Born and raised in Amsterdam, I’m still loving my home town in the Netherlands. After my military duty I studied education to understand more about the reasons why people are what they are. I started work in crisis-centers with runaway youth in Amsterdam and now I am an adviser on youth cure for the regional government of Flevoland.
Experience as a travel guide:
When I was twenty I travelled for four months as a guide and driver, 16,000 miles in an old Ford Transit from Holland to Nepal and back. I learned then that traveling on my own, with friends, or as a guide is like second breath the rest of my life. Actually since twenty years I added guiding bike-tours as my second job. All these great bike trips with AA (formerly Eurobiketours) through Italy and France and other European countries I do with an adventurous, tender, love and care.
George's Guide Survey:
My Favorite Destinations
The glaciers of Patagonia in Argentina, the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays in Australia, the temples of Angkor Watt in Cambodia, and not to forget the big apple New York definitely belong to my favorites. When Margie and I travel together we enjoy city life, art museums and above all dance the tango in Buenos Aires. And when there's a place under the sun where we hear a salsa rhythm, we start dancing and the stars guide us home!
Destinations I Want to Visit
Tibet is on my list as well as Japan and Hawaii, exotic places trigger my interest and travel fever. Nature in USA west, I like car rides on wide plains (Kerouac on the road) and hikes in forests and mountains.
Favorite bike ride
In Colombia the ATB bike ride all the way down from snow topped mountains near La Paz to subtropical forest, winding over dangerous roads with breathtaking views in the valleys.
My favorite hike?
The Inca trail leading to Machu Picchu in Peru, four days of hiking over huge stone steps, incredible views, pain in your legs and the pleasure of endurance, sleeping in little tents and then, when the fog is lifting you see the splendor of Machu Picchu and it's incredible setting on the green terrace hills unfolding and you feel you're on the edge of old Inca life.
My favorite historical site and museums
The temples of Angkor Watt in the jungle near Siem Raep in Cambodja, you can walk for days in this nature overrun religious site, watching sunrise and dream away. Other favorites are the Egyptian museum in Cairo, a storehouse of treasures and the Rodin sculpture museum in Paris, with the Thinker and the Kiss.
Favorite trip to guide
Tuscany in Italy is a biker's heaven and I feel at home after so many years of being a guide there. Enjoying the Chianti hills and views, sipping wine on the squares in the evening sun in Siena and San Gimignano. Looking at the masterpieces of art like the David of Michelangelo and the birth of Venus from Botticelli in Florence. Italians are lovely people, born to love and live and they like drama. Of course they have their operas of Verdi and Puccini as examples.
What do I do that make a guest's vacation special?
First of all I love to be with a group of guests in a place where we all travel by desire, that's the basic mood ! I give personal attention and help especially when the day is harder for you to come through.
I share the precious moments and experiences with you with lots of joy and humor. And when I buy little presents I always combine the specials of the day and trip kindly with the personal things I see from you.
The most amazing experience I had while traveling?
Hiking with spikes on the icy glacier of Perito Moreno in South Argentina. This miracle world of ever moving ice in all colours of blue, with little rivers of melting water running over strange shapes into the deep and little icebergs falling into the lake.
Favorite Outdoor Activity
Playing tennis, swimming, skiing, biking, and of course salsa dancing. Fortunately there's a great salsa scene in Amsterdam.
When did you first catch the travel bug?
When I travelled as a beginning guide overland from Holland through Europe to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Pakistan, India and Nepal and back in four months. All these first impressions and country sides and different people gave me the feeling that there's more on earth than my own country and made me a global traveller, balanced with a longing for intimacy and love at home. So, the travel bug and the home bug are the two precious sides of my life.