I had hoped to post this as an advertisement to vote for my essay in Contiki’s “Blog Your Way Down Under” contest to Australia. But, alas, I didn’t make the finally three, so now I’m just posting this for the heck of it……
I’ve always wanted to visit Australia. Sure, every entrant will probably say that. But in all honesty, I’ve dreamed of going there long before I started writing and blogging—even before I knew how to write! I remember riding to the bus stop as a kid, singing along with my We Sing Australia cassette tape. I dreamed of throwing a boomerang, learning to play a didgeridoo and seeing a kookaburra in a “gum tree, eating all the gumdrops he could see.”
I think the cassette eventually ended up in a garage sale, but the melody and dream of visiting Australia never stopped playing in my mind.
Hand in hand with the desire to visit Australia is my free, adventurous spirit. In the years after that cassette, you could find me building forts, camping with my family and exploring the woods of my aunt’s cabin. I was also fortunate enough to have parents that understood the importance of traveling and experiencing other cultures. This planted the travel-bug seed in my spirit, and I grew hungry for what adventures lie beyond the 50 United States.
Fast forward to today: I’m still that adventurous, curious traveler. That’s why I’d be the best candidate for Contiki’s “Blog Your Way Down Under” Contest. And that’s why I’d choose Contiki’s Beaches and Reefs package. “If you love sun, water, fun and adventure, then this is the perfect trip for you,” reads the vacation snapshot. It’s as if the clever folks at Contiki created the trip just for me—or maybe they simply grew up listening to We Sing Australia, too.
Although Contiki is known for its detailed, activity-packed trips, I’m drawn to the Beaches and Reefs Australia vacation for its 18 days of unique destinations, extraordinary sights and firsthand experiences. Sure, I can hear a didgeridoo at a concert of my favorite Aussie band, John Butler Trio, but on this Contiki trip, I can hear one played by aborigines in the rainforest outside Cairns. Yeah, I’ve been white-water rafting a couple times, but this trip will introduce me to some of “Australia’s best white-water rafting” on the Tully River. And although I’ve already crossed skydiving off my bucket list, having the opportunity to skydive in Australia (visiting the country is also on my bucket list) is something I would have never imagined doing.
The same goes for my writing: I’ve done a lot, whether it’s profiling a jet-setting entrepreneur, reviewing innovative tools for business travelers or blogging about my various food quests. But getting to write while traveling abroad or blog about my adventures down under, that’s on a whole other level and something I’ve only dreamed of.
I don’t listen to that cassette anymore, but I still know all the songs. Australia remains top of mind for me, especially when I hang out with my numerous Aussie friends and go into work every day for my Australian employer. So help make that childhood dream a reality and pick me for the trip!