I can’t believe it’s time!
As you read this I’ll have just arrived in Northern California to start a month long training to be a tour leader with PEAK Adventure Travel (the brand that manages companies like Trek America & Intrepid Travel). Boy has it been a long time coming. I applied in November from Madrid, had a Skype interview in December from San Diego and attended a group interview in March from San Francisco.
With all this lead up sometimes I forget that this is actually happening. These days, more than ever before, I’m so focused on the present that I don’t get too wrapped up with what’s ahead. (If you’ve been reading along you’ll note how this also affects my ability to adequately prepare for trips.)
These few weeks leading up to this point have been almost too normal. So normal in fact, I keep forgetting I’m actually about to start my dream job.
For the summer I’ll be showing people the time of their lives…spending my days traveling for a living….taking people on epic U.S. road trips!
Part of me can’t even quite comprehend it. And while half of me is constantly saying, “Jessica, you better not screw this up,” the other half of me is thinking it all could be too good to be true. Like, where’s the catch?
Some days, before being excited, I’m anxious. Still, I have faith that once I’m actually there and hanging out with all my new co-workers everything will fall into place!
This job will be NOTHING like teaching English or freelance writing, but I’m happy about that!
What I’ve been up to recently
Along with blogging and VA work, I’ve had a lot of preparation work to do for the job. Before training we were to study for our commercial driver’s license, get our CPR and First Aid certification, get a medical exam, study a multitude of subjects and prepare presentations.
Then there’s the whole getting ready to live in a combination of hotels, tents and out of a van for four months..
I’ve also taken the past couple months to work on my photography, enjoy San Diego and relish in making my own schedule. It’s amazing to not have to wake up and commute through traffic every morning. Instead, I usually wake up without an alarm, make some coffee and move to my desk for the next 8 or so hours.
Of course, it isn’t always that easy.
Some days I am more easily distracted and others, and especially if I’ve decided to go out the night before, I can barely get anything done. At 26, I just can’t bounce back from a night out like I used to in college!
Along with being as productive as possible, I’m also trying to enjoy this current life I’m leading as much as possible. There are some days I couldn’t be happier being in my mid-twenties, single, working for myself and living in San Diego. My mind feels clearer than it has most other times. I’m so not worried about “what to do next in life” or obsessing over some relationship problem (which I’m pretty sure 75% of the past year of my life involved). Instead I’m just working hard (at something I love!) and playing harder.
Still, when I get too comfortable, I get complacent, so I’m ready for this new adventure. As much as working for yourself is truly an amazing experience to have, it sure takes self-motivation and dedication. It’s also not as profitable all the time as I’d like it to be.
So travel, CO-WORKERS and reliable paychecks here I come!
What to expect from the blog
I’ve been busy finishing up all my articles about Brazil and Jordan before setting off. There was so much left I still had to say!
In the next month or two you can expect a weekly article even though I’ll be on the road. Make sure to keep an eye out for these upcoming posts:
- Photo Essay: 30 Desert Scenes from Jordan
- 7 Souvenirs to Buy in Jordan
- Trekking the Vale do Pati, Chapada Diamantina
- Sun, Spas & Serenity: Where to Relax in Jordan
- What You Need to Know about Visiting Chapada Diamantina
- How to Plan the Ultimate Girls Trip to Jordan
- One Month Itinerary of Brazil: Cities, Beaches & Nature
- My Favorite Cities Around the World
Travel with me (and a new blog series)!
While I won’t have the time to write full articles while on the job, I’ll still be taking a lot of photos. I’ll be doing a Postcards from the Road series to share a couple of my favorite shots along with a short (lightly edited) recap on the previous week . Given I can get an hour or two to myself each week, I’ll be posting these updates on Thursdays or Fridays optimistically.
I’m motivated to keep up with this series, but being a successful tour leader (and retaining my sanity) comes first.
Also, as much as I might be going off the grid at times while driving around the U.S., I still really want to take you all with me on social media. I’ll be updating as frequently as possible to keep everyone posted on this crazy adventure I’m about to get myself into:
- For my favorite photos and current whereabouts follow along on Instagram.
- For an insider’s look on what I’m doing every day, and the strangest parts of it all, follow me on Snapchat at jessicaannwray.
- For almost everything from photos, updates and all the articles above, head over and like the Facebook page.
To celebrate these new changes, a giveaway!
There’s a lot to be excited about around here. For that reason, here’s another giveaway with a company that I think embodies some common morals.
Sorry again guys, it’s mostly for the girls. Still, it could be a great present for moms and girlfriends! 😉
In Jordan and for my pre-trip purchases, I’ve been into supporting local business who are also doing their part around the world. A San Diego company who also helps provide locals in Costa Rica with full-time jobs, Pura Vida Bracelets has become ridiculously popular within the last year in Southern California. Their bracelets are simple, yet sometimes with a splash of bling. You can mix and match or buy your our stacks. These days you can find them at the counter of every surf shop in town.
But maybe what I like most about Pura Vida is what they stands for:
The pura vida lifestyle is embodied by the enjoyment of a life lived slowly, the celebration of good fortune, and the refusal to take anything for granted. It’s about being free and living life to the fullest; it’s an attitude.
I can stand by this….and I also see the next few months of my life being exactly that.
Some stack collections from Pura Vida’s website
To win one of the above stacks (the Windansea, the Stormy Weather, OR a Gold Anchor Wrap, up to $70 value) enter below! At the same time you’ll also be helping me in a tiny blog survey!