Apparently, I was born with the virus of a “flying Dutchman”. Already from the very early years of my adolitentia travelling has been a very important component of my life. I wanted to enrich my knowledge of other countries and continents, to see and understand other cultures and ways of living as well as to meet people of other races. I also wanted to enjoy and admire landscapes, nature, flora and fauna in different parts of the world.

During my time in secondary school as well as when I studied at the University in Rotterdam I made quite some trips within Western Europe. When I started working in   the Commission in1964 as well as at the VUB  in 1970 the opportunitiy to travel increased more than proportionally. My voyages first brought me to most of the countries in Europe but lateron, I was travelling more and more to all the other six continents.

As of 2013, I have had the opportunity to visit no less than 112 countirs of the 194 countries officially recognised by the United Nations over all seven continents (Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America). My life, certainly will be too short to visit the other 82 countries.

Although all my professional and leisure travelling enriched my personal life, I am also aware not having reasons to be proud of my ecological footprint.