David McGuffin went on his first trip to Europe in 1977 when in college. That tour, with a group of his friends, 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 in comparison to the wonder of touching down in Greece, a distant land of which 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 and 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 opportunity came knocking. David convinced fifteen of his band students, and their parents, to travel with him to Europe on an educational tour.
They all enjoyed the tour experience, the varied cultures, and local connections. But somehow, David knew there could be more. The student tour “package” and the concept of putting a lot of 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.”
During the next few years, he studied Europe’s history, culture, and languages. 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 that which I’d learned to his explorations. David’s “on-the-ground” research took him to every major city in Europe and hundreds of little “out of the way” locations. It was here, in these semi-undiscovered locales that his travel philosophy and travel 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 major sights was important, 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 history, culture, and ambiance of the locale.
In 2001, David established, David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. in order to formally 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!