Bas van Oort presents Expeditie Achtertuin

Bas van Oort 1
Purpose Lab likes to shine a light on people and organizations that inspire to travel consciously. If it is a mission in life, combining a way to make money with doing the right thing or using your talent: you will find inspiring people with unique stories all around the world and in your own country too, of course.

Bas van Oort

Bas van Oort is in the spotlight this time. This seasoned freelance travel journalist saw all corners of the world and last year, together with colleague Dirk Wijnand de Jong, decided to investigate how well they actually knew their own country. Expeditie Achtertuin shows that you don't have to travel all over the world to see something beautiful.

Interview with Purpose Lab

Purpose Lab interviewed Bas about travel, getting to know your own country as a world traveler and his book Expeditie Achtertuin about holidays in The Netherlands.

Bas van Oort 3

What drives you in the creation of Expeditie Achtertuin?

As travel journalists, my colleague Dirk Wijnand de Jong and I have seen a lot of the rest of the world in recent years. It was normal for our work to be abroad for months a year. More than a year ago we asked ourselves: how well do we really know our own country? That is why we decided to focus on the Netherlands, with a simple mission: to show that you don't have to travel all over the world to see something beautiful. Don't spend an hour in an airplane looking for beauty and adventure, because you will find it just around the corner.

What is your most precious travel memory and why?

The biggest gain for me is that I have been outside much more often in the past year. That goes without saying when traveling, but if you are at home, it is lurking that you can easily be distracted by an evening of Netflix, or at least stay indoors. By also approaching the Netherlands as a world traveler, my view was much more outward, even when I was at home. Wake up and see that the weather is nice? Go outside. Take a bike tour through the city or surroundings. Or by car a little further. The same goes for the long spring and summer evenings. After dinner a nice walk on the moor or in the forest.

How do you see the ecological, economical and/or sociological impact of traveling?

Our primary motive from the beginning in creating this book was creating awareness. Not taking the plane out of convenience, but looking closer. Sustainability and climate played an important role in this. We can now say that with this book we have been overtaken by current events. This summer everyone will be forced to think carefully about his or her travel behavior. In addition, we do not want to say that you should stay at home, but mainly show that it is really not a punishment.

Bas van Oort 2

What is the highlight of your career in responsible tourism so far?

Responsible travel can be done in many different ways. A few years ago I made a bike ride from coast to coast through America. Two and a half months on the bike, out all day, and my travel companion and I slept a lot in people's homes, including strangers. That's an example from far away, but showing that you can also experience the happiness of travel without crossing your country's borders is even more valuable at the moment. You can always travel, even when you are at home.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

I will stay in the Netherlands in the summer of 2020, especially given the circumstances in which we are all now due to corona. In the fall of 2020 my next book, IJsvogels (Kingfishers), will be published about Dutch ice skaters who have to find their winter happiness abroad. That also has a link with travel and awareness.

And last, but not least, what personal advice on a conscious life would you like to share?

Do not wait anxiously this summer until other countries open their borders again to welcome tourists, but stay nice in the Netherlands. There is more than enough beauty to see and discover and so you are not dependent on unpredictable developments.

More info?

Would you like to follow Bas and Dirk Wijnand in their mission? Follow their Instagram channel. Purpose Lab received and read Expeditie Achtertuin. Read more about it in this (Dutch) blog.