So! There have been a few changes around here.
I’ve been keeping this little blog for six and a half years now. It’s had its peaks and troughs, with me sometimes posting at a crazy rate, up to four times a week. Other times, I could go a couple of months without posting a single thing. This was particularly the case in the last couple of years. I’d be traveling so often that I’d post about places I’d visited weeks or months ago.
For the past few weeks the blog has been active, but just barely. I’ve been posting once a week or so, summing up my experiences in Brazil in June. Sounds pretty quiet, yes? Well, in reality I have quit my job, landed another and am currently on a train somewhere east of Frankfurt.
A few months ago I wrote a post about why I wasn’t working as a tour guide this year. I gave a multitude of reasons; I was tired of the long hours, the time away from home and living out of a suitcase for months on end.
That’s all still true. I shudder at the thought of the countless shower curtains that would ALWAYS stick to me. I’m proud of the fact that I don’t have a Havaianas tan this summer. I don’t know a single song in the charts. Plus, I haven’t touched vodka in almost a year. Even typing the word ‘vodka’ makes me gag a little. (Sorry, cranky lady sitting opposite me.)
But at the same time, I missed it all. For the first half of this year, I had a ‘normal’ office job which, despite it being close to home and providing regular hours, just didn’t suit me. I started thinking about perhaps tour guiding again (well, I hadn’t really stopped thinking about it, to be perfectly honest) but without all the issues that had gotten me down previously. I didn’t want just any tour guiding job. I wanted a good one. Yep, I decided to be picky.
And that’s what’s led me here; to this ICE train bound for Nuremberg. I have joined a new company, and will be guiding tours between Amsterdam and Budapest (and later in the year, between Amsterdam and Basel). Sound familiar? Well, there are a few key differences.
One, I’m not guiding on coaches this time. Instead I’ll be on the traditional highways of Europe; the rivers. I’ve always been completely fascinated by river cruises and have watched them glide past Dordrecht on many occasions.
About three hundred river cruises stop in Dordrecht each year (with many more making a stop in nearby Kinderdijk) and we would often pass them on an evening walk or cycle. Guiding tours last year in Budapest, I would often lament the fact that we would enter the city by the ugly highway, instead of the sparkling Danube. I love Europe’s rivers and I’m nerdy-excited to be guiding on them.
Two, my schedule is a lot more manageable. I’ve already got my schedule for the rest of the year, which consists of me working for four weeks, and then off for two weeks. What’s more, I get to spend those breaks AT HOME. With Paul.
And three, my office environment will be totally different. Instead of it being me, a driver and fifty passengers, this time it will be fifty crew and up to 190 passengers.
When it’s quiet on the blog, it usually means that I’m busy in ‘real life’. That’s the case here. I can’t promise that I’ll blog regularly in the next few months (although those two week holiday blocks will come in handy) but I have again started up my Instagram series, ‘View from the Office’. Each day I’ll post a photo of what I’ve come across in my wanderings, whether it be a hilltop castle in Germany or perhaps my favourite building in Budapest. Feel free to follow along and see where I am along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers for the rest of the year.
Fingers crossed for some smooth sailing!