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Erwin

Erwin was born in the south of the Netherlands and is now living in Toulouse. He has tour led for over 10 years full time and is now teaching at a School of Tourism. The school closes for four months every year - ideal for getting some travelling done!


Interview

Q: How did you fall into tour leading?

A: After my university degree in history, I told my parents I was going to do a summer job for a couple of months in France. It turned out I liked tourism and working abroad, so after being a site manager on a couple of 5-star campsites, I was given the opportunity to become a tour leader. That was in 2008 and my parents are still waiting for me to come home...

Q: What do you like most about tour leading?

A: Everything! Travelling, discovering new cultures and food, meeting new people along the way, fresh air and new perspectives.

Q: Where is your favourite part of the world?

A: History is still one of my biggest interests, and because of the continuous interaction of cultures, ‘my favourite part’ extends from Central Asia, through the Middle East into the Maghreb.

Q: What was your biggest travel highlight?

A: Difficult question - so many great moments to choose from, but maybe discovering a complete amphitheatre in Algeria - made me feel like Indiana Jones for a while!

Q: What’s the craziest request you’ve ever had from a client?

A: I will never forget being asked if it would be possible to stop at a supermarket to buy some peanuts. We were in the Southern Gobi in Mongolia and I had to tell this person that the next sign of civilisation was a cluster of houses that was three days away, and sometimes the little shop was open there, and maybe it sold peanuts, but I would be very happy to stop once we got there. Three days later we stopped, and they sold peanuts!

Q: What’s the one thing you couldn’t travel without?

A: Something to read!

Q: Which famous person would you most like to travel with?

A: Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones).

Q: Have you ever made a cultural faux pas?

A: Never!


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