David McGuffin went on his first trip to Europe in 1977 in college. With a group of his friends, that tour took him to Greece, Italy, and Israel. David says, “I was a travel rookie, having never ventured outside the Southeastern USA!” Imagine his excitement when boarding an airplane for his first flight ever. But that excitement paled compared to the wonder of touching down in Greece, a distant land he’d only read about in his Sunday School lessons!
Forget about jet lag. David was determined to make the most of this adventure. Each morning, he was up early, exploring the sights, neighborhoods, and “out of the way” lanes, searching for life beyond the typical tourist scene. Three weeks later, he returned home, was hooked on European travel, and determined to return someday.
For the next decade, David dreamed of returning to Europe, but the opportunity never seemed to come his way. It wasn’t until he married, had children, and began his career as a band teacher that the opportunity came knocking. David convinced fifteen of his band students and their parents to travel with him to Europe on an educational tour.
They enjoyed the tour experience, the varied cultures, and the local connections. But somehow, David 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. David says, “I was looking for a more rewarding travel experience, more local character, more local food, more cultural diversity, and more value for my travel dollar.”
He studied Europe’s history, culture, and languages for the next few years. Pouring over maps of cities, towns, and countries, David tried to get a visual image of all there was to see and do. Soon, he began visiting Europe several times a year, applying what he learned to his explorations. David’s “on-the-ground” research took him to every major European city and hundreds of tiny “out of the way” locations. In these semi-undiscovered locales, it was here that his travel philosophy and style finally seemed to make sense.
Before long, David began organizing informal tours to Europe’s biggies like Rome, Paris, London, and Madrid. While touring the significant sights was necessary, He’d always throw in a few of his favorite little villages, restaurants, pubs, and hotels to add some contrast and flavor. Soon, David’s tour alumni were raving about “the little towns,” “that special dining experience,” or the “picnic with a fantastic view.” Finally, he’d found his niche, European travel designed to immerse his travel partners in the locale’s history, culture, and ambiance. In 2001, David established David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. to offer European travel experiences. His company has been growing ever since! He still holds to his original tour values of immersing his travel partners in the ambiance of Europe! Nowadays, when traveling, he still looks for new destinations, great food, intimate hotels, and unique experiences to pass along to his travel partners. David is passionate about his travels in Europe and wants to share that passion with you!