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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 🙂

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Meet my team

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 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 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 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.

Carol Huang
Carol Huang

Contributor

Florentina Cristina Catrinaru
Florentina Cristina Catrinaru

Photographer, Contributor

Yu Niimoto
Yu Niimoto

Contributor

francois
Francois

Contributor

14445956_10153908005424135_5987710833280835501_n
Ng Siew Cheng

Tour planner in Kuala Lumpur, Contributor

Sorana Greucean
Sorana Greucean

Contributor

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