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Tour Guides
Read Robert's story

Take a wander around Quebec City with Robert

Quebec, Canada
Tour Guides

Take a wander around Quebec City with Robert

Featuring Robert, 66

Meet Robert Simard, 66, from Baie-St-Paul in Canada. When he’s not planning his own vacation (or babysitting his five grandchildren!), he’s leading the top walking tour of Quebec City. With over ten years of guiding experience, Robert’s well known for his informative and fun tours that bring Quebec City to life. 

What do you love about being a tour guide? 

Robert: Sharing the history, culture, and architecture of Quebec City with visitors is always a rewarding experience.

What can travelers expect on a tour with you? 

Robert: I tell people all about the history of Quebec, including French and British influences, military, architecture, economy, education, religion, and more! I also mention more recent topics like food and restaurants, housing, and even taxes. 

What’s your most memorable moment from a tour? 

Robert: It’s always memorable when a visitor tells me at the end of a tour: “Robert, I feel I am now a Quebecer!”

What’s your favorite place to visit on your tour? 

Robert: I have two favorite spots. The first is the area around the monument dedicated to James Wolfe and Montcalm. It’s here that I present the city’s military history, including the very important link with the American Revolution. St-Pierre Street is another of my favorite places, because it was the financial heart of Canada for 250 years, from 1608 to 1850. During this time, Quebec City was the third most important port north of Mexico, thanks to its location at the end of the St. Lawrence River.

Why do you love Quebec? 

Robert: Everything, especially the European-style architecture, history, and restaurants. Plus, my fellow Quebec City citizens are all so friendly!

Become a Quebecer with Robert
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Tour Guides
Read Benjamin's story

Spot South Africa’s Big 5 with Benjamin

Cape Town, South Africa
Tour Guides

Spot South Africa’s Big 5 with Benjamin

Featuring Benjamin, 58

Meet Benjamin Glaman, 58, from Nelspruit, South Africa. Starting in Cape Town, his top-rated two-day tour first stops in Hermanus, one of the world’s premier whale-watching towns, before heading to the Garden Route Game Lodge. It’s here that guests get up-close-and-personal with the Big 5. Benjamin has over 22 years of experience as a tour guide and prides himself on making guests feel at home as soon as they touch down.

What do you love about being a tour guide?

Benjamin: I love being an ambassador of South Africa. I get guests from all corners of the world, and I love hearing and sharing stories with them. Most of the time, people come here not knowing what to expect. They’ve usually read bad publicity about South Africa, so I love putting them at ease and making them feel welcome as soon as they arrive. South Africa is for everyone. It’s the Rainbow Nation, and we welcome everybody. I love my country dearly.

How important are safaris, like the one your tour visits, in protecting animals and their habitats?

Benjamin: Very, very important because some of our animals are almost extinct. The rhinos are almost gone as this poor animal is being poached in all corners. We’re losing rhinos like nobody’s business, so if we don’t protect these animals, they won’t be here for future generations. I always advise my people: “Guys, this is our habitat. As human beings, God gave us everything. We are in charge of everything, so it’s up to all of us to help protect what we’ve got.” I ask everybody to come and enjoy but be aware of how to protect our animals and protect our heritage. If we don’t look after our heritage, nobody will do that for us. 

What’s your most memorable moment from the tour?

Benjamin: There are so many I could write a book! There was this one time when I was traveling with German guests. One of them was sick for the whole tour, but he wanted to see the beauty of the country and hear the stories. He didn’t want to miss anything, so we did everything we could to make his trip memorable for the right reasons. I’ll never forget this!

See the best of the Rainbow Nation with Benjamin
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Tour Guides
Read Shun's story

Take a tour of Kyoto with Shun

Kyoto, Japan
Tour Guides

Take a tour of Kyoto with Shun

Featuring Shun, 25

Meet Shun Watanabe, 25, from the Shimane Prefecture in Japan. He’s spent the past five years delighting visitors with rickshaw tours of Kyoto’s famed Arashiyama neighborhood. The traditional mode of transport provides the perfect setting for Shun to share stories of Arashiyama’s top sights, which include the bamboo forest and Tenryu-ji Temple.

What do you love about being a tour guide?

Shun: My customers have a great interest in Japan and Kyoto, and I feel very happy to be doing this job when I see they’re enjoying the rickshaw ride. I’m even happier if my tour encourages people to visit Japan again. I also hope that my tour and the pictures I take for my customers provide lasting memories for them to look back on when they return home.

What’s your most memorable moment from a tour?

Shun: Though she wasn’t a regular customer, showing my dear grandmother around Arashiyama is one of my most treasured memories.

What’s your favorite place to visit on your tour?

Shun: In Arashiyama, you can’t miss the bamboo forest. I recommend visiting first thing in the morning when it’s relatively quiet. I also recommend visiting Hokyoin, a temple that I believe is a hidden gem. It’s quiet enough to practice zazen (seated meditation) while looking at the beautiful garden. You truly feel Kyoto and Japan in this temple.

When you’re not pulling a rickshaw, what do you like to do?

Shun: I like to visit the many shrines and temples of Kyoto as well as travel both domestically and internationally. I’ve visited over 40 countries, but every time I visit another country, I get this special feeling when thinking about the charms of Kyoto. Also, I’ve recently started learning the flamenco!

Learn all about Arashiyama with Shun
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