The first word that I can think of as I sit down to write this is “wow”. I know that is an overused word in the English vernacular, especially when it comes to explaining something inspirational, or eye opening. I have to say it again though. Wow! I just returned from Madison, WI, the location of our Trek Travel “mothership”. I had the opportunity to train the new Guides joining our team for 2013 with the help of the most amazing group of friends. I say friends because that is what they are, but they happen to be my co-workers and what a great crew they are.

Our Guide Manager, Brie and I, spent an intense 9 days with a group of top-notch candidates from all over the world, and that is where the “wow” comes in to play. I can’t tell you how impressive it is to see a group of exceptionally talented people from different parts of the globe, with completely different backgrounds, dedicate every waking hour to becoming part of the Trek Travel Team. Brie and I are so blessed to experience the excitement, enthusiasm, and earnest dedication our candidates displayed.

We all worked tirelessly for days to “wow” our new candidates and show them the Trek Travel Difference. We ran mock cycling trips, hosted social hours and dinners, demonstrated van and trailer manipulation, instructed bike repair and maintenance, discussed budgets, trip end documents, and more! The list goes on and on, and the new guides displayed abundant energy and constantly applied techniques, or upheld standards that we parlayed to them throughout the time in Madison. After many a long days and nights, the guides were always able to come together as a team, chock full of enthusiasm and new ideas, and read and willing to take on more. What we observed epitomizes what Trek Travel Guides are all about; Energy, enthusiasm, dedication, and flexibility, no matter the circumstances.

During the two weeks in Madison, we (Brie and I) discussed over many lattes and cappuccinos what it meant for us as leaders during this process. The take away for me is that I am inspired, plain and simple! I am well into my fourth season as a guide and I will admit, there are times where I have become a bit complacent or uninspired because of lack of sleep, quality friend time, a home cooked meal, or the lack of exercise (it does happen! We don’t ride ALL the time!) Guide Training brought it all back to square one for me though. Never will I take my job for granted. Never will I wake up unready to tackle the day with vigor, and never will I take my co-guide’s ideas and enthusiasm with a grain of salt. I am completely pumped about seeing the new guides in the field and having the opportunity to learn from them, just as they learned from us. I remember the first season I had, and the joy that it brought me, as well as all of the opportunities for learning and growth. I think it will be a little like watching your child grow up and experience life as it comes; certainly a bit different because they are all adults, but you get the point.

So, on your next trip, when you see these new guides out in the field, welcome them with open arms. Give them a big smile and hello, and just a little bit of trouble.

A big thanks goes out to Sean and Rebecca for all of their hard work, as well as our entire office staff. They all went above and beyond to set our new guides up for success.

And last, but not least, a big thanks to Tania. Without her, we wouldn’t be doing this!

Until next time – Brie & Greg