Out of Work Tourist Guide ?

Look familiar ? There’s probably more chance of earning income as an out of work Tourist Guide under present circumstances as there is of a Covid 19 vaccine being found tomorrow. No doubt there are many Tourist Guides around South Africa, and indeed the Globe, all doing their own individual impressions of those three at the moment.

The pooch on the left intended chasing next door’s cat, but thought, “what the heck. I’ll do it another day”. I’m happy to say that I don’t resemble either him or any of the above three. Not even close. In fact, I might be one of those weird people who have actually been motivated by strict lockdown regulations, in tandem with being an out of work Tourist Guide. It’s provided me with a welcome release from my own life long form of mental lockdown – procrastination !

Having elevated procrastination to an art form, and beyond, this lockdown has been the catalyst to unleash the latent writer lurking just below the surface. Similar to the ever-present danger of a live volcano, the eruption of words has been like white-hot molten lava spewing forth from my now overworked qwerty keyboard.

The urge to write a book detailing my own Tourist Guide experiences spurred on by family members and a handful of friends is now well on the way to completion. Over 31000 words to date, and still counting 😜Hitting the bestseller lists it most certainly won’t. The cathartic release of writing it all down is enough, and if it’s only a select few that actually manage to plough through it all, then that’s OK.

Working painstakingly on this blog up and running has also been time-consuming. Getting to grips with the software to make it all work being the major part of the early learning curve. The writing comes relatively naturally, with the creativity genes it releases being most enjoyable spin-offs.

Why is all this suddenly spewing forth from my qwerty board ? Because I get frustrated by hearing so many people banging on about how they have exhausted all the “normal” avenues of filling in time. Staring into that bucket which is perpetually half empty only reinforces the spiral of boredom, and a general feeling of doom that the now unpredictable future holds.

If the best these negative thinkers can come up with, is getting round to the job jar that’s been sitting on an obscure window sill for years, or worse, embarking on a decluttering exercise with the precision of a military operation, then I truly despair. Retreating into the “hat of darkness” won’t help one little bit

Those are some of the components that make for a comfortable, normal home, so leave them to their own personal uniqueness. In the normal scheme of things they’ve always been there, and post lockdown won’t make the slightest bit of difference, with or without their continued prescence.

Rather find something practical and fun to do, whether it be purely for self-interest, or re-skilling in some way to increase income earning options. At present that definitely applies to Tourist Guides, and those self-employed, within the Tourism Industry in general.

Waiting for the bomb of personal and financial disaster to explode, if it hasn’t already, reveals as much foresight as jumping off the Bloukrans River Bridge without the Bungi rope attached !

The art of positive thinking was instilled in me at a very early age and regularly reinforced, by my dear old departed Mother. Her mantra in life was simple and straightforward – “everything happens for the best, but it won’t happen on its own”. This early direction, together with these wise words have been a guiding light in my own life, and have been reinforced more times than I care to remember.

One such example arose towards the latter days of my Corporate life, when at that unenviable level of middle management. Tasked with telling people they are about to be retrenched is traumatic enough for both parties, but the reality is ten times worse. When confronted regularly with the “poor me” syndrome accompanied by questions/comments such as, “What are you going do for me ?”, “But I can’t do anything else”, my responses became fine-tuned to, “What are you going to do for yourself ?”, and “Oh, but you can”

That might seem harsh when people are understandably at their most vulnerable, but discussion around those interchanges were at all times part of gentle advice, and above all, empathy. I was in exactly the same position, but with the advantage of a bit more time to work through the emotional stages of such news, and turn my mind to solutions. Oh, and with my Mother looking wisely over my shoulder.

I have kept in touch with a number of those ex-colleagues over the years. Their own personal journeys since the days that the “R” word came into our lives, is nothing short of the epitome of that “warm fuzzy feeling”. Whether self-employed or not, the general consensus has been that it happened for all the right reasons.

So, what’s the reason for this rather sombre Post ? It didn’t start out that way, it was actually intended to be the Post that follows, but sort of got sidetracked as a convenient precursor instead. The positive is, that it’s not a train smash to be an out of work Tourist Guide

Why ? Because what started as a slight tongue in cheek categorisation of Tourist Guide personality types, morphed into how I was handling the crash in income, albeit resulting from retirement.

The parallels from the Coronavirus situation now confronting the vast majority of Tourist Guides, was not lost on me, and referring back to an earlier Post “Why Would I be a Tourist Guide Now”, the trilogy is completed with “Pandemically Positive”


I have been a South African registered Tourist Guide for some 24 years, and also developed my own Tour Operating Business in keeping with sound business principles. I can help you with all of this.

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