Warm food on cold days. Feelings of good cheer, festive decorations, and rich traditions shared with good friends and family. What could be better than Christmas?
How about Christmas spent in the lands that founded so many things we associate with Christmas?
Christmas wreaths and Christmas trees. Presents and Father Christmas. Mulled wine and holiday sweets. Shopping the outdoor stalls of Christmas Markets in Prague, Munich, and Budapest is the ultimate experience in Christmas cheer.
Is there any way you could possibly top this experience? How about getting paid to travel the world?
I’m strolling the aroma-filled market stalls in Prague’s Wenceslaus Square this week and later the Marienplatz in Munich, leading a group of travelers to commune with their Christmas roots.
My travelers, all warm with the glow of five days in Prague, are excitedly talking of Bavaria and the next set of things to see and do.
So yes, I get to travel the world — Thailand, Costa Rica, Iberia, France, Amsterdam, the European Christmas Markets, and more — not just for free, but as a substantial part of my yearly income.
I design and market trips that take groups to some famous activities that they expect, but also to some fun surprises that I have found over the years. And I even include blocks of unscheduled time so that my travelers can pursue individual interests.
Is all that planning fun? It is to me. I get to dive headfirst into favorite interests (food, wine, photography, ecology, trains, and fun cultural events on my tours) in fascinating and beautiful spots around the globe that I have come to know so well. Flipping through my passport, I realize that it now feels as if I have a hundred homes.
Is it lucrative? Yes. I have always been able to cover the costs of my own travel (and every so often, that is more than enough), but the money can also be substantial.
An 11-day trip to Thailand netted me $7,180 after my expenses. A 13-day tour of Portugal and Spain left me with a hefty $8,341.
Is it difficult to find travelers? Not really. The internet is a goldmine for your efforts to find adventure-seekers interested in destinations and themes that reflect your own areas of curiosity and expertise.
You learn tricks and methods of connecting with potential clients along the way, but the need to market your tours shouldn’t be a roadblock.
Maybe it could be something you choose to do once a year to fund a trip to a favored land. Maybe it’s the pathway to part-time (or even full-time!) income doing something you love — seeing the world, and sharing with others your insights and wisdom about a place they have long wanted to visit. The rewards of doing this for others are always many.
Including the reward of this very moment in an electric train car — as my travelers and I pull out of the station in Beroun, Czech Republic, chatting about our adventures, with warm visions of last night’s yummy Christmas Market trdelník pastry dancing in our heads. Oh, and the delicious treats that await down the rails.