Ovidiu Balaj
Garlic Trail expert


The Garlic Trip era actually started a long time ago, somewhere in the year 2006, with my first trips made along with my friends. They were long trips, backpacker style, on different continents, trips in which I gathered years of living in other worlds. I was not travelling all the time with the same people. Some of them were joining me for several months, others were leaving and then returning. With some of them I had rende-vous in the middle of Asia like I was doing it in Timișoara, for a coffee.

I’ve met people all around the world. I’ve made new friends, eaten strange food (which later I learned how to prepare myself), I’ve danced on the streets, climbed high mountains, sit on sea and ocean shores, I’ve had sand in my eyes from fabulous deserts, I’ve fallen madly in love  – I’ve lived new lives. 

Not much has changed in my life since then, just the fact that meanwhile, my passion inspired others to travel with me and my “garlics”, as I like to call you, the ones who travel the world with me.

By my side I have as local consultants, those who remained close to me, people that we keep seeing every time and who are wonderful warm hosts, like Carlos – my good friend from Buenos Aires, Ng Siew Cheng from Kuala Lumpur or Nigisti from Addis Abeba. In several of my tours, these friends of mine joined and guided the Garlic Trips groups. Well, this whole story led me to start an Adventure Tourism Agency – Garlic Trips.

The trips we propose are “friend trips”. You can associate them with your high school trips, where everybody knew everybody (even those who didn’t know anybody) and the days were full of good vibes, exploration and laughter until midnight.

World is so big, that it’s almost impossible for us to have the same experiences for one trip to another. Therefore, along with our itineraries, we are always open to what the “local present” has to offer.

Without any exception, the authentic connection with the places, the culture, the history and the people, makes us all, every time, to want to come back to those places and to discover more about them.

In our Garlic Stories section you can find a selection of our dearest experiences and destinations.

In addition to the tours that we make together with you, we wish to give you support in your own tours, made by yourselves or with your friends. Our vast knowledge and know-how allows us to give full assistance and even to organize tailor-made itineraries for almost any corner of the world, in order to save you more time and spare you from some headaches. 

Please follow us on Facebook and let’s have some stories over a coffee sometime. 

Oh, yes! And if you wonder, “Garlic” is my dog’s name 🙂

Meet my team
Carol Huang
Carol Huang


I met Carol Huang while she was teaching Mandarin language in a University, in Bucharest, but long after she  left Romania we still kept in touch. I’ve always been touched by her travel pictures, where she put a lot of passion.

Florentina Cristina Catrinaru
Florentina Cristina Catrinaru

Photographer, Contributor

Florentina Cristina Catrinaru is, in my perspective, one of the best Romanian photographers. She will introduce you the beauty of Romania, but also other parts of the world, where she and her lens, manage to escape.

Yu Niimoto
Yu Niimoto


Yu Niimoto and I met while crossing by land the border between Tanzania and Kenya. He has nice stories from there and elsewhere he has been to. Now he’s expecting me to personally celebrate with him his newly home in Nara, Japan, so this makes even harder my travel plans for this year.



Francois, my mysterious old friend, has traveled in many parts of the world, and we were companions in some of them. As he prefers to remain undercover, probably until he gets married or something similar, I will stop here writing anything more about him.

Ng Siew Cheng

Tour planner in Kuala Lumpur, Contributor

Ng Siew Cheng is a Lecturer for Tourism and Business Events at a University and also a Tour Planner in Kuala Lumpur. She first introduced me to her hometown KL back in 2009 when I was Couchsurfing her place. In 2016 it was my turn to present her Romania in a 2 weeks tailor-made trip, enough to convince her that Transylvania can always be her far-away home.

Sorana Greucean
Sorana Greucean

Garlic Assistant, Contributor

After the trip we’ve took in Cuba in 2018, she told me: listen, don’t you think you could use someone like me in your team? And because I loved her deep connection with the Cuban experience but I also used her help in organizing the group on the whole trip, I’ve told her: come on! Let’s do this!

Monica Fărcaș

Mountain and national guide

Finding out about a tour that I was about to make in Peru, she called me one day, with an extremely determined voice: My name is Monica and I am from Targu-Mures, passionate about nature and climbing mountains and I must come with you in Peru. How do we proceed?

Nigisti Solomon

Tour planner in Addis Abeba

We’ve met in Addis Ababa, during and info-trip that I’ve took in her country. Her excellent guidance and tips  regarding some remote areas of Ethiopia, convinced me to organize together the first Garlic Ethiopian Tour in August 2019. It was a huge success!


Tour planner in Buenos Aires

Having Francois as a mutual friend, I’ve came to know Carlos in 2016, while I was taking and info-trip in South America. I knocked on his house door in Buenos Aires, I shook his hand introducing myself. He embraced me, telling me: Bienvenido, amigo! Not only we remained friends, but we’ve traveled together in Romania or Thailand and we always finish our Garlic Trips Tours in Argentina with a big romanian-argentinian party.

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