Jeremy Bangs is a leading expert on the lives of the Pilgrims who lived in Leiden in the early 17th century, before going on to found the Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts. Originally from Oregon, Jeremy has lived in Leiden for more than 30 years. He served as curator of the Leiden Pilgrim Documents Center of the Leiden Municipal Archives and chief curator of Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts before founding the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum in 1997. The museum is located in the oldest house in Leiden, which dates from the mid-14th century. Jeremy, 72, lives in Leiden with his wife.


Many people who start boxing prefer the training to actually fighting. When Luc Zirkzeefigured that out, he started LuckyGym, a place where boxers of all skill levels can learn the sport and train with a private instructor or a group. A boxer who simply want to train never needs to spar if he or she doesn’t want this, and the LuckyGym motto is “boxing without losing brain cells.” Luc, 48, lives in Leiden with his wife and five sons.


Colin van Gestel-Messiaen has been a jazz lover all his life. When De Twee Spieghels Jazz & Wijncafe came up for sale eight years ago, he jumped at the opportunity. De Twee Spieghels is now Leiden’s premier jazz venue, hosting more than 220 live gigs annually. Together with his husband, Colin also organizes De Leidse Jazzweek, held at multiple locations in central Leiden each January. Colin, 42, lives in Leiden, within an easy walking distance of De Twee Spieghels.


Rianne Paardekooper has loved animals all her life. It’s not surprising, then, that she decided to become a veterinarian. Rianne currently works in the Rotterdam location of a company called Basic Vets. Now 31, Rianne lives with her husband in Leiden.