“Crew – A group of people who work closely together”
How close can you get with someone that you work with?
When I worked in an office it was usual to separate work from play and people at work knew me in a different way than the people I lived with or whom I partied with or whom I went to for support.
On the road your crew are all of those people combined. On day one you meet the two people whom you will work with, laugh with, fight with, party with, share a room with and whom you will know inside out by the end of the coming trip.
The experience is especially potent when you have ‘firsts’ with them. Maciej saw Dubrovnik for the first time on this trip with me and Amanda showed me places in Budapest I had never seen before.
I’ve said before that it is not uncommon to start a trip with no knowledge of your crew members. I had met Maciej only 2 days before our trip started but as usual the only way to go is to leap in to full friendship with your new crew straight away. We need to be friends and be confident of where we stand with each other in order to be able to lean on each other and ask for help when we need. I have heard about some crew who on their first day together sit down with each other and ask ‘what are your pet peeves in a trip leader/driver?’ And I think that sort of attitude of laying it all bare is great!
Because you will need their help, things will go wrong. Passengers will get lost. You will get sick. Weather will be unpredictable. And at these times your crew will need to put their heads together to figure out what to do. Each member of the crew has their own duties but each has to respect where their duties fit in around the limits of their crew’s. As much as I would love to do a fancy lunch that lasts for an hour on a drive day, we need to get to our accommodation at the right time and driving hours stipulate that the driver can only stop for half an hour in order to make his other rest stops work within regulations.
Sometimes you have to pipe up and say ‘I know what is right in this situation and you need to Respect that’ and sometimes you need to listen and realise that in this case, your suggestion is not what is best and most often you need to bounce ideas off each other and work to use both peoples plans. You always have to realise that whatever you say you are still with this person, in and out of their pockets, for weeks to come. They need to be listened to and respected.
The best crew relationships come when you get to know each other I want to hear stories about who your loved ones back home are, what your childhood was like and who your best friends on the road are. I want to know what is making you passionate for the job and what you are looking forward to on our trip.
Maciej and Amanda saw me cry, laugh, sleep, run, sick, stressed but most of the time just saw me enjoying life and you can’t do all of that for five weeks without coming out with a special connection at the end of it. We have gone through something special together, we have changed lives together. That’s how close you can get to people you work with.