Why did you decide to start leading experiential travel tours?
Born in Belgium, I moved to the U.S. to work in I.T. in my early thirties. Traveling the wide open spaces of the American West, Canada and Alaska, I fell in love with the sights and the wildlife. In 2018, I quit my I.T. job and switched full-time to become a wildlife photographer. Since then, I have been busy traveling full-time (I live with my wife and dog in a travel trailer) to build my portfolio of wildlife images and to establish my new business. An important part of this is to start offering wildlife photography tours & workshop, which has been postponed due to the current pandemic. I have been using my unexpected COVID-19 down time to work on the backlog of images to edit and to finish my first photography book ("Beginner's Guide to Wildlife & Bird Photography" -> https://www.vangophotos.com/books#beginner).
What do you hope to gain from showing people your environment and culture?
My goal is to be different from the usual photography or wildlife tour. I'm aiming to offer wildlife tours in select locations at the peak wildlife action time of the year to very small groups. No sitting in a tour bus but getting your feet dirty and wet to maximize great wildlife viewing and photography opportunities! Plus, work with selected local vendors to benefit the local economy and make the tours sustainable for everyone involved, including the wildlife!
What are you most excited to share with tourists?
The amazing one on one experiences I have with wildlife. Like I mentioned above: no fighting for arm room in a crowded vehicle to be able to take a picture. I love being out on foot and sharing unique experiences with wildlife by observing all rules and regulations that are there to protect nature and its wildlife.
What fears do you have about making your land and lifestyle more public?
All tours have to be sustainable and environmentally responsible. I don't want to contribute to things that harm nature and its wildlife.
What specifically about your culture/history/environment would be beneficial for a traveler to learn about before taking their trip?
I love animals and I love photography: it is our job to act as responsible adults.