ABOUT DAVID MCGUFFIN
David explains his travel philosophy, group tour principles, and why he loves to share Europe’s people, culture, history, and experiences with others.
I went on my first European trip in 1977 in college. This tour, with a group of my friends, took me to Greece, Italy, and Israel. I was a “travel rookie,” having never ventured outside the Southeastern USA! Imagine my excitement as I boarded the airliner for my first flight, not to mention the wonder of touching down in Greece, a distant land I’d only read about in my Sunday School lessons!
Forget about jet lag. I was going to make the most of this adventure. Each morning, I was up early, exploring the sights, neighborhoods, and “out of the way” lanes, searching for life beyond the typical tourist scene. Three weeks later, when I returned home, I was hooked on European travel and determined to return someday.
For the next decade, I dreamed of returning to Europe, but the opportunity never seemed to come my way. It wasn’t until I’d married, had children, and begun my career as a band teacher that the opportunity came knocking. I convinced fifteen of my band students and parents to travel to Europe on an educational tour.
We enjoyed the tour experience, the varied cultures, and the local connections. But somehow, I knew there could be more. The student tour “package” and the concept of putting many people on a bus and showing them one sight after the other lacked cultural immersion and seemed more of a “canned” tour. I was looking for a more rewarding travel experience, more local character, food, cultural diversity, and value for my travel dollar.”
I studied Europe’s history, culture, and languages for the next few years. I poured over maps of cities, towns, and countries to get a visual image of all there was to see and do. Soon, I began visiting Europe several times a year, applying what I’d learned to my travels. My “on-the-ground” research took me to every major European city and hundreds of tiny “out of the way” locations. In these semi-undiscovered locales, it was here that my travel philosophy and style finally seemed to make sense.
Before long, I began organizing informal tours to Europe’s biggies like Rome, Paris, London, and Madrid. While touring the significant sights was necessary, I’d always throw in a few favorite little villages, restaurants, pubs, and hotels to add some contrast and flavor. Soon, my tour alumni were raving about “the little towns,” “that special dining experience,” or the “picnic with a fantastic view.” Finally, I’d found my niche, European travel designed to immerse travelers in the locale’s history, culture, and ambiance.
In 2001, I established David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. to offer European travel experiences. My company has been growing ever since! We still hold to my original tour values of immersing travelers in the ambiance of Europe! When traveling, I still look for new destinations, great food, intimate hotels, and unique experiences to pass along and add to my knowledge base. I am passionate about traveling in Europe and want to share that passion with you!
Your Adventure Starts Here!