Trip Prep Specialist
Ana MatijasWhere do you call home and what were you doing before Backroads?
I’m Alberto, I was born in Tuscany and my family lives in a village of 3000 people. It’s a place that I will always call home. Before joining Backroads, I worked as a bike shop salesperson and mechanic.
Why did the TPS position interest you?
I love traveling and I thought that this position was perfect for me because it offered me the chance to combine traveling and getting to know new places with a challenging job.
Where did you work as a TPS?
I worked in Croatia for the whole summer season and Argentina for winter.
What were the overall highlights of the job/lifestyle?
The TPS role is an interesting one - it gives you the chance to travel but at the same time the opportunity to have some stability in the place where you are working. You don’t have to pack and unpack your luggage every week like Trip Leaders do and once you get to the region you are assigned, you will stay there for few months. You will have time to settle, to get familiar with local places and people, to find the nicest spots around and share them with your coworkers. Apart from a few scheduled days of work, the rest of your tasks can be completed in a flexible way.
What was your best memory from your summer working for a travel company?
I don’t have ONE best memory; the whole season has been great for me. I met a lot of interesting people, I rode my bike around the region, climbed and jumped into the Adriatic Sea often. I spent my summer exploring Balkans with amazing people and I have to say that the entire 2018 season is going to be a wonderful memory that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
What were some of the challenges of the job/lifestyle?
Being far from home for a long period can be challenging, especially when you are dealing with stressful times in your life. In Croatia there was always been at least 2 TPSs, so you’re often working in a team, but I can imagine working by yourself with only Trip Leaders can be much more difficult.
Tell us about TPS training and the skills you learned as a TPS in the field!
TPS training was exciting for me because it was interesting to learn more about the Backroad’s work and living culture - which is WAY different from any other job I’ve ever had. In the field I had the chance to work with super-skilled bike mechanics and I learned a lot about fixing and working on bikes.
What do you plan on doing next season?
I would like to be involved with Backroads again, I loved this experience and I would like to carry on working for this company. I will be in an Operation Expert AND TPS role in Croatia next season, helping to ensure that the regions logistics are running smoothly and efficiently for all Field Staff.
Do you have any insight or advice for anyone interested in applying for this position?
During a season there are many peaks in workload mixed with periods when things are a little quieter. When I first started, I was a bit worried that there wasn’t enough work to do but after few weeks, during first peak of season I struggled to get some free time for myself. My suggestion is to enjoy free time when you have it (especially if you are in a busy region) because there are going to be many busy periods in the season when you’ll wish you had more time to yourself!
Overall experience working for a company like Backroads? What’s it like?
This is my first experience working for a company like Backroads and but as soon as you complete your tasks there is nobody putting stress on you – you’re pretty self-managed. Overall the atmosphere is chill and friendly and the job itself sounds like a dream when you talk to your friends about it ;)