I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel a lot, most of all in my country and the surrounding ones, but travel has been part of my life since forever. It started as my hobby and a preferred way to spend my holidays which, with the time, naturally evolved into being part of my professional career.
I studied foreign languages in the high school and then specialized tourism management in the University. After that, I took one year course to become a licensed Mountain guide and today I work for one of the leading culture and adventure travel tour operators in Bulgaria as a guide and product manager.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"Odysseia - In Travel specializes in off-the-beaten track experiences with unique itineraries throughout Bulgaria and the whole Balkan Peninsula including Northern Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Romania. Odysseia - In Travel offers a varied range of tours: from sightseeing and cultural experiences such as traditional crafts and folklore, wine-tasting and cuisine, through soft adventure activities such as hiking, biking and kayaking. My specialty is to make a great tour out of all of these experiences."
How did you get involved in travel?
"I've been raised and grew up in a country where about 30,000 sq.m are covered with Mountains some of which raise as high as 3000m high. Besides that, on its East end there is a Sea, the Black Sea as well as many interesting places, cities, and villages in between....for me it was a hard job not to get involved in travel.
The real start was a hiking trip with my grandmother to the highest peak of the closest to my city Mountains. I remember that there was a Mountain bike competition that day, which really took my attention and make me ask myself, what are these guys doing? My grandmother and I continued on our way to the top, but I was already hooked on the image of people riding a bicycle in the Mountains. After that, I started saving my school money and later bought my very first mountain bike. Nature & travel became one of my best friends and definitely the greatest playground."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"In 2010 I traveled to the USA as part of a student exchange program called Work & Travel. Initially I was supposed to sell student books in Oklahoma state from door to door, which sounded as a great and adventurous way to earn some cash. Only a week after I started I was exhausted and depressed by all the people who waived at me closing their door, so I decided to quit and find a better source of money.
Unfortunately, I didn't have any exact idea of how I was going to do that, plus the fact that I have just arrived in the States and going back to Bulgaria was not an option. Right here I left myself to the unknown, which was the stupidest thing I could do at this moment, 8000km away from my home.
After Oklahoma, I took the bus to live in Chicago for a month where I met my second family who took me from the street as a little puppy. From there I went to Boston state and Cape Code island only to meet some Bulgarian friends, which made the next two months a nonstop party.
Finding my way out of this situation turns out to be one of the most unique travel experiences that I have ever had as I relied on the help of strangers and the Universe, but after all everything came together on the best possible way."
Featured trips & expertise
This trip introduces visitors to Bulgaria's many beautiful faces: traditional villages, pristine nature, and lively cities. Drive and hike through three of Bulgaria's mountain ranges, and visit the country's many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including ancient monasteries and beautiful architecture. In nine days you'll discover Bulgaria as a welcoming and memorable destination.
Challenge yourself to a week of trekking in the mountains of Bulgaria. This small Balkan country's stark beauty makes a perfect getaway for the climbers and would-be mountaineers among you. You'll hike to mountain peaks, take in the beauty of glacial lakes, and delve into Bulgarian culture with trips to the Rila Monastery and a tour of Sofia.
Strap on your snowshoes and make your way through two Bulgarian national parks full of independent massifs separated by deep gorges and mountain passes. This tour winds through southwestern Bulgaria for a truly authentic experience of snowy wilderness, traditional cuisine, and local hospitality.