The 9th of April 1978 I was born in IJsselstein, which is in province of Utrecht which is in the center of the Netherlands and since I try to make the best of it! When I was a child I moved to Nieuwegein,which is a neighboring city of IJsselstein.
In Nieuwegein I attended lower school and finished my High School (HAVO). I grew up with the idea of being “everybody is equal” without regard of somebody’s nationality, ethnicity, religion etc. During my High School period I participated in an exchange program with a school in the Vendeé (France) and it opened again new horizons.
Europe was waiting, so in 1996 I worked for two months on a camping site near Saint-Tropez in Southern France. Meanwhile I got a student job by the Dutch railways, where I was a bridge-waiter.
In September 1997 I started to study public administration (in Dutch: Bestuurskunde-Overheidsmanagement) at the Hogeschool ‘s-Hertogenbosch (HBO). I immediately became member of AEGEE, the European student organization.
In 1998 I started to live on my own room in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and I became an active member in AEGEE ‘s-Hertogensbosch: I co-organized summer-universities, became secretary and traveled a lot: Europe was on my feet!
In the third year of studies I followed an internship at the ministry of Transport in the Hague, the Netherlands. This was a very interesting period where I learned a lot.
The last year of my studies I fulfilled in Ghent (Belgium). First I followed an exchange program (International Management Program) and the second half year I did my final research / wrote my thesis in order of the Province East-Flanders (Province Oost-Vlaanderen).
My thesis was about international co-operation in the border area of the Netherlands and Belgium. To be more specified: international co-operation on de-central level in the field of surface planning and environment.
I finished my HBO-studies (Bachelor) in September 2001 and I immediately continued with a master studies on the Catholic University of Brabant. I also became secretary of AEGEE-Tilburg. I did not like my master studies ‘Juridical policy sciences’, because my mind was already more European focused then a study only focused on the Netherlands.
In combination with my duties of secretary of AEGEE-Tilburg I could not combine this and in 2002 I decided to quit my studies. My great life as a student came thereby to an end….
In June / July 2002 my working life started and after I finished my student job for the Wagon-Lits (which I already did during my student period from 1999) I decided to work in Lyon (France) for a summer season (May-September). There I worked for the ANWB (Dutch Automobile Association) Alarmcentrale (emergency center). In Lyon I learned a lot, but in September I returned to the Netherlands and after several jobs I started to work where I am still working now.
In 2004 I discovered the Balkans and that changed my life a lot, more then I could ever imagine. In 2004 I felt in love with the Balkans and since then my love for the Balkan region became stronger and stronger. I started to read a lot about the Balkans and I started “my Balkan pages” to inform people about the beautiful Balkan region.
After 2008 I , beside my job, to continue to discover the Balkan region, especially Macedonia and Serbia. I made new friends and I try to travel as much as possible: mostly to one of the Balkans countries, but I also want to visit a new country once a year.
In January 2011 I started a Serbo-Croatian language course, because I want to learn that language. I will continue to travel to this beautiful part of Europe and meanwhile I hope to discover other parts as well!
On the 1st August 2014 I stepped in Eindhoven (NL) in the plane to Belgrade (Serbia) to start living my true dream: to live together with my future wife Tanja in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.
I got a job and I am now working for a Belgian firm in the heart of Belgrade and I still can ‘t believe it. It is so great here together with the love of your life and live in the country where you want to live actually! Serbia is a great country were the people are very hospitable.
Yes my dream came true…