International Tour Management Institute (ITMI)

The Premier Training Institute for Tour & Travel Professionals Since 1976

5 Signs It's Time to Switch Careers and Become a Tour Guide

ITMIComment

If you find yourself constantly daydreaming at work about faraway lands and fascinating cultures, you might need more than a vacation. It could be time to pursue your travel dreams as a tour director or tour guide. 

Tour guides and tour directors enjoy exciting, fulfilling, and lucrative careers. They meet new people every day and get to experience the beauty and variety that make life worth living.

Here are five signs it's time to say goodbye to your desk and hello to a world of limitless possibilities as a tour director or tour guide.

You suspect your office chair means you harm: If your back could talk, it would kindly ask you to destroy the torture device you subject it to day after day. It's no secret that prolonged periods of sitting are bad for your health, and the ripple effect is huge. Body pains often equal foul moods. It's time for you to stretch. 

Your manager is a lurker: She just bought new, quieter shoes. She claims they're orthopedic. You call them her "Facebook-busting flats" - the ideal footwear for catching employees scanning their news feeds. You don't waste (much) time at work, but try telling your supervisor that. Stop worrying about who is looking over your shoulder and start being your own boss on the road.

You're not a fan of company potlucks: You never were the Betty Crocker type, and eating crock pot chicken prepared by people you don't know very well always makes you a bit squeamish. As a tour guide or tour director, you will enjoy five-star restaurant fare and sumptuous buffets. If you don't trust a dish, you can avoid it without offending Pam in accounting.

You don't love small talk: It's not that you don't love people. You do. You really do. You just tire of the same old 8-day weather forecasts and sports analyses, and you don't exactly feel comfortable offering dating advice to your neighbor even when he begs for it. When you travel to exotic locales with fellow adventurers, your conversations will tend to be about topics you care about.

Your view leaves a lot to be desired: Perhaps you're stuck in a gray cubicle with a name plate, a fake plant, and a few family photos to remind you that your job doesn't define you. Or you might be fortunate enough to have a stunning cityscape view from your high-rise corner office. Either way, you can't escape that feeling that there is so much beyond your nook that is begging to be explored. As a tour guide or tour director, you will get a major office upgrade. This prime piece of real estate is otherwise known as the entire world. Feel free to kick your feet up.