Co-Host and Director of Engineering
Best friends with Stephen, Willem’s interest in journalism started in the early 1980s writing freelance articles for local and national newspapers. He has also written humorous pieces, such as song parodies, twisted stories, and sketches.
Willem keeps the pace of Travel World flowing on a lighter tone, the perfect complement to one’s Saturday morning … much akin to being the second-half of a well-oiled weekday Morning Drive team.
A native of Montreal, he owned his own computer business for over 20 years and has worked for multinational technology companies. He has a degree in electronics engineering technology and several diplomas in computer engineering. His speciality is messaging, collaboration and communications.
Willem wrote the “Day Tripper” column in The Montreal Downtowner, which was avidly read by locals. It was written in an irreverent tone, unlike any other city travel piece of the era.
Hobbies and Interests: Travel World is Willem’s primary hobby, as he loves people, travel and history. An avid reader, Willem is well read and favours non-fiction. “I like stories about real people”.
One sure place to find Willem is at a karaoke bar. Willem loves music in all its forms – he plays guitar and drums, “I wanted to play music very badly,” (seems his wish has come true). He is a ballroom dancer, having won 5 gold medals in Ottawa. And yes, he loves to sing.
Willem has taken his karaoke hobby around the world and has sung in Hawaii, Europe, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, and Washington, DC.
“One great thing about Albuquerque is that they have FOUR classic rock stations.” This pretty well sums up his musical preferences. “Classic rock is good-time feel-good music for me … but I like most types of music. Just make it real people playing real instruments and I’ll probably like it.”
Willem also loves barbecue, Nascar, hockey, baseball, classic cars, railroads, airplanes, and the CBS TV hit “Rules of Engagement”.
Favourite Past Trips: It seems that Willem has been working hard on his “Bucket List” as his travels in the past five years have earned him elite status on several airlines, hotel chains and car rental companies.
“When I was young, my best memories come from camping in Macomb State Park in Schuyler Falls, NY. We would go for one month every summer … it was like living in paradise…”
For the last three years, Willem’s ideal vacation spot has moved slightly southward to beautiful Lake George region of New York State. “Every year we vacation in these beautiful mountains and it’s an almost perfect relaxation. The memories of this area have measured up and are beginning to surpass those treasured memories of Macomb State Park.”
“As a Travel World destination, my favorite trips have been Jacksonville, Fl in 1990; Honolulu in 1998 and 2009; Amsterdam in 1998 (da home country, mon!); Shelby NC and Abbeville SC in 2000; Albuquerque in 2001- Got my kicks on Route 66!, The live broadcast from a moving train – crossing Canada on Via Rail Canada’s train No.1 ‘The Canadian’, The Grand Canyon; 2009, Tucson and the Airplane Graveyard; 2009, Las Vegas; 2006-2010 and beyond, Los Angeles/Burbank; 2006-2010 and beyond, almost anywhere in Vermont and finally the beautiful countryside of Virginia.”
Dream Vacations: There are still several dreams to realize – Bora Bora, Palau, Hedonism II in Negril (Jamaica), England/Scotland, Paris, Frankfurt and finally back to the Netherlands.
My dream trip in England would be to land in London (any airport, really – probably LHR) and take the train.
I’d like to visit my aunt in Bournemouth, then go north to Manchester, Newcastle and finally Scotland.