‘I made sure Italian tourists didn’t wander into the House of Lords’
John Kearns, former Houses of Parliament tour guide. Photograph: Edward Moore
John Kearns spent four years working at the Houses of Parliament, “assisting visitors, giving tours and making sure an Italian tourist didn’t wander into the House of Lords”. He had one golden rule when applying for jobs: “Would it be a thrill to walk around the building alone after work, when it’s all shut up?” So, as well as parliament, there were jobs at the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.
After Kearns won best newcomer at the 2013 Edinburgh fringe, he became a full-time comedian and starred in the BBC3 slapstick sitcom Top Coppers. But by quitting his day job, Kearns also gave up the framework that had enabled him to write standup. “I regret leaving work as quickly as I did,” he says. “For eight hours a day, I didn’t worry about comedy, whereas now it’s all I worry about. When I had a day job, I just wrote when it came to me because I was busy during the day. Now, I walk around thinking, ‘It will come.’ Relying on ‘It will come’ to pay the rent, that’s not always creatively freeing.”
Kearns’s tour-guide experience began to shape his comedy. “I’ve always had jobs where I wore a uniform, where I clocked in and out,” he says. “There was a clear line between when work started and stopped. So when I wear a wig and false teeth on stage, it’s almost like my uniform for comedy.”
As much as Kearns struggles with the uncertainty of being a professional comedian, he realises he’s in a privileged position: hundreds of amateur comics would kill to reach his level. “When you’ve got a job, your worst-case scenario is losing your job. My worst-case scenario is I have to get a job. And that’s not a bad position to be in.”
Tour Guide-Poole, Dorset
Volunteering as a member of the RNLI College Tour Team means playing an important role within the charity as we aim to save the lives of people of all age groups through our tours programme. A message given today could mean a life saved tomorrow.
In this role you will give inspiring guided walking tours of RNLI College which last for 90 minutes to groups, promoting the work of the RNLI to motivate the next generation of RNLI supporters. The role covers tours throughout the year but as we carry out more tours during the summer months we particularly welcome interest from people available to carry out tours at least once a week from April to October. This will reduce over the winter months. Tours take place mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends.
In this role you will have the opportunity to meet lots of new people and play in important role in raising awareness of the RNLI’s vital lifesaving work. Ideally you will have experience of presenting information, have great communication skills and possess strong team working skills. If you possess these qualities we would love to hear from you.
Just as we give all our Lifeboat crews the right training and equipment to carry out their lifesaving work, we provide all of our volunteers with the necessary training and support to carry out their role effectively. RNLI volunteers have access to a range of online learning materials, as well as opportunities for one to one support from fellow volunteers and RNLI specialists.
How a 28-year-old lawyer quit her job to become a full-time tour guide travelling the world for free
Koehne-Drube spent a Christmas in a surprisingly snowy Cyprus.Tamina Koehne-Drube
Tamina Koehne-Drube was a solicitor at King & Wood Mallesons in Canberra and Hong Kong. She had graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Laws from Australian National University and had all the makings of a high-earning lawyer.
But Koehne-Drube gave it all up at the end of 2014 to become a tour guide, travelling the world for free.
She told Business Insider she wasn’t passionate enough about law to sustain a life-long career.
“I felt very strongly that I wanted to work more closely and meaningfully with people from all walks of life and in a more creative environment,” she said.
When she was working late in the office one evening, she started to type all of the things she liked doing into Google alongside the word “job.”
“One of the first hits was an advertisement for Topdeck Travel calling for European Road Crew,” she said. “As applications had just opened I thought ‘why not?’ and submitted my application that night.”
The one thing Koehne-Drube misses about her job as a lawyer? “The collection of suits!”Tamina Koehne-Drube
Koehne-Drube spent two seasons as a European Trip Leader for Topdeck, the tour operator known for organising trips for people aged 18 to 30. The job involved taking groups around the continent, all expenses paid, along with a wage.
“I was on the road for two summer seasons, travelling from May to September,” she said. “During that time trips could be as short as 11 days or as long as 49.”
But her Topdeck experience didn’t stop there.
“For many people, applying to be a trip leader seems like a short-term opportunity, travelling for a few years and gaining new experiences,” she said. “While that was of course also a motivation, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to turn this opportunity into a new career.”
Now, Koehne-Drube is a people connect leader for the on-road crew, which involves training and hiring global staff. She’s travelled to over 20 countries with the company, and, despite being based in the London head office, is constantly on the go.
“There really is no average day working for Topdeck,” she said. “On the road plans feel like they change every few minutes and every day or two you are in a new country.”
“Even in the office, each day is different. In my role I still get to travel a lot, whether it’s attending staff or crew conferences in Venice, Paris or Amsterdam, visiting our Australian or North American offices, or delivering training to our crew around the world, including Egypt, Morocco, and the UAE in 2017.”
“The big bucket-list cities are always exciting, but by far my favourite moments are taking people to places they may never have thought of (or sometimes even heard of) and watch them fall in love with the unexpected,” she said.
She added that the leaders can be asked to take charge of any trips in the company’s brochure at any time, “meaning you may find yourself staying in hostels, hotels, campsites, sailing boats, castles or bungalows.”
While she said life on the road doesn’t equal a lawyer’s salary, she said “the lifestyle allows you to live very comfortably.”
“One of the biggest lessons I learned through starting with Topdeck was how easy it is to ‘declutter’ your life,” she said. “At the legal firm ‘work/life balance’ was a constant topic of conversation and on the road it is as well, but for different reasons. Rather than work becoming your life, your life becomes your work.”
She added that knowing she’s playing a part in someone’s experience of seeing the world makes it all worth it.
“The letters, emails, Facebook messages, photos and even wedding invites I get from past passengers is really special.”
Franklin Township: Sisters in Training for Life (STFL) Travel to Belize
By KOREDE AKINYELURE
July 4, 2017 at 12:12 PM
STFL recently made its presence felt thousands of miles away from home.
Two days after Franklin High School’s (FHS) graduation ceremony, five members of STFL along with FHS Students Assistant Coordinator, Stacy Hale, an STFL Advisor and a parent chaperone flew to Belize.
The trip to Belize was completed through an Education First Educational Tours program (EF). Over the course of the trip, the group was able to explore Belizean culture, participate in adventurous activities, and give back to the community.
“One experience that was tough for me was most definitely hiking because hiking through all the mud, rain, and bugs was pretty difficult,” FHS Sophmore Kimani Thomas said. “Seeing my group and the leaders and our EF Tour leader push through it and go through the same thing I was going through encouraged me to keep going. At the end of the day, it was really fun.”
The group had the pleasure of being able to travel to multiple locations such as Belize City, San Ignacio, and Ambergris Caye. The seven-day trip was absolutely incredible, allowing the group to immerse themselves in the wonders of a terrain that is contrastingly unlike their day to day lives.
“What I like about EF Tours is that they provide you with a tour guide that stays with you the entirety of your trip, which is very helpful,” FHS 2017 Graduate, Aniyah Outler said. “The Tour Guide’s passion can be felt as they participate and interact with you to make you feel comfortable. They also provide water to make sure everyone is hydrated.”
FHS Students Assistant Coordinator and STFL Advisor Stacy Hale said. “EF Tours really takes care of you. They plan out your day by the minute, so we’re constantly doing excursions and learning while still having fun. If I had the opportunity to do this again, I definitely would. I definitely 100% would go with EF Tours because I know they do take care of you. Safety is number one, they feed you, and place you in hotels that are very accommodating. The next place we may be going is Costa Rica or Africa. Parents are more than welcome to come on any STFL EF Tour!”
Although the Belize trip was full of experiences like hiking, zip lining, a trip to the Chaa Creek Natural History Museum, and the Belize Zoo. There was also time to visit a local school in San Ignacio called San Jose Succotz, Roman Catholic School. During the visit, the girls were able to dedicate some of their time to learn more about the institution and spending time with the children. The visit to San Jose Succotz served as a humbling one that allowed the girls to be more appreciative.
“Belize impacted my perspective on life because the people are so happy,” FHS Sophmore Amira Shumate said. “The children get excited if you give them little things, such as a toy, but in America, there’s so much crime and hatred. Out here, all they know how to do is love you, so it makes you more kind hearted towards things. It makes you look at things a lot differently.”
Considering that the values of STFL include missions to promote education and humanitarian efforts. STFL has decided to fundraise money for San Jose Succotz, Roman Catholic School at the start of the next school year. Through various fundraising efforts, STFL aims to help raise money for the school to help improve their facilities. They would like to upgrade and expand their outdoor meeting area to host more programs for the children, parent programs, and graduation ceremonies.
The cost to upgrade is $8000 Belizean money equaling $4,000 US dollars. Hopefully, with the support of Franklin Township and STFL’s fundraisers, San Jose Succotz will be able to get the renovations they need and deserve.
The purpose of Education First Educational Tours program is to empower students through learning by experiencing different cultures first hand. Bridging the gap between cultures creates a deeper level of understanding for students to connect to. Immersing oneself in a new culture further supports the idea that global awareness is essential to cultural richness. The Tour program equips groups with a tour guide to lead the group through their daily itinerary. EF Tours provide language immersion tours, service learning tours, and custom-designed tours catered specifically towards the curriculum your students are studying. More information about the EF Tours and planning may be found here.