My life is a gift, I love sharing it with my wife, whom is also a gift. I married my own personal tour guide. My life hasn’t stopped because I had a heart attack; it has become that much more precious. We are planning European adventures in the near future (these adventures may include some menu items not in the regular diet plan-moderation). This incident won’t make me a couch potato; instead it will make me embrace life, travel, and joy.
As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of ITMI. The people are wonderful, and their training is top notch. However, I never expected to say that I owe them my life. There are a lot of heroes out there. If you are already running tours, or if you’re thinking about taking up that mantle, I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities and advice provided by the folks at ITMI. A life could depend on it. Mine did.
One could forgive Thor for not engaging a tour guide in Asgard, it is, after all, his home town. Still, having lived in both New York City and in San Francisco I can attest to the fact that taking a tour in one’s city can be a blast. New restaurants, unseen museums, lovely possibilities. In San Francisco we have the Golden Gate Bridge, in Asgard they have the Bifrost, two beautiful bridges worth seeing (if one of them hadn’t already been destroyed by a fire demon).
Imagine if you will; you and your significant other seated at a Formica table in a large and well-lit room, the rumble of muted conversations surrounding you as you sip a weak mimosa and poke halfheartedly at a stale bran muffin. You glance at your watch as you ponder the question….”so how much money do you think you’ll spend on vacations in the next ten years?” Is that $50 Shell gasoline gift card really worth sitting through yet another time share presentation? Did I mention that my wife plans and runs tours for a living? Do you get the impression that we have been to a few of these presentations? How, you may ask, are these two disparate pieces of information related?
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.
It all started innocently enough, about a year ago, over pizza. My wife and I had been invited to go on vacation, to Walt Disney World and on a cruise, with two friends….another tour guide and his wife, a meeting planner. For the purposes of this article I’ll call them Jim and Jane, because those are their names.
Just being in the same place at the same time is the best thing of all. As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. When we are home at the same time, even doing nothing, we are doing it together. Be it conversations over coffee, a book or a bottle of wine, or holding her hand in sweet silence, life is good.
A hurricane hit Cabo and it wasn't my fault. I’ve been known to throw an unintentional monkey wrench into our plans (more on that later), but this vacation was smooth sailing. Like most of our trips this one was planned to the last detail by my dedicated tour guide and wife.
Why is it that some of us over pack, while the experienced tour guide/director packs just right? I am learning that it comes down to two things (not including the magic wand): 1) planning, 2) prioritizing.
I will admit that I used to fear traveling because I preferred the comfort of the familiar. I could easily have made the same mistakes and inadvertently embarked on the path to uglydom. My saving grace was a savvy, adventurous and joyous traveling partner. The lessons I learned from her cannot be understated.
Ok, so we’re going to a land far far away. There are questions to be answered, reservations to be made, finances to be sorted and tickets to be purchased. There will be lists to be written, things to be purchased, bags to be packed. Of course, my eyes are bugging out, I’m sweating and trembling-its vacation time and I’m out of my element
While she is on tour I may read a new book, or try cooking a new dish (if it’s successful I’ll make it for her, if it’s not I’ll munch on a Tums and conveniently forget to mention it). If I’m happy and active while she is away, even as I miss her (and I miss her every moment she is gone), I’ll be that much better company when she is at home.
Though I have only recently learned the love of travel, as the spouse of an explorer, I have two choices: 1) Support and encourage her wanderlust, or 2) don’t. When it comes to our lives together, I have found that it is much more rewarding to support her wanderlust than to miss the bus.
My wife is a tour director and travels all over the world and she loves her job...my problem is that I love her cooking...now what do I eat?
How marrying a world-traveling tour guide got me to embrace the journey and seek out the unexpected