Laura – An intrepid linguist and tour guide
My passion has always been languages. I was born in Hungary, but my curiosity about other languages and cultures took me to live in Spain, Portugal, Kyrgyzstan, China… to travel, and to explore strange alphabets. 🙂
What are the challenges of being a tour guide? Drunk bus drivers, unpaid bills and ‘hangry’ clients in Europe (Panavision, 2006-2009)… Drunk truck drivers, bags full of cash, and ‘hangry’ lions and clients in Africa… (Kananga, 2010 -2014) and then … China (Ambarviajes and Barbulak, 2015 – present). Challenges in China? The menus, toilets, bus stations, money exchange… practically everything 🙂
And of being a language teacher (2000 – present) ? Strong national resistence in Spain; corruption, cultural divide, revolution, non-existent printers and blackboards in Kyrgyzstan; language and mental barriers in China; high expectations in Hungary.
And finally the result … Barbulak.
After all these years of travelling, we finally have all the knowledge and experience to organise the PERFECT TRIP for you.
Because we like CHALLENGES.
Tim – A man with a home in a knapsack, who can’t keep it short
I was raised in Yorkshire (UK) where my parents engrained in me curiosity and the joy of travel. In my late teens I set out on my own independent adventures with an oversize backpack and during my university holidays I took any opportunity to go for an extended stroll abroad: be it an aid project in El Salvador, or a sailing trip around the Iberian Penisula, with only enough money for a one-way flight.
After uni the 2008 financial crisis gave me the perfect excuse to delay the world of full-time employment; taking a shoulder bag and flying off to Lebanon instead. I embarked on a journey east, across Syria, Turkey, the Caucasus, and then took passage on a cargo vessel bound for Turkmenistan. I followed in the footsteps of intrepid explorers; Marco Polo, Preswalski and the players of the Great Game, discovering for myself the old khanates of Central Asia and living with the mountain peoples of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. I spent a winter in Kyrgyzstan allowing the ice to melt on the high mountain passes and Laura’s heart to warm to me before we decided to travel together across the New Dynasty of China.
This enlightening journey traversing the vast scorching expanses of the Taklakaman and Gobi deserts, climbing up to the chilly heights of the Tibetan Plateau and back down to the man-made wonders of the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Three Gorges Dam opened my mind to eastern thinking and cultural alternatives to my western upbringing. I ended up ‘settling down’ and motorbiking around South East Asia whilst living in Cambodia and trying to understand the subtleties of the Khmer mentality after such a brutal history.
I returned home after this… briefly, and started work as an engineer in Africa.
Laura and I laid down our plans for offering a taste of what we had seen and accomplished over many years of travelling:
An adventure beyond standard tours, to go a bit further into the wild.