Since 2007 Margarita has been leading tours around the cities of the Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland. She used to work as a German-Russian translator, but left her job to become a tour guide. In this interview, Margarita tells us what does it take to be a tour guide and what is it that motivates her to walk people around cities almost every day.
What made you want to become a tour guide, and how did you make it happen?
MT: I studied German and French languages at the Adygei State University, and after graduation I spent a decade working in an office cubicle, translating legal documents from German into Russian. I have to say that was not a job I enjoyed. I love working with people and the paperwork really bogged me down at that time.
So when I came to Prague in 2005 as a tourist and had an “obligatory” guided city tour I literally fell in love with the city, and I thought – why wouldn’t I try a new career as a tour guide? That happened two years later – in 2007 after I moved to Prague I took a course at the Tyrkys Tourism Academy, and here I am – celebrating my 10th working anniversary as a tour guide!
What do you like most about your job?
MT: I feel that I am in the right place, and I do what I love for a living.
“I take a part in creating a great experience. I bring history to life and love seeing the spark in the eyes and smile on people’s faces. The magic of travel comes from unique insights about a place, which cannot be found in travel books.”
The atmosphere of the cities inspires and influence a person’s intellectual, spiritual, and emotional state. Being able to share this wonderful experience with other people is what gives me a tremendous pleasure.
Is there anything you don’t like about your job?
MT: I don’t enjoy giving tours in all cities I know. I joke that I love only those cities where am in harmony with “Genius loci“. Genius loci is the Latin term meaning “the guardian deity of a place” and sometimes I believe it exists! I love Prague, Munich, and I love Bern, but, for example, would always skip a tour to Vienna if I could. I have no other explanation why I prefer some cities to the others, but I think no one can explain how the law of attraction works 🙂
What has been the greatest challenge for you?
MT: Even though I love working with people, the constant interaction can be draining. Especially when the weather is not fine or people are tired, or there are kids in a group and they are bored. But, as a tour guide, I have to have an upbeat attitude and stay full of energy and enthusiasm during the whole tour, which can sometimes be as long as four hours. I must say, that years of working experience taught me how to preserve my energy and to not get distracted by little things.
What would you say to those who want to follow you in your footsteps and become a tour guide?
If you are a people person, love history, discovery, and love travel — then working as a tour guide might be a perfect job for you!
How to book a tour with Margarita: send her a message on Facebook
Working Language: Russian