Charlie is a fanatic collector of knackered bits of antique wooden furniture. He’s tirelessly curious, rarely sleeps, and when he gets excited, he has the twinkliest eyes in the whole wide world. Charlie is the original Pig, which makes sense because he is as pig-headed as a prison door. He likes nothing more than to spend the day exploring, wherever he is in the world, and his house is testament to a lifetime spent looking and finding. He’s been everywhere, and took the picture. Then he bought the hat. Haggled for some furniture. Wrote down the phone number. And came back with presents for everyone.
Greg goes native. It’s a problem. When he packs his bags for Africa, you know he’s hoping to spend 3 months with no shoes on. When he heads out on the road, we have to cut off his credit cards after a while to make him come back. He likes to slip the knot. The way Greg travels is the way he goes about the rest of his life—a persuasive mixture of the serious and the playful. We’re wary of sending him on research trips, because chances are quite high that we will have to go looking for him, and eventually track him down in Havana, where he’s holed up as the trombone player in a backstreet dance band. He really gets into it.
Jack has more hobbies than fingers and toes. We stopped counting at 20, right after he told us he’d purchased an easel and beret. Good thing he lives in Paris. For a man so enamoured by cooking with goose fat and garlic it’s odd that he’s so spry. Perhaps it’s the regimen of capoeira, cycling, drumming, dancing, and rock climbing? Or maybe the mental gymnastics of self-taught database development? The only thing we know for sure is that when Jack’s in the room it buzzes with energy.
If Cait ever left the travel business (a tragedy we don’t even like to consider), she could easily make it as a private investigator. The Google queen of 58 Stewart, she can find anything (and anyone) you need to know in three clicks or less. She may appear quiet, but listen intently and you’ll hear the whirr of her brain cataloguing piles of intricate safari detail for our Africa trips. Sharp as a San Bushman’s spear and attentive as a clan of meerkats, Cait is not escaping us to join the PI industry anytime soon.
Born in New York, Rudston grew up in Italy and South Africa, spent his first few Trufflepig years in Paris, and has now escaped back to Italy again. As a result, we’re convinced he has a Bourne/Bond-style briefcase of currencies and passports hidden away in a safe somewhere. Never mind that he may or may not have Sicilian “connections”, he’s quite open about his Colosseum-sized expertise in Italy. If you’re dreaming of pizzas (or granitas, truffles, castles, Chianti, Alfa Romeos, espresso, and perhaps a volcano for good measure), we have your international man of mystery on speed dial.
Anton has been working in travel since the original formation of the Perito Moreno Glacier. His personal conquests of South America put Magellan to shame, and while it’s Carnival and blue-footed boobies that he knows best, he also has a back pocket (and suitcase) full of other widespread know-how. Traditional Indian flower market? Anton can take you there. Seeking a cliffside break in Big Sur? Just ask Lynch. Volcano walking in Iceland? You should meet Antoniyk Lynchbjornsson. Both humble and sly, our South American specialist is based out of his rainy homeland of London, but he is frequently enticed across the sea by as little as an empanada or two.
There’s only one person we know who can effectively lasso together a Trip Piglet with one hand, while booking 643 South American hotel arrangements with the other. Known as The Wrangler, Wrangles, and occasionally Wrangledog (said in the most affectionate way possible), Victoria is a Jill-of-all-trades who knows exactly where to find everything in the office, even when it seems lost among Charlie’s
junk priceless antiques. All of this is without even mentioning that she’s the super-organized Robin to Anton’s Batman. Robin never gets as much credit as he really deserves.
It is said that when Dan visited the Silverback gorillas of Rwanda, they immediately embraced him as one of their troop, then groomed him and fed him some bamboo. That’s just an ancient African legend, but we believe it. This man is our very own in-house Bear Grylls… but more menacing. And much taller. He has charged elephants, stared down lions, and (understandably) shrieked like a little girl when a hippo came after his canoe. When the apocalypse eventually comes, he will be the esteemed and courageous leader we follow to safety. And what kind of person would you rather have planning your safari in a strange land?
For every great Euro Bureau, there is a task master behind the scenes in Toronto fitting all the pieces together—or is that just how it works in these parts? Melissa is a lover of cupcakes who can be reduced to tears by a baby sloth video, but when we get right down to it she’s also an Italian speaker who can nail down a flaky French concierge like nobody’s business. And then get us a discount and extra amenities. She has enthusiasm and pluck in spades, and that’s important when you’re coordinating trips with the most energetic man in France. Not least of all, we’re always pleased to keep her baked goods here on Canadian soil where they belong. Eat your heart out, Parisian croissants.
Mike’s Swiss ancestry doesn’t remain concealed for long. Between his penchant for chocolate and his skill for keeping all the details running like clockwork, that second passport is no big surprise. What is a surprise (and quite a pleasant one at that) is hiring an Asia Trip Planner who also happens to have a hidden skill for tech support up his sleeve. Mike can tell you the difference between cao lau and banh bao equally as well as between DROM and EPROM. He knows his ao tu than from his sampot chang kben, and his satisfied clients from his… oh wait, that’s right. He doesn’t have any unsatisfied clients. Much like a Swiss army knife, Mike is always there with the tools you need at any given moment. And that makes for some very smooth travelling indeed.
It stands to reason that the guy who taught James Bond to dance flamenco has a knack for moving. But long before he schooled Pierce Brosnan in a ‘Sevillanas’ (good luck trying those steps at home), Sebastian was finding his feet all over the world. Raised between Colorado and Chile (where both of his parents come from), he ditched a post-grad career in academia for a year of guitar playing in Spain. Naturally, this evolved into an enthusiasm for mastering Arabic and several years spent in Morocco, where he owned a small hotel. Now back in Jerez (Spain), Sebastian keeps to the beat of his adopted home and strums up brilliant itineraries like the multi-linguist virtuoso that he is.
A native of Edinburgh, Ali doesn’t drink whisky and won’t touch haggis. It would be easy to chalk her up as a Highland fraud. But that would be rushing to judgement. Dig a little deeper and you’ll learn that she’s the real MacDeal. After studying zoology in “uni”, she ventured deep into the Peruvian Amazon to climb trees and monitor birds and mammals as part of a biodiversity study. After shaking a pesky pet bot fly, Ali continued exploring Latin America and beyond, eventually meeting her future husband (harmoniously named Alistair) in Paraguay. Now living in Toronto, she’s proven her chameleon-like ability to adapt to local cultures by learning how to skate.
Our quant queen, Caitlin (aka CJ), is the eclectic sum of some curious qualities. She loathes cotton batting (you know, the fluffy stuff you find at the top of pill bottles), but loves floor hockey (and pirouetting between passes). She’s terrified of becoming a pack rat and doesn’t collect anything. But if she had “more money than she knew what to do with”, she’d know exactly what to do—collect houses in Italy, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the Turks & Caicos. She has a penchant for Country & Western music, but would rather square up a balance sheet than square dance. Where next for our number ninja? She’s itching to travel to Greece and Spain, but will likely head to Hong Kong to visit her sister.