And I’m the owner of Tulip Day Tours, a small tour operator company in the Netherlands.
My team and I have developed authentic, unique tours in the Netherlands and Belgium. And we keep developing new tours on a regular basis. As travelers ourselves, knowing two sides of the coin, there’s no way we'd choose quantity over quality. A small (private) group, of maximum 7 or 15 travelers, allows us to go off-the-beaten-tracks and show you places that you won’t be able to visit with a large group. Therefore we can’t spread all the costs and high commissions over a lot of travelers and you may find that our prices are higher than elsewhere. But it's all about the experience, isn't it? Just like you'd visit a concert, get your hair done or go to a football / soccer match.
In the end, our mission is to show you a different side of the Netherlands. With us you can explore a national park by kayak or discover the island of Texel in UNESCO's Wadden Sea in the north of the Netherlands. Or visit castles, tulip gardens and windmills. No matter what you decide on, you’ll see and learn what the Netherlands is really about. Like you're traveling with a local friend.
But how did I come about doing this? Do you have a minute? Well, when I was seventeen I wanted to travel in Australia for one year, but according to my father I was too young. So instead I studied travel management. You can imagine that the first thing I did when I finished those studies was buying a one-way ticket to the far east. I wanted to see for myself how people lived on the other side of the world. And so I did. I spent quite some time in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar before I had to go home and earn money to travel again. Because yes, I, too, was infected with the travel bug.
In order to earn money and still see something of the world, I worked for 1.5 years on a large cruise ship. In my opinion, I had the best working hours of the entire ship (front desk) and felt so lucky. I enjoyed street food in Dakar, visited a local market in Alexandria, had caviar in St. Petersburg, saw the penguins in Punta Arenas, cycled on a Cape Verdean island, and the list goes on and on. I spent quite some time in cities as Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Casablanca, São Paulo and Salvador da Bahia as these were the ports where the ship would stay overnight. And I was lucky to pursue my passion in the Caribbean: scuba diving.
After my cruise ship experience I moved to Glasgow for a temporary project, as it would give me a chance to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. During my vacations I went to India, visiting a friend with whom I traveled throughout the entire country, using all modes of transportation. Visited places where no other tourist would come, let alone knew or even heard about. That’s when I decided to study cultural anthropology and development sociology. Having come across so many different peoples in all those years of traveling, it just made so much sense! After my studies, a temporary job opportunity led me to the United States. A job for which I traveled all over this beautiful country and where I learned about what customer service really is. Since my return to the Netherlands in 2014, I’ve been working as an independent cruise director on the European rivers. I am responsible for the program, liaison with captains and hotel managers, giving port talks, walking tours and lectures about topical topics such as the EU or (im)migration. And of course, making sure everyone is having a fantastic time.
Having been on all sides of the tourism spectrum for the last eighteen years, as a professional and, maybe even more important, as a traveler myself, setting up Tulip Day Tours was the most logical thing to do.
I hope that I inspired you to book a tour with us and that we get a chance to show you around in our home country!