Life of a Tour Leader

The life of a tour leader isn’t for everyone. I mean, you’re seeing new places everyday, hiking the best trails, participating in the most adrenaline pumping activities, and hanging out with likeminded individuals. It can be overwhelming for the normal individual who is set on living the 9-5 lifestyle, always catching their favorite TV series, and sleeping in their “own” bed.

Strung Out Leader

During my early twenties I struggled with the transition from the “norm” into a seasonal and nomadic lifestyle. I was raised in a traditional family setting where we worked hard and deserved the vacations we went on every year. How could I live a life that was filled with all those things we longed for throughout the year?

Quality 70s Family

For me, every day is about staying ahead of the monotony. Keeping my energy high and my spirits even higher. Life on the road keeps me motivated and focused on what makes me feel the best physically and mentally. Seeing new sights, trying some new sport, hiking a new trail, or chatting with a stranger who has made their way out of the city. I find no fault in those who choose to remain in their comfort zone, it’s just hard for me to comprehend and I always find myself trying to convince them to challenge their predetermined boundaries and limits they imposed upon themselves.

Forest Gump Road

I set high standards for myself and hold others to those same high standards. I’ve been called the “coolest drill sergeant” people have ever met. I take that as a compliment, yet I would like to think that since those early days of tour leading I’ve mellowed out. Haha

Hat Day

When you come on a journey with me, you can count on smiling, laughing, pitching in, smelling like a campfire, eating S’mores and some days of muscle soreness.

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16 Responses to Life of a Tour Leader

  1. Luckily I haven’t done 9-5 since I was in my early 20s as I hated it. I do still work full time indoors though (computing) but find that shift working gives me much more time off (1 week in 4 and other days off in between) and I especially appreciate being able to take off into the hills during the week when they’re quiet.

    I’m probably not social enough to be a tour guide – I tend to be a bit quiet and a bit of a loner. But good for you to leave the normal daily grind and do something you really enjoy doing 🙂

    • Thanks Carol,
      I hope that my writings and adventures inspire others to follow their passion. There’s no better feeling than being out in the wilderness disconnected from TV, internet, and city chaos. I bet you would surprise yourself in leading a group if you were in a setting that you were confident and wanted to share it with others. People take on your energy and it’s quite gratifying to take them out of their “comfort zone” and teach them new skills.
      Keep searching for new quiet places to be introspective and appreciate what Mother Nature has given us!

      • So where do you mainly lead tours? I haven’t been abroad for a few years now but am thinking of starting going again from next year hopefully… I’ve been pretty busy in the Scottish Highlands over the last quite a few years collecting ‘Munros’…

      • Our trips run from Denver up to Alaska. Depending on how long you want to travel, you can link multiple trips together to make a true overland adventure or just sign up for one. The one I advise people about the most is our Alaskan Adventure. Currently we are leading 17-day adventures up here that includes hiking, wildlife cruises, all-you-can-eat salmon buffets, luxury adventure camp, glaciers, bears, sea kayaking, etc… Then you can combine that with a trip down to Seattle following the Klondike and Cariboo Gold Rush trails. So, much to do! Check out our website and throw some questions at me, maybe we’ll get you to come on this side of the pond??!!

      • it would have to be vegetarian salmon for me! 😉

        To be honest, I think Alaska would be way too cold for me – I tend to head for hot deserts if I can. I may well come over to check out the Arizonan desert sometime though 🙂

      • Haha, you have to speak with my wife. That was her thought before we got up here and so far it has been mostly in the 70s since we got up her in June. The sun is warm and it lasts 20 hours a day during the summer. (We both have nice suntans!) We can accommodate for vegetarians no problem. Because of the amount of summer sunlight, Alaska has an intense and fast growing season. We try and frequent the local farmer’s market as much as we can.

      • Ah – well if I do come, it will certainly be summer then!

  2. We also run trips down in the Southwest. When I settle down for the winter months, Arizona is my choice.

  3. Tim Leaf says:

    Any time you can see any use in your endeavor for a 57 year old “dinosaur” tour leader who has been to many (perhaps more?) of your current destinations multiple times…let me know! I’ve been stuck in a very uncomfortable “comfort zone” way too long!
    As I think you might know, Thumbs up on your efforts!

    • Dinosaur??? No way. A tour leader is always a kid at heart. I’m sure you’ve forgotten more than I’ve known!! As we progress, I hope that we can give people a chance to work with Infinite Adventures, either as a full-time gig or cameo appearances for old leaders like yourself who still have a passion for getting out showing people the other side.

      • Tim Leaf says:

        Yeah, the other side is where it all is at! Have a blast heading north, but don’t leave your “poke” in Dawson! If you have the time…stop and see an old friend of mine ( Ricklev) in Whitehorse…and another friend I’ve never met (Busby) in Anchorage! There used to be great midnight volleyball and horseshoe tossing @ the Howling Dawg Saloon in Fox, AK, Maybe you can check and see if it’s still” game on” up there. lol. I’ll be rooting for ya… out for the frost heaves north of Carcross, bro!

  4. jayachandran says:

    hi david,
    nice to read your blog,i have been a tour manager in india since 1989,travelling through this sub continent, enjoying and educating myself about my great country. Each time i am shot with a question from my group members,every morning we are heading for a new destination, i still feel excited to share my knowledge and experiences of our life ,millions of stories from our mythology, I am sure that there will not be another profession in this world as charming as this,,,, one become an universal citizen having friends round the globe, having a unique identity as the cultural icon for the guests you take. It opens our minds to see this world and our lives so beautiful and colourful. I also wish to say that the expertise we need to acquire through dedicated learning and understanding of various cultures and needs of our guests are very important, only when we have that we will start enjoying this profession

  5. Charles Knowlton says:

    Well said, Dave! Glad to see you still livin the dream. Some great looking itineraries and combos too. All the best and don’t be surprised if I come calling for a chance to lead for Infinate Adventures at some point too! Charles

  6. Love your blog – this one is especially inspiring as I am trying to navigate my compass into adventure event management. Words of wisdom for sure.

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