Brian Birkenstein got the travel bug from his grandparents who showed home movies of their travels through South East Asia and South America during his childhood and took him to Norway, Sweden and Denmark when he turned 14.
His love of travel was put on hold until he graduated from UCLA at which time he went to Australia with work permit in hand. It was supposed to be his last hurrah before coming home, putting on a tie, cutting his hair and getting a real job, but that never really happened. He realized (slowly) that he was so deeply bitten by the travel bug that he better start working in that industry to not only fund his wanderings but to get paid for them as often as possible.
He has now worked in the industry for close to 20 years in over 20 countries in a variety of roles. His favorite (and most frequent) is as a tour leader, and he is currently taking tourists to Cuba. In his personal travels, he has been to all 50 states, 63 countries and all 7 continents. It’s a big world though, and he has a lot more to see and do. He has written a book about his time as a janitor in Antarctica called “Cleaning up After Science.”
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