I was born in Central Asia, studied in Australian University, lived and worked in US, Finland and Norway. Starting from assisting at a family-owned tour agency, working from back-end to front-end in several chain hotels, then shifting to guiding work, now I turn to help the travelers, who are looking for a personal approach to create meaningful experiences. Throughout my educational and professional experience I have been exposed to different cultures and that is what I value in travel the most: genuiness, integrity, interest to culture, experience beyond simple visual appeals.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"I specialize in Central and Eastern Norway with an accent on luxury format of traveling. "
How did you get involved in travel?
"My mother has been in travel business almost since I was born, so I was raised surrounded with all what comes with it: travel plans, tickets, travel documents and, most importantly travelers. I think this influenced my career direction to a large extent."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"I was on a several day self-drive with my spouse and daughter. We were crossing the border between Norway and Sweden through some vast lands realizing we would need to stop somewhere to have lunch. We stopped at a small privately owned cafeteria, which seemed to be just lost near this narrow dusty road, occasionally busy with some cars passing by.
The venue looked a bit like a hunter's home - a clean wooden cabin with deer's horns and a bear's skin. Only one man, in his 50's welcomed us. He was dressed like a cook, and as we watched him, he was taking orders, delivering the orders, taking plates and payments, almost at a same time. A light smile never left his face. He had a smooth yet confident posture, gentle yet precise gestures, simply charming.
The menu did not promise anything except cold sandwiches or hamburgers. Not the best choice when driving for a few days with a little child. The man, however, agreed to make some soup specially for us. Not only he cooked a hot meat soup, but he served with great care, offered some extra cake and just took our last paper Norwegian krones, which was way lower than all that cost. He reasoned it with "I am the owner, I decide how much money I take".
I believe tourism is about people. No matter how beautiful nature can be, it is people who create the meaning. That man in his little wooden cabin in the middle of nowhere makes his best in what he does. For me he is a reminder to be honest, to be genuine, to put effort and great care for a traveler. This encounter is perhaps the most meaningful travel experience for me."
Featured trips & expertise
Perfect for families, this summer adventure combines exploration of Norway's two largest cities with a natural getaway, including a visit to Vøringsfossen Falls and its dramatic 600-foot drop. Begin in modern Oslo before driving westward to Eidfjord, home to the stunning Hardangervidda National Park. Top it off with a visit to charming Bergen, the historic Hanseatic city known as the gateway to the fjords.
Take the wheel on this relaxed self-guided road trip as you travel through five of Norway's official scenic routes. Over two weeks you'll encounter a number of stunning fjords, national parks, cool mountain towns, farm stands, and varying landscapes with mile-long views. Finish the adventure with some urban culture in Norway's second largest city (Bergen) with its great restaurant scene and wharfside UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This scenic winter adventure traverses the Norwegian Arctic and checks off a number of natural and cultural sites starting in the city of Tromsø, nicknamed 'Paris of the North'. From here, hit the road and see rock art in Alta, learn about the indigenous Sami people in Karasjok, and visit a hotel made of snow along the Finnish/Russian border. Each day ends with another opportunity to view the Northern Lights in this beautiful and remote part of the world.
This relaxing weeklong journey starts in the capital city of Oslo before heading west, via the steepest train in Norway (Flåm Railway). From here, embrace the slow-paced local culture of Aurland while staying two nights at a secluded and upscale lodge that serves organic cuisine. Take part in some light hiking and paddling and then cruise the Sognefjord by ferry, finishing the adventure in scenic Bergen — Norway's UNESCO-listed second largest city surrounded by seven mountains.
Recent trip reviews for Ivan
Norway fjords, Norway - Jul 31 - Aug 5, 2019
After clarifying our travel dates, which were for this year and a late booking, Ivan made it all work! We were especially delighted with our stay at the Kviknes Hotel in Balstrand! The demi-suite had a superb view of the fjord; comfortable room and lovely balcony.
The 4 course dinner was served to perfection; the lamb was prepared just right; the entire dinner was beyond what we had expected from a large hotel. Our compliments to the entire establishment of the Kviknes. Personnel are... read more