Our Incredible Staff
Picture: Khajuraho, India
Miral was born in Amman and grew up in Jordan, the West Bank and Egypt. Her sense of adventure began at an early age as she travelled to neighbouring countries in the Middle East such as Turkey and Israel, then built up a solid base of travel experience in Mexico, the US, various Caribbean Islands and England before joining our Private Journey teams in Southeast Asia, Southern Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Central Asia and South America. She has a wealth of hands-on experience in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Germany, Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Bali, Lombok, the Gili Islands, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and the Canadian and Danish Arctic. She has recently returned from having fun on our 20th Southeast Asia journey.
Miral is our Managing Director.
Picture: Istanbul, Turkey
Erin joined TrailFinders many years back after being part of the travel industry here in Ottawa for several years prior. She brought with her an extensive experience in adventure travel, cruises, small-group holidays, all-inclusive package vacations, international and domestic air ticketing and much more. During her travels in Cuba she especially loved visiting the markets and studying the old architecture. She also loves Europe, especially Germany, France, Belgium and the UK. She's travelled a few times to Turkey and has been our tour leader there and in Egypt. She also has spent time in Thailand, Cambodia and Peru! She has an incredible number of clients who appreciate her extensive travel skills. They wouldn't go anywhere else.
Val De Franco
Picture: Seoul, South Korea
Back in 2006 Val left Ottawa to teach English in South Korea. She boarded the plane with the intention of staying for a year, but that quickly changed after she started exploring Asia and experiencing other cultures. While living in South Korea, Val had the opportunity to explore Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar (a personal favourite). After four and a half years she slowly made her way back home to Canada. She stopped in London to witness the mayhem during the royal wedding and took some time to tour Spain, France, Belgium and Italy. Her latest trip involved Eastern Europe. Given her extensive travel, her flexibility, her training, her unbridled enthusiasm and especially her ability to use chopsticks, we just had to make her part of our team.
Picture: Near Sossusvlei, Namibia
Lenore grew up in Saskatchewan and lived in the UK and Montreal before settling in Ottawa. She joined us in 1993 and has travelled the world ever since. She's cycled in Australia, New Zealand, China, Peru, Holland, Austria and Scandinavia; rafted in the Yukon; canoed in Brazil; backpacked in Thailand, Morocco, Malta, Syria and Jordan; trekked in Nepal; camped and visited in the UK, Europe and North America. She's also travelled extensively in the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize. Lenore has also led our groups through Indochina as well as Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. She has also found time to make several visits to Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Zimbabwe and has led many of our journeys through there. She returned a few months back from Mali via Southern Africa, Tanzania and exotic Zanzibar. She also found time to visit Brazil for a short stay before travelling up the east coast of Canada from Newfoundland to the Arctic. After leading our "Best of Peru" tour in September 2010 she decided to finish off the year with a gruelling hike through the back country of Cuba! Since then she's been to the Marquesas Islands, Tahiti and Bora Bora aboard the Aranui and has done some walking in France, Italy and Bermuda.
Picture: Timbuktu, Mali
For over four decades Rick has lived, worked and travelled internationally, often in some of the world's most out-of-the-way spots. He spent almost five years in the Arabian Peninsula visiting hundreds of towns and villages from the Jordanian and Iraqi borders in the north to Yemen and the empty quarter in the south. He has worked in Alaska, the continental US, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia and has been an avid visitor to over 100 countries world-wide. In the past decade he's concentrated on Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, Western Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Wales, Norway, Spitzbergen/Svalbard, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Jordan - many of these multiple times. As well, he recently led three separate expeditions into Mali, to the amazing city of Timbuktu. Rick has also recently added five new countries to his list while being with our clients on our recent "Silk Road" trip in Central Asia, has enjoyed mulled wine this winter in Hungary and has led another wonderful group of our clients on our 20th Southeast Asia journey in January 2018. He now is planning on being with us in Chile and Argentina in November 2018, in Sri Lanka in February 2019 and on the Silk Road once again in September 2019.
Dee and Adam Whiteford
Picture: Kuangxi Falls, near Luang Prabang, Laos
It would be difficult to find two people who have more interest, more passion and more love for the travel experience than Adam and Dee. Since Adam's first international trip to the Middle East at the early age of two and a half he has been hooked on travelling to the world's most interesting places. Dee also has an incredible love of international travel. They have both served as tour leaders for our Private Journeys in Southeast Asia and Peru. They have taken a bit of time off to raise their two little ones but they are very eager to get going again soon.
The Accounting Team
These fine folks quietly work away in the background making sure that all of us don't spend too much money! Thank goodness they can keep track of all the daily transactions, invoices, cheques, deposits, bills, international wire transfers and all the other things that are so important. They also ensure that our Private Journeys are priced so that they simply break even. This keeps the costs paid by our clients to the absolute minimum. They also ensure that we often find ways of discounting cruises, small-group tours and some sun packages. This is why we have over three thousand clients who simply refuse to deal with any other agents or to arrange travel on their own. We'd be lost without this amazing team!