I’m about to write about me working as a freelance tour guide, what I like about the guiding and the challenges that every tour guide faces on everyday bases.
First I have to say it’s a job that I really like and love. It’s something that fulfills me and makes me happy. It’s been eight years already since I started guiding. Working in a travel agency as fulltime job at first, doing all the office staff plus guiding occasionally. It came out that I like more being on field with the tourists than in the office. Later I left that job and started working something completely different but again guiding every time that I had a chance to do it.
I love my country and I love to share everything that I know about it. Which is the first thing that you need to be a good tour guide. I studied tourism and hospitality and have a Master degree in Tourism Managment. Which comes handy when working as a tour guide. I’m saying this because it’s a fact that everyone can get a license to guide but not really everyone becomes a tour guide, that’s the difficult part, to gain experience and learn everything you need to know about the places you are guiding. Experience helps you to learn how to work with people and literally how to guide them, and animate them at the same time.
I was really lucky when I started guiding to have the best colleagues to work with. A fair number of them became very good friends of mine, even my husband joined us after some time doing the same job. The cooperation that we have is to be the envy of, and it’s one of the reasons that I love this job even more.
And the best part of being freelance tour guide is the flexibility, being your own boss, and making decisions if you accept the offered work or not. A dream of every mom. No matter how busy the season is, there is always a way to find time for the family.
Many people think that being a tour guide is really nice and easy job. You just wander around with tourists, enjoying and relaxing, visiting nice places, eating in the best restaurants… It’s all true, except there is also another side of the story. Being a tour guide is a big responsibility, can be very stressful and exhausting. Thanks God is not so often but even accidents can happen sometimes, especially when working with elderly persons. When someone is giving the best of himself spends lots of energy. Sometimes you leave the group after finishing the sightseeing in another city, then you have to go home using a local bus, about 3-4 hours driving. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, I just want to get the real picture closer to you.
When I guide usually I don’t take photos, ok, maybe some selfie with the colleagues on the break, don’t judge me.
This time for the photo challenge I’m not posting photos made by me, but photos with me. I don’t know if that counts. Both photos are taken while I’m guiding groups of tourists, on the first one the group is not actually captured, but you can see it on the second one. Photos are taken by a local photographer that makes photos of the tourists and sells them at the end of the tour. And of course, the tour guide gets a free photography.
The first one is taken somewhere in September previous year. It was the busiest period of the whole season, it was not even possible to find a free tour guide. If I remember well when this photo was taken I was guiding a Malaysian group.
The second photo, as you can see by the date on it, is taken on the last day of the year. This was the warmest December that I recall. No snow for the New Year. Anyways, it was beautiful to be in Ohrid even at this time of the year, the city was crowded with tourists from the other countries of the Balkans.
I’m sure I have more digital photographs somewhere on the hard disc, to be honest, i fill lazy to search at the moment, maybe in the next days.
As a conclusion, I can only say that I like being a tour guide. There is more than one reason why I like it, more good than bad sides of this job. I find it as the best way to pass all my knowledge and love that I cherish for my country. And earn some extra cash along the way. I hope after this post you got to understand the profession of a tour guide better.
I have a feeling that there is so much more to tell. My college tour guide and blogger from Croatia Dejan Rilak has explained more in his post Full-time Tour Guide asking Travel bloggers- am I “dead” to you?
Greetings to all my colleagues all over the world. Thank you for reading.