin

Owner

Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

Pam tried paddleboarding for the first time in 2010 and fell in love! She is now is a certified Paddle Canada SUP Basic & Advanced Flatwater Instructor, as well as a Coastal Touring 1 Instructor. ​Pam studied Marine Biology at the University of Guelph & Commercial Photography at Sheridan College. Her love of the water has led her to many aquatic pursuits - canoeing as a child, competitive sailing, sprint canoe/kayak racing and long-distance Outrigger Canoe racing before discovering the sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Area/Topic
Ecuador, Adventure Sports
6/12/24
Publication Date

Santiago Granda

Cofounder

Amazing Ecuador DMC

I am passionate about traveling and enjoying the big outdoors. And having the Andes, the Amazon, the Galapagos and the Pacific Coast as my backyard opens limitless possibilities to enjoy nature, wildlife and local encounters all day, everyday.
Area/Topic
Southeast Asia, Sailing, Competitive Rowing, Family Adventure
6/15/24
Publication Date

Rob Hamill

Captain

The Cruising Kiwis

Marathon rowing champion Rob Hamill represented New Zealand in rowing for 16 years. Rob's numerous rowing achievements include a silver medal at the World Championships, Commonwealth gold and a world record on the indoor rowing machine. Rob rowed for New Zealand at the Atlanta Olympics and published The Naked Rower on how he and Phil Stubbs captured headlines around the world winning the gruelling and inaugural Atlantic Rowing Race in 41 days. He then led teams to successful defences in the next two editions making it a three-peat of victories for New Zealand. Together with his wife Rachel and their teenage sons they are attempting to circumnavigate this gorgeous planet by sail boat. They have taken their children out of school to educate outside the classroom and learn from nature and new cultures. They’ve only begun to scratch the surface with plenty more to explore. They hope to inspire others to explore different ways to live and educate while having a truckload of fun along the way.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Desert Island Survival, Extreme Adventure
6/22/24
Publication Date

Tom Williams

Founder

Desert Island Survival

Tom founded Desert Island Survival a company that maroons people on uninhabited desert islands. He has walked to the north pole and most recently look part in the survival TV show Alone in an effort to survive as long as possible in the Canadian Wilderness.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Womens Trips, Group Travel
6/29/24
Publication Date

Janet Scalzo

Chief Adventurer & Owner

Canyon Calling Adventures for Women

With a passion for female empowerment, an endless sense of curiosity, and over thirty years of experience in the travel industry, Janet found herself innately drawn to Canyon Calling’s mission. She followed the call of her adventuresome spirit and acquired the company back in 2014. She’s been leading it with vigor ever since!
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Sailing
7/6/24
Publication Date

Jon Bilger

Managing Director

PredictWind Ltd

Olympian, two-time America’s Cup winner, and New Zealand National Champion in multiple classes, PredictWind Founding Director Jon Bilger spent years accessing the very best private wind and marine forecasting tools in the world. Jon founded PredictWind in 2010 to share this potentially life-saving technology with the public at large, and today PredictWind provides the world’s most accurate and reliable forecasting technology to more than a million users. A lifelong competitive yachtsman, Jon lives in Auckland with his wife and two daughters, who share his passion for the ocean and competitive sailing.
Area/Topic
Mexico, Culture, Food, Family
7/13/24
Publication Date

Alex Vizcaino

General Manager

Authentic Mexico Tours

I was born and raised in a small city in western Mexico. During my childhood, my parents took me to many different sites in Mexico, and I fell in love with the sense of discovery that can only come with travel. I got a bachelor's degree in tourism management which included a semester in NZ, and my past experience includes trip planning, operations and management positions at Expedia, TUI, and other nation-wide and international companies. After the life in the big corp world, I decided to launch Authentic Mexico Tours, a project born out of a passion for Mexico. The real Mexico. The authentic Mexico. I leveraged the wide network of connections and the deep experience in tourism I have, and set off to create unique experiences designed to awe travelers. I am the proud father of two little girls, aged 8 and 2 years old, who share my wife's and my love of travel - they both took their first "long" trip in the first couple of years of their lives.
Area/Topic
South America, Ecuador, Peru, Patagonia, Trekking
7/20/24
Publication Date

Macarena Iturralde

CEO

Senderos Naturales Cia. Ltda.

Macarena Iturralde is the General Manager and Trip Designer in the office. As a formerly naturalist guide in the Galápagos Islands, Peru and the Amazon rainforest she has developed a huge love for nature and it’s conservancy. In the present she is a member of the General Assembly of the Charles Darwin Foundation and a fellow of the Shackleton and Selous Society. All this vast experience allows her to create unique itineraries for each group. Clients can count with her services as trip leader to make sure everything goes perfect in their journey.
Area/Topic
Sailing, Personal Development, Adventure Education
7/27/24
Publication Date

John Ensley

Sailing School Owner / Sailing Instructor

Cruise and Learn Sailing International

John Ensley has been sailing since he was 11 years old (he was 11 in 1980) and has been sharing his knowledge, experience and passion for sailing and cruising as a professional sailing instructor since 2016, with hundreds of aspiring sailors learning to sail and cruise on his watch. He is the owner and founder of Cruise-n-Learn Sailing International, the home of the one-of-a-kind "Cruise-n-Learn Sailing Immersion Program." John feels strongly that it isn’t just about learning sailing skills and getting certifications, it’s really about becoming a competent sailor and experiencing an amazing lifestyle and philosophy that’s simple, fun, challenging, clean, green, beautiful, peaceful and thrilling, all at the same time…
Area/Topic
Latin America, Asia, Slow Travel, Trip Planning
7/31/24
Publication Date

Steve Wilson

Founder

LiNGER Travel

I have spent the last 25 years travelling the world, from journeying overland through every country in Latin America to studying and working in Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Mexico and Nicaragua. I took a sabbatical in 2010 to spend a year researching and travelling through South East Asia, China and India. I became involved with complex trip planning for South America specialist operators in the early 2000s and this formed the basis of my career. The more complex the better. One of my initial projects was for a renowned landscape photographer and his mission to capture images of the extreme cardinal points and edges of the continent – part of a global project with a 104-year-old camera.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, SCUBA Diving, Responsible Tourism
8/7/24
Publication Date

Marjanna Akhtar

Owner

Great Expeditions Travel

Marjanna’s interest in international travel began in the late ‘80s while pursuing her BA in animal biology at the University of Colorado, and she took her first underwater breath on scuba! That was the beginning of a travel career that spans over three decades; beginning in 1990 with a specialization in the niche market of scuba diving and the destinations found in the South Pacific. Over the ensuing years, she has evolved the business to reflect the diverse interests of the company’s growing clientele base, as well as her own style and passion for world-wide travel. Destinations in Africa, Central & South America, SE Asia and Europe now feature strongly in the company's portfolio and incorporating authentic experiences into customized itineraries for individuals, families and small groups of friends are the foundation of Great Expeditions Travel. Throughout her travel career, exploring the world did not halt when motherhood arrived and her son, now a young adult, has been immersed into international travel since the age of 9 months. When not on her desk, you can often find Marjanna on the back of her horse, enjoying the rural small communities of western Colorado with her dogs and husband.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Adventure Travel, Tourism Business
8/14/24
Publication Date

Monika Sundem

CEO

Adventure Life

As a Pacific Northwest native I grew up playing in the mountains and lakes of the Cascades. I now enjoy living near Glacier National Park and am learning how to master the adventure called 'motherhood'. I have been an Adventure Lifer for over 18 years during which time I've worn many hats from operations to trip planning to marketing. I have traveled the world, but hold a special place in my heart for Latin America in particular. I love opportunities to interact with indigenous and local cultures and always glean valuable lessons as a result of off-the-beaten travel. I feel honored to be a part of creating similar life-changing moments for our travelers and grateful to work with the dedicated and amazing team at Adventure Life.
Area/Topic
Worldwide Trekking, Sweden, Outdoor Events
8/21/24
Publication Date

Sofie Jugård Löfgren

Outdoor Event Producer & Outdoor Guide

Aktivut

Passionate outdoor guide & ski instructor from the very north of Scandinavia. Since 20 years back managing the trekking event Fjällräven Classic Sweden that has grown to be 7 events world wide, attracting thousands of trekkers. Also into conscious breathing and connecting it to outdoor life.
Area/Topic
Extreme Adventure, Storm Chasing, The Explorers Club, Nature Documentary Filmmaking
8/28/24
Publication Date

George Kourounis

Explorer In Residence

Royal Canadian Geographical Society

George Kourounis has a passion for the world’s extremes. As an explorer, storm chaser, TV presenter, and Explorer-In-Residence for the RCGS, he’s travelled to 80 countries on all 7 continents to document extreme forces of nature so that others can appreciate the power of Mother Nature’s temper tantrums. For 25 years he has chased tornadoes on the Great Plains, driven into the eye of hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, rappelled deep in the crater of active volcanoes in the Congo & South Pacific, climbed mountains in North Korea, and earned a Guinness World Record for become the first person to set foot at the bottom of the Darvaza flaming gas crater in Turkmenistan while leading an expedition for National Geographic. He holds the title of National Geographic Explorer, Explorer In Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and served the maximum term as the Canadian Chapter Chair of The Explorers Club. He believes that we all could benefit from a closer relationship with nature, and by showcasing the dramatic extremes of the natural world, the images and stories grab people’s attention, especially young people. Best known for hosting 50 episodes of his own globe-trotting TV series “Angry Planet”, Kourounis is also a regular on The Science Channel, The Weather Network and countless other networks & video platforms. “I think that sustainable travel is an integral tool in promoting conservation. We are only interested in preserving things that we are care about… And we only care about things that we are exposed to. By visiting a rain forest, a coral reef, or a mountain glacier, we personally connect with the landscapes and wildlife we encounter there and that can create an emotional bond that we keep with us our entire lives.” George has been a Can Geo ambassador on many trips including: A voyage to Antarctica, The Galapagos Islands & Peru, and walking with polar bears in Manitoba. One of his favourite parts of these journeys is meeting other intrepid travellers and sharing stories of far-flung adventure. Other Achievements & Awards: Awarded the Stefansson Medal from the Explorers Club Canadian Chapter "For outstanding contribution to science and to public education by documenting extreme environments through filmmaking.” Medal from The Explorer Museum in Ireland “For courageous contribution to scientific research” Named by Canadian Geographic Magazine as “One of Canada’s top 100 explorers”, then again as “One of Canada’s top 45 living explorers” Awarded the 90th anniversary medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Awarded the 2020 Leif Erikson Exploration Award from the Exploration Museum in Iceland. Has served 2 terms as the Chair of the Canadian Chapter of The Explorers Club and was awarded their 2021 Citation Of Merit. He frequently is asked to speak at events including: 5 TEDx talks, the Global Exploration Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, and the United Nations Environmental Emergencies forum in Oslo, Norway among many others. George’s expeditions have taken him to: Madagascar, Iceland, Greenland, Cape Verde, Bangladesh, Laos, Tuvalu, Oman, Kyrgyzstan, Zambia, Japan, Vanuatu, Mali, Rwanda, Brazil, the Canadian Arctic, Siberia, Venezuela, Indonesia, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Tajikistan, and many more.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Latin America, Tourism Business
9/4/24
Publication Date

Staci Steele

Commercial Manager

SA Expeditions

Staci has dedicated a significant part of her life to globetrotting, especially across South America. She's embraced exploration not just as a hobby but as a disciplined endeavor to understand and facilitate connections between the English-speaking world and countless communities in South America. Her journeys, which began with just a backpack and a sense of wanderlust, have evolved into a professional capacity for executing experiences that are as refined and remarkable as anyone else in her industry niche. Staci has been with SA Expeditions since 2012, and her journey has been one of growth and evolution, starting as a Destination Expert, advancing to Sales Manager, and now Commercial Manager overseeing global partnerships and destination development. The economic impact of the travel services purchased for her clients reaches into the millions across the developing economies of Latin America and now expands worldwide. Countless guides, drivers, muleteers, rural communities, hotels, and national economies (to name just a few) have benefited from her daily and meticulous efforts.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Transformational Travel, Sustainability
9/11/24
Publication Date

Mary Stange

Owner

Ponte Travels

My passion for world travel was first sparked through a study abroad semester in Limerick, Ireland when I was 19. Since then, I have traveled to numerous countries — many of those with my two kids by my side. A career serving in the U.S. Navy inspired me to seek an advanced degree in International Relations from American University with a focus in Development. My work since then has further instilled my characteristic global mindset and dedication to encourage others to experience the world first-hand and support local economies. After separating from the Navy in 2015, my family began a new life chapter traveling the world, allowing them the opportunity to live overseas in countries such as Armenia, Colombia, and Cyprus. I believe in the transformative nature of travel; that experiencing the world with respect and humility develops our tolerance, empathy, and most of all understanding of the world and ourselves. I also believe in sustainable tourism; and that in order to be true global citizens, we must take care of the world around us including local communities, wildlife, and the environment. I am passionate about creating unforgettable trips for the constantly curious and allowing space for exploration and wonder.
Area/Topic
Alaska, Conservation, Cruising
In Production
Publication Date

Hunter Hartford McIntosh

President & Executive Director

The Boat Company, Ltd.

The simple fact that one person can make the world a better place through nature conservation is the driving force behind the life mission of Hunter Hartford McIntosh. Hunter’s passion for conservation was inspired at an early age by a family legacy of environmental education, philanthropy and the drive to protect our natural resources for future generations. He is carrying that legacy forward as President of The Boat Company, where he has vowed to preserve and protect nature through small ship exploration, education and action. The Boat Company was started in 1979 by Hunter’s father, Michael McIntosh, who made it his life’s goal to protect the largest remaining temperate rainforest in the Northern Hemisphere: The Tongass National Forest in Southern Alaska. To do this, he created a non-profit luxury eco-cruise line that not only allowed small groups of visitors to intimately experience the wild beauty of Southern Alaska, but taught them the importance of its conservation along the way. To spend a week with The Boat Company is to see the world through an entirely new lens – and change your outlook on nature forever. Where some kids dedicated themselves to baseball or football, young Hunter committed himself to observing the annual nesting of sea turtles near his hometown of Palm Beach, Florida and feeding his desire to protect and preserve our waters and wildlife habitats. As an adult, he worked side by side with his father to redefine sustainable tourism. It was not just enough to talk about preserving the environment, the McIntosh family created an intimate experience for The Boat Company guests that included education, awareness and the cultivation of passion for a special place on earth in desperate need of protection. The Boat Company crew is made up of highly educated naturalists who ensure their guests not only enjoy all the perks of a luxury eco-cruise, but also learn every day – from the perils of ocean acidification to the importance of old growth trees for the survival of Alexander Archipelago wolves. For Hunter, providing experience and education is not enough. He has ensured The Boat Company remain a nonprofit with a mission to protect and preserve. Working with expert conservationists, Hunter produces an annual conservation report where he outlines the organization’s priority areas and his plans to support them. In 2015, The Boat Company partnered with several environmental organizations to successfully remove a roadless rule exemption in the Tongass and save old growth forest needed for the survival of several wildlife species. Hunter is currently working on an endangered species designation of the Alexander Archipelago wolf. When guests board one of The Boat Company’s luxury small ships, they know their money is truly helping protect all they are about to see and experience. Hunter is proud to carry on the McIntosh legacy of conservation and shares The Boat Company’s vision and work at national conferences where he has spoken on numerous topics related to sustainable tourism. He has been a speaker at the World Green Energy Symposium on multiple occasions, The International Ecotourism Society Annual Conference as well as the American Society of Travel Agents Cruise West. In 2011, Hunter was identified as a Top 25 Extraordinary Mind in Sales and Marketing by the Hospitality Sales Marketing Association International, and has received numerous accolades in Sustainable Tourism from other industry peers such as the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards and National Geographic Traveller Magazine. Hunter has also testified before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, submitted testimony to the committee and met with and submitted official comments to the Secretary of the Interior as well as Secretary of Agriculture overseeing the US Forest Service. His testimony has been focused on fisheries and wildlife management, land protection and preservation, and nature based tourism. Hunter attended Florida State University on a track scholarship before transferring to Sacred Heart University, where he received degrees in Communications and Political Science. His philanthropic endeavors are focused on issues of conservation, health, and education through his work as Trustee and Director of the McIntosh Foundation and as a longtime donor to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. He is also the founding supporter of the Florida State University women’s soccer program. When he’s not in Alaska, Hunter enjoys surfing, working in the family aquaponics garden, fly fishing and exploring the world with his wife Amber and daughter, Aspen. Hunter’s one hope for eco tourists experiencing the Alaskan outdoors with The Boat Company is that they return home as better stewards of this earth, more aware of their own environmental impact and with a quest to preserve and protect for future generations.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Trekking
In Production
Publication Date

Jim Young

Founder & Director

Adventurous Ewe

From the heart of Snowdonia in North Wales, Jim founded Adventurous Ewe after years of guiding overland expeditions and trekking through many remote patches of the planet. This combined with his profound passion for and knowledge of the world’s diverse environments, wildlife, cultures, and customs have equipped him with many stories to share. Having lived and led expeditions across the rugged terrains of Africa, the mystical landscapes of Asia, and the vibrant locales of South America, Jim's experiences are as rich and varied as the destinations he explores. His charisma and familiarity with these regions, especially Morocco, make him something of a local celebrity, greeted warmly with endless handshakes and the familiar chants of "Jim!" echoing through the dusty streets of Imlil. An accomplished high altitude guide, Jim holds a plethora of certifications, including Mountain Leader, Mountain Bike Leader, and Advanced Wilderness First Aid. He is also a certified 4-Star Level 2 Kayak Instructor, Rescue Boat Operator, and skilled bike mechanic. Despite his extensive qualifications, Jim is equally known for his hearty laughter and the occasional 'really bad' joke, bringing lightness and joy to every expedition. At the heart of Jim's philosophy is a commitment to crafting unique, thrilling travel itineraries that go beyond standard travel packages. He thrives on creating experiences that are not only adventurous but also deeply connective, allowing travelers to explore the soul of each destination. When he's not scaling mountains or charting new, unexplored routes, Jim indulges in his love for sea kayaking, kite surfing, and journeying through the world’s wildest places. Accompanying him on many of his adventures is his beloved dog, Moshi, a steadfast companion in both spirit and adventure. Jim's life is a testament to the belief that travel should be more than just visiting a place; it should be an immersive journey that transforms and inspires.
Area/Topic
United Kingdom, Career
In Production
Publication Date

Claire Copeman

Co-founder

Adventure Tours UK

A keen trail runner, mountain biker, hiker and scuba diver, Claire left behind her career in marketing to follow her passions. Co-founding Adventure Tours UK, her goal was to shine a light on the UK's incredible wild spaces and use travel as a force for good.
Area/Topic
Brazil, Ecotourism, Destination Management
In Production
Publication Date

Mikael Castro

Country Manager, Brazil - Abercrombie & Kent DMC

Abercrombie & Kent

Sustainable Tourism Strategist | 20+ Years of Global Experience | Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist 2023 As a seasoned manager with over 20 years of experience in the tourism industry, I am focused on providing unique and sustainable travel experiences. Throughout my career, I have worked with tour operators, non-profits, and international associations in over 25 countries and visited over 76 countries. I am an expert luxury and adventure travel professional with the ability to design, market and operate complex itineraries in unique locations. I thrive creating experiences that connect people profoundly with the places they visit and people they meet. I am a senior level managing director with solid financial experience and proven track record of hitting P&L forecasts. I enjoy challenges and love to rally a team to push towards a vison. I have a passion for photography and sharing through storytelling.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Expedition Cruises
In Production
Publication Date

Todd Smith

Founder & President

AdventureSmith Explorations

About Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations Founder: Inspired by his grandfather to camp and travel the world, Todd’s wanderlust started early. A cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment changed his outlook on life, instilling at an early age a precious perspective to live life to the fullest. Launching his career as a naturalist guide in Alaska and Baja California, Todd gained firsthand experience operating expedition cruises and learned what it takes to exceed traveler expectations. He was instrumental in pioneering early adventure cruises with Zodiacs, kayaks and professional expedition leaders. Connecting travelers to the wilderness and conservation became his lifelong passion and the foundation of his successful adventure travel company, AdventureSmith Explorations, established in 2003. Todd has been named a Top Travel Specialist on Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Top Travel Specialists List 11 times, and has been featured on television shows such as Lonely Planet and Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures. He’s an elected board member of IGTOA (International Galapagos Tour Operators Association) and an advocate for sustainable travel initiatives worldwide.
Area/Topic
Tibetan Plateau, China, India, Nepal, Bhutan
In Production
Publication Date

Brian Glorioso

Founder

Adventure Access

I've lived half my life on the Tibetan Plateau and my family considers Asia home. I currently live in the Southeastern United States, launching my older children into young adulthood and university life. I travel frequently to Asia, spending weeks at a time in the Himalayas or in nearby cities. I founded Adventure Access in 2009. Our desire is to make the greater Himalayan region accessible to others who wish for meaningful connections to people and places across the roof of the world. The transformative power of such experiences is what we strive for at Adventure Access. Adventure Access is an invitation. We believe you and others will be better by spending time amongst the people and mountains of this part of the world. On a personal and professional level, Adventure Access is the result of 23 years of living and working throughout the Himalayas and across the Tibetan Plateau. Some of the highlights that have had a big impact on this collective learning and leading process include: - Pioneering one of China's first foreign owned and operated tour companies. - Identifying and leading entrepreneurs across Tibetan regions of China as well as places in India, Nepal and Bhutan. - Participating as a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association since 2019. - Influencing startups across the region with thriving businesses leading the way in adventure destinations throughout Western China plus select locations in Nepal and India. - Consulting with Tibetan entrepreneurs through Columbia University's Rural Green Business Training Program (in partnership with the US Dept. of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs). In addition to Adventure Access, I am also the co-founder of The Adventure Provision Company. We sell the goods necessary for adventuring in your backyard or in the Himalayas because we believe in adventure for all. One of the biggest surprises as part of the adventure travel community has been the opportunity to speak at or consult with entrepreneurial communities in co-working spaces, as individual entrepreneurs, and institutions of higher education such as Columbia University, The University of Oklahoma, Baylor University and Gansu Normal University for Nationalities.
Area/Topic
Tanzania, Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
In Production
Publication Date

Emmanuel Laizer

Founder

Betheli Expedition

Emmanuel is known in Tanzania as the pioneering conservationist and visionary founder of Betheli Expedition. He grew up in the picturesque village of Sekei, nestled at the foot of the renowned Mount Meru, often referred to as Socialism Peak, standing tall at 4,566 meters in Northern Tanzania. Emmanuel's childhood was a tapestry of natural wonder, surrounded by rolling hills and mountains, where Maasai elders would gather to trek to the mountaintops, offering prayers and reverence during times of drought and generational transitions. In those early days, Emmanuel and his peers were entrusted with tasks like collecting firewood and tending to cattle on the mountainside. The lush forests teeming with wildlife, from antelopes to baboons and a myriad of bird species, provided a vibrant backdrop to their daily lives. The pristine water streams that flowed down from these peaks sustained the local river, a source of local fishing adventures. The distinct rule of not bringing fish smell home reflected the traditional Maasai dietary preferences, which have evolved over time. Over the years, Emmanuel observed a shift in the landscape and the disappearance of once-thriving wildlife habitats. The question of where the wild animals of his youth had gone weighed heavily on his mind. It wasn't until after completing his high school education that Emmanuel realized his true calling lay in conservation. In 2005, he embarked on his journey at the College of African Wildlife Management, where he discovered that transforming nature into tourist attractions could directly benefit local communities while conserving precious ecosystems. His educational journey continued with a stint at The National College of Tourism in Dar es Salaam, where he studied tourism. Emmanuel's career in the world of adventure tourism took flight in 2007 when he became a mountain guide. By 2010, he transitioned to become a safari driver guide, and from 2012, he assumed the role of a tour consultant. In 2013, he further expanded his responsibilities as an operational manager, ensuring the utmost satisfaction and safety of guests exploring the captivating landscapes of East Africa. In late 2019, Emmanuel and his wife Jacqueline embarked on a transformative journey by establishing Betheli Expedition. The challenges of entrepreneurship only fueled their determination, and it quickly became evident that this was their true calling. With a shared vision, they now find themselves in a position to inspire and uplift the younger generation. As the founder of Betheli Expedition, Emmanuel is a fervent believer in the power of education and community involvement to protect and preserve nature. His commitment extends to supporting orphaned children and those who need help affording school fees and supplies. Through various initiatives, including the purchase of bracelets crafted by Maasai women, supporting local markets, and engaging customers in the cause, Emmanuel and Jacqueline are making a lasting impact on their community and the environment they hold dear. Emmanuel Laizer is not just a tour operator; he is a pioneer of conservation and a beacon of hope for the next generation. Join him on a journey of adventure, cultural enrichment, and meaningful impact by experiencing a Betheli Expedition, where every step taken is a step towards preserving the wonders of Tanzania for generations to come.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Trip Planning, Shared Adventures
In Production
Publication Date

Richard Campbell

Founder & CEO

10Adventures

Richard is the founder and CEO of 10Adventures, a platform to book customizable and private active vacations. With trips in 85+ countries and travellers from 35+ countries, 10Adventures is a global platform that enables people to create meaningful travel experiences with the people that matter most in their lives. These shared experiences end up as the photos on their walls, the stories that are told at family reunions, and the memories that last a lifetime. Richard has spent his 25-year career in high-growth start-ups and scale-ups, having worked across three continents, and worked in English, French, and Spanish. In addition, Richard is an adventure traveler himself, and now spends his weekends exploring the Rocky Mountains with his wife and 3 children.
Area/Topic
Africa, Safaris, Conservation, Guiding
In Production
Publication Date

Ant Kaschula

Founder

Private Guided Safaris

I am a born & bred, fourth generation Zimbabwean who's professional guiding career spans more than two decades. I have travelled the length and breadth of the African continent and I have guided or lead safaris or expeditions in twenty-one different African countries. As the holder of the most highly respected professional guiding qualification in the world coupled with a Masters degree in Ecology and interests ranging from Botany, Bushcrafts & Fly Fishing to Entomology & Recreational Flying, provides me with the background to impart an incredible breadth & depth of knowledge to my guests. I am an ExCo member of the Zimbabwe Professional Guide's Association and am involved in ensuring the high levels of training and examining of the next generation of professional guides is maintained. I have a ceaselessly questioning mind and as per one of my mentor’s sayings – have, eyes for seeing and not just looking, which means that very little goes undetected by my radar and no stone is left unturned in my quest to provide my guests with that 'perfect moment’. In terms of being a specialist, I am most happy whilst leading walking safaris through big game areas and particularly enjoy spending time with elephants on foot. Having had the privilege of spending much of my adult life exploring the continent’s wildest landscapes, what has become more and more apparent are the threats faced by these rapidly diminishing refuges. Truly passionate and dedicated to the long term safeguarding of these areas, I tend to direct my support, and that of some of my philanthropic guests, towards protected areas which are managed by organizations that are moving the needle in terms of protecting Africa’s remaining wild spaces.
Area/Topic
Worldwide, Central Asia, Middle East
In Production
Publication Date

Marc Leaderman

Product & Operations Director

Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel

When I was younger we never journeyed anywhere as a family, so my love of travel really started at university when I spent one summer teaching English in Romania, in what turned out to be one of the most transformative trips I have ever experienced. It was just after the fall of communism and it was a real eye-opener for me to see people, the same age as me, living such different lifestyles - something I’d only really glimpsed on the news. They had all lived through the turmoil and violence of the events of 1989, so meeting them and hearing their stories really piqued my interest in the wider world. After graduating, I taught English in Japan and then I went to Australia, where I spent some time as a door-to-door salesman. When I eventually came home, it was short-lived - I spent the next ten years as a UK tax-exile, tour-leading in over 60 countries from North Korea to Mali. On one occasion where I returned to London, I met Jonny. I thought I’d been to some of the most adventurous places out there before I met him! I attended one of Jonny’s talks on Afghanistan and he thought I was spying for a rival travel company, but I was just interested in what Wild Frontiers did and now I head up the Product and Operations department (and also, regrettably, have to pay tax!) With my product hat on, I’m always looking at new areas to which we can travel - a role which is endlessly exciting, especially as the world changes. It’s important that we keep that Wild Frontiers’ edge on emerging destinations. But it’s also about visiting familiar places in new ways. From the operational side, it’s really about managing the constant challenges that come up on tours, the ever changing rules and regulations and just making sure that everything on the road happens as planned. It’s no easy task and assuredly a 24/7 job as we will almost always have several clients travelling at any given time to one of the 90+ destinations we offer.
Area/Topic
Conservation, Voluntourism, Human Connection
In Production
Publication Date

Chris Braunlich

Board Chair and CEO

Conservation Volunteers International Program

Chris is Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Conservation Volunteers International Program. She has a bachelor's degree in economics and an MBA in finance from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to retirement, she spent her career working in banking and in finance in the corporate world. How did a person with degrees in economics and finance "end up" volunteering as CEO for an environmental conservation nonprofit? She always loved the outdoors, she has volunteered since she was in high school, and she prefers doing to talking. Brought up in a time when children were free-range, Chris rode her bike, climbed trees, scrambled among the rocks along the ocean cliffs - outdoors was fun, freedom, inner peace. In college her husband introduced her to backpacking, and once they figured out how a 5'3" woman could happily hike with a man who had a 6'3" stride, hiking in the mountains with her husband became her favorite getaway. Volunteering, working with her hands - too much to put in a short bio.
Area/Topic
Africa, Safaris, Conservation, Business
In Production
Publication Date

Alan Feldstein

Founder & Owner

Infinite Safari Adventures

For two decades, Alan Feldstein worked as a successful entertainment and marketing/advertising attorney in Los Angeles. In 2000 after racking up 450,000 frequent flyer miles he asked his wife where she wanted to go in the world. She replied “I have always wanted to go on a safari in Africa”. That trip to Africa it changed his life. In 2005 he summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro and then tracked chimps in the Mahale Mountains. It was there he met his future East African Ground Partner who shared a love of kayaking. In 2008 he took his children to Africa and on that trip became one of the first people to kayak off the coast of Tanzania. It was there and then that he decided
to leave the practice of law and share his passion for Africa and adventure to create Infinite Safari Adventures. Alan is a member of the Adventurer’s Club of Los Angeles and the international Explorers Club where he was the Southern California Chapter Chair. He also sits on the boards of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Saving The Survivors, and The Bird School Project. In 2023 he and his wife, Journalist Diane Haithman, founded the Infinite Safari Foundation which is dedicated to humanitarian, educational and conservation initiatives in Africa. It is funded, in part, from a donation of the cost of each Infinite Safari Adventure safari that is created. He is also the author of The Best African Safari - Tips from an Obsessive Planner a definitive guide to help people plan their best safari.

Listen To The Big World Made Small Podcast On:

Big World (500 × 280 px)
Apple Podcasts
Spotify
iHeart Radio
Google Podcasts
Castro
Overcast
Pocket Casts
Stitcher
Alexa
Castbox
TuneIn
Podchaser
bottom of page