Since the month of August, of 2006, I am the owner of a Bachelor’s Degree in the Economy of Commerce, Tourism & Services, from the Academy of Economic Studies. But during all these 4 years in the faculty, I had no classes what so ever of Geography, History, or Romanian Culture. However, since the month of May, of 2006, I have worked as a travel agent, mostly for the incoming market, having also responsibilities as a tour leader. So, sense the irony from the title, which could trigger a very big discussion about the educational system and the real employee market.
Me, having responsibilities as a tour leader, meant being in charge with every detail necessary to carry on with the tourist program in the best conditions possible, starting from making the hotel reservations, establishing and negotiating the meals, arranging with the transportation company for the bus, and at least one week of intense study of the itinerary (which meant, learning basic travel information about the cities and about the travel objectives to be visited, in English and/or Spanish). And then, from the pick-up from the airport until the drop-out to the airport, I had to do just about everything for them to have a pleasant stay, and the most satisfying part of it was when I was receiving an email, some weeks after, saying how happy and satisfied they’ve been in Romania!
I remember my first time: as a travel assistant! It was with two freelance journalists from Spain, in September of 2006, when I was seeing the city of Sibiu for the first time…
I’ve been thinking to make a summary with all the tours I had, with every little detail I’ve done good and every little detail I’ve done wrong… but for now and for you I’m only going to make a summary with all the trips:
– September 2006, two freelance journalists from Spain, 5 days tour (Bucharest, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Brasov, Sinaia, Bucharest).
– Mai 2007, other two freelance journalists from Spain, almost the same tour.
– June 2007, two freelance journalists from America, 7 days tour (the same + Cluj-Napoca, Bistrita and Alba-Iulia)
– July 2007, a group of 19 friends from Spain, 10 days, (Transylvania + the painted monasteries from Moldavia + Tulcea and Constanta). And that was the most empowering tour ever!
– July 2007, an official group from China. Don’t ask, everything was strictly confidential.
– August 2007, a group of managers from Romania (?!) in a 3 days team-building in Spain, with accommodation in Calella and 1 day visit to Barcelona. That was fun too… mostly 😀
– September 2007, a 5 members group from Argentina, for 6 days. They had the most adorable 4 years old girl ever!
– September 2008, a group of 20 persons from Taiwan. Lucky I only had to speak English.
– March 2010, a group of Erasmus students from Spain, for 3 days.
And between these, many many other transfers to&from the airport (at the most inappropriate hours possible) and half-day visit-tours in Bucharest (with the Village Museum, The Parliament Palace, The Cotroceni Palace, The Mogosoaia Palace, the Unirea Shopping Center and the Beer Wagon Palace :D)
But, let’s be honest, I don’t consider myself a Travel Guide and I’ve never been officially paid for this job (Later edit: I was receiving my usual salary, though, plus some daily allowance for the days when I was travelling with the groups. And some tips from them, which, looking back, overall I was gaining more money per month average than I was getting during my next 2 jobs…)
And that is because “this profession” in the Romanian working legislation, requires specific studies and certifications. Studies like Geography, History, Culture (as in gastronomy, architecture, religion, politics etc) and Conflict Management. Hmmm… this starts to ring some bells… So, I guess the only thing that I’m really missing is the courage to apply for “The Certification Paper”… oh yeah, I forgot, and the money for the exams. But still, now that I’ve done it and I know how everything works this is just not appealing anymore.
As I think of my career choice in a more responsible and serious way, taking into consideration every little achievement, I absolutely don’t know where and why the person that has done all these, has vanished away. I don’t know what happened with my motivation and what happened with the courage to face every challenge in life “with the head on”. Perhaps I’ve been disappointed too many times and I realized that working for money and being motivated by them, irremediably destroys one’s spirit.
Also, thinking of everything I’ve worked so far and every decision I made for my career, I should say that I’m too creative, innovative and versatile to be having a full time job in a multinational “robots” company. Nevertheless, one of those 10 positions is spiritually mine and you’ll be doing a very bad thing in the equilibrium of this universe by not giving it to me. Now I have to find “a charm” to regain my good luck and put an end with all the synchronicity I’m facing in the process of choosing my career. And thinking about synchronicity, the Fashion Industry wasn’t on my list before, so thank you, anyway!