Becoming an unofficial tour guide

Last December, I became the unofficial tour guide.

My group?

A carefree boyfriend who is equally enthused as he is disappointed, and my 60+ parents who’ve just found out that safari is the button to open the internet on the Ipad and not an African adventure.

Look Big Ben

Now, I love travel.

I love the planning and researching aspect of discovering a new country and the idea of exploring the unknown. I love having loved ones with me to enjoy the experience and I love adding new ‘stamps on my soul’.

But what I don’t love, and what I came to realise on this trip was that I’m not cut out to be a tour guide.

On any one day, I became a weather reporter, lost and found officer, traffic controller, health advisor, city expert and chief navigator.

This went on for ten days before I cracked.

Someone asked me what we what I had planned for the group, before I had even rolled out of bed and I told them I resigned for the day.

“Do want you like, follow me if you wish, but don’t ask me any questions,” I told my parents and boyfriend at breakfast.

I was short with my words, quick in pace and ignored any questions that were fired my way.

I was irritated and annoyed that had been bestowed the responsibility of the group and I carried that thought with me for the day.

But as I went to sleep that night, I was overwhelmed with guilt.

How could I be so mean to the most important people in my life? I was the most travelled out of the bunch and had forgotten about all the times I had been in similar situations on tours and adventures and relied on others for help. Bloody hell, my parents put up with a good eighteen years me looking to them each day for advice growing up.

The next morning, I put all the hats back on but didn’t apologise for my behaviour. So mum, dad and Clinton – I’m sorry. I will forever be your tour guide on future trips and will answer you in the same loving patient way you have done for me all my life.

So what have I learned?

My ten lessons to being a family tour guide:

  1. Be patient
  2. Give everyone the rundown in the morning
  3. Provide the details of your accommodation on a piece of paper for their pockets
  4. Buy everyone a watch
  5. Keep all tickets with one person
  6. Let only one person give travel directions
  7. Pick a place to meet in case you get lost
  8. Take lots of photos
  9. Cherish the time you have with each other
  10. Enjoy the adventure

Don’t get caught in the spider webs of travel. Go find the butterflies hatching from their cocoons. Together.



One thought on “Becoming an unofficial tour guide

  1. To Dear Jessica, loved this post. No you don’t have to apologise. All good. You did a fantastic job. We love you and appreciate all that you did for us. Love you xxxxx mum


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