Was it the right choice to travel all the way to the USA and Voyageurs National Park? I really think so. It has been just a few days, and I can say that I’ve learned so much. Not just about the park but also about many things that have to do with guiding people around in nature. I almost dare to say that I’ve found my passion and I haven’t even done any tour yet. So I might be a bit early with this conclusion, but so what?
What I’ve been doing all this time?
First of all I’ve been handed a ton of information about the park. It is not only about the here and now, but also the history of gold mining in the area, the history of the native Americans also called the Ojibway, about the beaver furs that were traded in this area, and last but not least the history of the landscape itself. I’m not going to bore you with all these stories, but if you are interested just go and check out the National Park Service website of Voyageurs.
I’ve been training in the Visitor Center, just learning the basic operations is quite a thing in itself. I need to make myself familiar with roads and paths within the park, so a part of my job right now is just to go outside and explore.
How cool is that.
I’ve encountered deer on a hike, seen amazing views, witnessed my first bald eagle fly by and the season still has to start. Can’t wait to get out on the water and explore that area too.
So no negatives you might ask? Of course there are some. At this time it’s really hard to be in touch with family and friends with the technology I was used to. Since I tried to have a real cheap phone connection I only can use WiFi to go online, and that isn’t offered here in many places.
The first week out of touch can be quite relaxing, just be outside, read a book, make a puzzle, you name it. But after a while you might want to know what’s going on back home, and since they find it common that they cannot reach me they will most likely be going on with their own lives. And that’s not bad at all, but can be lonely at times. Especially since I didn’t have the time to make new friends yet. I’ve met many people, but that’s different from making friends, that takes time.
Okay, enough crying for now.
By now I know quite a few things about the park, although this learning process will keep going for a while. The next part is learning more about writing a program for different tours, there’s a lot more to it than I expected. I did a little practice exercise for a 10 minute talk in the visitor center. The result made me quite happy although I still need to work on it to get it to the level where I need to be.
My supervisor might actually let me develop all my own programs if I get to the right result. Before I really can get cracking on that I need to get through many more books.
I feel that I will make this adventure into an awesome learning experience that will get me to where I want to be. A guide that can take you on trips that you’ve never been on before. Is that overconfident? Maybe, but the people without dreams don’t travel to new places.