Hi, I'm John, and welcome to the Walks 101 blog. In future blogs we'll be sharing our favourite parts of Melbourne, of Australia, of travel and of things that interest us.
Today, I want to start with an introduction to Walks 101.
I've been a tour guide for 7 years. With that much guiding under my belt, I've gathered my fair share of guiding stories. Last summer I carried a group of ladies to safety after flash floods enveloped Venice's San Marco Square. The year before I led a fleet of RVs down Route 66 in the USA. I've managed a Croatian yacht flotilla in rough seas. I've even guided groups in lederhosen at Munich's Oktoberfest.
It's been a great time, but there is one uncomfortable commonality between all these experiences — they cost my clients a lot of money.
When I followed my Aussie fiancé to Australia, I knew I wanted to do something different. I started Walks 101 to be a walking tour company made for everybody. My favourite experiences as a guide are when I start a dialogue amongst people with hugely different backgrounds. I love giving tours where business travellers and backpackers get to know one another. Lucky for me, I got what I wished for.
The company I started launched the Melbourne Free Walking Tour three months ago, and we've already welcomed 2,000 people to the city we love. Just this week, I personally guided a couple of American business travellers here for a conference, a German busker who brought his ukulele, an Iranian doctor here to study, and a family with young kids come on the same tour.
You might think the diverse backgrounds would make for a difficult tour, but you'd be wrong. We all share a common interest in travel, and we all share a desire to know this city in a deeper way. At the end of the tour, I took the group for a pint at my favourite pub in the city. We sat down and shared stories of our past travels and future plans. It was yet another of what I hope are many happy memories with Walks 101.
John is a tour guide with Walks 101. He cut his teeth with the Melbourne Free Walking Tour, but now is most excited about the American Food Tour he's finished developing.