Hi Friends, I’m Thuy, a freelance tour guide in Central Vietnam, mainly based on Danang, Hoi An and Hue. Up to now, I still cannot believe that I’ve been working as a tour guide for more than 2 years, because I didn’t choose tourism as my major in the first place.
When I was grade 5, I did dream of being a tour guide after watching a reality show on TV. In that episode, a local host guided foreigners around his hometown, wandered from endless golden paddy fields to luxuriant fruit farms, tasted all the exotic and delectable specialties of Mekong Delta. I thought: ”Wow!!! It would be so cool if I could be a tour guide in the future!”. But it was just a thought. Later, when I applied to university, my major was becoming an English teacher.
I met Bao Loc, Founder of Xin Chao, and his friend on a summer day in 2017. When four of us were wandering around my beloved city on our scooters, he kept telling me: “Thuy, why don’t you be a tour guide? With your attitude and enthusiasm, you can be a promising tour guide! Let’s give it a try!” His suggestion truly sparked off a flame of interest in me. Now, as an “official” freelance tour guide, whenever I look back, I always feel thankful that I met Loc.
A month later, I met Xuan Tu – the one taught me very first steps on serious guiding path. Unlike to teaching, being a tour guide require lots of skills, don’t mention an amount of extensive knowledge about almost everything. The new world was so big that it made an amateur like me, so panic and started doubting myself if I could make it. Luckily, Xuan Tu and I gave myself lots of time and encouragement to prove that I was following the right path. I spent more time on self-studying vocabularies, reading books, searching and remembering the route. I soon discovered that I had a knack of listening and sharing stories.
It took me a month to transform from an amateur to “not-so-experienced-but-super-confident” person, who was no longer shy and would love to share. I took people to my favorite coffee spot in town and share with them my Uni life. I narrated my childhood when we experience making sleeping mats with a local family in a rural village. More than a customer, I’d like to treat them as my friends. Their best experiences are what I’ve aimed for. By listening to their stories and outlooks on life, I feel like I can travel and see the world through their eyes. A 5 stars review after the first tour did give me great strength and motivation to pursue this passion.
From this stage, I started getting more bookings and challenging myself with more companies, with new routes and new stops. Never before has a little girl born in a small rural village received such loads of love, hugs, kisses, praise, amazed expressions from friends all over the world. Never before have I been so happy and energetic whenever I start any working days. I realize that working as a tour guide has given me opportunities to think bigger, to go further. Of course, sometimes there are obstacles that pissed me off, make me exhausted but I’ve never thought about giving up. For anyone who are still questioning yourself, don’t be shy! Use your stories, your youth and your effort to let the world notice you, then you realize how amazing and rewarding this job is! You’ll never know where you belong to if you don’t give it a try. I’m doing what I love and I do love what I’m doing!