Diary of a Tour Guide

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3 minutes, 20 seconds
   

The sun was setting over the golden dunes as we rode our camels to a Berber camp in the Sahara. The blissful pink sky complimented the orange tones in the dunes. It was peaceful; everyone was happy and relaxed. We stopped on the dunes to watch the sun go down and then made our way to our camp. Situated in the dunes, a row of tents and a red carpet awaited our arrival. After showering and settling in, we were warmly welcomed with a traditional tagine for dinner, followed by our hosts playing music for us around a campfire. We continued into the night, learning from our hosts about traditional Berber culture and their way of life. With an early start just after sunrise and a quick bit of sandboarding, we mounted our camels to head back to the cars.

It was one of the most successful days of our trip. Not all days run smoothly like this one; disagreements, sickness, and moments of missing home. It is a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, but the overall experience helps us grow, form rounded views of the world and meet remarkable people. As a creator on the road, there are many additional challenges and rewards in running experiences. 

 Intro

I’m Becca; I run Adventure Overlanding Experiences with my two business partners, Max and Joel. We founded Global Convoy in 2018 after returning from an epic self-led trip around the world in our trusty £75 car. Since then, we have been running smaller experiences, encouraging anyone who wants to join to get under the skin of a chosen country and have a true adventure. Our most recent trip started in the UK, intending to head south to Morocco and back over May. 

In 2018 we ran our first MAYhem experience, and as you can guess by the name, it is one month of total chaos, adventure, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Each year we choose a different destination, often one we haven’t explored yet, so we experience a new country with our fellow travellers. MAYhem ’22 definitely lived up to its expectation.  

Lesson Learned

We chose Morocco because of its vast and varied landscapes, its colourful markets, and most of all, because it is in Africa, and this was a new continent for us as Global Convoy. Being a new country and continent posed many challenges, and we learned a lot on this adventure. One of the biggest lessons we learned in the first week was it doesn’t matter how much research you do or how much you plan because the internet isn’t always right!

Our first night in Morocco proved this. As we got off the ferry in Tangier, we had a wild camp spot lined up next to the famous Hercules Cave on the west coast. Little did we know that endless police patrolled the area, and it was unsuitable for us to stay. So, we headed for the first campsite on google maps within the region. Unfortunately, we arrived, it is still closed due to the pandemic. Although Morocco has reopened for tourism, not everyone in the tourism industry has followed suit, or some have sadly had to close down. After finding this site was closed, we drove into the night searching for another. We passed a few more, all of which were closed or had shut down. But we finally found one that was open, just under a 2-hour drive south of our intended destination. 

Sadly, this was a trend throughout the adventure, so although we had a full proposed itinerary, we were often left no choice but to turn up and see. 

This added a sense of teamwork and adventure for our fellow travellers as we weren’t always entirely sure what would go to plan. But it also added an element of stress at times, and it really did show that you can do hours of planning, but in reality, a lot of it will be done while you are on the go. An aspect that isn’t always considered is that in cases like this, you could be working 24 hours a day, which can be challenging. But I also find it rewarding, so I still choose to put myself through it four years later!

On the plus side of this spontaneity, we ended up in some beautiful locations with welcoming hosts and unique experiences. One of the most memorable moments of the trip was when we arrived in Merzouga, in the south-eastern corner of Morocco, close to the border with Algeria. 

We arrived in the mid-morning with a place in mind. However, after finding out they had been closed due to the pandemic (not to our surprise), we came across another host. After a quick Whatsapp chat, we arranged for all 17 of us to ride camels into the Sahara, stay at a Berber camp, and have a traditional dinner and breakfast. This was indeed one of the most rewarding moments. The slight feeling of doubt was swiftly brushed away when Mustapha Camp Merzouga warmly welcomed us. 

Overview

There is something natural about going with the flow and not planning too much that I think we often take for granted. Moments like this bring the group together and often end on a high. Not having expectations can lend itself to a more enjoyable experience, and although it can be stressful, it can be more rewarding for both yourself as a guide and your guests. Striking a balance between this and being organised as a guide is challenging but doable, and with the right crew, anything is possible. 

If you want to learn more about our time in Morocco, keep an eye on our Youtube channel Global Convoy.

Read more from Becca, here are her Best Creator Business Tools for Remote Working article.

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