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Tour Guide

Photo by Koen Buyens, June 6th 2015. What a day at Breendonk, despite your illness. Miss you my friend.


"Being a guide means giving 110% of your best, over and over again!"

What else do you need to know about Guide 53?

I'm 46, happily married and father of a great son.

Sometimes people ask me about the name Guide 53 and where it comes from? "It's not Herbie the Love Bug, right?" Of course not, 53 is my guiding number at Breendonk Memorial, the place where my guiding career started 6 years ago. Back then, I was looking for a name for my small tour guide business and since the prisoners of the SS-camp had no name, but just a number, I decided to use that number 53 as my my company name!

I'm a real chatterer, but not just 'a' chatterer, no, I'm an historian and licensed freelance tour guide at Tourism Vlaanderen.
I'm guiding in 3 languages:
Dutch, English and French. A 4th language is optional, Italian! Italy, Tuscany more specifically, is my second home; most of our free moments we try to enjoy in Volterra. My dream? Becoming a city guide in Velathri, Etruscan for Volterra!

It took me many years to understand that history AND guiding is in my blood; they are like microbes driving me at all times. Through guiding I can share my real passion with other people. 

What to expect when you book a tour with Guide 53? A friend and colleague expressed it as follows after a tour with his family at Breendonk: "Jo as a guide at Breendonk, is Jo like I know him at Decathlon (my 'real' job), and as a friend. He's present in the moment, full of passion, with a lot of knowledge, prepared, full of energy and very attentive to the needs of the group. And with a conviction, an opinion, a mission to make the world just a little bit better! That's what Jo can transfer to a group. Educational, on the level of children and adults of one and the same group!"

Going on a tour with Guide 53, is 'different' from what many people imagine with a guide. Yes, I love to tell stories, yes I do have an opinion, yes I'm very interactive and yes I dare to confront people. But, there always room for laughter, even a tear sometimes. I will take you along in a story, on a journey and I'm only satisfied when people say at the end "is the tour over already?". Mission accomplished, because that's what guiding is for me, a mission! Check out the reviews, what people say about the walks and talks, I hope they tell the same story.

I hope to meet you soon during a walk, the pleasure would all be mine!

Thank you for your interest in my activities.

Best regards




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