Would you pay for a travel companion?

Old Sep 16th, 2004, 03:23 AM
  #81  
 
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Is it usual for English teachers in the US (where I assume the OP is) to write "I wanna" ?
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 04:03 AM
  #82  
 
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spootiskerry-
I agree with elizabeth about your 70+ jobs, which is not necessarily a negative at all. I think it probably makes you an interesting person, and a good teacher.
I just reread your original post, and I hope you find what you're looking for! However, it does sound like you will need to search further to find your niche market, which may not be limited to seniors. There is a group called Travelchums (who matches up solo travelers). I think they're online. I'm afraid I know nothing about them, but I wonder if you might find some leads there?

Scarlett,
it's not the "old" but the combo of "old" with "maid" that should be restricted to the name of a card game. I have a funny feeling that Bette D. would agree with me on this, even as she laughed all the way to the bank!
I look more to the real-life Katherine Hepburn as a role model, and she didn't like the term "old maid" much either!!!
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 06:43 AM
  #83  
 
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sognatrice,
Go to Blockbuster and rent the Bette Davis movie- ALL THIS AND HEAVEN TOO.
Or THE GOVERNESS.
They both are visual aides for the type of person that spootiskerry brings to MY mind when one wants to put themselves out there for hire as a "Companion"..especially in these days when people of every age and economic catagory, travel alone.
I think it is great that anyone wants to do something that will enable them to be able to travel, I just think if she is asking for this advice here, my best advice would be to get a job where she can afford to travel on her own money or actually get a job with a Travel service where she could do what she is thinking of.
Which might mean she will have to at least learn a language and have some experience other than being able to take a photograph and call a Taxi.
Her list of accomplishments " good conversationalist" and that SHE could benefit from being able to see places that she could not afford, would most likely describe MOST of US!
Marilyn is correct, most older wealthy people do have relatives or friends that they travel with, often other older ladies..we know a few from NY who have gone to China , who take Alaskan cruises.
Most older wealthy women have very full lives and are not sitting home alone and lonely.
And I do not know one who would hire a stranger who is less traveled than they are to accompany them.
so, that is what I think today
Have a good day
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 08:07 AM
  #84  
 
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spootiskerry

The next time you see a post saying should I go to country X and what should I do there and where should I stay, where should I eat - jump in offer to research the 1000s of posts here come up with an itinerary - and then maybe you have a service worth offering.
Though they may still not take you along at least you will have some expertise in some counrty
I don't see the utility of tagging a complete stranger along, especially one does'nt speak the local language or has even been to the city/country before.Why do you not want to be a tour guide?
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 08:55 AM
  #85  
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<<The next time you see a post saying should I go to country X and what should I do there and where should I stay, where should I eat - jump in offer to research the 1000s of posts here come up with an itinerary - and then maybe you have a service worth offering.>>

I guess this was the point of my post - - as with any business proposal, of ANY goods or services - - a worthwhile "pre-test" of "can you sell it?" is to find out "can you give it away?"

I have had at least some success, "giving it away". I still feel a long way away from being able to sell it, at least with any frequency.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 09:24 AM
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sorry Rex, I did not go through all posts.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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<b><i>Go for it!</i></b>

No one ever accomplished <u>anything</u> by not trying it. About twenty years ago, I saw a sign (on an insurance agency in a small New Mexico town, of all places) that said

<b>If you think you <u>can</u> do it -
or you think you <u>can't</u> -
you're absolutely right.</b>

Soon after that, I quit my job, went into business for myself (importing computers - about which I knew absolutely nothing), and never looked back. I'll give you the names of 23 people who told me it wouldn't work. I retired about five years later. Over my desk, I posted the following:

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&n bsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbs p;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<b>Dare to fail.</b>
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Here's this morning's marketing idea for you:

if you went to college - think of a way to use your alumnae association to make connections. Go to events if they exist and chat to people and hand out your brochure. I'd stick to the &quot;in case you know anyone&quot; gambit as it puts no one on the spot.

I guess it depends where you went to school - I went to a women's college that was not very big - its graduates tend, with legitimate reason, to trust other alumnae, the school accepts &amp; turns out women with decent values as a rule.

I personally think the driving thing is a good sales point. I travel alone and don't drive, I could see making a deal with somebody nice who wanted to go where I did anyhow, where I'd at least provide a room and breakfast for her.

Maybe think of variations - best for you certainly is all expenses paid, but another offer might be: you get yourself to the destination and provide driving and company when wanted, in exchange for lodging, mobility (hostess pays for car), &amp; some meals.

I'd rather hire an agreeable stranger than feel I was making some friend of mine drive me places that didn't interest him or her.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 10:56 AM
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If you are serious about this - sign up immediately for a language class!

To make your plan work I think at least a functional level (able to order food, make phone calls and reservations, ask directions and understand the answers, buy train tickets) in the language of the country would be expected if not actually required by the person who is paying you.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 04:02 PM
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Hey, spoot, check out the thread titled &quot;My 72 year old parents want to go to the UK !!!!!!!!&quot;
Could be your first clients!
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Old Sep 17th, 2004, 10:22 PM
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I have paid for friends to come with me, when I know that the trip was beyond their budget. THey were just that, friends, during the trip. We would discuss beforehand what our traveling style is, and what expenses they would cover. Usually I paid their airfare, hotel, and most meal, guide and taxi expenses. They often treated me to a dinner at the end of the trip, out of a sense of thanks. They also would be eager to help out, and it certainly was appreciated, but it wasn't a formal arrangement. I am not sure about some of the suggestions here, especially the one about hanging aroudn an old-folks home for 6 monts, being helpful, and then springing the travel idea on them-I think that people would think they were being taken advantage of. Someone else suggested childcare, that would be a possible idea. I don't know the circumstances in which I would invite a total stranger, with no language skills, guiding skills, or anything substantive to offer besides companionship on an unequal level.
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 05:02 AM
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I am interested to know if people would change their response to the idea of paying the way of a travel companion who possessed very good language skills and a working knowledge of the culture in the chosen destination (or country)?

Would this increase the chance of success?
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 09:05 AM
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Sognatrice

In the original post, spootiskerry stated he would 'benefit from seeing places he could not otherwise afford.' To me, it seems to be a circular argument to speculate whether having a knowledge of other places would make his acquiring such a job more likely, since getting travel experience, i.e. a knowledge of other places, is presumably why s/he wants the job in the first place.

I am sure most tour guides presently employed by Cosmos or whatever would just as soon work for Globus or even Tauck, and those working for Tauck would rather work for an even more upscale outfit (Abercrombie and Kent is it? Something like that), while those working for the most upscale group tours would rather have the responsibility of assisting only one or two clients. However, the wealthier the client, the more exclusive the arrangment, the greater the experience and skills one would need. I don't blame spootiskerry for wanting to start at the top - hey, who doesn't - but to take such an aspiration seriously suggests a not altogether tight grip on reality. Which is not altogether reassuring if one is offering one's services to safeguard the travel realities of someone else.

I am struck by the irony of the Dare to Fail motto, since presumably the success of such an enterprise would rest largely on one's client NOT wishing to entertain such a motto.

As for 'if you think you can, you're probably right' alas, it is not whether I am right (or think I am) that would persuade someone else to hire me. Which, alas, rules me, at five feet two, out of star basketball player status, no matter now much Dale Carnegie positive thinking I manage.
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 09:23 AM
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Sorry, I can't let this go by. Perhaps the poster wants to travel without personal expense. Young enough, consider the military. Older, the US Peace Corps. Certainly there are other venues. Elder Hostel and of course commercial tours. Apply and find out qualifications needed.
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 09:26 AM
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suexxyy-
yes, I agree that stootiskerry's ideas of skills that might be considered valuable in the type of arrangement he/she is seeking needs a reality check, but I wasn't thinking that there was really a parallel to a &quot;tour guide&quot;, which obviously requires a completely different and more advanced set of skills. I was referring more to a traveling companion possessing good language skills, and whether that would attract potential customers wanting a less formal arrangement than a high end tour guide.
I agree with your other opinions, and am also five foot two. I also am not in the running for star basketball status, but a short stature and quick thinking enables me to scoot between their legs and steal the basketball every once in a awhile nonetheless!
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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Ah, but sognatrice, I think that spootiskerry is, as per his name, trying to lead us all a dance. No matter, I am enjoying the thread anyway.

Love your image of basketball, by the way. Maybe I have underestimated my potential talents in that department....
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 10:24 AM
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The thrust of my suggestion seems to have been misinterpreted or overlooked. All I am saying is that it is impossible to succeed at something you are unwilling to try.

It goes without saying (although many have said it nonetheless) that your chances of success will be highly influenced by the &quot;fit&quot; you can find between your skill set and what a potential client wants. You might get lucky the way you are, but adding language and culture skills can only broaden your appeal. All that is moot, however, if you allow yourself to be swayed by the nay-sayers who either never accomplished anything in their lives, and/or, for reasons of their own, would like to see you give up.

<i>p.s.</i> <u>The Power of Positive Thinking</u> was written by Norman Vincent Peale. You're thinking of Carnegie's <u>How to Make Friends and Influence People</u> (which is an excellent primer on how to not be abrasive).
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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<u>Win</u>
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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I don't even use a travel agent - can't imagine ever paying for a travel companion.
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 10:46 AM
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And I don't watch commercial television - but that doesn't mean there's no market for it!
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