How It All Began …

Original Trails was started by a Kiwi and a Canadian who both shared a dream that culminated from a desire to take travel back to a more authentic and personal level; one that fuses adventure and real cultural experiences with responsible travel.

Aaron and Aparna have explored the globe both independently and together and have worked in the travel and tourism industry for many years. After working for a large tour operator, they set off to create a company that was more suited to their travel philosophies; travel that is not only unique, but benefits the local communities.

Original Trails was born, and with the help from their local operators they take pride in showing people the real world of travel, as well as trying to preserve the very nature of travel.

Being a New Zealander, Aaron has always had a natural desire to travel. After 3 years studying at University, Aaron travelled to the Canadian mountains to pursue outdoor adventures. After studying Spanish and several trips to South America, Aaron began leading trips for an international tour company in South and Central America. 5 years later, he had worked and travelled in South East Asia and managed East Africa tour operations. During this time, Aaron saw how tourism could directly and positively affect the lives of the locals through the support of local initiatives. He also realized that this needed to be done in the right manner, and to be as transparent as possible. He set out to start a travel company with Aparna Guha to make adventure travel a positive experience for both the traveller and those being visited.

Having family across the globe, travelling has always been a natural part of Aparna’s life. Perhaps Spanish in another life, Aparna did a degree in Hispanic Studies which took her for a year to the south of Spain. Then she headed north to work for an English tour company in a village so small in the Austrian Alps that her Indian appearance made front page news. Eager for a more cosmopolitan atmosphere, she moved to Berlin; a city in constant change which suited her perfectly. 6 years later, Aparna strapped on her backpack and began working for an adventure tour company taking people on tours in South and Central America, South East Asia and Europe. Working in Patagonia on Monday and Bangkok on Thursday, her passion had become a lifestlye. During this time she also was the acting HR representative hiring and training new leaders and operators, as well as designing new trips and exploring new territories. Almost 4 years and over 40 countries later, Aparna realized she not only wanted to continue travelling, but preserve the very nature of travelling so all those involved benefit.

Aaron McCourtie

Aaron McCourtie - How it all began“To me, travel is a fantastic mechanism that helps us develop a sense of appreciation of the world’s diversity of people, culture and nature. Travel, not only gives us a better understanding of the world and its people, but also helps us to better understand ourselves. I’m passionate about taking people to different countries, to share with them the magical experience of seeing things from a different perspective and to step into someone else’s world for a short time. Original Trails is about exploring unique countries and cultures, and at the same time making a difference. I look forward to meeting you on your next adventure!”

Aparna Guha

Aparna Guha - How it all began“Not all those who wander are lost”. As long as I can remember I have been ‘wandering’. Born to two true travellers themselves, it was inevitable. My first time alone on a plane was at the age of 6 to visit my family in England and I remember, even then the excitement I felt going to an unknown place. Fluent in Spanish and German, it is the people and the little things about travelling that make me want to see more and more. Whether it be eating Pho squatted in the streets of Hanoi, visiting my mother’s childhood house in Mombasa, finding long lost relatives in Kolkatta or learning Salsa in high altitudes of Peru, travel is the thing I do best. Original Trails is my way to share my curiosity and journeys with others and help those that need it along the way.”