Unfortunately, I am not one of those extraordinarily lucky people who call themselves professional travel bloggers who get paid to travel the world. But I reckon my job is pretty much second best. I also get paid to travel, only I have to share my experiences with groups of inquisitive tourists. I am a tour guide. During the South African high season (October-March), I travel for about two weeks of each month. I keep guiding as a part-time occupation so that I still find each tour exciting. I also have the privilege to chose which tours to take, and I mix them up to keep things interesting. Safari and nature on one trip, food and wine on another; and long overlands mixed with being based on one place for most of the tour.
A lot of people say that they wouldn’t be able to cope with the main ingredient in this type of travel; the tourists. Sure, you have to be everything from babysitter to weather forecaster and anything in-between, and occasionally people and places drive you mad (I’m planning a posts about this soon). But I’ve actually always liked the service industry, and I’ve worked in hotels, restaurants and event management most of my career. There is no greater satisfaction than when guests tells me that they have had one of the best trips of their lives at the end of the tour!
Sharing this weird and wonderful country I’ve called home for the past ten years with fellow Swedes is such a pleasure. It also keeps me on my toes, and there is always something new to learn about history, nature, culture or current affairs. It is also refreshing to see South Africa through the eyes of first-time visitors; it reminds me of how much this place has changed me (mostly for the better, but I must admit to have picked up one of two bad habits along the way as well). I get to see so many places, and experience many things that most people only get to do once in a lifetime. Oh, and I get to photograph while I’m working; probably the best perk of them all! I have a couple of blogs planned to give you an insight into the life of a tour guide, but for now have a look at some of the awesome things I’ve done while “at the office”!