Dirk could describe himself in many different ways – accomplished traveler, musician, band director’s son, travel researcher. His professional title of Travel Consultant allows him to combine all of those descriptions into one career, which he’s spent his life developing. While new to BRT, Dirk has worked in student travel since 1996, personally tour directing over 150 student tours in the U.S. and abroad. He sees performance travel as an opportunity for the lessons of both music education and travel to intersect, helping students to grow and expand their horizons.
My favorite book
I have to say “So Big” by Edna Ferber. It is a historical fiction novel that follows the family of Dirk DeJong as he grows up in the south suburbs of Chicago. My ancestors founded South Holland, Illinois and a number of the characters in the book are real people that were family members or family friends generations deep. I was named for the main character.
My hobbies and pastimes
My passion is Jeeps, off-road travel, and shade-tree mechanic work. I purpose built a Jeep Cherokee to take on the mountainous trails of Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky. My current goal is to take it west for a tour that includes Big Bend State Park, southwest Colorado, Moab Utah, Death Valley and Anzo Borrega Parks, and the Rubicon Trail. Ultimately, I’d like to ship it to Australia to drive the Old Telegraph Track, the Simpson Desert, and the Kimberly Track
My favorite travel memory
On my birthday, many moons ago, I was tour directing a group that was cruising the Bahamas. That morning we were scheduled to be in Freeport. I was up early and was on the deck watching the ship dock and I noticed a little cove that we passed. Upon debarkation for the day, I walked about a mile to that cove. It was clear blue water and a large beach. I sat and swam there for hours and never saw another soul. I had my own private beach that day.