The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.Anna Quindlen
We’ve traveled alone, we’ve traveled with groups, and we’ve traveled with guides. And we can truthfully say that all means of seeing a new place are what you make of it, but of special note is what a native of an area, a guide, can bring to your experience.
Over the past 10 years or so of retirement with travel as a special focus for us, we’ve been led through new-to-us cities and countries with some very special guides. Some of these knowledgeable people were assigned to us by travel agents. Some were guides we engaged through recommendations of others. But all have been genuinely helpful, going out of their way to show us their part of the world and to add to our understanding of the history and culture of the area.
Notably, our guides have shown us details. Things we didn’t expect to see. Like Fes from one of the highest points in the city.
Or how a place was situated in the landscape to take advantage of protection or cooling breezes or views of the world beyond.
Our guides have noted details of cities, buildings, regimes that impacted history.
They’ve shared foods of the area and even answered our questions about how things grow, how and when they’re harvested, how they’re preserved, and what else native foods can mean to a society or a religious group.
Sometimes, though, they just note things of the region by being themselves. They may wear native dress. They may caution you about how to act during a certain time — like Ramadan — or what foods to order before you even leave the hotel for a day of touring.
It’s notes like these that we never even knew existed, but rich information from guides has increased our understanding and love of the people of the world and brought to light the customs we should respect and follow.
So, here’s to tour guides and drivers everywhere. You may not be working as hard or as frequently as you would like right now during the coronavirus pandemic, but as we all get back to the joy of travel, we hope you’ll be with us as we note our commonalities and celebrate our differences . . . together.
Rusha & Bert
Top photo: A guide in flowing white robes leads our little caravan through the Sahara Desert.
This post is one of a series of one-word prompts for April 2020 called Discover Prompts by WordPress. Enjoy!