In 2016, my life would unexpectedly change for the better.
A fire ravaged our paternal home leaving my dad and I to literally rebuild everything from the ground up. The house was gutted and morale was at an all-time low.
We were living in an apartment that was paid for by our insurance company, and my dad and I were at each other’s throats with the constant pressure of having to rebuild again. I was going insane in the apartment and sought employment during the summer. In comes a job posting from the Société du développement commercial de l’avenue du Mont-Royal as an Information Clerk at their kiosk right by the Mont-Royal metro station. By the way, this non-profit organization seeks to promote the amazing merchants of Mont-Royal Avenue.
I get hired for the job and find myself interacting with tourists and locals alike. It’s at this moment that I started falling in love with Montreal again, and figured out that I need to work in a field where I get to talk to people on a daily basis. I can never thank SDC avenue Mont-Royal enough for giving me that opportunity. Coincidentally, I met a lady named Joy the previous year who would subsequently become an incredibly good friend. She was hinting at visiting Montreal that year and I jokingly said to her “You’ll have the greatest tour guide of the city” to which she replied “Why don’t you become a Tourist Guide?”. Mille mercis Joy! Those two independent events will lead me to attend an information session at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) to then enroll in the Montreal Tourist Guide program as you need to be licensed here in the city in order to be able to give tours.
Five years later and over a thousand tours later, I can safely say that being a tourist guide is the greatest job in the world. Not only have I found happiness through my employment but also by meeting an extraordinary woman in 2020 during the pandemic. Debby is the main source of inspiration in prompting me to have Rontreal.com spring back to life, and to be able to offer my very own tours.I am sure that there will be hurdles along the way but I know that everything will be alright with Debby by my side.
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