Experts + Insiders:
It’s a tale as old as time—or at least as old as B&R.
There was Christine Tucker on a beach in Costa Rica. Surfing. Chilling. Minding her own business, really. When she got to chatting with a B&R guide, she thought, “That sounds like a good gig.”
A decade later and with more than 40 trips under her belt as a guide, it turns out it’s a little more than that.
But don’t let her nonchalance fool you. A linguistic expert, she speaks English, Spanish, French and Italian, and is currently learning Swahili (No wonder we snatched her up when we found her on that beach.)
After years padding her resume as a veritable adventure auteur—doing everything leading sea-kayaking expeditions in the Pacific Northwest to long ridge runs in the Alps, Christine made the leap from B&R Guide to Experience Designer.
Today she’s elevated “the road less travelled” to a religion: plotting eclectic trips (over 100 to date!) everywhere from Spain to Andalucia, Rwanda to Mallorca. Looks like it shaped out to be a pretty good gig.
Years in Travel Business: 21
Years with B&R: 14
Countries/Regions of Expertise: Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Basque Country, Andalucia, Mallorca
Countries visited: Lots! 35+
Countries lived in: Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica and (currently) Switzerland
Trips planned: 100+
Trips guided: 40+
Q&A with Christine Tucker
Everyone at B&R has their fair share of wanderlust. When/how did you first get bit by the travel bug? For me, it was instilled when I was young when my family would take annual trips to Mexico and further abroad.
What’s your preferred method for immersing yourself in a country or region? I love learning languages and getting really off the beaten track. Also, I’m not a sightseer; I’ve been to Paris more than 10 times but I’ve never even come close to the Eiffel Tower.
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What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
Either a kayak trip in the Sea of Cortez or a Baja surf trip. Both featured days of being footloose and fancy-free. With the kids, it was no doubt our recent trip to Kenya! We walked the Laikipai Plateau with camels, camped in the bush, and then headed to the laid back town of Watamu for idyllic Indian Ocean blues and greens accented by the perfect white sand. Spoiled in a private home with views to die for and finger licking cuisine it was truly a magical, balanced trip.
What’s one destination you haven’t been to, but would love to visit?
Mongolia. No idea why, I just like saying it! Plus I love wide open spaces and sparsely populated places. I’ve been to Paris more than 10 times but I’ve never even come close to the Eiffel Tower.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? (And where was it?)
I’ve had so many that it’s hard to recall, but it feels like the jar of peanut butter after weeks of being high in Andes with only rice and quesillo to eat.
Favourite bottle of wine?
I don’t like wine… kidding! Probably what comes from our little vineyard here in Switzerland—home grown, nothing special but you know you cultivated it yourself, so it tastes divine.
Favourite hotel in the world?
Singita Faru Faru Lodge, in Tanzania or camping anywhere in the African bush.
Favourite restaurant in the world?
Really? Any restaurant serving a good steak and salad. Oh and the fish taco vendor in Mulege, Baja Mexico…
Favourite bar/wine bar/watering hole in the world?
The Peanut Barrel Bloomington, Indiana.
What’s the best thing that ever happened to you while travelling?
Superficially, I have to mention that first-class upgrades on long-haul flights definitely make the journey easier! But in truth, it’s all the unique human encounters in far-off lands, which, wound up together, made for lots of small great moments. Some ten years ago while traveling in Guatemala I was relaxing on a park bench and an earring vendor sat down next to me and we started chatting, of course initially she wanted to sell her stock but once it became clear I was not in the buying mood our conversation drifted and danced around kids, work, family etc. When I made the move to continue my stroll she handed me a pair of lovely silver earrings. I still wear them to this day and they are a special treasure from that moment. The time a baby gorilla hugged my leg ranks high up as well.