Our Story

The who, where, what and why of the Bearleader.
We are adventurers. Our mission is to seek out spectacular events and simple pleasures, awe-inspiring landscapes and places where traditions are meticulously maintained. We look beyond the obvious to discover hidden gems to share with you.With beautiful exposés of the people and places we come across we hope to inspire you to follow in our footsteps. By seeing and reading where we have been you can easily chart your own adventures.

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.”

What is a Bearleader? | Bearleader Chronicle

This is Daniela, enthusiastic to start bear-leading at age 18 months in Berlin.

Choosing photography as a career, Daniela was naturally drawn to travel as a photographic genre and has worked around the world on assignment. Her work is distinguished by what she describes as “narrative photography”. While a photo can be worth a thousand words, a photo essay serves a more literary purpose, not only telling a story, but conveying a true sense of place.

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.