Recently I had the pleasure to meet Candice Brugnera. She was one of a tent camping group at the San Franciso/Petaluma KOA. Upon asking her about her group, this is what I learned!
Levonne: Glad to meet you Candice. Your group’s tents have been set up here for a while. What are you all doing?
Candice: We are tour leaders for Windigo.
L: What is Windigo?
C: Windigo gives tours for international clients through the U.S. and Canada. Windigo gives camping tours, lodging tours and hiking tours. The company provides all you need for the tour. The customers just have to take their personal belongings, a sleeping bag, a huge smile, positive attitude and joy for fun and life.
L: You have an accent. Where are you from?
C: I am from Strasbourg, France.
L: What kind of work do you do there?
C: I’ve done lot of different jobs in my short life but mostly I worked in tourism & events in Barcelona, Spain and Strasbourg, France.
L: What made you interested in being a tour leader with Windigo? http://www.coolworks.com/windigo-usa/highlighted-job/2505-we-need-adventurous-people-for-a-fun-filled-summer
C: Since I saw the Windigo job offer, I was interested. It is a really great opportunity to work in the U.S. and in particular in the Southwest. Windigo is a family size enterprise and the contact I had via mail was really warm.
L: What did your family and friends think about your decision to take the job?
C: My friends are jealous! Most seriously, traveling had always been my passion so my friends and family just gave me a big hug before I left. They are used to seeing me leave and traveling around and just keep the beer cold for my return home. I think that my parents are proud of my courage and my determination to follow my dreams.
L: Which tour are you leading?
C: I’ll mostly lead tours in Southwest California and national parks. I just started so for the moment I don’t have any funny stories to tell. Give me a few weeks and I’ll have plenty of them!
L: Do you camp or RV back home in France?
C: I did a lot of camping and never took any all-inclusive hotel holidays. I love being outside and seeing what the next day gives. When I travelled in Australia for two months, I slept in the car I bought. Besides the freedom, being outside gives you the opportunity meet new people. We mostly spend all the year locked up in our flats with our routine so being free during a few months or weeks is very revitalizing.
L: What would you recommend to a person who wishes to be a tour guide for a camping or recreational vehicle travel company?
C: For me the best strengths are being adventurous, organized and open minded. If traveling and sharing with people is your passion, you’ve made for the job. If you’re running after money and comforts just stop thinking about it.
L: How much does it cost for a person to take a camping trip through Windigo? How can someone sign up for a trip?
C: Windigo works with European agencies. Those agencies have different prices for the tours. But it might be between 2000 and 4000 Euros for a 2-3 weeks tour depending if it’s a camping or an hotel trip and which activities are included in the tour. You can learn more about Windigo U.S.A. here. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Windigo-USA/263829136983212?fref=ts
L: What do you like most about your job?
C: I think the best success is be able to mix work and passion. When you have both of them, you just can be happy, don’t you? In addition, I love making people happy and sharing experiences and moments with the others. When you see the smile on your customer’s face thanks to your good job, there is nothing more rewarding for me.
L: When you are not leading a tour, what are you doing?
C: I sleep! More seriously, I prepare for the next tour, wash my clothes and if possible visit the Petaluma (California) surroundings. Everything is so beautiful!
L: Is there anything else that you would like the recreational vehicle enthusiasts that read RVT.com Blog to know that I’ve not asked?
C: My philosophy is: Do not dream your life but live your dreams. It is important to trust in life and use your tools to succeed.
L: What is next for you after the summer with Windigo?
C: Next it will be autumn again and I’ll go back home to finish my studies and dream about the next summer season!
L: How might someone get in touch with you if they have more questions for you?
C: If people are interested in having more details about the job or travels, they can reach me at [email protected]
So that’s the interview. Have you ever taken a camping or hiking tour in another country? How about an RV trip? Any recommendations or caveats?