Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend your time travelling around Thailand while getting paid? That means meeting amazing new people, hanging out on raft houses and exploring tropical islands, all while getting a paycheck. If you have ever dreamed of doing this yourself, then read on to find out what the reality is really like.
Being a tour leader can be a great way to earn some money whilst you are travelling. We talked to Thailand tour guide Lindsey McIntosh about her experiences working with Lost Beaches Travel Company, who do amazing 16 and 26 day tours for anyone backpacking through Thailand.
What made you decide to travel to Thailand in the first place?
I had a friend who had visited a few years prior around 2011, then I visited in 2013 for the first time. He was raving about how fun it was , so I had to visit. I’m from Canada and had traveled a bit around my country but I definitely wanted to experience something a bit more exotic, a bit crazier. So I saved a bit of money that summer and went on a trip of a lifetime around Southeast Asia. Thailand was easily my favourite, I can’t get enough of it.
Has working abroad been something you planned on doing?
Since I travelled to Australia when I was 20 I knew I wasn’t meant to stay in one place full time. I prefer a warm climate, it’s cheaper, there’s more to do and it is a much more active lifestyle. You won’t spend as much money because you can be off exploring in the warmth. It’s much colder in Canada and not as enjoyable. I am super lucky to land this job to be paid to explore and travel!
“Always be prepared for anything that could happen and always join in on any new experiences or opportunity, as you may never know what you are missing.”
What are the best parts about your job?
Easily my favourite part is meeting new people. I love the Thai relationships we have with our local partners, who are absolutely fantastic people as well. It is a crazy experience getting to meet new people every 2 weeks; We laugh, we party, we experience all that Thailand has to offer. In more cases than not everyone becomes long lasting friends after the trip. It is really a type of relationship with people you can’t forge back at home. I’m always super exciting to get to know them and see how they will be on tour!
Also, let’s not forget all the beautiful places we get to go to – absolutely epic.
What does a regular work day look like to you?
It varies by day; Exploring Bangkok for the day, watching epic sunsets in Ko Pha Ngan, swimming in the fresh water in Khao Sok National Park, partying on Koh Phi Phi.. there really is never a dull day. We never stop at all!
Have you learned anything working and living in a foreign country?
Totally. Being able to travel back home is huge. So having a support system to go home to is awesome if anything goes awry – also today, it’s easy to keep in contact with friends and family at home through Skype and messaging programs at all times.
Also, you have to rely on yourself to learn the culture and adapt to it. Being respectful to that culture is definitely something we endorse and practice at Lost Beaches Travel.
Finally, don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy life out here while you can!
What’s your best travel tip?
Always be prepared for anything that could happen and always join in on any new experiences or opportunity, as you may never know what you are missing.
As a tour guide, you meet tons of new people, how do you keep up the energy to interact with new people all time time?
Every group of travellers is a totally new experience. All like minded, but always a different awesome vibe with every group. Each person sees thing differently and we meet every type of personality under the sun, so as long as you enjoy meeting people, getting along becomes super easy. Hanging out with new friends never gets boring trust me!
What do you say to someone thinking of travelling to Thailand solo?
100% do it! The moment you get off the plane you’ll make a ton of friends with your other group members and it will be the most self-educating experience you’ll ever have.
A group tour like ours is a great way for people who are perhaps a little nervous about travelling solo for the first time to get used to the lifestyle, gain a little confidence and have a bit of a safety net to fall back on.
You’ll meet a ton of people along the way, about half our travellers come solo and they never look back.
What are your travel plans in the future?
My bucket list is long, but would totally love to see New Zealand at some point this year . I’m loving working now but am still keeping my options open for more travel.
Have you ever wanted to be a tour guide in Thailand? Do you think a tour would be a good way for you to ease into the backpacking lifestyle? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.
This article was written in partnership with the Lost Beaches Travel Company. Any views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.