The Tour Guide....

If you want to bring back fabulous memories from a trip,
it is essential that you have a professional tour guide. 
We have a list of qualities that we look for in a guide,
when you have these qualities you can expect 
wonderful things to happen on your trip.

We find that someone who is attentive, interested, patient,
kind, upbeat, endearing and entertaining works a charm.
A guide who is professional, knowledgable and has a sixth sense, 
easily adapting to the needs of the client is pure gold. 
Solid language skills are essential.
A bonus for me is good photographic knowledge with
suggested photo tips and best locations for photographs.
If you get a guide with a never say never, can do attitude..
take them home with you!

Am I dreaming?
Not really, as we have had many who are just like that.
We have also had the extreme opposite.
Often times it is the luck of the draw.

On our recent trip to Myanmar...we had three fabulous guides 
and one not so fabulous. I will focus on the fabulous.
Each one offered us a unique perspective and what we enjoyed most 
of all were the stories they wove through each and every minute of the day.

Aung Ngwe from Bagan was a master storyteller
and charming to boot. From Aung Ngwe we 
discovered the ancient history of Myanmar/Burma.
He also managed a tutorial on the use of the lungi (mens attire) 
for my son Connor. I admit there was a bit of lungi envy going on.
I grabbed a few of the female versions.

Aung Ngwe seemed to know where to be at just the right time of day.

For this photographer, there were many happy moments.

From our Lake Inle guide, Nyein Nyein Ei, we learned 
how the people live and work on the lake. It is a magical place.
She managed to get us up close and personal 
and was also kind enough to help us with our shopping. 
My hat sits atop hers.

Diamond from Mandalay was a special treat...
when he met us he told us his philosophy on life. 
He said..
"It is important to live in the moment and be happy. 
What is past is past, the future has not happened yet,
 live in the moment, be happy in the moment. That is the
secret to life." How can you argue with that?

Diamond was a masterful storyteller..from him
 we learned about Buddhism and the beauty and richness 
of a spiritual life in Myanmar.  

His stories were as magical as the gold that shimmered 
on this Buddha at the Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay.

and when we least expected it...he would break into song.
Living in the moment...being happy.


It was infectious. 
Connor could feel it too!

Images by Jeanne Henriques


  1. Hi, Jeanne
    What beautiful pictures from Myanmar, and how lucky you are to be able to travel there. My beautiful postcard has arrived! What a dear you are to accommodate all your readers who are armchair travelers and wanna-be's with a postcard from far-off places. Thanks again. Your posts are eagerly awaited and a high point of my day!

    1. So glad to hear it arrived Judy...until the next one! xx

  2. What a joy it must be to travel with children who are really grown. While you miss the wonder moments of toddlers, how nice to be able to discuss new experiences and places with your children to see how their lives are changed, too.

    The child (boy?) on the horse if an exquisite photo.

    1. Agree Webb..I am so enjoying this stage of motherhood with my children and is a boy on the horse. :)

  3. Love this!
    From the marvelous photos, to the delightful song, to that handsome son.
    Once again, we are on the same wavelength. Though the soundtrack to the film I've posted is a bit more retro.

    1. Always on the same wavelengh's uncanny! xx

  4. Jeanne - This is a lovely post - isn't it amazing how a good guide can enhance a travel experience immeasurably? I am so happy you were lucky on your trip to Myanmar. The photos are lovely as well. Thank you for sharing this!


    1. Thank you Sandy..and thank you also for your lovely post, I am delighted to be mentioned! xx

  5. Very touching tribute to your travel guides. It is a good thing that you learned many things from them. Connor is very lucky to have travelled with you and met all those guides.

  6. I like your pics from which you make an interesting story. Even if we are used to travel by our own (I prepare by reading books, searching intenet, making reservation for
    good hotels and restaurants) I agree that a good guide can get out the best of your trip
    I remember the guide who was able to bring me up with pick and rope from the Chancellor hut (NZ) to the top. I would have never done it without her (yes!, it was a young lady) help and encouragement. But we also had once an awful boring guide (India) who's only
    goal was to drag us into the next shop. That's live of a keen traveler..isn't it? B.t.w.
    your son looks very pleasant. He is the dead spit of you.

    1. Loved the photos you sent me brave woman you! I would have needed a guide too..either that or I would have sat that one out and waited for you to tell me about it on your return. :)

  7. Jeanne,I think you may have come 'home' photographically! Seems like this beautiful part of the world was just waiting for your camera, and we are the ones who get to benefit!
    Love the song in the car! More videos please

    have a good weekend


    1. Thank you Sharon..fortunately for me, it is pretty hard to take a bad photo here, there is so much to work with and if that doesn't work...there is Instagram. :) xx

  8. Connor is so handsome! And with that smile, well, he is obviously the same good egg that his Mom is...the apple (or egg) doesn't fall far from the tree...;à

    And you know how much I loved this, I don't even have to tell you. A touch bittersweet in thinking of our guides (we would use the same each time we visited) that we most likely won't see again...especially Mohammed in Mali...

    How wonderful to do deserving honor to those that bend over backwards to make our experiences extraordinary. Bravo!!

    1. Thank you Heather...I will admit, he is pretty cute. I thought of you when I wrote this...I knew you would be able to relate. I love that about our collective travelling spirits in the blogging world. xx

  9. Jeanne you are really working that camera of yours, simply beautiful.

    1. Thank you has it's challenges, but if out of 100, I get one...I can't complain! :)

  10. Jeanne

    Your photographs are just stunning. Have you thought of writing a book via your photography? By the way Connor is such a handsome boy. I see his mother in him!

    1. Thank you Cindy...a book is a very distant dream..getting through the blog is challenging enough. I am having to much fun! I agree..he is a handsome boy. :) xx

  11. Jeanne, Once again a story filled with information, wonderful word descriptions of events, sights and people, I read each little story with interest and delight....and then the Pièce de résistance....the photo of Connor. A mother's treasure of a lifetime in the feelings you captured in this one shot. My heart swelled with delight for this marvelous bit of this page in his life that you now have not simply in memory, but in the visual history of his life. Magnifique!

    1. Thank you Kam and for me, the greatest pleasure of the entire trip for me was seeing him engaged, happy and full of questions. I am feeling pretty lucky to have a 13 year old boy who can take so much in his stride. He is a happy traveller... xx

  12. What stunning photos. Just so thankful I got to visit your blog. Love all of the pictures but the one with your son is perfection.

    1. Thank you Peggy...lovely to have you stop in again... xx

  13. What a trip!Your SON is adorable!I like the bit about living in the moment!Very good advise!

    1. Contessa...Diamond was a wise man...and such a delight to be around. :)

  14. My only experience with a personal tour guide was
    through Intourist, in the USSR, and she was more of a martinet/minder. You've convinced me, nonetheless, to find a guide when I next visit a place that is not familiar to me. (I hope that place will be Myanmar.) Do you have any suggestions about how best to find a good guide?

    Your photographs are gorgeous...especially the one of a certain young man. And I loved Diamond's song! You send us such gifts! Thank you, Leslie in Portland, Oregon

    1. Thank you Leslie...I would speak to your travel agent about what you are looking for in a guide. If you are booking directly with a hotel, take the time to correspond with them about guides and tell them what you are looking for. If it is last minute, on a whim, on the day....speak to the Concierge..they alway have great tips.
      Jeanne xx

  15. WOW what an amazing experience for you and your family! And we can never be reminded enough to live in the moment and be happy! Your pictures are stunning as well!

    I have a son named Connor too (he is 5) and we are a traveling family from CA . . . now living in the Netherlands. I love reading your blog as it gets me excited for more adventures and seeing the world with our children as they grow! Thanks for sharing your wonderful experiences on your blog. Cheers, Laurie

    1. Laurie...always happy to meet a fellow expat traveller. I so enjoyed seeing your blog and thinking of all that is ahead for you. We left the USA with young children...I remember those days well.. xx

  16. Thank you Jeanne for this travel experience. Your images are National Geographic treat. Colors are fantastic and what an eye you have? Love the image at dusk and the pic of your smiling junior.
    What camera do you use to shoot at twilight?

    I've just added you to my blogroll.

  17. Good work jeanne.. The photos are beautiful. A good Guide can always help to enhance the travel experience.
    tour new york


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