Real-time travel assistance
For the past year, I’ve spent an average of 6–8 hours a day offering real-time travel assistance voluntarily. What does that mean you may ask? Well from spending a great deal of time overseas and living in exotic locations, I have a lot of great advice to give fellow travelers. However there’s a twist. Since I can only be in one place at one time I do it in real-time. I use travel pages on Facebook as a platform for example. Every day there are 100’s of travel related questions mainly from backpackers but not limited to others who want information to help plan for their journey or they are in a situation that requires immediate attention and solutions. It’s important to put a great sense of urgency to whatever that may be. It’s almost expected. Demanded if you will.
At times the work can be thankless and if the individual doesn’t get the answers they are particularly looking for they can get quite defensive at times and hostile. For some reason today, there just seems to be a sense of entitlement when it comes to travel. I am still trying to put my finger on it as to why this may be? Would you believe me if I told you that I don’t even expect a thank you from an individual when I reach out to their unique travel needs?
So why do I help fellow travelers who are on the journey of a lifetime while I am sitting back in the comfort of my own home or abroad? Simple. I can literally visualize and relate to what they may be going through or where they may be and I know at times it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
My approach varies from time to time. Sometimes I use the opportunity to educate myself with whatever their question may be. Sometimes I try to educate the individual and guide them in the right direction to find a solution. An easy cop out is to say: “Google it!” This generally doesn’t go over so well so I have to be creative with my approach. I treat it like I work for them. Like a consultant or an agent but it’s beyond that. There are holistic aspects to my approach as well.
Often times I am mistaken for a travel agent. People will ask me if I work for a company. I reassure them I am not an agent. It’s my passion to assist! I treat it like it’s my own business. It’s literally a playground to allow me to do what I love most. Helping people while traveling in real life situations. It allows me to practice my skills in a field that I am creatively trying to break ground in and potentially earn an honest living in. The value to me is priceless.
The motivation behind my practice is to be able to live anywhere I wish and offer the real-time assistance in person using my unique travel system. There are still a lot of bugs to work out but at least I have a place I can go, share best practices, and hone in on researching skills. That is also part of the education I try to convey to the individuals asking the questions. If they only knew they could Google the particular question at hand or do the research instead of on the fly, they would have their answers very quickly. they would also save a lot more money. In this day in age however, people want reassurance and feedback from other people’s experiences that will help shape their opinions as well as their decisions.
Often times with the real-time travel assistance I present, they will take my suggestions. As far as I know. Therefore it’s important to follow up. I really go above and beyond to ensure their needs are met. The dynamics can be interesting as well. A Canadian man speaking to a German woman who is in Thailand, looking for a Vietnam Visa while enjoying her western breakfast. Well back to the travel pages! Someone in the UK needs to know the best way to use foreign currency in Cambodia!
Stay Swift- Cory Wilke