International Tour Management Institute (ITMI)

The Premier Training Institute for Tour & Travel Professionals Since 1976

So I Married a Tour Guide….and I’m listening to Bill Withers

So I Married a Tour GuideDean Jackson2 Comments

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone

It's not warm when she's away

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone

And she's always gone too long

Anytime she goes away

And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know……….

I know, I know…It’s melodramatic; but things are just a bit more monochromatic anytime she goes away. But things can change. Life can turn a person around and set them on a very unexpected path, and help them to find their niche. It’s happened before, and it’s happening again now.

My wife, Kyra, started out as an over the road guide, traveling from NYC to Canada or New Orleans, and back again over the course of a week, just to turn around the next day and do it again. She was in charge of everything from the commentary and culinary to luggage inventory and lodging. She excelled at the job and loved the niche she had found.

Enter the life turnaround; it came in the form of…me. She apparently looked beyond the old t-shirts and jeans I was inclined to wear and saw someone worthy of her attention. As a new couple, in the days before a simple text message, while she was on the road we would schedule specific times for an AOL chat (I was dating her at the time and this reference dates me now). As time went on Kyra came off the road, which enabled us to spend more time together, and enabled her to change my wardrobe.  

The next life turn around came when we embarked on another path which included marriage and relocation from the East Coast to the West, in proximity to both sets of parents, and a shifting set of responsibilities which eventually lead to a new niche. Once in California Kyra, in an apparent effort to continue improving my wardrobe, detoured into a more predictable schedule in the corporate world, so that I could advance my career and wear more ties.

When the time came for her to once again take up the touring mantle life threw another curve. One of her parents became ill. Kyra’s need to spend more time with her parents during that period of time made over the road tours impractical. Kyra was introduced to the world of local San Francisco and Bay Area tours. As she threw herself into the study of the City by the Bay, its history and its attractions, she quickly became versed in elite tours, hop on/hop off tours, step on guiding, walking tours, food tours and specialty tours in and around San Francisco. Out of adversity came a new niche.

Recently, yet turnaround happened, in the form of a promotion. While still running tours, and making herself available for other opportunities, she now trains and supervises all of the guides at her company, educating them and teaching them how to educate themselves on the many facets of tour guiding. Her experience in the corporate world has enabled her to develop a training program, and to assist in drafting various documents and manuals, all the while treating her company’s out of town guests to memorable Bay Area experiences. As a plus, there’s more sunshine!

Life can be full of unexpected twists and turns. Events, both positive and negative, can lead to unplanned destinations, new possibilities, and just maybe the discovery of that perfect niche.

So I married a tour guide….and she’s my hero.