I applied to be a Backroads leader as soon as the application season opened. Like college, Backroads has a pool of applicants each year that apply within a certain time frame. From the research I’ve done, it seems that every year, they hire about 10% of that pool – and the process of getting hired is extensive. Not to brag or anything.
After getting through the first couple of rounds, I was invited to a Hiring Event – which is a day-long interview that tests all of the skills required for the role. Each Hiring Event hosts 50-60 applicants. I’m no stranger to these types of group interviews, but even without that previous experience, applicants have no need to be worried about the event. The job requires applicants to be outgoing and personable, so you can assume going into it that everyone present will be easy to talk to. Even so, the experience blew me away.
The day was filled with tests, activities, presentations and interesting conversation, and I left feeling happy to have had the experience, even if I was not given an offer.
Thankfully they did give me an offer though, so I don’t have to pretend to be gracious. This summer I will be a part of the Camp Crew – kind of a training for the Leader position that everyone applies for. I’ll be ensuring that everything on the camping trips goes as smoothly as possible for all of the guests. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited in my life. I’m looking forward to spending the vast majority of my time outside and not in front of a computer, and I can’t wait to travel.
Anyway, onto Carmel-by-the-Sea. This little town is so cute. It’s reminiscent of a fairytale village with its cobblestone streets and small shops. We stayed outside of town, on a cliff overlooking the water, at the Tickle Pink Inn. We loved that every room had a view, and that the inn had all the comforts of home. Also, great beds.
Turns out my mom is a huge John Steinbeck fan, who knew? So we couldn’t pass up visiting the Steinbeck center in the Salinas Valley. The museum had a few too many quotes from Steinbeck’s books, but overall it’s very well done and has tons of information about Steinbeck, his books and the area he wrote about.
The 17-Mile Drive around Pebble Beach and a trip to Big Sur are both excursions you can’t miss. The 17-Mile Drive is so beautiful and I’m sure the golf courses you pass on the drive are worth a visit as well. That is, if you actually play golf. One thing to consider if you do want to play golf is that it is very windy, so just be aware that you probably shouldn’t be playing for the score.
Driving down towards Big Sur provides dramatic views of cliffs and the ocean, and we were lucky enough to run into some roadside cows as well!
You will want to take 300 pictures of everything because it’s all so beautiful, but just know that when you’re looking back to write a blog post about the trip, they will all look exactly the same.