Readers’ lives: Ruth Thompson

Readers’ lives: Ruth Thompson

Inghams rep Ruth Thompson switched a busy career as an events manager in the UK for the lakes and mountains of Italy aged 54. Amie Keeley reports.

I get up…
Between 7.30 and 8am and open my windows to hear the church bells ringing. I make myself a cup of coffee before hopping on my bike to go down to the piazza to stop in a café to have a pastry.

My daily duties involve…
Leading excursions. One of my favourites is to a family-run vineyard in the Franciacorta region where the Italian sparkling wine is made. The vineyards are located by the side of the lake and the distillery is about 30 minutes away. One of the daughters tells us about how they produce the wine – her grandfather still turns the bottles every day – then we do some tasting and try some local produce. I usually have some admin to do during the day and in the evening I visit the hotels to meet guests and be on hand to answer any questions.

I’ve been in my job for…
Three years. I started in December 2015 as a ski rep in Filzmoos, Austria. I didn’t know how to ski so I had to learn and now I can do black runs. Last year I did my first summer season in Lake Iseo, Italy. Before that I worked as an events manager for 20 years, including for British Aerospace putting on airshows.

I became a rep because…
I wanted to do something different. I had a horse for 10 years that died suddenly and I thought I could either view this as a door closing or a door opening. I worked long hours, travelling up and down the country, so I thought now is the time to try something completely different. I started Googling job ideas and the Inghams rep came up, so I went for it.

The most rewarding part of my job is…
Seeing people get the most out of their trip. I love encouraging guests to try something they wouldn’t normally do or something that doesn’t interest them. Sometimes, it ends up being the highlight of their trip.

The worst thing about my job is…
Being ill away from home. I had tonsillitis, which wasn’t nice, and I just wanted to be in my own bed at home.

My favourite destination is…
It used to be Bermuda, but now it’s Italy, in particular, Lake Iseo.

The most common thing I am asked is…
How and why did you become a rep at your age?

The worst thing that’s happened at work is…
I fell off a ski lift. The woman next to me got her ski stuck in mine and I went down. Luckily we weren’t high up, but my legs were pretty bruised.

To relax I like to…
Go down to the lake to either read a book or go for a dip. It’s stunning. You can be swimming in the water and see the mountains, which sometimes still have snow on top.

What one thing would you take to a desert island?
Music.

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