Although interning for Trek Travel has been remarkable, I can’t contain my excitement about moving on.

During the last four years I have lived the dream. I’ve learned from world-class educators. I’ve sailed across the breathtaking Pacific Ocean and skied 30+ days per winter in the magnificent Colorado Rockies. I’ve spent summers enjoying the lakes and bikes paths of Madison, WI. Like I said…living the dream. But when a new opportunity came knocking, I had only one question: when can I start?

Before you worry, I’ll still be around. In fact, I think a better word to describe my move is ‘up’. Last month, I had the opportunity to play hooky for a week and head to Solvang, California for Trek Travel’s 2014 New Guide Training. For ten days, we potential new guides worked tirelessly to learn the ropes. Although my family thought it was a glorified excuse to escape winter and ride bikes in the sunshine, I can assure you this was not the case. We spent far more time learning how to fix, load, clean, and fit the Trek Domane than we did riding it. We went back to drive school and learned how to safely maneuver a fully loaded van and trailer unit. Despite their humility, ask any Trek Travel guide and they are likely to brag about their ability to back a trainer into a parking stall without any hesitation. We spent hours in the hotel conference room, learning as much as we could absorb. We heard from Tania about Trek Travel’s values, spoke with Meagan about trip design, sat in on a sales meeting with Emily, and talked to Tim about expenses on our newly minted credit cards. We learned enough acronyms to make anyone’s head spin. Finally, after we had covered the ‘basics’, it was time for the real test. We met with vendors, drove routes, grocery shopped, prepped bikes, delivered safety talks, crafted picnic lunches, and provided support from the van and the saddle. From start to finish, we guided a mock trip…and that makes it sound simple.

Because of the veterans who made it happen, not a single minute of the week felt like work. They imparted their knowledge, shared their secrets, and patiently answered our questions. They are the rock stars we hope to become. My 2014 co-guides and I come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experiences, but during those late nights and early morning we bonded over our enthusiasm for what is the next chapter in each of our lives. The creativity and collaboration, ingenuity and zest, determination and dedication that we bring into our new careers is infectious. With the leadership and guidance of those who came before us, we are ready to put all this talk into action.

This June, college diploma in hand, I will finally get to join my co-guides in the field. I couldn’t ask for better companions with whom to share this adventure. Although the learning never ends, the fun is just beginning. I’m ready to take on the world. The question is: are you?