BEFORE ANYONE ELSE
Our roots started in North Korea. Far from conventional, we know. We’re the team that pioneered tourism to North Korea through Uri Tours. We’re called BEFORE Travel because of our generational drive to blaze our own trails, to do things before anyone else, and to see the world through our own eyes. Together we have over 15 years of experience safely and successfully navigating through the most difficult of places in search of meaningful experiences and different perspectives. We scope every single destination, expertly craft all experiences in-house and choose the best local team to deliver an authentic experience for our customers. With us, you will get a professional team with deep rooted expertise in safely running premium adventure tours and a commitment to genuine experiences which are usually found off the beaten path.
Experiences before possessions. That’s our motto and way of life. Nothing is more important to us than experiences, and it’s what shapes us as humans. #experiencesbeforepossessions
We are officially based in New Jersey at a really cool industrial warehouse office but most of us are living our dreams as digital nomads. Team members are based anywhere with a strong internet connection. The benefit to you, our customer, is that you’re not paying for massive overhead, you’re speaking with happy and relaxed people who live and breathe travel and you will get a speedy response from us across multiple timezones. Want to try? Contact us.
Andrea Young Lee
Founder & CEO
I’m Korean-American but I started traveling from birth. From Chile to Brazil to the USA to North Korea. Travel is not only my profession and passion, it’s my life. About 5 years ago, I left my cushy corporate law career to become an entrepreneur. Since then I have been flying from the seat of my pants and loving every minute of it. My current obsessions are motorcycling, jiu-jitsu, zen buddhism and trekking uncharted territory.
I believe every country, no matter what, offers a unique experience worth exploring. I’m a born and bred Tasmanian, and after taking inspiration from international politics and news media, I began globetrotting to ‘see for myself’. As far flung as Turkmenistan, Iran and North Korea, the interactions I’ve had have given me an education only travel can provide. I enjoy writing, photography and golf – I try to tee up in every country I visit!
As a travel enthusiast, writer, photographer, I have visited over 80 countries to date. I grew up in Canada, but left at an early age to travel the world. I have driven motorbikes across the Himalayas, explored Afghanistan using only public transportation, lived with tribes in Papua New Guinea, and taught English in war torn Libya. I am always looking for the next big adventure. You can read about my travels on Business Insider, my website – Uncharted Backpacker – and here!
China Operations Manager
I grew up in Beijing, and it will always be my home. I love helping travelers explore and discover Asia and have over 10 years of experience in the travel industry. I’m also an amateur cyclist [not that amateur as she’s the number 2 ranked female amateur cyclist in Beijing!]. My favorite thing to do is to explore on my bicycle and to push myself to do better.
Vietnam Operations Manager
I love being a tour guide and enjoying every moment of sharing my passion for my country. I was born into a farmer’s family just outside of Ha Noi and I am the only one in my family who has received a college (and MBA) degree. When I’m not working, I normally travel to the remote, mountainous areas on my motorbike to support ethnic minority children so that I can help them have opportunities for a better life.
I truly live and breathe our motto Experiences Before Possessions. My husband and I decided to sell all our possessions, quit our jobs and hit the road. I was born and raised in Australia, and have explored many countries around the globe. I love the challenge that each one brings, as each country teaches me a lesson. I’m dedicated to people’s experience with the BEFORE brand, and inspiring you to live through meaningful experiences.
Business Development Manager
For as long as I can remember I have always been in search of adventure – constantly seeking the next challenge . I believe one of the greatest pleasures in life is experiencing new cultures and foods. Italy is where my heart belongs but I could not live without the hustle of New York City.
Resident Surf Ambassador
Living in Hawaii has given me a thirst for adventure, respect for the ocean and love for cultures. My favorite things to do is take people on new adventures, share stories, and make memories all around the world. I’ve been all around the globe on my surfboard but it’s always the people that you journey with that make the adventure memorable. I hope to share some waves and stories with you soon!
Resident Surf Instructor
I’m Italian and I’ve been surfing since I was a kid. I’m currently the coach of the Chinese national surf team, and an ISA course presenter. I live to find the next big break and to explore uncharted waters on my surfboard. I completed the first mapping project of the entire Chinese coastline, and teach local surfers in North Korea. I get stoked seeing the smile on people’s faces when they’ve caught their first wave.
BEFORE College Ambassador
I’m Joelle and I live in California and I am currently studying to be a teacher! I love to travel off the beaten path, read, and play Spikeball and volleyball with my friends. I am a BEFORE Ambassador because I want to help other my age experience new cultures, touch new lands and broaden their perspectives.
A diplomat and urbanist by training, I grew up hiking, camping, kayaking, and rock climbing in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. I live for adventure and the thrill that comes from conquering nature’s challenges and exploring rich, beautiful, and ancient cultures. I’m always hungering for my next big trek! See some of my stories here and on the Huffington Post!
I’m Christopher, a Mexican-American, who has lived all around the U.S. and in 3 foreign countries. I’m currently studying in Asia and have been traveling around the region since I got here. I love traveling because of the reward you get when you conquer challenges, like running out of gas in the mountains of Vietnam. That reward is what keeps me trying to do things before anyone else.