We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel … a lot. Over time, our friends began asking us for tips: a recommendation for a good restaurant in Pembrokshire; a place to stay in Alto Adige; what to do in Omaha; the best museum in London, if you have time to visit only one. It gradually occurred to us that through our pursuit of adventure we had acquired some expertise. So after years of experience in media and publication, it was natural for us to marry our interests and expertise, and Bearleader Chronicle was born.
What is a Bearleader? Well, in the 18th and 19th centuries, travel grew in popularity in Europe. The Grand Tour was what well-to-do, “cultured” young men did, but the world was far too dangerous for them to set out on their own. There was the distinct possibility of coming to harm, so chaperones were employed to guide and protect their charges on these journeys.
The sight of burly chaperones leading inexperienced young men from place to place reminded people of another phenomenon of the time, the Bear Leader: one who took trained bears from town to town providing “entertainment”. Because, like a bear, the inexperienced young gentlemen were watched over to keep them out of trouble, “Bear Leader” became a nickname for the worldly-wise travel chaperone. (A more contemporary representation of a Bear Leader can be found in the novel, Brideshead Revisited, where an ambitious Oxford tutor is hired to keep an eye on the hapless Sebastian Flyte.)Our worldly wise Bearleader is Daniela Stallinger. Daniela, a petite Austrian woman, is quite the opposite of “burly”, but she is no less formidable than her predecessors.
While some are born to royalty, Daniela was born to travel. At just three weeks of age, she took her first international flight and by her early teens had a well-worn passport short on space for “stamps.”
Also an accomplished portrait photographer, Daniela believes that people bring a place to life. Wherever you go in the world, you find thinkers, entrepreneurs, innovators, service providers, curators, historians, chefs, crafts people, and other travelers. They are the heart and soul of the places you visit. However, these individuals are often overlooked. Bearleader Chronicle is committed to bringing you the complete picture, combining place and person. And it’s always nice to know some of the people you might run into on your journey.
If you are passionate about experiencing new things, we invite you to follow Bearleader Chronicle, your guide to a future of adventure.