Born and raised in the Netherlands, I grew up in a family that travelled a lot, both for work and holiday. All that travelling was quite contagious which led to the “TravelBug”. In 1975 I travelled for two months with my backpack through Israel and the Sinai Desert, which left a deep impression on me, so deep that the idea of living there became my goal. Four years later, in 1980, after qualifying with a BA from the Hotel School in The Hague and just married, we drove by car to Greece. There we boarded a boat to Israel and reported as brand new immigrants in our ancient homeland.
In addition to my daily work, I trained with the Ministry of Tourism as a professional guide to get a deeper knowledge of the country, its language and its history. A year and a half later, motivated by a healthy bout of idealism, we moved to a Moshav, a cooperative agricultural village in the Negev desert near the Egyptian border and Sinai. We grew roses, sun-ripened tomatoes, delicious mangos for export and I organised trips for volunteers who worked in the village.
Lots of experience
Since 1990 I have been touring full time and have shared my love for the country with hundreds of visitors on classic tours, off-the-beaten-track excursions and private tours. In addition to guiding in Israel, I worked for fifteen years as tour manager for a British travel company where I managed adventurous cycling and walking events. My working area was the Far East, mainly Vietnam, Cambodia, India and China and two neighbouring countries of Israel with which peace treaties have been signed, Egypt and Jordan.
As a result I know the countries bordering Israel quite well and can tell the story of Israel in a broader context.
One of the most fascinating aspects of travelling through Israel is that you can actually drive along the borders of so many neighbouring countries. In the north and east of Israel are Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Further south-east, you follow the Jordanian border as far as Egypt on the Red Sea and you can even see the coast of Saudi Arabia.
If all this leaves you wanting to know more, just click on the box below and I will get straight back to you!