I started tour guiding in 2010 by participating in a one-year Green Badge course run for Chinese or Russian speakers. My wife was already a Blue Badge Russian-speaking guide and I wanted to devolop my interest in Scottish history and culture and also use my Russian language skills.
After that I progessed to the Blue Badge course. I learned so much more than I would have thought possible through the courses. You are constantly learning when you are guiding. I found I had to work hard to develop my Russian language skills, not being a native speaker. The level of spoken language skill necessary for guiding is much higher than that needed for everyday communication.
I do a mixture of extended tours, cruise guiding and driver guiding. I love the variety and unpredicable nature of the work. You can be working with one person or fifty. It is a pleasure to travel throughout Scotland also to meet so many interesting people. I am also a volunteer guide in Glasgow Cathedral.
In 2016, I successfully completed Part I of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) training to become an accredited WFTGA National Trainer and the STGA ‘Train the Trainer’ course. Recently I was appointed as a Mentor for the 2016 Blue Badge Course. I am looking forwards to the upcoming Blue Badge Course and to completing the World Federation training.