Meet Natalia Frolova, city guide at Moscow. We’re celebrating International Women’s Day all week by taking a look at some of our favorite female guides around the world.
Natalia Frolova is one of our go-to guides in Russia. You can find her in Moscow, where she’s been sharing her love for the city’s art, history, and culture for 15 years.
How many years have you been guiding?
I’ve been working as a guide for 15 years
What or who inspired you to get into the guiding industry?
Nobody inspired me to be a tour guide. I started my professional life on a different track – teaching English. One day I saw an ad inviting people to get qualified as a tour guide with special guiding courses. I thought, “This is what I want!” I thought it would be interesting, since the profession of a tour guide comprises my interests: art, architecture, history, and I could practice my English. The time has showed that teaching, learning and guiding go side by side.
Are there barriers for women in the guiding industry you’ve had to overcome?
There are no barriers for women in the guiding industry in Moscow (and I think it’s true about the whole Russia), since it’s a female field of tourism industry here.
What is your favorite part of your city?
I don’t have one favorite. Moscow is very diverse. One can feel a dynamic rhythm of life here, and can find places having no hustle and bustle of a big city. There are a lot of places which have their own charm, and they are interesting in their own way. For example – Tretyakov Art Gallery or Novodevichiy cemetery. Sometimes travelers make you fall in love with a place which you’ve known all your life and you’ve taken its beauty for granted (let us say Red Square, which is a beaten track for guides). When they look at it with a fresh eye, the freshness of my viewpoint of the place comes back, and I realize that it’s really BEAUTIFUL, and I like it more!
How would you encourage young girls/women to get into the guiding industry?
To my mind, the profession of a tour guide is inviting in itself, at least here in Russia, because most people associate it only with traveling and new places to visit. For some others it’s interesting because they like art, architecture and history. But in my opinion, you might love all that and study them well, but if you can’t communicate with different people, you cannot be a good guide. And vice versa, if you are not knowledgeable enough, you cannot have a quality communication with travelers.