An Interview with The Most Experienced Travel Guide You’ll Meet

Claus Anderson has done it all and he wants you to follow in his footsteps.

Claus Anderson has been working as a freelance tour guide for the last 20 years, working in more than 30 countries. He’s not contracted with any company and never knows where he’s heading next. It’s a travel job that gives him the maximum freedom to travel the world.

As he gained more and more travel experience, Anderson started landing more and more jobs. “I am calm when I am leading a group and I never panic, even if people spit in my face, drop dead from heart attacks or if volcanoes erupt and block air traffic,” he said. Yes, those are just some of the things he has actually experienced on the job.

“There are many ways into this job, but only the strongest survive here,” said Anderson.

Anderson doesn’t have any formal education at all, except for primary school. “I have not even gone to high school, as I started to travel the world on my own as a teenager,” he said. “I read a lot of books though. I have just never wanted to read a book because a teacher told me to read it, but I have probably read more books than the average university graduate.”

However, he also said that it’s his experience that he’s the exception to the rule. Many people who get into being a tour guide do have a degree in history, art, literature, or something else that helps them to understand the world better. 

He travels full time, but admits that he doesn’t work fulltime. “I would rather just travel for fun and by working my butt off 150 days a year being a tour guide. I can quite easily afford to holiday more than 200 days a year,” he said. “I have no home, so no mortgage. And I have no expensive things, such as cars, kids and girlfriends who would rather have me stay at home.”

He said that if you have a great interest in different cultures, are able to remember what you learn about them and have some diplomatic sense, then you have a good chance to work as a tour leader around the world.

In his travels he has worked as a hotel receptionist in London, a tour guide in Syria, a grape picker in Canada and has organized shopping trip for tourists to Paraguay. He has worked in a hardware store in Germany, on a desert farm in Israel, in a hostel in Athens and been paid to teach Brazilian students Danish. “I have also been volunteering at a festival in Finland, at the beach handball world cup in Brazil and helped an old guy to restore a water mill in Albania.”

He documents his travels on his blog Travelling Claus (HYPERLINK https://travellingclaus.com/category/being-a-tour-leader/ )

He admits that it isn’t quite an easy lifestyle, but today’s digital world has definitely opened up more possibilities than before to work like he does. He said in his blog, “One of the greatest things about working around the world is to see that it’s perfectly possible to work with people from different cultural backgrounds, as long as we all are respectful and flexible towards each other.”

 

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