My New Job

Something occurred to me while touring Turkey and Greece with my Mom and Aunt.




I think I might have found a day job I could actually like. Something that would have me viewing this whole travel lifestyle in a new way (and I’ve been needing that a bit lately).

Not that there is anything really wrong with the job I currently have – I can earn some money while exploring new countries and cultures. And when I’m documenting those travels for you and working on other ways to earn income, I can do so at my leisure, and in my stretchy, coffee-stained pants that I wouldn’t dare wear in public. (Actually, most of the time I’m in my PJs – after spending a good chunk of time trying to blog while living out of hotels, I find that I get my best writing done in the mornings while still in bed.)

Okay, so maybe you didn’t need to know that last part, but it is true.

But it can be a tough slug, as fulfilling as it may be in other ways. I spend more time behind the computer than out exploring, and some days you can see the faint line of space bar imprint on my forehead from the repeated banging of my head on the keyboard.

This new job would take me out exploring more. It would require (at least some) clean clothes and probably longer days. I could still be my own boss, but it would liekly be most enjoyable to just do the fun part and forget the behind the scenes work.


I think I wanna be a tour guide.


Showing my Mom and Aunt around was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It renewed a childlike sense of wonder in me about travel – watching them light up at things that have long since become routine to me.

The first time they heard the haunting call to prayer echoing over the neighborhood of Sultanahmet, their jaws dropped and eyes widened. I spent the entire duration of the call staring intently at their faces, enjoying their reactions more than anything else.

The call to prayer is something I’ve heard several times a day for the past few months. And even though I still find it beautiful and comforting, after living here for a total of six months in the past two years, it has mostly become just a part of the background.

ChestnutsAnd roasted chestnuts? I tried them for the first time a couple of years ago somewhere in Europe. I didn’t like them at all, and the experience was entirely forgettable. But to listen to my Mom and Aunt haggle with the vendor for the price to try just one, and to watch keenly for their reaction upon that first bite was something I will always remember.

To be able to pay witness to those witnessing, hearing and tasting new wonders for the first time – what an addicting thrill! Even though we retraced a lot of steps and I took them to places that I’d been to before, it was like I had new eyes, and was seeing everything again for the first time.


I wanna do that again.


* There would, of course, be some caveats to this new job of mine:

– I’d only do it if I could take my tour-ees to just the places I want to go to.

– The participants must use the words ooh and aah a lot, and exactly when I expect them to.

– They would have to buy me little treats along the way like my Mom did. Ice cream, bracelets, and the like.


 Any takers?


27 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • May 17 2013

    Sounds wonderful! I would love this job too. Unfortunately, I think “tour guides” have slightly different days than you did with your fam. :sigh:

    • May 19 2013

      Yeah, I know. Hence my “caveats”. I should probably expand that list. 🙂

  • May 17 2013

    I’d hire you! I just need to make sure I go to where you and Pete are!

    • May 19 2013

      Done! Get on over here Jeff! 🙂

  • As a dive instructor, I sort of feel like a tour guide – I take people around dive sites they’ve never seen before and show them marine life (sometimes for the first time)….I love seeing their faces light up 🙂 I would totally hire you and I’d definitely buy you ice cream!
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Roatan Month 9 Roundup

    • May 19 2013

      Ooh, maybe we could trade services!! (You’d have to teach me how to dive.) 🙂

  • May 18 2013

    Hahaha. We should go into business together. I would also have similar caveats. 😉

    In all seriousness, though, I think being a tour guide for a bit would be really fun!
    Amanda recently posted..Going on a Safari – In Pittsburgh

    • May 19 2013

      I think it would be too. Probably very exhausting, but really fun!

  • May 18 2013

    Well hey girl – now you’re talkin’ my language! Leastwise my (tour guide) language in my past life for no less than 20+ years!

    And yes, yes, I sometimes wonder why more “digital nomads” wouldn’t be better off lifting their foreheads off the keyboard (and twittering their brains out), and simply opt instead for starting their own little tour company.

    Then again, as you wisely deduced – even leading folks on idyllic trails around a country you love (for me it was Belize and Costa Rica) uh… has it’s downside.

    I was lucky, I generally had veteran travelers (there was no internet nor even a Belize guidebook when I first offered small group trips there) who happily kept their whining to a minimum and sucked up the cold water outdoor showers in the Belize jungle (and yes, sometimes they even bought me little treats). 😉

    BUT, it’s LOTS different when folks are paying you hard cold cash, and it can jolly-well get a bit tiresome having to be ever cheerfully “on” verily 24/7.

    Still… it was a mighty sweet life, with lots of side perks (fams to China, the Azores, et al). And it most certainly beat working in a HRM cubicle for 20 years. 😉

    • May 19 2013

      Yeah, I knew you would have a big BUT in there somewhere. 🙂

      I am envious of the bloggers who have started up their own tours, maybe in a few years we could do something similar, even just a couple of times a year. Only if they were as good of “clients” as my Mom was!! Think I could interview them first? 😉

  • May 18 2013

    Do it! You’d make a great guide AND you’d fill the niche… there are those of us who stay away from tours because there aren’t guides with a sense of humor like yours.

    Where do I sign up?
    Maria recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Solitude

    • May 19 2013

      Haha – thanks Maria! I’ll let you know! 🙂

  • Charli l Wanderlusters
    May 19 2013

    I’ve no doubt you’d be a fab guide! You’ve so much passion and armed with some quirky facts to share with your crew I think you’d be a big hit!

    So often we steer clear of organized tours because they are so tedious! I think Hecktic Tours sound awesome!!!

    • May 19 2013

      We often steer clear of tours for the same reason, although they do have their time and place, and I have been on some very enjoyable ones! Thanks for the vote of confidence, it will be something we consider in the next couple of years… 🙂

  • May 19 2013

    If I ever drop by your neck of the woods, I will surely go out with you to see your beautiful part of the world! And we would have treats together everyday, ice cream and all 🙂
    Arti recently posted..The Joys of a Local Train Ride: Kozhikode to Kannur

  • May 19 2013

    I love playing the tour guide in Berlin for friends… AND I actually was hired to guide a tour in Berlin lately… and well, I prefer to PLAY the tour guide 😀 if a friend asks a question you can’t answer you still can google it, if you’re the official tour guide.. not so much 😀
    Yvonne recently posted..408 horse power under my butt – With the new E-Class to Sylt and back

    • May 21 2013

      That would be another caveat I suppose…googling for answers is totally allowed. 🙂

  • May 19 2013

    I think it’s great that your putting your love for travel, your knack for telling stories, and your passion for showing people the places you like into a job that makes money. Although, I personally don’t see anything wrong with sitting behind a computer (I do it a lot). I can also understand why you’d like to talk to “real-life” people, too from time to time.

  • May 21 2013

    I LOVE showing my family and friends around the places I’ve made into temporary homes! One of the best parts of travel… you nailed it 🙂
    Alex recently posted..This is the Philippines? A Mountain Retreat in Sagada

  • Laura @Travelocafe
    May 22 2013

    Good luck with your new job!

  • Beth
    May 22 2013

    I think you’d be a great tour guide… or at least I’d hire you!

    In all seriousness, I think being a tour guide would be a fun job to do (but probably only for a few years!)
    Beth recently posted..HSSL: Mystic Point at Hong Kong Disneyland

    • May 23 2013

      I am sure the novelty would wear off after awhile. But I’d still love to give it a try!

  • May 27 2013

    Playing tour guide is fun, especially we are working (acting?) as travel professionals! 🙂
    Juno recently posted..Runaway Photo: Penang, Malaysia

  • May 27 2013

    Yup, I also think it would be fun for a while or doing it occasionally during the year. In fact I’m about to try it out very soon….

    • May 28 2013

      Really? That’s great! Would love to hear all about it, to see if it is as fun as I think it would be. 🙂

      • May 29 2013

        Yup! I will be announcing the tour pretty soon, in fact hopefully this week, and will see how it goes 🙂 I hope to get the people I’d like to sign up!

  • June 28 2013

    I think the first time I wanted to be a tour guide was at Disneyland when I was about six! I do think many of us are tour guides of sorts – and probably don’t even know the people who’ve been inspired to see something new from someone’s blog.

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