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From West Linn to the wide, wide world

Adam Beecham now explores Europe as a photographer, travel guide

by: SUBMITTED PHOTOS: ADAM BEECHAM. - When Adam Beecham comes back to the United States, he wants to live in West Linn. But now he is living a life he loves as a travel guide, photographer and athlete in Europe

It is going to take a lot to pull Adam Beecham away from Europe.

But if he does come back to the USA, he wants to live in West Linn.

“It’s the area we’re targeting if we finally do move back to America,” Beecham said.

The 36-year-old Beecham has his American mailing address in West Linn, and he said, “When I’m back in the states I always seem to gravitate to the West Linn area.”

He certainly has a lot of ties that bind in West Linn and the surrounding area. His girlfriend, Alice Gibson, attended Pacific University in Forest Grove for four years. Plus, his brother, David, lives in West Linn with his family, wife Stacie and children Rochne and Britta.

Beecham has had many happy activities with a West Linn tinge, such as chaperoning field trips for Mrs. Riley’s elementary school class, AAU basketball weekends with West Linn families, going on family kayak trips on the Willamette River and having fun at the Old Time Fair.

But you cannot blame Beecham for going cosmopolitan. He has found a wonderful life in Europe, full of scenic beauty, culture and international athletic competition. It all started because of romance.

Brussels at night has been beautifully captured by Adam Beecham. He can take tourists not just to big cities but to wondrous places they would have never thought of going.

“I owe my stint of living in Europe to the love of my life, Alice,” Beecham said. “After returning home from one of my many expeditions abroad I had the pleasure of reconnecting with Alice, whom I’d known only briefly in high school.

“It turned out we were both passionate about the same things, so I ended up stealing her away from her career to come manage a coastal resort for a year.”

Alice was such a great employee that her old company, Tnt Fashions, offered her a job as international liaison in the Netherlands and Beecham followed. They have now been there three years, and Beecham has definitely found a niche he loves as a vacation guide and photographer with Austin Adventures. He has a specialty of showing North American visitors places they would not normally visit on their own. Being a hardy soul, he does all of his constant traveling by bicycle, kayak and on foot. He is also scouting out new destinations in Austria, Lithuania and The Hague.

“All the while I’m getting to meet fascinating guests that share my sense of adventure,” Beecham said.

Beecham is a lucky guy who is great at what he does. Growing up he became acquainted with many different environments, which was greatly facilitated by playing sports and meeting up with other outdoorsmen. In China he studied ping-pong, got lost while riding mountain bikes and taught basketball. In Mexico he joined a soccer team, learned fishing techniques from fishermen and sponsored a baseball team.

The reason Beecham doesn’t get homesick, though, is that so many friends and family members come to visit him in the Netherlands.

“For me it makes living abroad for an extended time worth it,” Beecham said. “Even though we don’t get to see each other often, our time is really quality time.”

Some day Beecham plans to write a book about all of his adventures. Like the time he was in China and pretended to be Russian because he wanted to sneak into the back entrance of a Russian circus that was sold out. He nearly got cold feet when he saw guards armed with machine guns at the door.

“I almost chickened out,” Beecham said. “But seeing my Chinese military beret I was wearing at the time, a soldier put up his hand, not to stop me from entering but to salute me.”

He added, “My love of being active and learning about cultures is an important part of who I am. I feel quite lucky to be able to combine these passions into a career I thoroughly enjoy.”

Even a man who has almost everything has ambitions for the future. He hopes to develop an organization that specializes in having students take a semester overseas to play sports, so other young athletes can have the same rich experiences he has had.

“I learned a lot about myself and about sport from playing in international competitions,” Beecham said.

He would also like to get together a photo exhibit for when he comes back to the USA.

Beecham’s photography website is not yet ready, but he keeps a blog on his many travels at abreathoffreshtravels.blogspot.nl. To find out more about Adam Beecham, visit austinadventures.com.

There is nothing like a good oompah band to get the blood circulating. Here, Beecham shows an Austrian oompah band in full swing on a sunny day.

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