We work with an incredible team of expedition guides at Earth’s Edge. But what does it take to become an expedition guide? Louise Lawrence has had an incredible career of adventures, from Nepal to the Alps. She’s led over 25 expeditions for Earth’s Edge, too. If you’ve ever wondered how to be an expedition guide, this episode from our podcast is a must-listen.
How to be an expedition guide
“Between school and university, I did a course in outdoor education. Then I studied sports science in Liverpool. It was brilliant.
I also worked for Tiglin, the national adventure centre in Wicklow. They had a really cool training instructor programme. You would work there for two years and would be trained. I went for the interview, but my best friend got it! I was happy for her, devastated for me. But a couple of months later, the girl who worked in the office went on maternity leave, so I rang them and asked for that job. So I got in the back door! It was a great foundation. And it’s just gone from there, really. My whole career has been in the outdoors. Teaching adults, teaching kids, and basically loving it.”
An adventurous start
“Both my parents were outdoorsy. My dad was a bit of an explorer, and my mum was a kayaker. Really, I had no option! I think I went on my first expedition when I was six months old, to Spain. Apparently, we camped for a week or so while they were competing, then we went on a trip down the river.
When I was older, we would head up to Donegal with scuba equipment and hillwalking kit, and it was two or three weeks of adventure. It was fun for a little while, but then in my teens, I rebelled. I was infatuated with ponies. We actually won a pony in a raffle!”
Adventures after school
“I was actually going to join the Royal Navy when I left school. I spent a year going through interviews and visiting naval bases. Then one day I had the realisation that I would have to go to war. I realised a bit late I couldn’t do that! Then I came home and worked for my uncle, who owned the Great Outdoors at the time. Then headed into my adventure career, which was always lying dormant.”
Working for Earth’s Edge
“James rang me and asked if I’d be interested in the expeditions. We met in Donnybrook and had a chat. It was a great start. I think Kilimanjaro was my first trip, which was amazing. I was a bit of an adventure snob, but as soon as I went, it knocked the corners off me. They’re amazing trips. And the people who sign up for them are amazing, too. Summit night never ceases to amaze me. It’s a great honour to see how people can do that.”
To read more about her extraordinary adventures and fantastic advice, click here to listen to the podcast.