Topdeck Trip Leader Nicholas Fabbri may call Salt Lake City home, but the adventure guide and ski and snowboard instructor gets to explore much more of the USA in his role with Topdeck. We grilled Nicholas on where to get the best barbecue and what life is really like on the road.
How did you become a tour guide?
I had quit my sales job and decided to spend two years in New Zealand and Australia. While I was over there, I met one of the guides, and the rest is history.
How did you end up working for Topdeck?
I had been leading smaller group tours for a year and found that Topdeck was looking for leaders. I really liked the idea of travelling on the coach, and since the Kiwis and Aussies took good care of me when I was living down there, I wanted to return the favour.
What’s the best part of your job?
Those little moments on tour when you realise you are getting paid to go explore the United States. Fortunately, they happen almost every day.
And the worst part?
You make so many great connections with a lot of people, and sometimes it can be tough constantly saying goodbye.
More Topdeck inspiration:
Find out what a day in the life of a Trip Leader is like
Standout moment on tour?
I had a passenger who is a very serious blues guitarist back home. One of the greatest moments I’ve had was seeing him get invited up on stage to play in Memphis, the home of the blues. It’s a great feeling to be a part of something like that, knowing that you helped facilitate such an incredible experience.
What’s your favourite trip to lead?
I really enjoy running the Road Trip USA and Coast to Coast trips. You get to see so many different places going cross country – it’s really a ‘best of’ album of the United States.
What’s a typical day like on a trip?
As a passenger, you get a lot of time to explore on your own during the day, but there is always time to meet up in the evening and share stories. You tend to get lots of free time but still have that structure.
Best US city for food?
New York, just for the sheer variety available. You can find the best of everything in that city, although you can’t beat Austin for barbecue. The one thing I can promise is if you end up on one of my trips, there will be lots of in-depth discussions on where to eat!
Your favourite US city to stay in?
I never thought I would say this, but I love staying in Las Vegas. In 36 hours I get to ride down the Strip in a stretch limo, stay out until 4am, shoot guns, relax by the pool, and enjoy the nightlife. It is the one time I feel like I’m on vacation too.
What’s the number-one question you get asked?
It’s either, “What made you decide to quit your job and do this for a living?” or “Where is the bathroom?” We like the first question much better...
Short and sweet:
I never get sick of… taking a tour group to a baseball game, especially if it’s to see the Boston Red Sox at Fenway!
If it’s Tuesday, I must… not be on tour, because I can actually tell you what day it is.