A huge component of the Global Basecamp experience is the incredible guides and partners we work with. We’ll be highlighting some of these extraordinary guides and giving a our community a glimpse into everything from their favorite memory on the job to why they first wanted to become a guide. We hope these spotlight interviews will help give insight into their contribution to the GB experience as well emphasize how travel can be used as a vehicle for cross-cultural connection and learning.
Read on to learn more about Nadeera Karannagoda , an incredible guide that helps lead our Sri Lanka Tours.
Where Are You From?
Colombo, Sri Lanka
What made you decide to become a guide? Is the job what you expected it to be?
I wanted to leave my 8-5 desk job and do something more interesting. Can it get better than being able to travel, meet and interact with new people from different cultures and also get paid for it? It is definitely what I expected and even better I would say, of course apart from the risk involved in it when the tourism industry goes through bad patches because we as guides don't have a fixed pay cheque at the end of each month.
Tell us a crazy or wild story you’ve had while on the job...
In 2019 I was assigned as the guide for a group of young travellers who were a bunch of friends. While I knew there would be a certain level of alcohol involved, I never expected it to be this crazy. Every night the drinking would go until 3-4am and every day in the morning as soon as we hit the road after breakfast, the very first stop would be at a liquor store to stock up on beer. Each member of the group would carry his own beer case (24 Cans) when checking in at the hotels and I can still remember the look of the faces of the staff members at the hotels. This continued for 2 weeks and as a guide it takes a toll on you as you need to hang around with them but still need to maintain your limits and take responsibility for the group at the same time. Myself being a young guy who likes to have my drink, it definitely wasn't easy to handle diplomatically while still maintaining the energy levels.
What is your favorite local restaurant or spot to get street food? Favorite thing on the menu ( or perhaps off-menu)?Eyes closed, my favourite place for street food would be the Nana's restaurant at the Galle Face Green in Colombo. Out of the choices in the menu I really like the combo of Cheese Naan & Chicken Paalande.
What is one thing about the country you work in that you think surprises travelers or that you hope to shed more light on?
Many travellers land here expecting the island to be a smaller version of India or at least very similar to other Asian countries. But by the time they leave, all of them are surprised how diverse and different experiences this tiny island has on offer. Also being a third world country, travellers are surprised how clean and organized Sri Lanka is compared to some of the other neighbouring countries.
Stay tuned for more Guide Spotlight interviews. In the meantime check out our interview with one of our Indonesia guides - Eka .
Or, to learn more about Sri Lanka, which by the way plans to re-open to tourists August 2020, check out our blog on Things to Do in Sri Lanka.