Best River Rafting In The World
Rafting jobs close to home build a solid foundation of skills and experience for the new river guide. This is like dipping one’s toe in the worldwide sea of raft guiding. Rafting outfitters all over the world need professional and skilled river guides to share their passion for the river with eager clients. International raft guide jobs allow individuals to experience the beauty of another culture and the joy of travel through the eyes of a local; a rare opportunity. This is in addition to rafting on the world’s greatest whitewater rafting rivers.
Working as a raft guide in a foreign country typically occurs after experience has been gained in the United States. Often, rafting companies maintain special relationships with other outfitters in different parts of the world, creating an exchange program for their guides. This is typical of companies in Central and South America, where their rafting season falls during North America’s cold and snowy winter.
It is possible to begin a career as a raft guide in a foreign country. At Voss Rafting in Norway, a guide training program similar to one in the United States instructs beginning raft guides. By training initially with a company abroad, less time is needed adapting to local cultures and customs.
As a new international raft guide, individuals find themselves learning the safety and customer service standards of their new home. This sometimes means obtaining additional guiding licenses and safety or medical certifications. It also means meeting higher standards of guest relations as the clientele is most likely rafting as a part of their own international vacation of a lifetime.
Expediciones Chile, a rafting and adventure company located in the Patagonia Region of South America, attracts guests from all parts of the world who are expecting an experience unlike anything else. They affirm that “it is the duty of the staff to make this dream come true. It must be understood that the pressure of the job can get intense. All employees are expected to put the client first and be available to them at all times.” They also emphasize that raft guides must be comfortable in a multi-cultural environment.
Depending on the country, new river guides must also be required to learn the local language. In China, Last Descents Rivers Expeditions help guides learn Mandarin so that they might build a better rapport with the clients. This skill also helps a raft guide during free-time. Even just moderate language skills significantly increase the ease and comfort of international travel.
Kayaker Chris Baer speaks about his experience on rivers in foreign countries.
“Once you are on water the language barrier is usually not too much of an issue as charades will usually get you by, but the process of getting to and from the river in a foreign country with no language skills is nearly impossible.”
Once these initial hurdles have dissolved, an international guide job can be one of the most rewarding experiences out there. River communities everywhere have striking similarities, no matter the cultural background. Guides all over the world want to share their passion for the water and the river life with anyone they meet. International river guides typically find themselves a second home where waves, laughter and nature’s beauty are enjoyed daily.