I really am passionate about travel, and have always been a keen walker as well. A while back I wanted a career change from my job in Management for a national institution, and I realised that my best attributes (commented on by other people!) were my positivity, my energy and enthusiasm and my love of people in general! What better way to combine all my skills and passions than to become a Tour Leader? For my past job I travelled a lot, but all I ever saw was the inside of a hotel room and whatever was just outside the door. Those experiences really made me think about why people travel and what they want out of their visit.
Now, as a Tour Leader, when I take my clients to a destination I like to show them the real heart of the place. I always do loads of research and come up with a few extras that are maybe a little out of the usual. For example, if I can, I always try to catch local buses rather than a coach because to me that’s experiencing real life rather than a manufactured tourist trail. I love seeing all the local people on their way to work going about their business and the feedback I get from my groups says they do too! But I think that the main thing I try to share with everyone is that really, walking is the best way to explore a new country. You see so much more on foot that you would never otherwise see, and I think it’s really important to not just breeze in and breeze out of a place without spending time to get to know the history and culture too.
If I could choose an ideal place for a walking holiday, it would be somewhere that combined the mountains and the sea. Although I don’t like to play favourites Lanzarote pretty much fits the bill for me! The coast provides huge diversity, often has a lot of early history and has a peaceful ‘end of the earth’ feeling to it while mountains provide a challenge, great views and a sense of achievement. I find it a fascinating and unusual place and somewhere quite unlike anywhere I have ever been. The height of the mountains and the lovely climate make a fantastic winter walking holiday and you are never far from the beautiful coast and a swim at the end of the day.