Admit it. The thought of being and adventure travel guide sounds like fun! You get to meet new people all the time, go on hikes, mountain bike rides, or other exciting activities, all the while showing off some exotic, and often visually stunning, locale. Better yet, you get paid for to do it! Seems perfect right? Well, guess again.
The REI Blog has a good little article up on what it’s like to be an adventure travel guide, which takes a nice, behind the scenes look at all of the things guides have to do to ensure that our trips go off without a hitch. It involves a ton of planning and work long before you ever step foot on the trail, and often it is a difficult and thankless job. The article also includes a brief interview with one of REI’s guides from their REI Adventures travel service. He talks about how he got into guiding, what made him want to do it, and how he stays enthused about his job. Quite an interesting read.
While I read through the post I kept thinking about our guide on my recent Everest Base Camp trek. One night while we were sharing a conversation in a teahouse, he intimated a few things about the job that let a few of us know that it was not all fun and games. He said that while he loved the trekking and the scenery in the Khumbu Region, he had to balance a lot of things to make a trip a success. Somehow he had to find a way to keep the customers happy as well as the owners of the restaurants and teahouses that we stopped in satisfied as well. All the while working closely with the assistant guides and porters to ensure that they are content too. He shared a few horror stories about customers who were never going to be happy no matter what the circumstances, and mentioned how he had to be, at varying times, a guide, entertainer, accountant, mediator, nurse, coach, and more. It seemed like a very challenging juggling act, but despite all of that, he loved his job and was very good at it too.
I’m not sure I have the patience to play the role, but it sure is nice to dream about it. 🙂
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