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Ovidiu Balaj
Garlic Trail expert

Era Garlic Trail a început de fapt, acum mult timp, undeva prin 2006, încă din primele călătorii făcute de mine, Ovidiu Balaj, cu prietenii, călătorii lungi, cu rucsacul în spate, pe alte continente, călătorii în care am adunat ani de trai în alte lumi. Nu călătoream tot timpul cu aceiași amici. Unii veneau pentru câteva luni, alții plecau și reveneau. Cu unii mă întâlneam în buricul Asiei așa cum aș face-o în Timișoara, la o cafea.
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.

Am întâlnit oameni peste tot. Mi-am făcut prieteni noi, am mâncat mâncăruri ciudate (pe care am învățat apoi să le și prepar), am dansat pe străzi, am urcat pe munți, am stat la maluri de oceane și mări, am avut nisip în ochi din deșerturi fabuloase, m-am îndrăgostit irecuperabil – am trăit vieți noi.
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. 

Cam așa e viața mea și acum, doar că între timp, pasiunea mea i-a inspirat și pe alții să călătorească cu mine și cu ”garlicii” mei, cum îmi place să vă zic vouă, celor care umblați cu mine prin lume.
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.

Alături îi am ca și consultanți locali, pe cei care mi-au rămas apropiați în excursiile mele, cu care ne revedem de fiecare dată și care ne primesc cu o extraordinară ospitalitate și căldura, cum ar fi Carlos, bunul meu prieten din Buenos Aires, Ng Siew Cheng din Kuala Lumpur sau Nigisti din Addis Ababa. În câteva dintre turele mele, acești prieteni ai mei mi s-au alăturat ca și ghizi locali pentru grupurile Garlic trips. Ei, toată această poveste a dus la deschiderea unei agenții de turism de aventură – Garlic Trips.
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.

Călătoriile pe care vi le propunem prin Garlic Trips sunt călătorii de ”gașcă”. Puteți să le asemănați cu taberele din liceu, unde toți erau prieteni (chiar și cei care nu se cunoșteau) și zilele erau pline de energie, de explorare și de râs până după miezul nopții.
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.

Lumea e atât de mare, încât e aproape imposibil să avem aceleași experiențe de la o călătorie la alta. Suntem așadar tot timpul deschiși la ceea ce ne oferă prezentul local, alături de itinerariile pe care vi le propunem.
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.

Fără excepție, conectarea autentică cu locurile, cultura, istoria și oamenii ne fac pe toți, de fiecare dată, să ne dorim să revenim în acele locuri, să descoperim mai mult.
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.

În secțiunea Garlic Stories, puteți urmări o selecție din cele mai dragi excursii și destinații ale noastre.
In our
Garlic Stories section you can find a selection of our dearest experiences and destinations.

Mai departe de călătoriile pe care le facem împreună cu voi, ne dorim să vă sprijinim și în cele pe care le faceți singuri sau cu prietenii. Cunoștințele și experiența dobândite în tot acest timp, ne permit să asigurăm consultanță și chiar organizarea de itinerarii tailor-made în aproape orice colț de lume, ca să aveți mai mult timp pentru voi, fără bătaie de cap.
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. 

Urmăriți-ne pe Facebok și haideți să povestim la o cafea.
Please follow us on Facebook and let’s have some stories over a coffee sometime. 

Ah, și dacă vă întrebați, numele de Garlic este al câinelui meu 🙂
Oh, yes! And if you wonder, “Garlic” is my dog’s name 🙂

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Meet my team
Carol Huang
Carol Huang

Colaborator
Contributor

Am întalnit-o pe Carol Huang pe vremea în care preda mandarina la o universitate din București, însă multă vreme după ce a plecat din România, am păstrat încă legatura. Am fost întotdeauna impresionat de fotografiile ei de călătorie, pline de pasiune.
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

Fotograf, Colaborator
Photographer, Contributor

Florentina Cristina Catrinaru este, din punctul meu de vedere, unul dintre cei mai buni fotografi români. Te va iniția în frumusețile României, dar si ale altor părți ale lumii, unde reușeste să evadeze împreună cu obiectivul aparatului.
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

Colaborator
Contributor

Yu Niimoto și cu mine ne-am întâlnit când treceam terestru granița între Tanzania și Kenya. Are povești splendide de acolo și din toate celelalte locuri unde a călătorit. Acum se așteaptă să sărbătorim împreună noua sa locuință din Nara, Japonia, ceea ce îmi complică planurile de călătorie pentru acest an.
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
Francois

Colaborator
Contributor

Francois, misteriosul meu vechi prieten, a călătorit în multe colțuri ale lumii și, în câteva dintre ele am fost tovarăși de călătorie. Deoarece preferă să rămână undercover, probabil până se însoră, mă voi opri aici din a mai scrie despre el.
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.

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Ng Siew Cheng

Ghid local în Kuala Lumpur, Colaborator
Tour planner in Kuala Lumpur, Contributor

Ng Siew Cheng este lector universitar în Turism și Evenimente Business și planificator de călătorii în Kuala Lumpur. Ne-am cunoscut în 2009, prin Couchsurfing. Atunci mi-a făcut cunoștintă cu orașul său de reședintță, Kuala Lumpur. În 2016, a venit rândul meu să-i prezint România, într-o tură tailor-made de 2 săptămâni, îndeajuns cât să o conving că Transilvania poate fi oricând casa ei de departe.
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 Kuala Lumpur 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

Asistent Garlic, Colaborator
Garlic Assistant, Contributor

După excursia pe care am făcut-o în Cuba în 2018, mi-a spus: auzi, nu crezi că ți-ar folosi cineva ca mine în echipa ta? Și pentru că m-a impresionat conexiunea ei profundă cu experiența cubaneză, dar și pentru că mi-a fost de folos ajutorul ei în organizare, i-am spus: hai să facem asta!
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
Monica Fărcaș

Ghid montan și național
Mountain and national guide

Aflând de tura pe care o urma să o fac în Peru, m-a sunat și mi-a zis cu o voce extrem de hotărâtă: Sunt Monica din Târgu-Mures, pasionată de natură, munte și cățărat și vreau neapărat să vin cu tine în Peru. Cum procedăm?
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
Nigisti Solomon

Ghid local în Addis Abeba
Tour planner in Addis Abeba

Ne-am cunoscut în Addis Ababa în timpul info-trip-ului pe care l-am făcut în țara sa, iar sfaturile sale excelente de călătorie în anumite zone izolate ale Etiopiei, m-au convins să organizăm împreună prima tură etiopiană în august 2019. A ieșit excelent!
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!

Carlos
Carlos

Ghid local în Buenos Aires
Tour planner in Buenos Aires

Avându-l ca prieten comun pe Francois, am ajuns să îl cunosc în 2016, pe vremea când făceam un info-trip în America de Sud. Am bătut la ușa casei sale din Buenos Aires, i-am întins mâna prezentându-mă, m-a luat în brațe și mi-a spus: Bienvenido, amigo! Nu doar că am rămas prieteni, dar am și călătorit împreună în România sau Thailanda, iar turele Garlic Trips din Argentina le incheiem mereu cu o mare petrecere româno-argentiniană.
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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