Working from our spot on the planet (Bainbridge Island, WA) to make your
Earthbound Expedition perfect.
We think small, keep it local, and focus on what is best for our guest, the journey, and the planet. Our dedicated staff work closely with local guides and program directors to choose the hotels, restaurants, concerts and activities to ensure we deliver the magically orchestrated program you expect. We each accompany a few trips every year to renew old friendships, meet up again with our many return alumni and we always look forward to meeting new guests.
“I have heard that trips with Earthbound were really fun, but this
exceeded our expectations.”
Patty and Bill C., Portland
Superb Expedition Leaders
Earthbound Expeditions savvy staff are on hand M-F from 9-5 to reserve your space and answer questions about our expeditions. There is no phone tree, no commission, and no time limit on the time they can spend chatting with you, unless it cuts into Friday Happy Hour, in which case, we close at 5 and no later! We occasionally persuade them to leave the office to go on “field trips” so they can provide you with the most accurate information possible about our journeys. You never know, one of them may be on your trip, so be nice to them, or they might just “short sheet” your bed!
Our Expedition Leaders offer a unique perspective on the places you’ll visit. These folks are not just great historians, naturalists and linguists, but as our happy alumni can testify, they are also great travel companions! Scroll down below to meet a few of our expert guides.
Christophe Chagnard: Artistic Director, Earthbound Expeditions Christophe is a French conductor, composer and guitarist, and is one of the most sought-after musicians in the Pacific Northwest. Chagnard is the Music Director of the Lake Union Civic Orchestra (LUCO) which he has led since 2000 and was co-founder and Music Director of the Grammy nominated Northwest Sinfonietta from 1991 to 2015.
Matthew Brumley (pictured in Havana) is the co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions and has been leading and creating adventures worldwide for 25 plus years. He has utilized his talents as an expedition leader with Lindblad Expeditions, Smithsonian Institution and Rick Steves in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, Russia, North and South America. In addition Matthew spent two summers as the expedition leader on the Trans-Siberian Orient Express. After completing his undergraduate studies at the universities of Copenhagen and Moscow, he went on to attend the graduate program at the London School of Economics. He has lived in Copenhagen, Paris, London, Tel Aviv and San Jose, Costa Rica. Matthew has led well over 100 overseas adventures covering 5 continents. And, at the world famous Naadam games in Mongolia Matthew won the 2010 and 2011 world title for heavy weight wresting by beating out Mongolia’s top competitors.
Okay, the last part about wrestling in Mongolia isn’t true. But… it sounded good and I have always thought that back in the day I could have given those wrestlers a run for the their money. I now live on “la Isla Bonita” (A.K.A. Bainbridge Island, Washington) with my Francophile wife Danna, and my two travel-weary children. Tune in weekly to KNKX PUBLIC RADIO as Ed Ronco and I serve up savvy travel advice at: http://knkx.org/term/going-places-0
Kara Pantenburg has worked in the travel industry for over 18 years. Her passion for travel took her to Denver, CO, where she started her travel career working in a call center for a large corporate travel company. After a few years in Denver Kara found her way back to the Pacific Northwest and began working with a local travel agency, booking a variety of travel and handling all the office accounting. Always searching for new challenges, the next step in her journey brought her to work with an Expedition Cruise company as the Field Staff Coordinator. Life eventually brought Kara full circle back to her roots and she found herself with an opportunity to work with Earthbound Expeditions. Kara lives in historic Port Gamble with her two children, son Eli and daughter Kailee.
Danna Brumley (pictured here in Paris, France with NPR reporter Eleanor Beardsley) is the co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions. She studied French language and Civilization at the Université d’Aix-Marseille in Aix-en-Provence and Sociolinguistics of the Romance Languages (French and Italian) at La Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. So naturally, she became a waitress. (Just kidding). After completing her studies, she lived and worked in Paris for several years, after which she was hired at Rick Steves’ Europe. Danna became the Manager of their popular Tour Program and also worked as a tour guide after training under the devoted tutelage of Matthew, who would later become her husband. Thanks to Earthbound, she has worked and traveled throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. She speaks, French, Italian and Spanish and after hours can be caught tutoring French, teaching ESL and salsa dancing. She is married to Matthew Brumley (see above) and they enjoy both tag-team parenting and forcing their children to travel the world (when they’re not embarrassing them with their dance moves).
Andrea had her first travel experience as an AFS exchange student to Norway for her junior year of high school. After college she worked as a tour guide in both Glacier and Denali National parks and led outdoor adventure trips for teens in the Pacific Northwest. Trading mountains for the sea, Andrea worked as a third mate aboard an expedition ship for several years before settling down on Bainbridge Island with her husband and young son. She joined Earthbound Expeditions in 2012, and boldly holds the reins of Guest Communications as editor, proof reader, writer and materials distributor. We thank the universe daily for her cheerful dedication.
Nancy first ventured to Ireland at the tender age of 17 and vowed ever to return there, or anywhere really, for the rest of her life. She is an avid runner, baker, and loves dancing wildly to anything by the Violent Femmes. Heading up Accounting & Number Crunching, Nancy also dabbles in Guest Relations, where she can give people the skinny on many of our diverse destinations. Most importantly, Nancy holds the office record for “Departing for Europe with the least possible notice,” which was about 4 hours, wasn’t it, Nance? I will beat that number, Nancy. Oh yes, I will beat it.
Bradford (street name: B$) is a lover of fine wines, cheeses, and charcuterie. His extensive professional background is delightfully diverse and we had an opening become available, we first dreamed of hiring someone with all of Bradford’s qualities and then, like MAGIC, he applied! Bradford puts the Voice in the Voicemail message, and if you’ve ever called our office, you’ve probably spoken (and laughed) with him while reserving your journey. We receive countless notes thanking him for his efficient and humor-filled help and he receives countless invitations to join guest on our trips (sorry, he’s married). He will never be allowed to leave us. Never.
Steve was born in Mzuzu, Malawi in 1974 and spent his childhood along the wilds and shores of Africa’s lake nation. The family relocated to South Africa settling in the shadow of the Table Mountain where his appreciation for nature and cultures continued.
Steve studied nature conservation and travelled Europe and Northern America for 2 years gaining travel experience and insights. Once back in his native continent, Steve took his new wife Sharon and embraced their passion of conservation in the country of Botswana and the waterways of the Okavango Delta. There they managed a safari lodge, living the dream in the African wilderness.
A family soon followed and Steve and his wife returned to Cape Town to raise their children, however Steve continues to travel to the wilderness as a safari director to escape the wild animals at home, but still keeps a firm foot in Cape Town.
With over 17 years’ experience guiding in Cape Town and other parts of Africa, there aren’t many questions that will stump Steve, but give it a try anyway! His vast knowledge, great sense of humor and adorable accent (HE doesn’t have an accent, YOU have an accent) make him the perfect guide for our South African adventures.
Ignatius Potgieter or Iggy as he is affectionately known is our local guide in South Africa and the neighbouring countries of Southern Africa. Born in the Zululand region Iggy has developed a deep rooted love for the countries people and wildlife. With many years in the hospitality industry Iggy turned to tourism in 2007 and completed his Diploma in Ecotourism Management in 2010. After a stint in the Ecuadorian Amazon working with local ecotourism lodges in a research role Iggy returned home and settled in Cape Town where he has been happily guiding since.
Natalia is a born and bred Roman, so naturally she is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, history and discussing the universal stereotype of the Italian Mama. (Just don’t ask about their relationship to their son). Oh, and she LOVES dancing! Natalia holds degrees as Interpreter and Translator in English and German and has been a tour manager for fifteen years. Most recently, she has passed the first level of certification to become a sommelier. If you are lucky enough to have her as a guide on one of our Italy trips, you will love traveling with this charming, knowledgeable and energetic woman. Just don’t make her angry. Kidding! (Sort of.)
Cesar was born in Barcelona, and holds a degree in Tourism from the University of Barcelona. He worked as a teacher for 8 years at the University and also lived and worked in Egypt for 3 years with a travel agency. Cesar has led tours all over the world for over 20 years and speaks Spanish, English, French, Italian and Catalan. When he is not leading tours he enjoys being bossed around by his beautiful wife and two gorgeous sons. His love for history, art, music, food & wine are the gifts he bestows on our guests, who often remark that being on tour with him is like traveling with a good friend who is showing you around his favorite places (and knows everything about them). And don’t be surprised, at the end of your trip, if you’re inspired to chant “All hail Cesar! All hail Cesar!” You won’t be the first.
Vaclav Storek is one of the finest guides in Eastern Euorpe. His organizational skills and knowledge of history combine to make Vaclav the perfect travel companion. When not touring Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Austria, Vaclav may be found guiding groups in his hometown of Prague. Vaclav has been guiding tours for over a decade and is fluent in Czech, English and German.
Martin Klimenta hails from the beautiful city of Prague. Martin is one of those rare, talented guides who can go anywhere and somehow (even in the most remote corners of the planet) pull off the perfect tour. His travels frequently take him to China, Mongolia, Russia, the Balkans, Uzbekistan and Georgia. When not guiding expeditions, Martin lives in Prague with his wife and two kids.
Alejandro Infante and Laura are just two examples of Earthbound Expeditions outstanding guides in Havana. Both have a great sense of humor and deep knowledge of this once forbidden land. Journey to Cuba with Earthbound Expeditions and travel with Frank, Ale, Laura and/or Grency and experience the music, history, culture and people of Cuba!
Born in the city of Quito, Tomas Palma had his first education in his hometown. With only 17 years of age he traveled to United States to perfect his English and acquired a taste for travelling. It was during this trip that he decided to go to school to study tourism back in Quito obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Tourist and Hotel Management, it was during this time that he perfected his English and Italian and obtained his National Tour Guide License issued by the Ministry of Tourism in 1993. His passion for nature and geography as well as his outdoor spirit quickly gave him recognition as a tour guide in Ecuador, as he was invited to guide important groups of worldwide personalities brought by the Ministry of Commerce and the Galapagos Foundation to increase worldwide awareness of the vulnerability and need to preserve the Galapagos Archipelago. He also has been the leader for well-known school groups such as Washington University and Stanford Alumni and families. In 2011 he was invited to an expedition in Alaska to train a crew of an important cruise company to lead family groups. Tomas has become one of the most recognized and experienced tour leaders in the country, due to his ability to accommodate each guests needs, good humor, positive attitude and immense knowledge of culture and nature. Nowadays he also runs a beautiful guesthouse in the Andes of Ecuador together with his 2 children. While in his free time loves to explore new routes with his kids on the motorcycles and bikes.
Maria Cannavo: Traveling has always been a part of Maria’s life. She is a classic Sagittarian. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and education from Pennsylvania State University, has taught in a private school in Denver, Colorado, and completed a lengthy 18-year career in the financial industry in Seattle, Washington. An amorous feeling for all things Italian led her to study Italian language, art, history and literature. Italy, actually Sicily, is her new home. She, like most Italians, has an innate, gregarious passion for diverse cultures. Maria states quite passionately, “I have the love for Italy in my heart and some of its history in my blood.”
Minor Alfaro (far left) was born and raised in Grecia, Costa Rica, where he became a local celebrity at a young age, singing with “mariachis” and guitar trios around the country and on T.V. After participating in a four month exchange program in Canada, he decided that he wanted to study tourism. He graduated from the Castro Carazo College and has been guiding tours throughout Costa Rica for 12 years, a career that provides him with the perfect opportunity to merge his gift for entertaining with his love for his country. His enthusiasm is truly contagious, and he says the best part of his job is the people he meets and the friendships that emerge on his journeys throughout Costa Rica. Minor still lives in Grecia and enjoys a quiet life (when he’s home!) with his wife, Amy, and their two children, Christopher and Jessica.
Hannes Schönauer hails from Salzburg, Austria. He fell in love with his Chilian wife (and Chile) while hiking the Inca Trail in Peru some years back and now permanently resides in Concepcion, Chile, with his architect wife and two children. Hannes brings passion and a special quality to each and every trip he guides and loves to share his knowledge for food, wine and culture with fellow travelers. Earthbound Expeditions is proud to have Hannes Schönauer as its travel partner.
Tania Masi is a travel author and has published several articles and a city guidebook on Berlin and Tuscany. She has a degree in social geography from the University of Florence, but with an American mother, an Italian father and residing in Berlin, after having lived in New York City and Sao Paolo, likes to call the world her “home” and traveling her “bread”. She claims that sharing it with people is what makes it all worth it.
Julianne Lowe is a proud Kiwi and 100% pure New Zealander. And like so many Kiwis, Julianne is a phenomenal story teller and loves to show off the rich beauty of her native land.
Holger Zimmer is a native of Germany, though he spent his early years traveling throughout Europe and the U.S. He also studied English literature and drama in Berlin, Germany and Dublin, Ireland. He divides his time between working as a tour guide and a broadcast journalist for various international media such as BBC, ARD German Radio, ORF Austrian Radio and RTE Irish Radio. He enjoys music of all kinds – ask him about his band!
Roberto Aviles has been with Earthbound Expeditions since 1998. Besides guiding Earthbound Expeditions trips Roberto is a senior park ranger and has been with the National Parks of Costa Rica for over 20 years. Those lucky enough to travel with Roberto will enjoy an his passion and enthusiasm for his native land
Monsieur Thibault Martin (pictured here at the Pont du Gard in Provence) specializes in French culture, history, food and wine and has guided tours in the South of France for over 10 years. His indepth knowledge of everything French and his sense of humor makes Tibo an ideal travel guide and companion.Tibo and his wife Marie also run a charming B&B in Aix-en-Provence that is housed in a historic 17th century mansion.
Marko Kassenaar (pictured left) is a musician and guide. He has travelled and worked all over the world, including the U.S. and most countries. He now works as a guide and education programmer in the major art centers of Amsterdam: The Rijksmuseum, The Van Gogh Museum and the Concertgebouw. Earning his money from his various dayjobs, he devotes the rest of his time to composing. His works, including choral works, chamber music and a grand scale Broadway-style operetta, have been succesfully performed in Amsterdam and throughout the country. Apart from his music making, he has a wide range of interests in the artistic and historic field. Once you get him started, you will have to stop him talking about it….