Being a tour leader
Being a tour leader is something really fun. It involves a lot of beautiful, memorable experiences and emotions. Besides all of the positive things, there are a lot of obstacles and issues to deal with on your way.
While being a tour leader of some tours in România, last summer, I’ve learned a lot of things which will be needed through all of my life. I developed my leadership skills and also the ability to manage because being a tour leader is a lot about managing. You have to take care of people, first of all, you need them all safe and present till the end. You have to make sure that everything is in time and you follow the plan and the program. Sometimes you need to know also the routes for the drivers so you stay on track and don’t arrive in the middle of anywhere. I had to be able to communicate with different kinds of people, so they remain satisfied and follow me in order to succeed a certain trip. The patience is one of the most important qualities which I needed through my trips. You deal with different styles of people, with different ages, so all of them are different and all of them must be satisfied after the journey.
While I was a tour leader I’ve experienced also a lot of funny moments. For example: in my only first tour we were at the border of Moldova with România with the bus, and the customs officer came inside to check the passports and there was this lady who had a passport which was expiring in an hour. Well, a lot of panics started and I tried to calm the spirits down and explain that it is her fault so we can’t do anything about it. In the end, the poor lady had to go back to her city from the border with a car which we stopped and asked help :D. Cases with the passport continued after as well. In the last day of a trip, we were on the bus, leaving the yard of the hostel we stayed in when suddenly a guy from the hostel ran in front of the bus and stopped it, with an upset but at the same time with an amused face. We opened the door and what do you think he wanted to say? He had a passport in his hand. Apparently, an old man forgot it under his pillow. I was pissed off but at least I was happy that they cleaned the rooms immediately and they found it before we left and arrived at the border with a passenger without any documents. I can’t imagine what could happen in that case. But the most common problems which I had, was the loss of people through the cities. We had mostly elderly people, without a phone number. It was a challenge to keep an eye on all of the 60 people at once. Sometimes we gave them free time, for example, an hour and we arrived after 2 hours searching them in the city center of the cities.
Once we had in our program, a visit to a Royal Palace, called Peleș. Unfortunately, The Queen Maria deceased and the palace was in a period of mourning, so it was closed for visitors and we replaced the visit with something else. A lot of people were frustrated because they were in the neighborhood maybe for the last and only time in their life and they are not able to see one of the most beautiful places in România. One of the participants was unique in that. He wanted to start walking during the night to see the palace, without telling anyone about his plan. But it wasn’t so close, though, it was in about 50 km. In the end, we catch him trying to find an exit from the yard of the place we stayed for the night. We were lucky that there was a big fence, otherwise, we could search for him the whole next day, and who knows what could happen on his adventurous trip. Next day we could organize and see it from outside at least.
These are just a few cases which appeared during the tours. Surprisingly, I am happy that I could experience such kind of things. It allowed me to learn a lot and develop different skills of mine. Experience is the mother of wisdom.