I’ve started a tour company!

First Impressions of Myanmar (Burma)
November 26, 2013
Stunning Bagan Myanmar [photos]
December 13, 2013

I’ve started a tour company!

Stephen Indonesia


Those of you who know me personally or have been following my blogging journey know that I’ve been a traveler long before I began my blog. Blogging has just allowed me the freedom to work as I travel. Returning to an ordinary location-based job has not been necessary for me during the past three years.


For 2014, I wanted a new challenge. Blogging pays the bills (barely), but it was never my end goal–just one way I could share my travel experiences. Now I’ve got a new way–a more personal one.


Noel and Stephen from Jen

Noel and I on the Kuala Lumpur MRT captured by tour participant Jen Hauber.


Starting a travel tour company


Visiting dozens of countries around the world during the past decade I’ve had some amazing experiences. Some countries I’ve enjoyed more than others. There are some that I’ve gotten to know best.


In October of 2013, I successfully ran my first tour with my longtime friend and new business partner Noel Lau. It was a perfect setup–he’s Malaysian and I loved lingering in Malaysia every time I visited. I understood the foreigner perspective as to why Malaysia is so fascinating–he was there to interpret the complex cultures of his country and its idiosyncrasies. It was a no-brainer, thus the Singapore & Malaysia Food & Culture Tour was born.


Our tour dove right into the wonderful world of Malaysian and Singaporean food, which is a fantastically delicious way to understand the cultures of the region. We took walking tours, visited historic mansions, ate street snacks, enjoyed the view from the tallest twin towers in the world, and witnessed worshipers in Muslim mosques, Hindu Temples, and Chinese Temples. We also had coffee with Singaporeans of different descent who gave us insight into contemporary life.


To get an idea of the other things we do, read our itinerary during our 4 Days in Singapore.


small group tour company

Noel with our group posing on the Henderson Waves Bridge in Singapore.

Why you should travel with us in 2014


The number one reason you should travel with us is to have better travel experiences. We guarantee unique experiences–we show you the best local food spots, the most crucial sights, traveling the way independent travelers do it. We organize meetups with locals and explain the cultural nuances that make up each society. You’ll learn a lot, but we’ll also have fun.


The pace of our trips is relaxed enough to give you a more in-depth look at each destination, and enough to give you ample time to explore on your own. We want you to get deeper into the places you’re traveling so far to visit. We also want to keep our groups small. That’s why we’ve capped our max at 12 persons.


Check out our Tours Page to see the exciting locations where we’re headed in 2014!


Our 2014 Small Group Tour Schedule

small group tour company

Our group on our final morning in Penang.


Let me know if you’ve got any questions! I’m always happy to answer any travel-related questions for you.


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And please help spread the word…if you know anyone who has wanted to start traveling, has never been to Asia, or wants an alternative to their typical cruise, lay-on-the-beach, or big-group tour, please point them in my direction. Thanks!



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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Stephen Bugno says:

    Thanks Jeannie!! Hope to see you in Colombia!

  2. Jeannie Mark says:

    Stoked for you and Noel! Congrats. I may join you guys in Colombia! 🙂

  3. Maria says:

    Fantastic idea and congrats – I love the idea of a small group so the tour can still offer off the path experiences easily and offer ample time at each leg.

  4. kami says:

    that’s exciting! good luck!

  5. Tracy says:

    Congratulations! And good luck!

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