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Explore Washington DC

Happy Holiday Season 2018 everyone!! Today we go to the East Coast of the United States, to meet Helene Toye who not only is a tour guide in Washington DC, but also an author and a member of Via Americana: a unique tour guide alliance consisting of six European women who fell in love with their new hometowns in the United States.

What is your current job/role in the tourism industry:

10 years ago I followed my husband to Washington D.C.  Leaving behind my job – and by extension a large part of my identity – I needed to reinvent myself. I started writing and related my family’s transgressions against established American customs in a book (‘Go West; A Belgian Attempts American Motherhood’). Simultaneously, I plunged into the cultural, historical and architectural treasures of the American Capital. Soon I found myself proudly showing my newly adopted city to family, friends and friends-of-friends. That’s how DC with ME ( was born. I am now a tour guide for Washington DC (private biking, walking or bus tours) and I enjoy every minute of it!

Your own favorite vacation destination:

Any quiet and warm haven in a culturally rich city. Last year we traveled to Merida in Mexico, where we stayed in a 200-year old house in the city center. All rooms opened up to a center courtyard containing a pool. As soon as we walked out the front door, the hustling city life greeted us for our daily urban explorations. At night, we reminisced about our day along the pool, with a nice drink and a book. Pure heaven!

What is the motto you live by:

'Be kind' has always been my motto. Your kindness will make the world a better place. 

With my transatlantic move, I also learned to adopt the motto: 'The world is your oyster'. If you are open for opportunities, opportunities will come your way, wherever you are.

What do you miss most about Belgium:

Grey North Sea shrimp ;) Apart from that, hardly anything. We can buy most Belgian products here and Skype keeps me in touch with my family. During my yearly trips to Belgium I thoroughly enjoy wining and dining with long-time friends and family, but I am equally happy to return to my American home.

If you want to know more about Helene and her tour guide company or about Via Americana, please contact Daily Travel Dose at

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