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Armenia Trails Expedition  – 2019

The story of trails is rich and filled with adventure.

Join our team of writers, videographers, trail experts & bloggers as they explore Armenia’s trails & unlock a new narrative.

We will upload our trail log here with multi-media posts as soon as we have waded through the vast images and videos we have gathered.

The Team 

From 14 different countries – follow our team of trail creatives, and experts as their journey unfolds.

Olga Drewnowska

Olga is an academic and a mountain guide from Poland. She is a university lecturer who likes to share her traveling and hiking experiences. She is getting her PhD on the Caucasus and wants to publish a book on the region. She has been to Armenia twice before, but wants to learn more and contribute to the country’s hiking development with the hopes of directing more hikers and groups to the country.

Jordan Simons

He is a travel YouTuber with over 130,000 subscribers. In 2014 he sold all his possessions, quit his job and began to travel the world. Since then he has been to six continents and 70+ countries, while trying to show more people how to do the same through his popular social media accounts. He recently climbed Kilimanjaro, attempted a marathon on the Great Wall of China, and just did the Langtang Valley trek in Nepal. Jordan is a very upbeat character who is always up for an adventure.

Emilie Blanc

Emilie is a popular YouTuber from France. She focuses on her video content which makes her a great addition to our team as she does this professionally. Her most popular video view stats: 83K for Paris, 49K for New York, 48K for Barcelona, 25K Sri Lanka. People trust in her opinions when it comes to traveling and the way she differs from the other French influencers is that she reaches mainly women.

Crista Valentino

Crista is an experienced traveler and outdoor adventurer with a 7K social media following on Instagram. She is very well connected with the U.S and global hiking community including the WTN network. She’s involved in a wide range of activities from rock-climbing to trail running which she has documented from Africa to Wyoming.

Nicole Barrios

Our sole representative from South America. Nicole is a part of South American mountaineering/hiking groups where she frequently shares her experiences hiking around the world. She studies ecotourism and it was during an ecotourism conference in China last year where she met two Armenians who are the inspiration for her applying to this expedition.

Galeo Saintz

Galeo is a conservation adventurer, professional speaker and mountain wilderness guide. A founding member of multiple conservation and trail related non-profit organizations, he is skilled at leading and convening civil society non-profit boards, task teams and projects for good, with a focus on conservation, trails and peacebuilding. Galeo is the founding Chair of the World Trails Network and Co-Chair of the IUCN – CEESP Commission’s Theme on Environment and Peace, and its global Task Force on Migration and Environmental Change.

Pietro Ienca

The dynamic duo from Italy work together and founded the organization “Tripinyourshoes”. They produce content while hiking and exploring all over the world. Their personal pages have thousands of followers and their company page has over 20.5K. They are professional explorers as well, and will be bringing drones with them to document experiences on the Expedition.

 

 

Zeinab Jeambey

Project Manager for the Lebanon Mountain Trail (LMT) organization. Zeinab has been involved in major community based programs at the LMTA, developing trailside destinations and capacity building of trailside service providers and engaging locals. She is also a Food Heritage specialist and has worked closely with locals on developing food trails. She is a great communicator and community mobilizer.

 

Elle Arscott

Elle is an expert in heritage site management, specializing in heritage trails. She works in tourism marketing for the Mediterranean region, which involves UK media relations and publicizing destinations, hotels and restaurants. She is an experienced digital marketer, who is now looking to get her PhD in heritage trails. 

 

Piotr Kroczak

Piotr is an avid hiker and professional travel blogger. He writes articles, takes photos, and shares useful info on trails. He has worked with/for various countries’ tourist boards and outdoor brands (GoPro, Salewa, Merrell). In the French outdoor community, his blog reaches 50,000 people (Facebook, Instagram, tiktok, Twitter) + another 50,000 on his company page which he co-founded TeamAventuriers.fr

Hanna Huryna

Hanna is an editor for an online news publication (binkl.by). She is also well connected with other online and print publications. She has very good insight on the Russian speaking community and she will be writing articles about the expedition which she will work to get published not only on her site but also the in-flight magazine for Belavia airlines (Belarusian) which offers a very popular direct flight from Belarus to Georgia. (They also fly to Armenia). Hanna is also a yoga instructor who can lead sessions for us during the Expedition.

Jad Assi

He runs a hiking group in Lebanon called Lebanese Explorers, which takes Lebanese hikers to places like Nepal. He wants to explore Armenia to share his hiking knowledge, but also to be introduced to Armenia so he can start bringing his hiking groups over. He is also a blogger and nature photographer. His Lebanese Explorers page has 29K Instagram followers and his personal page has 22.7K followers. Yoga instructor and certified stretching specialist.

Charlotte Poulain

Charlotte is ONEArmenia’s Operations Director, and has been living in Armenia for the past 4 years. She holds a master’s degree in International Affairs, and enjoys drinking and talking about (Armenian) wine. During this expedition, she will be overseeing the work produced by the ONEArmenia team (social media and video).

 

      

Kyle Khandikian

Kyle is ONEArmenia’s Content and Community Manager. Originally from Los Angeles, he moved to Armenia three years ago in search of community and eager to explore his ancestral homeland. When he’s not creating content for ONEArmenia, you can find him studying Armenian rugs, cooking at home with friends and documenting the process on Instagram, or dancing Armenian and other regional folk dances. During this expedition, he will be managing HIKEArmenia’s social media channels, documenting the team’s experiences and sharing them with the world.

Melina Melino

My days and weekends are full of almost everything Trail. I’m lucky enough to organise over 20 Trail events a year in beautiful Western Australia and spend time with a passionate trail community of 10,000 locals who love trails almost as much as I do. My passion for getting people out into nature and on the trails is fueled by a desire to protect and maintain our precious environment. Over the last 3 years, I’ve been spending more of my time on trail advocacy and helping attract people to specific trails and trail towns. I see this as a critical step in building a thriving global network of trails and trail community.

Edele Hovnanian

Edele is the founder of HIKEArmenia. She is an avid hiker, having started hiking over 30 years ago with the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) on weekends when she was living in New York City.  About 15 years ago, Edele started hiking abroad, including Chile, Vietnam, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Argentina, Bhutan and others. It is the latter country of Bhutan that has been her favorite hiking because “the country is so un-Westernized,  you get to experience peoples’ way of life without any reflection on the modern life you left behind.  I love that feeling of being in a place that disconnects you from your “normal life” at home”.

Ardag Kosian

Ardag is the Executive Director of HIKEArmenia. For the past 3 years he has been involved in the development of hiking and ecotourism in Armenia. From physically building trail networks to rural development projects in the villages, he has been working with numerous local partners to make Armenia a premier hiking destination. 

 

    

Linda Yepoyan

Linda joins us as a member of the board for HIKEArmenia. And while she thoroughly enjoys the great outdoors for walking, yoga and gardening, this will her first long-distance, multi-day hiking expedition. Despite her fears and concerns that she’ll be left behind on the trails, she is excited to share her knowledge and love of Armenia with Expedition members.  Linda is the executive director of Birthright Armenia, a non-profit that sponsors young diasporan adults of Armenian heritage to Armenia for community service.

Our trail expeditions convene trail experts and trail enthusiasts from around the world to explore,  discover and document trails in new and unexpected destinations. Enjoy insights from the team’s adventures in the trail log below:

Day 1 – Getting to the Trails

Our team from 14 different countries departs from Yerevan to head out onto the trails. 

 

 

Day 2 – Khachardzan to Gosh Lake

Day 3 – Gosh Lake to Parz Lake

Day 4 – Parz Lake to Dilijan

Day 5 –Travel Day from Dilijan to Vayots Dzor

Day 6 – Martiros to Gomk Villages

Day 7 – Gomk on Horseback

Day 8 – Gomk to Artavan

Day 9 – Travel to Yerevan

Day 10Wrap up!

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