I know how much effort, time, money and planning You have taken to come to this stage of trying to find the right driver/vehicle to do your tour of the country. And rightfully so, the choice of the right driver (and vehicle) can make or break this trip, which from my experience will be once a lifetime journey for many travelers.
So, whether You choose me or another person, I advise You to do Your best to find the right driver that checks off all the boxes for you. Because, a country is as good as the driver you select. And god forbid, that You return back to your home country and realize that you missed out seeing so many things that You just drove by in your tour.
Why You should choose me?
You get more than a driver.
If you hire me, You don't need a guide, because I will be your guide, be it while we are driving down the mountainous road, or hiking through a valley, riding horses, or resting in a hot springs high up in the mountains, I will be with You every step of the way.
But the term guide slightly understates what I bring to the table. I helped travelers buy and sell horses, i organize trips, help build itinerary, book accommodations, help select restaurants. I was a location scout for documentaries. I have helped photographers. Help with legal matters... I translate when talking to locals. I have access to vast network of service providers that I know in person.
If we get stuck somewhere away from restaurants, no problem, I can put my apron and get to cooking. I specialize in steaks and meats, but I can equally make a vegetable soup or a nice salad. If You are with me, no need to worry about finding diners, guest houses, sightseeing attractions, cultural events because I will do it for You. I can take you to local artisans in remote places to find some unique rugs and carpets that you can take home as a souvenir. You can put down the map, pick up your camera to snap nice pictures and sip on your favorite drink as we roam across the country, with everything under control. It's your vacation, just relax and enjoy the ride.
Great understanding of Western Culture
Having lived in US for a number of years, I speak perfect English and Spanish. Drawing from my experience, I have a perfect understanding of what to look for in choosing guest houses, yurt stays, restaurants, cultural activities for my clients. This is especially true, if the traveler has certain health or dietary restrictions, which limits the choices available, without limiting the experience of the country.
Ultimate Travel Expert for Kyrgyzstan
For good or for worse, You are stuck with the driver for the duration of your travel in the country, and when the push comes to shove, the true colors of the person is revealed. Having been guiding travelers for the last five years, I have both the experience and knowledge of what to expect in particular situations to be prepared for in advance both in logistics and dealing with all kinds of situations.
Fun and Knowledgeable Travel Companion.
Nothing can be worse then driving through landscapes in a silent car. There is more to travel then look at beautiful scenery and Kyrgyzstan has been blessed with it. But, the travel experience reaches a new dimension if You know the local culture, local history of the places You visit.
Having a Master's Degree,on a good day, I can hold a decent level of conversation across different topics on social issues, politics, contemporary events, philosophy, sports (NBA, American Football), economics, history. In my political views I am somewhat Independent with leaning towards both sides of the isle. But, I have learned a long time ago, to never say never and during my guiding experience I have met some of the brilliant minds from all walks of life who helped me become more aware of the causes they fight for and appreciate their worldview. And, at a certain philosophical level, You take something from this trip and leave behind something that will stay with You for the rest of your life.
Family Man with strong cultural and kinship ties
I am a father to a 4 year old Princess and 6 Year old Knight, at least I treat them as such. My daughter asks me to carry her from the car into the kindergarden like a princess in my arms, and my son enjoys building (also making me buy them) lego toys wih me. And they both refuse to go to bed, if I don't read bed time stories to them. I love them and cherish every single moment I spend with them, because I know they will grow up too soon. I couldn't do it without my supporting wife, who have helped me go to school while parenting our children. One of the main reasons I chose to be a freelancer guide, is the ability to be with my family during the off-season.
Also, I am a son to my parents are shepherds and farmers in rural village of Kyrgyzstan. During summer months they spend in the high mountains in yurts looking after the flock of sheep and horses. So, nomadic culture is not something I have read, but something that is part of me. Kinship, tribal lineage, knowing geneology is a big part of Kyrgyz culture. Needless to say, I have a vast network of relatives all around the country who help me with advise, information and support.
True professional of the trade.
And last but not the least, I am a professional who will help You navigate through the unknown country. And I will do my best to show You the authentic life, culture, landscape which is both beautiful and different from your other experience. I am kind, caring, passionate about what I do, courtuous and polite, and always guided by ethics to do the right thing. Also, while I never mention in the tour, but always in my mind, is the safety and protection of the travelers I am guiding. If, I think certain things are dangerous I will be upfront about it. Also, I am flexible and can help You adjust and make changes to the program depending on the weather conditions, availability of services and attractions or maybe just how You feel.
Personal Hobbies and Passions
Currently I am writing my master thesis on Social Enterpreneurship, which I believe is a great concept that could be applied in Kyrgyzstan context to develop rural areas. I am hopeful to start a social venture to address some of the social issues in Kyrgyzstan.
I enjoy reading Books. I don't have as much time to enjoya good book as I used to. I started out with Russian classic writers: Checkhov, Gorki, Dostoevski, Turgenev... Then transitioned into non-fiction and biographies starting from age 18 till late 20's: I think recurring theme would be politics and political figures starting from Churchill to Barack Obama.
Movies. I lived in the world of Hollywood movies, when a cinematographer exposed me to great genres outside of Hollywood (thank You David). I still watch Oscar nominated movies, but also know there are good movies outside of Hollywood. Oftentimes, I learn alot from my clients, for instance, i watched entire seasons of the Deadliest Catch in the matter of 10 days ( thanks John!)
I love all things food and know alot of good places to eat. Kyrgyzstan cuisine is unique in that it adds a different dimension to local culture, rural nomadic kyrgyz cuisine and urban slavic cuisine, with distinct southern cuisine influenced by Arabic culture, all highlight the historic transition from one historic period to another (e.g. arabic conquests of Central Asia, Nomadic, shamanistic heritage, Soviet rule, globalization). Currently on the rise is the global food chains in Bishkek. As I mentioned earlier, I can cook a few dishes myself if the occassion calls for it, I will be ready to step up to the challenge.
Also, I am a hobby woodworker as i try to build furniture in my home. I feel the urge to brag that I built the two story home I am living in myself. I have a small garden where I grow vegetables and some fruit trees.
I hope that this description gives You a glimpse into who I am as a person, as a driver and as a guide.
Do not hesitate to contact me or book me for your Kyrgyzstan tour. I will do my best effort within my capacity to make it as memorable, as unique and as adventourous as possible.
My skills, interests, and hobbies: I fluently speak in Spanish, English, Turkish, Russian and Kyrgyz languages. I read alot about world and Kyrgyz history. I like outdoors and enjoy every minute of it. I also enjoy woodworking and working my way up to build wooden furniture. But I am just an enthusiastic wood butcher for now. I like tasty meals, and enjoy trying new foods. Enjoy cooking when I get a chance. Love Mexican and Italian cuisines. One for it's richness and other for it's simplicity.
Trip Request for: Kyrgyzstan
Years of experience: 5