Adam’s path to en-guiden-ment
I still remember my first real hike. I was about 8 years old, and my family and I were camping in Bright, Victoria as we did every summer when I was growing up.
As with all of our trips to that beautiful part of the state, we had taken a drive up to the high country to do some sightseeing, only this time turned out to be a little different. My parents had decided that we would take on the infamous Razorback Ridge on Mt Feathertop Victoria’s second highest peak.
Being so young and fearless, I had no idea what we were in for. Turns out it was a 20km return walk along the spectacular ridge line of the Victorian Alps that took us all day. I remember being awestruck by how the scenery changed from one minute to the next as the imposing sight of Feathertop grew before my eyes. Eventually we reached the foot of the final ascent to the summit when apparently, as my father always reminds me, he turned his head for a second and when he looked back, I was already scrambling my way up the steep slopes of the mountain. I guess this is where my journey to becoming a guide really began….
Through my teenage years, I became obsessed with travel programs. When I was about 14 years old, I started watching a show on channel 9 called ‘Getaway’. I vividly remember watching an episode where the presenter, Rebecca Harris (who I had a huge crush on at the time), visited a place called Lord Howe Island. I was so taken a back by the beauty of what was being shown on my television screen, and the fact that it was In Australia that I made it my mission to one day travel around my homeland.
After that, I did the normal thing. I went to University in Melbourne and graduated with a double degree that ended up having absolutely no relevance to my current occupation. I hung out with friends, watched movies, went to concerts, was basically a typical city boy. When I graduated though, I thought it was time to make that teenage dream a reality, so I bought a 4WD and took off up the East Coast of Australia with the plan of having no plan at all.
The trip changed my life. As soon as I left Melbourne I realised I would never live there again. I felt free, energised, alive. This was when travelling and the outdoors truly became my passion.
After living in Cairns, Brisbane and Canada for a while, I eventually returned to Australia to somehow find myself back in Melbourne. It was horrible being sucked back into the rat race, so I decided my only option was to get as far away from Melbourne as I could….. Broome!
But what could I do in Broome? Up to that point in my life all I had done was work in a few retail/hospitality jobs to earn enough money to get by. I was now 26 and wanted to pursue something that I loved, a passion, something meaningful.
I remember thinking to myself during my quarter life crisis that I loved travelling, the outdoors and meeting people. I’d also been on a few tours in Australia and in Canada…. wait that’s it! I’m going to be a tour guide!
And that was that, I was going to be a tour guide. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I was certain that it was what I wanted to do. I emailed all of the tour companies I could find in Broome and asked them what I needed to become a guide. Fortunately, without any experience at all, I was given the opportunity by one of the local operators to start leading tours around The Kimberley. I’ll never forget the words my then boss said to me in the interview….
“We’re not that fussed with experience because we can teach you what you need to know. What we’re after is passion, enthusiasm, personability. If you’ve got those things, you’ll be a great guide”.
That statement is what I have taken into each and every tour that I have led since 2008.
So here we are, 10 years on and I’m still going. 4 years guiding in The Kimberley, 12 months of cycling tours in The Netherlands and now 4 years and counting with Inspiration Outdoors leading tours all around Australia. It’s still the best job in the world and I still pinch myself when I’m swimming in a pristine gorge, summiting a mountain or taking in a spectacular coastal vista and realise to myself, “I’m getting paid for this”.… Here’s to the next 10 years.