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Rauni Vesterinen - Becoming a tour guide from the cold, but work teaches


‍Would youjump at the chance to work in a sector where you have no experience or training ?

Many might hesitate to jump at the chance, but for Raun the answer was clear. In the 70s, Rauni ventured to Bulgaria as a tour guide in a town called Albena. As a tour guide, he spent one season in Bulgaria from June to September. How did Rauni end up as a tour guide and how has the story continued to this day? 

We sat with Raun in Truster's office, sipping coffee and discussing Raun's story of working life. A lot of life has been seen, having worked as a tour guide all the way abroad, but nowadays the tours are focused on the Helsinki area as a light entrepreneur and it's nice.

Rauni exuded a rugged Savoism, even though it has been more than 50 years since he moved to Helsinki. At that time, Rauni came to study Germanic philology at the university, from which he graduated with a bachelor's degree. Around the same time, Rauni got his first taste of working life in the form of summer jobs. During his studies, Rauni knew that he would not become a teacher, but that tourism would be his future, and he was right. 

"I got a job by going on the spot and asking if there was work available. Yes, they did. "

Summer jobs were boldly found by asking at the Elanto department store. "First I was a rush-hour helper, then full-time during the summer and finally full-time," says Rauni. The year 73 came as a surprise and I was offered a job as a tourist guide in Albena, Bulgaria. Rauni had no idea what kind of job it was and where it would take her in the future. Now Rauni says that he was lucky to go, even though he had no training, but the job taught him a lot. Later, in the 80's, Rauni was inspired to deepen his knowledge and took a course in Helsinki. The course lasted until the spring of 1982 and included a lot of lectures and bus training. 

After returning to Finland, Rauni walked determinedly to the Aurinkomatkat office and asked for a job. A couple of winters were spent in the office and a couple of summers as a tour guide in the warmth of Dubrovnik. In total, Rauni spent nine years guiding in different parts of Europe. After the sunshine trips, Rauni's career path continued in the travel industry and he continued to work for a different travel agency, where he worked for more than 30 years until his retirement. 

From retirement to a light entrepreneur.

Since 2014, Vesterinen has been telling stories as a Helsinki guide at various locations in the capital, such as Oodi, the Olympic Stadium and Winter Garden. Initially, she considered setting up a business, but a paper war slowed her down. Fortunately, one day the word "light entrepreneurship" came up in the conversations of colleagues and here we are as a light entrepreneur ourselves. The billing service of choice was Truster and price was a big factor.

Now Rauni uses her time more wisely and has more time to focus on Helsinki Guides. Vesterinen has served as secretary, vice-president and all-around planer in the association. Even though there were no guides during the korona, the association worked and the meetings remained remote. "During Korona, especially in the summer of 2020, the guiding activities were at a complete standstill. We were expecting a good season, but the wait was cut short like a chicken flight," says Rauni.

After Korona, the guides were able to get back on their feet and restart their operations, until war struck in early 2022 and had a huge impact on
cruises from St Petersburg. Cruises stopped completely and this caused the absence of many thousands of customers.

The toughest times are starting to be behind us, but for cruises it is still quite modest. Rauni is busy running 1-3 hour guided tours around Helsinki. Working days are different and inspiring from day to day. The guided tours bring new perspectives to both the guide and the tour participant.

The Töölönlahti bay is full of meaningful symbolism. 

Töölönlahti is one of Raun's favourite places. It says a lot about Finnish culture and is a central location for many events. Töölönlahti has a lot of symbolism. The Oodi, the Opera, Kiasma and the House of Music are symbols of culture, the Sanomatalo of freedom of expression and the Eduskuntatalo of democracy. Töölönlahti is also a reminder of history, both dark and light. "The 1952 Olympic Stadium carries great significance. The Olympics served as a watershed, when the hard experiences of war were put on the back burner and people began to look towards a brighter future," concludes Rauni. This and many other interesting perspectives are provided by our lightweight entrepreneur Rauni as a Helsinki tourist guide.

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