“Practice makes perfect.. but nobody is perfect.. so why practice?” — Ai-Ai delas Alas, Ang Tanging Ina
I just got back from a 3-day tour, my first major tour since becoming an accredited tour guide of Region 10 last year. It was interesting because I didn’t know I’d be a part of the activity until just a week before the arrival date. The other three guides had already known for a little under a month.
Our itinerary was to escort the guests (170 HRM students and faculty from the University of the Assumption in Pampanga) from the airport to their hotel for lunch, then to the riverside where they could jump into rafts for white water rafting, then dinner and back to the hotel. Days 2 and 3 were to be a tour of Camiguin Island before they returned to Luzon.
This was my first time to guide that many guests at one time. Of course, the group was divided into four buses, each supplied with a guide. However, keeping track of all of them was a major group effort. Then again, that was the hard part. The easy part, for me, was talking to them and telling them all about Camiguin, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon and the rest of Region 10 while the bus/van rolled along towards the next destination. I wasn’t even confused about saying “look to your right” even if it was actually my left.
I guess it has something to do with my 6 years experience working as a tour guide-slash-escort-slash-coordinator for much, much smaller groups of families and tourists. Not to mention the fact that my first tour back then was for a family spending a few days in Camiguin.
After we delivered everyone safely to the airport (with a few minor incidents — one student had dropped her wallet somewhere) we were dead on our feet, literally. But one comment on FB from a fellow guide caught my attention last night. She said something like: one more tour like that with a co-tour guide and she’ll be able to wing it by herself.
I thought to myself, Is that the way it goes? When I started, I was by myself, with only my husband (the driver) to lean on if I ran out of things to say. For 6 years, that’s the way we operated and that’s how I learned. I don’t have a fixed spiel.. heck I don’t even have a fixed tour. But one thing I learned along the way is that as long as I have all the correct information in my head, then I can go on tour anywhere and still make an impression.
Wait! Did I say I was perfect? Of course not. But as long as I practice my newly chosen career (tour guiding), then one day, I’ll be perfect, too.
(Sorry, no pictures. The owner of the travel agency borrowed my camera for the duration of the trip, claiming theirs could not take videos. Oh well, that’s another story.)