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Free Trip to Anywhere

free-trip-to-anywhere

Next week we’re finally going to launch the preboarding phase of my first major business project in nearly a year, the Travel Hacking Cartel.

On Monday I’ll tell you more about it, and on Tuesday we’ll offer a $1, 14-day trial to the first 1,000 people who manage to sign up. (After the preboarding phase, it will be available on a referral basis from existing members.)

But first! Let’s have some fun and give away a free trip.

I get a lot of questions about travel hacking, and many of them come from people who aren’t sure if it’s worth it. “Are miles really that valuable anymore? What if I don’t want to get a bunch of credit cards? If I don’t live in the U.S., can I still benefit?” Those are some of the questions that come up, over and over.

Last year I earned more than one million Frequent Flyer Miles, and I actually stopped pursuing most travel hacking opportunities while on my 53-city U.S. book tour.

Here’s an infamous screenshot of my April 2010 mileage balances from 10 accounts (I have a few others I haven’t linked in yet). Most of these miles were earned on the ground, without flying, and more than two-thirds were earned without credit card bonuses.

My Trips

Earning the miles is fun, but using them is even better. Last year I redeemed 400,000 miles for my big trips to Kazakhstan, Belarus, Cameroon, Thailand, the Maldives, and multiple repositioning flights between Europe and the U.S.

Next month I’m flying to the Mideast to begin a Round-the-World trip. I used AA miles to book my Business Class flights on British Airways and Royal Jordanian. Cash price: $4,500. Price with miles: $84 in taxes. On the way I’ll layover in Heathrow at the Sheraton airport hotel. Cash price: $220. Price with Starwood points: free.

You can also see the proof in dozens (probably hundreds now) of stories of our readers who have similar reports of success. Use Google, use Twitter, go and ask them yourself.

The cartel will be helping lots of people take plenty of free trips on a regular basis. But before we open the doors to the masses next week, I wanted to help someone from our broader community get a free plane ticket to their choice of destinations.

This weekend I’ll be giving away 25,000 miles—enough for a free round-trip ticket on most airlines—to one of our readers who can use it for a good cause. (And going on an adventure, visiting friends, or just traveling to a new city is a good enough cause for me.)

‘Free Trip to Anywhere’ Giveaway! Here’s How It Works

The 25,000 miles will be redeemed for a round-trip Economy ticket in the winner’s name, valid anywhere within North America, anywhere within Europe, anywhere within Asia, or anywhere within Australia/New Zealand. I’ll select the airline depending on the winner’s preferred itinerary, and it will be a major worldwide carrier (no budget airlines or Southwest tickets here).

The winner needs to:

a) Work with me to make the reservation with my miles (very easy; I’ll explain exactly what to do and it won’t take long)

b) Go on the trip within the next six months (because miles should be used, not hoarded)

c) Take pictures and report back to us with a blog post or video update when he or she gets back

That’s it. If you win, I’m giving you 25,000 miles, I’ll make the reservation for you, and I’ll even pay the taxes. (You’re on your own if you need to pay to check bags, or pay for anything else that comes up on the actual trip.)

Post a Comment to Enter

Please post a short comment on this post saying where you’d like to go and why. By entering the contest, you agree that you really will go on this trip if your entry is the winner.

Our usual biased judges, including my furry assistant Libby (and other more helpful friends), will select one person for a free trip. As the comments are posted, you can also “vote” for another entry if you’d like—but as with any benevolent dictatorship, the judges will have the final say.

That’s it! See you next week with more on the Travel Hacking Cartel… and good luck. The deadline for comments is Friday at 17:00 PST.

If the biased judges choose your entry, where will you use your free trip?

UPDATE: Thanks, everyone! We’ll announce the winner on Monday.

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Image: Robert

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830 Comments

  • Michelle L. says:

    My dream trip: Jordan & Lebanon. I have wanted to see Petra for about 25 years and I can’t wait to explore its majesty. I would love to learn more about the culture of that region–both modern and ancient. I love history in general and classical history in particular–it would be amazing to see one edge of the Roman Empire, knowing there was a mail system that could go from there to the north of England! I would want to combine my visit of Jordan with a cross over to Lebanon. I have a former student whose family lives in Beruit–it would be wonderful to meet them and share about their son in person. This region of the world fascinates me and I know seeing it in person will add a depth of understanding I won’t find in a book or film. I would definitely take this trip within 6 months because it’s better to go now than when it gets too hot–and since I work from home, I can be quite mobile.

  • T says:

    Can i do a reverse request? Does it apply to international flights too? I’d like to bring my fiance in Austria to me in Australia, it will be his first visit to Australia (Brisbane/Sunshine Coast) …..

    Alternatively if it has to be a domestic trip within Australia, I’d like to travel to Uluru (Ayers Rock) – its the most famous Aussie iconic place & although I am Aussie I’ve never been there! Would love to visit this very spiritual place & connect with the aborigines there 🙂

  • Jordan Clark says:

    If I could go anywhere in the world, I would straight to Spain.

    I learned Spanish from an early age, but all of my experience has been with Central American and Caribbean Spanish. I would love to go to Spain and taste the culture and language first-hand.

    I know, it’s not a hallmark story or a mission trip. But it would be a trip of a lifetime for a small town Tennessean like me!

    PS. I love your stuff, Chris.

  • Tammy Gedak says:

    I woke up this morning to a temperature of -33 celcius and a windchill took it to -45 degrees. If I won a trip anywhere in North America it would be to someplace warm – I would book myself into a bed and breakfast on the big island of Hawaii and watch the lava flow. Bury my feet in the sand and just layback and let the sun heat my skin and slowly penerate the frost that has built up in my tissues.

  • Jade says:

    This post is a gift…as I sit here reading a book about financial smarts while picking out a credit card to earn more sky miles. I’m honing my money skills to ensure I can take my much anticipated road-trip to California this summer — flying out there from Florida. I’ve been to Europe twice, but have never seen the West Coast of the good ol’ USA, so I promised to dedicate myself to my own country this summer. I like to say that every summer I have a “Last Hoorah” (instead of only have one Last Hoorah and never traveling again), but I’d love help getting myself across the
    country.

    p.s. I promise an excellent blog post, excellent pictures, and excellent promotion for travel hacking.

  • Cathy Brown says:

    I want to go learn circus arts in rural Romania.Badly.
    For some reason this keeps getting put off,and it’s about time to take care of that. I want to do this trip to show my kids that you need to take charge of your dreams-if you want them to happen,you have to actually do something about making it happen. I also want to show them that for a dream to be worth pursuing, it doesnt have to be logical. Trust me, Im no contortionist or a 90 lbs of only pure muscle trapeze artist, but I want to show them that shouldn’t stop me from learning what I can,and from enjoying even the most disastrous and difficult parts.
    I feel like I should say that I want to go save orphans in Africa or something. I have no problem with that. But if I am being honest with myself and not just going by what sounds good on paper-this is what I want.This is what makes me giddy and makes me feel alive. This is what makes me feel a silly and also proud of remembering that its okay to be silly.

  • So AWESOME! Thank you! I would love to travel to New York in March. Primarily to see my family that I haven’t seen since 2004, to attend a class reunion with friends I haven’t seen in over 30 years & to purchase supplies that can only be found in the fashion district in Manhattan for my newly launched business. This opportunity would be beyond wonderful!

  • Roy says:

    Wow Chris, this is beyond awesome. I rarely if ever enter contests.

    I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand to learn Muay Thai. But I think if you are going to be so generous, I should give something back too. So I will spend a month teaching English to an orphanage (of your choice if you like). I’m a certified ESL teacher among other things. And after that, I’ll try to squeeze in a couple of weeks at a Muay Thai camp.

    Thanks for making my day with this contest. And all the best to the other entrants.

    Roy

  • I want to go to Chilie to take a motorcycle ride up the coast.

  • zlatka says:

    I am currently living near London and I would go to Iceland. When I was in 5th grade, we were supposed to draw a map, I chose Iceland and so I tried to pronounce all the funny names, that sounded like names from a fairy tales… Well, I still can’t pronounce, but it is my dream place to go to.

  • Lukas says:

    Well, I’d visit New Zealand, Japan, China and the US or Canada.
    Why?
    Because there is a City in New Zealand that has the same name as I and I have always wanted to visit Japan and China.
    I don’t speak Japanese or Chinese, but this would give me the perfect excuse to start learning at least one of the two.

    Btw: I’m German, so if that disqualifies me somehow, I vote for the person that posts the first comment below me 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    hmmmm… I’m an American from Los Angeles currently living in Hannover, Germany. I think I would use the trip to go to Barcelona, Spain so I could get out of the gray skies in Hannover and soak in a little sun for a few days. 🙂

  • gemma says:

    I was made redundant 2 years ago from a high flying high stressed career as a consultant. I carried out voluntary work yet felt I wasn’t achieving anything. something was missing and the redundancy was just the kick I needed. I sat down and thought what do i really want to do? I found a care workers role and this then gave me the boost to train as a nurse. I’m now a second year nursing student who wants to see the the world and make a diffence. I’ve taught myself digital photography and I’m learning the guitar. im no longer using ‘maybe tomorrow’ or ‘I wish’ I’m currently training for kilimanjaro which im funding myself and so far have raised £400 pounds for charity.
    I would love to be your successful traveller and would relish the opportunity!

  • Krista says:

    Right now there is no where in the world I would rather go than China. I teach high school World History and China is the least interesting country for my students to learn about. Whenever I have had the opportunity to travel to a foreign country my ability to come back and relate stories, history and show pictures has caught my students attention and won them over. With China being a huge part of my curriculum I want to go there next so that my students can learn to love the rich history and culture.

    Thanks for this great opportunity!

  • Edward says:

    Greeting: Howdy Mr. Guillebeau!

    Intro: Here be a fellow Portlander that happens to be lovin’ life in Seoul and working 7 days a week, so I’m ready to take a break and see the neighboring not-oft-seen NE Asian sights!

    Locale: My vote is for Ulaanbaatar

    Reason: I want my Korean friends and co-workers to no longer make disapproving or confused faces when I list “Mongolia” as one of the potential Asian countries I might travel to. For this, I need to actually go there and come back to report that it’s just as awesome and beautiful as I’ve heard it to be. Hello, nation-relation building!

    Conclusion: I hereby conclude my proposal. Please consider! I’d be so grateful of course^^

  • Gabor says:

    I want to go to Bangkok, Thailand. It has a story.

    Back in 2007 my girlfriend and I attended a 3 day seminar on success, including topics on stock exchange trading, business thinking, personal development and investment portfolio design. At the end of the 3 day seminar, a group of us decided we would rock the stock trading, and will be able to afford a trip to Thailand to celebrate new years.

    Three and a half years have passed, we haven’t gone to Thailand. We also split up. Since 2007 though, it seems the world actually wants me to go to Thailand. Everywhere I go, everything I see is somehow connected to Thailand:
    – Bed & Breakfast in Dublin run by a Thai woman.
    – Caught a glimpse of the light-board at a currency exchange in Oxford: Thai baht
    – Newspapers (from financial times to general travel documents) always open at the exact pages where there is an ad about Thailand.

    The list goes on. I really want to go!

  • Mallory says:

    First of all, if the self proclaimed biased judges choose my entry – I think I might need to be resuscitated. That would litterally be a dream come true. But to answer your question (and having been there yourself I’m sure you’ll understand why I hunger to visit this location) I would use my free trip to travel to Thailand. I mean, think about it – the scenery, the people, the cities, and especially the culture. It all seems so amazing! I would use the opportunity to see and do as much as possible, while still allowing myself to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the country. Thank you and happy choosing!

  • Linda Mae St.Claire says:

    I used to travel, when I was younger. The last two years have kept me close to home and lately I don’t feel as young as I used to. Breast cancer treatment does that. I don’t mean to try and win this contest by plying on your emotions but hey, I love to travel and feel like I am deserving of a free trip after all the crap I went through. I’m cured now.
    If I could go anywhere I’d love to go to Vietnam. I want to walk through a country which has been torn apart by wars and held together by Buddhist monks. I want to drink in some quiet beaches, eat lots of yummy lime flavored food and photograph unusual birds (and people too). I want to mingle with the locals and make some new friends. I love to travel on my own because if I want someone to talk to (and I love to talk) I have to talk to a stranger. My own little world expands and I know I’m truly blessed.
    I don’t have a blog yet. This is a great reason for me to create one finally.
    Thanks for offering this opportunity. Cheers, Linda M

  • Matt Langdon says:

    I would go on a life-changing trip to Portland. In June. On a weekend. The first weekend. I’d spend a lot of time at the Portland Art Museum.

    I’m already going, but having the flight paid for would be nice.

  • If I won this trip, I’d like to go to Anchorage, Alaska. The reason is that I’ve lived all my life in Florida, which as most know is a flat, warm state. Alaska is a mountainous, snowy state and I’d like to go to see snow and do snowy things like dogsledding and snowshoeing.

    I have a travel blog and would be happy to post pictures and write about the adventure about a girl who is quite literally out of her environment.

    And since I believe that it’s better as a traveler to leave a place better then you found it, I would also choose an appropriate project through volunteermatch.org and help out the local community. Plus, it would be a good way to connect with the community and not just play tourist during the whole trip.

    Thanks Chris for such an awesome blog and giveaway. I intend to be one of those first 1,000 people to sign up for the cartel since I’ve gotten so much good advice here.

  • Erik Hendrickson says:

    I’m not sure if using the 25,000 can be used for part of a ticket, or 1 of 2, but I’ll ask anyway!

    I’m in the U.S., and I’d love to see Central America. I think Costa Rica would be a good first step? But I’d be open to suggestions from others!

    I’ve been learning a bit of Spanish on my own, my new(ish) girlfriend is formerly fluent. I’m a (mostly) portrait & wedding photographer who’d love to flex my under utilized landscape and editorial photography skills, and I think CA could offer an amazing opportunity to do so!

    And also, the gf and I have birthdays that are very near each other. We had already discussed taking a trip rather than giving gifts (we both feel that the experience is far more important to us than any ‘trinket’). I’d love to be able to chop the price in half, and be able to experience an amazing trip with her. I know, I’m sappy!

    So…. help me get some amazing shots, and help me be “the-best-gift-giver-EVER”!

    Cheers!

  • Bill Kreke says:

    Hey Chris and Judges…

    Thanks for the opportunity. My wife is an aspiring author for teen girls to help them through Christian fiction. She has been attending Jerry Jenkins’ Writing for the Soul Conference in Colorado Springs the past few years and we’ve both been dying to have me go too. If I’m selected, I’ll go to the conference with my wife.

    Thanks!

    Bill

  • vy says:

    Thank you for your generosity in providing this opportunity.

    Two of the programs I’ve supported financially for years are “Room to Read”, after listening and meeting John Wood and Habitat for Humanity as my old neighbour worked at the local ReStore.

    Since then, I’ve been wanting to go on a site visit with Room to Read as well as participate in an international build.

    The places where these programs take place would be my first exposure to third world living — Something I feel will radically change my way of being. Travel thus far has been limited to first world countries.

    My current plans are to start pursuing these opportunities in the next 2 years but I am willing to go sooner!

  • Amanda Fuller says:

    I would go to Longview, WA. We moved when I was 3 months old and I have always wanted to go back to see the place I was born. Plus, I love gray days and rainy weather.

  • Andy says:

    Two years ago, my wife and I moved back to Indianapolis after living in Seattle for over three years. We haven’t been back since as we’ve had some changes in our lives (two year old twin girls anyone?).

    We keep talking about going back and visiting friends and consuming vast quantities of outstanding seafood and beer. I would love to have the opportunity to tour around Seattle, take pictures, and maybe relive a bit of married life before kids.

    Heck, maybe we could fit in a day trip down to Portland to visit Chris if he is around!

  • Jeff says:

    Wow, very generous of you Chris!

    If I were to chose somewhere to go, I’d pick New Zealand. Why? Because thats where my sister is getting married in April, and I can’t afford to go at the moment!

  • Edita says:

    Hi Chris,

    I am from Lithuania and my dream is to go to Argentina as it suits two of my biggest passions-tango and travel.Seen a lot of pictures of Iguazu falls,Patagonia,Bariloche,Salta I have my trip plan already ready :).

    Hope to win your miles to be able to make it truth.

    Greetings,
    Edita

  • Tiffani says:

    I would use the ticket for a trip to Switzerland to go Skydiving. Back in 2006 I went on a 3 week 10 country camping tour through Europe. During our stay in Switzerland we made a detour to go Skydiving over Jungfrau Mountain but we were unable to jump due to weather conditions. I have had this on my bucket list ever since. I made it back as far as Germany/Austria last year but was still unable to go Skydiving. (Paragliding over Hopfgarten is just not the same)

    After reading your book, I have been working on my one year self directed alternative graduate school experience. In May I will complete my Accelerated Free Fall license and would love to skydive in Switzerland after graduation.

  • Maris Gabrans says:

    Destination – Auckland, New Zealand
    Reason – never have been there.

  • If these biased judges choose my entry, I will undoubtedly use my free trip to go Cardiff to visit my dear friend and former colleague Christos Savvidis.

    He recently moved from Greece to Cardiff for work, which meant achieving his dream of working abroad. He is now affectionately bugging me to get a ticket and go visit him, so we can, in his own words: “go for jogging, eat perfect british pub food and go out for dancing all the night”. Simple but awesome pleasures when you share such a great connection with somebody.

    In return, I solemnly promise that:
    a) It will such a real thrill and a honour to work with Chris to book this trip with his miles (OMG!)
    b) I will be on that plane A.S.A.P
    c) I will not only to report back with a blog post & video update but furthermore this will be the launching post for my about to be born blog

    So please please please biased judges, choose me and make me the happiest girl in town! 🙂

  • Eva says:

    I would love to go to Poland to visit my family. I haven’t seen my family there in over 12 years and regret not being able to visit in such a long time.

  • In a heartbeat, I’d go to Turkey (and I’m not just saying that because I’m writing this from WI where it’s predicted to be -30 degrees with the windchill tomorrow!).

    Reason #1 – Beautiful Mediterranean Beaches.

    (Okay, yeah, so it really is mostly about the weather here…)

    Reason #2 – Study With Some of the Top Bellydancers in the World.

    I’ve been bellydancing for about 7 years now and have worked as a professional dancer. So for me, the chance to visit Turkey and study briefly with them would be a dream come true (not to mention provide some pretty great pictures for AONC 🙂 )

    Reason #3 – Volunteer with a Turkish NGO.

    Turkey has some really interesting environmental concerns coming up, and I’d love to be able to volunteer with a Turkish NGO on environmental preservation. My degree is actually Environmental Sciences, so this would be a great way for me to get involved with these issues on a global scale.

    Thanks Chris – what a cool opportunity!

  • Alain says:

    I would go to Norway since it’s my plan to visit this beautiful country in 2011. Why Norway? Wild, gorgeous, mountainous, one of the countries with the best Human Development Index… And I want to experience the midnight sun in the polar circle this summer!

    Plus it would be my first real big European road trip there (though I’m French and live in France) so… Please choose me!

  • I would love to go to Italy to trace my family’s heritage there, do some urban exploring in Rome and Venice and experience ‘real’ Italian cuisine. Maybe even take a cooking course or two?!

  • Emily says:

    Hi Chris and biased judges!
    Recently I’ve had this idea about going to Australia and picking up jobs along my way across the country to cover expenses. I’d hopefully do things like bar tending, working at hotels, fruit picking, farming, etc. I’ve read a lot of great stories from people who have done just this, and I am dying for an adventure! I plan to go within the next 2-3 months, and probably stay in Australia for 3 or 4 months. If I won the contest, I would use the plane ticket within Australia, to get to one of the harder to reach coasts. Australia is one big place, and it can (understandably) be very hard to get across the entire thing on a small budget. Winning this contest would be just the push I need to get this trip underway! By the way, I just finished the book and LOVED it! I can promise some amazing stories and photos from Australia should I be so lucky as to be selected as the winner 🙂

  • A suburb outside Houston, Texas would be my destination. A disabled woman, my best friend, lives there in an apartment. This month she’s living on peas, beans, not much else. She’s a true survivor, having fought her way back from the verge of homelessness when she nearly became a victim of hospital dumping in another state. She planned a promising art career as a painter in Europe. Now, due to illness, she supports my artistic ambitions …something I believe takes far more character on her part. My friend is a big part of my inspiration and my role model for courage.

    Once I get off the plane, I’ll rent a car, go to the supermarket, and buy enough groceries to stock her cupboards and refrigerator. Anything that happens on the trip above and beyond that would be a bonus. As a photographer, I would document this quest. Not to a glamorous destination like the Gobi Desert sitting around a campfire drinking tea under the stars. But to a destination that will change the world.

  • If I was lucky enough to win the miles I would go to Thailand not only to visit my good friend but also to do volunteer work wherever I am needed. I am 17 and getting ready to graduate high school. I have no idea what occupation I want to enter but I do know I wish to live creatively and do all I can to help humanity. I know if I was given the opportunity to go on this trip I would be taking a large step towards a fulfilling and happy life. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

  • Katrina says:

    I would most like to travel to Spain because of its culture, history, and Mediterranean climate. I graduate from college this spring (after 7 years!) and have degrees in music and landscape architecture. I would love to go to Spain to take in the culture (and keep up on my Spanish!) and see Spain in a landscape architect’s eye. I would also love to get away to an amazing place and renew myself after being in college, and before I go to graduate school!

  • JD Hill says:

    I would like to visit New Zealand to explore its natural beauty and adventures. I have made it to all 7 continents and am now looking to the other great adventures remote places offer. Thanks!

  • After a ton of coaxing and begging, I was finally able to convince my girlfriend to (mostly) get over her fear of flight and take a couple of small trips with me. Since those trips, she has expressed a great deal of interest in New York City. If chosen, I would like to pay my own way and take her for a visit. Not only would she have a great experience, but I would get to visit family in Connecticut, a quick train ride away.

    It’s been a tough year for both of us. I lost my Grandmother to cancer and my mother to Chron’s disease. She lost her uncle last Thanksgiving. Since she became more comfortable with flying, her interest in traveling the world has grown exponentially. We will be making the trip, hopefully the third of many more to come, regardless of the outcome of this giveaway. My hope is that it finds someone who can use the free flight for their own motivation and begin their own quest for world domination.

    In short, great idea and many thanks for putting it out there!

  • Itai says:

    Really, I’d like to go everywhere 🙂 but I have some priorities, culturally diverse places that are considerably different from what I know:

    Borneo (Malaysia) where I want to take a canopy tour to see the world’s highest concentration of gliding animals.

    Indonesia (again) because the people are awesomely friendly and I still haven’t seen Komodo, home of the Komodo dragon.

    Bhutan where monasteries hang from breath-taking landscape and measure national happiness.

    An island in the South Pacific, any, to see life in a truly remote and isolated place.
    New Zealand since its close by and probably one the way.

    Easter Island… Needs no introduction 🙂

    Bolivia, to see the Salar de Uyuni which was named one of the most otherworldly landscapes.

    Why? Because there is nothing I’d like to do more than discover new places. I promise to bring awesome pictures back too, I’m a photographer and what I enjoy the most about it is sharing adventure and the character of places.

  • Tyler says:

    For sure Hawaii or Alaska. Two states I have always wanted to visit because of their natural beauty. Who knows, I might move there after.

  • Meghan says:

    As an undergraduate, I was able to intern for National Geographic. I always thought about what my dream assignment would be as I strolled the hallways bumping into photographers. I’m ready to make my dream assignment happen. I’m interested in flying to Bhutan, the only country in the world to put happiness at the heart of its government. Run by a monarchy, Bhutan has made many policy decisions in the name of happiness, including banning TV channels, tobacco and even plastic bags (which could be considered slightly controversial). But happiness has also been the reason for strict environmental protection policies and an emphasis on spiritual development. With the help of a fixer, I’d love to speak with and photograph Bhutanese citizens about the heart of happiness in one of the happiest places on earth.

  • Eric says:

    This is awesome! Thank you for being so generous!

    Los Angeles is top of my list of places I would like to go. My wife and I are trying to figure out where we want to settle down for the long haul. We currently live in a suburb of Nashville but know this is not where we are supposed to be forever. We been to a few places (love London and New York, didn’t really care for Chicago) but have a few more to try. Last night we saw that the temperature in LA is supposed to be 73/74 for the next week while we are supposed to be in the 20s tomorrow.

    So we want to head out there to see what it’s like. We will know fairly quickly if it gets added to the list or not.

  • Adam King says:

    An around the world trip would allow the opportunity to finally find, and film the obscure woodworking cultures and traditions of the world. Many mainstream cultures are in the spotlight, but the most amazing craftspeople and artists in wood are existing in cultures that are overlooked regularly.

    This would be the chance to find them, document them, and allow the world to be awestruck from their gifts as well as absorb the techniques for their own work. Not to mention the incredible amount of inspiration that would come from seeing how these cultures accomplish such intricate work with the simplest of tools.

  • Suzanne says:

    Japan… I want to return to Japan. I’m from Canada, yet live and work in Cambodia. I have family, aunties, uncles and cousins in Japan and they keep wondering when I’ll come to see them. Since I really don’t know how to do the airmiles thing yet, I haven’t gone… Though I’d just love to go in April over Khmer New Year when the heat here is extreme and the beauty there is equally so! Thanks for the fun of dreamin’ about the possibilities!

  • belmontmedina says:

    I am absolutely going to Bangkok. I’ve got a friend leading cooking tours to all kinds of places in Thailand, and I am DYING to go on one and have someone’s grandma/respected older aunt teach me how to make Pad Ka Prao

  • Austin Cook-Lindsay says:

    Graduating from Baylor University with a BS in Environmental Science this May, I’ll be boarding a plane in 7 months to travel to either the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan or Thailand (exact destination currently unknown) to spend a year teaching English. As I intend to pursue a career working to foster environmental sustainability initiatives on a global scale, I would like to study for an MS in International Environmental Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Science after my year in Kyrgyzstan. This masters program is unique in that students spend 3 semesters in Norway and 1 semester in Central Africa, and would definitely equip me with the international focus I will need in my line of work. Flying to Norway to visit the school I hope to study at in about a year and a half in order to meet the professors I will be working with definitely sounds like a good cause to me!

  • Jocasta says:

    We would use these points to fly from a major Asian hub like Hong Kong or Singapore (whichever works out best) to Phnom Penh in Cambodia to document a Charity:Water partner project there. My husband is a professional photographer so that helps!! 🙂

    Great to meet you last night in Calgary (I’m the Kiwi), love what you’re doing!!

  • Lisa says:

    ~ Finland ~ During early elementary school, a family moved in down the street from my family. They were from Finland and no one except the father spoke English. They had one daughter named Linda and we became fast friends. As she spoke no English (and I no Finnish), we communicated with hand gestures and nodding. We were best friend throughout elementary school and high school. Ever since then I’ve always wanted to see where my childhood best friend was born. It would be awesome to call her up and see if she would be up for a trip back to her home as I don’t think she’s been back since she moved.

  • Darrell says:

    Thanks for the free trip offer Chris. A friend and I are embarking on a ten year plan to play golf in all 50 states using miles and points to pay for all travel expenses. I would like to travel in May to Palm Springs, CA to play golf at La Quinta, drive to Las Vegas for another round of golf and then proceed to Scotsdale, AZ for a final round before returning home via Phoenix. We have already acquired the necessary points to cover hotel rooms and would love to have you as a sponsor or the airfare on our inaugural trip.

  • Jeremy says:

    I didn’t even have to think about it; I’d like to travel to Germany. My grandfather who turned 90 this year served in WWII and I’ve seen his pictures and heard his stories of his time in France, Luxembourg and Germany. I had wanted to take him this summer to revisit where he had served but his health has taken a turn for the worst and he is not able to travel. I’d love to be able to still go and visit the places I have heard about and bring back some memories for him through my photos. Even just helping to plan the trip (where to go, what to see) would mean a lot to him. This would be epic, thanks for the consideration.

  • If selected as the lucky winner of this contest, I would travel to Paris, France to visit my best friend who moved there after graduation to teach English. I am still in school and was hoping to visit her during Spring Break or in the summer, but that’s no longer an option due to unexpected medical expenses and tuition costs. I would absolutely love this opportunity!

  • FRANK says:

    I love to travel. I was a travel agent for years before 9/11. I would book hundreds of tickets for people imagining how great their trips would be and that I would go there one day. Unfortunately I could not because I was always working. I always wanted to go to New York but was laid off actually on 9/11. Five years later I finally made it. I love New York. Like the saying says “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere”. If I won a free ticket, I would go there, if it had to be continental North America, if not I would pick Hawaii. Internationally, my wife would love to go to Turks and Caicos.

  • Dorte says:

    I’ll travel from Copenhagen (home) to Miami to go on a cruise with New Kids on The Block.
    As a teenager my parents thought I was too young to go to their concert. Then the group split, and so I’ve never had the chance to see them live.
    Now New Kids are back together, and going on a cruise with 2600 fans in May, and I’m old enough to do what I want. SO I bought a spot on the boat (what can I say – I’m 13 at heart…and this is better than my wildest teen-dream!).
    The bad thing is, that I’ve recently lost my job, so another obstacle is looming to hinder me seeing my teen-darlings – the price of the plane-ticket.
    I am a writer and would LOVE to write, tweet and post amazing pictures of the whole trip (- even of me crying as a teenagegirl!), if I win this!

  • LJE3 says:

    Place of Destination: Japan

    Why: I have a deep rooted fascination with the Japanese culture which was actually sparked by my discovery of Japanese Pro Wrestling. So since then I have been obsessed with the Land of the RIsing Sun.

    PS: Tell Libby that I will bring her back some Hello Kitty lingerie if my wishes are granted. And make sure she watches how cool the video I posted is.

  • jen gaines says:

    This is awesome! I would LOVE to win the miles! For the last 6 months I have been building up my miles for a trip around the world. I have dreamed of leaving my corporate job for years, and now I am actually going to do it! The miles would likely be used in Australia/New Zealand, as that is where I plan to start. I recently have named 2011 “My Year of Awesome!” and winning these miles would make it even more Awesome! Thanks!

  • RuDee says:

    I would use it to go visit my brother at the University of Hawaii, where he’s a student. It’s super-expensive to get in/out of Honolulu so we haven’t seen eachother in more than a year. (Sidebar: Skype + Fedex Christmas just isn’t quite the same!) My baby brother is my hero and I would love to have the chance to spend time with him

  • Joe D. says:

    Wow Chris. Some contest.

    I’ve dreamed of going to Italy for years. My grandparents are from southern Italy and Sicily, and I’ve always wanted to visit their hometowns. But, first, I’m going to take my wife to Rome to “get our feet wet”, and to see St. Peters, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, etc.

    Ironic that you’re doing this now, as I am opening an ING account this week that will be our “Italy Fund”. I will be going regardless of the contest results.

    Great opportunity though, and a nice way to thank all your “fans”.

  • Katman says:

    Wow, that’s an awesome prize.
    While i dream of having a cross continental trip one day my first choice would have to be London – since it needs to be inside Europe.
    Being one of the greatest cities in the world (so say the guides i read) certainly helps, but the most important thing to me is that my niece turns 1 this year and i’ll never tire of seeing her (currently it’s happening but on skype).
    Good luck to everyone!

  • Robin Maheu says:

    Great idea! My international travel dream has been to visit the Scandinavian capital cities: Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki. I’m interested in “green” urbanism and those cities seem to do so many things right and have a high standard of living (economically, culturally, and in terms of general sanity) – yet as popular tourist destinations they seem to rest on a tier lower than the big destinations of London, Paris, Rome.

  • Lisa says:

    I have two places I would love to go to, the first is a walking trip from Dundee Scotland, to Dover. I have estimated it would take approx a month to walk … who knows? I love open sky and walking.

    The other trip is a painting trip to Florence Italy, I am a painter and have wanted to hang out in the hills and just paint. Visit the city and view all the art there. I have heard it’s so beautiful you could cry.

  • Jenna says:

    WHOA.

    I would love to go to Prince Edward Isle for starters. Sabrina Ward Harrison is giving a workshop there (fave artist ever. ever. ever.), and I’ve been wanting to attend one of her workshops for ages but can never scrounge up the coinage for both the fee and the flight. Needless to say, if I could fly there and back again for free I can handle the rest.

    That’s the first place I can think of right off the top of my head. I’m sure I would make good use of the rest of the miles. 😉 Heck, if someone else needed them I’d be willing to share. Cookie bribes are shamelessly accepted.

    Have a good one!

  • Tim Bartleman says:

    Definitely Kona on the Big Island Hawaii. I went there for a triathlon a few years ago but spent so much time focusing on the event that I didn’t get to enjoy the town much. Just as I follow this site I also follow a blogger from Kona and she regularly (almost daily) posts pictures of her community and I would love to go back with my wife (who didn’t go the first time) and actually enjoy it. the one thing I remember about my first trip there was that I flew from Des Moines, to Minneapolis, to Seattle, to Maui before finally getting to Kona. I did this because there are limited routes from Des Moines to Kona but the tickets are expensive and it was the cheapest route I could find.

    Anyway, once I am there I plan on talking the blogger I follow into letting us go for a run with her.

  • Linda says:

    San Francisco.

    Neither my partner nor I have ever been to California, and we’ve been meaning to go for a year. I had hoped to get out there end of January/beginning of February, but his work schedule and my impending unemployment (self-imposed) mean the financial timing for a trip is off, again. 25,000 miles would be great and would let me help him with his ticket.

    That being said, I nominate Dorte to win so she can see the New Kids on the Block.

  • Erin Wigger says:

    You’re awesomesauce Chris! I’m working on a documentary about right now that requires me to go to Nebraska (I’m in NYC). Not the sexiest destination for sure, but the miles could really be put to good use.

  • Michelle says:

    This is a generous and wonderful way to share your passion for travel with others. Thank you. If I were to win the airline miles, I would use them to travel to the Azores. It seems to be a unique place that matches my personality and that does not get many tourists, so it is not especially easy to get there and get around once there. I would use my time there to support local families and businesses by staying in their homes and going to small restaurants to eat. They get a lot of seismic activity there and have some rebuilding/repairing projects I would like to help with while I am there as well as exploring the various islands and learning more about the culture.

  • Raven says:

    I’d go to Baja and greet the mama whales eye to eye while they show off their newborns.

  • If I won this, I’d go to Croatia. It is where my father is from, and I have a lot of family over there. I would go with the intention of learning more about my roots and my heritage, and connecting with family members I have never met. I’d probably take my father with me, because he has not been to his homeland since he left in the mid-60’s.

  • Jared Fitch says:

    Hey there! It’s hard to choose just one place to go, but I know I would really love to go to Australia 🙂 Last year, I went on a trip to Europe and met some really great Auzzies. They have become great friends of mine, and I have promised that I would come visit them soon. I don’t know when that will happen though because I lost my job and have been struggling to find a new one. I have always loved the beauty of Australia as well as the people and the wildlife, and being able to explore that with some good friends would be an adventure of a lifetime! I do hope that you and your fellow judges will grant me this wish, and if you need more incentive, today is my birthday!

  • Shazia says:

    Costa Rica!!! I need to get out of this cold winter we’re having on the east coast. But it would have to be soon, b/c i’m pregnant w/ twins, so traveling is not really an option for much longer.

    Chris, I can’t wait to become a member of the travel hacking cartel. My husband will be traveling to Japan in 2013 and my goal is to become a travel hacker superstar and use miles to join him and take the twins too. Thank you so much for your site, blog, encouragement and audacity. Good luck with the contest selections!

  • Kevin says:

    Amazon before its gone.

  • Brandon says:

    I’ve managed to work out a way to relocate to my company’s Amsterdam office in the next few months. I’ve never been to Amsterdam, but my wife and I are moving for a few years. I’d use the 25,000 to do a reconnaissance trip over there and look for good areas to live, locate the office, etc. I’m not currently planning to reconnoiter. Thanks!

  • Jenny says:

    I would love to go to Costa Rica, New Zealand and Australia. Costa Rica, I have never been, and would love to surf and explore. NZ & Oz, well, I loved in NZ 10 years ago planning to “be right back” and still have not returned… Travelling lights up this passion within me, and it has been a while since I have travelled. I love the exploration of the people, the land, and most importantly ones self.

  • Jini says:

    Been reading through all the lovely emails – yours is a generous and fun offer.

    My current dream list is: a) a trip to the Gobi, in Mongolia. Because I love deserts, am interested in nomads, and although i don’t know if there are any in that part of Mongolia, would love to find a shaman b) the Bishnoi, a tribe in India’s Rajasthan who are considered to be the world’s first environmentalists and c) Afghanhistan, because i’d be keen to hike in the Wakhan Corridor. If the landscapes are anything like Pakistan’s Northern Areas, and the people anywhere near as hospitable, then it’d be stunning.

    Best wishes, Jini

  • In 2006, I survived two heart attacks and two strokes. I was forced into disability. To combat the resulting depression, I took up painting and now consider myself an abstract expressionist. One of my 2011 goals is to acquire gallery representation outside the State of Utah. I have established some contacts in New York City and believe that going there would enhance my career as an artist. I would be able to meet other artists through studio visits and to take a tour of some of the numerous galleries in that fine city. Additionally, I would develop an entire library of photographs I could use for resources for future paintings.

  • Zainab says:

    I’d go to India – my homeland – to mend broken relationships with my parents and siblings.

  • Mark says:

    Kangerlussuaq. It’s in Greenland, and as I don’t know anyone personally that has been there, it’s high on my list – just for the extreme novelty. It’ll help me meet some of my life goals – go ice fishing (rare for a South African Kiwi), see the Northern Lights, and play golf on the northern-most golf course in the world! Might even have a go at building an igloo! I’m dying to go there this year, during winter/spring ideally so there’s a ton of ice – and the novelty of the story, the amazing potential for photos of ice, northern lights and animals (musk oxen!) would make for many a fantastic travel writing article, and story to remember for a lifetime. Go on Chris, I also note it’s a country not on your list of visited places – come along for the ride, I’ll challenge you at a game of golf on the ice!

  • blshore says:

    I would very much love to go to the Northwestern US (Seattle or Portland, probably) and visit my many friends and family living there. It’s an entirely selfish trip, but my friends would probably welcome help on their organic farms and natural building sites. Also, never seen the Pacific, and it’s on my ‘before 30’ list. Please, Chris, send me on an awesome trip!

  • Hi Chris! If I won, I would use this to return to SE Asia, Vietnam in particular. A former-expat (I lived in New Zealand for a year and a half, then travelled around Thailand and Korea for a bit before returning to Canada), Ive been home for about nine months and every day I dream more and more about boarding a flight back to Asia. Vietnam is my current obsession; I cant get enough of the food, the culture, the people. I want to land in Hanoi with no fixed plans, slowly explore the city and the region, before meandering my way south to Saigon. A web developer by trade, I desperately want to make the leap to the digital nomad lifestyle, but am having trouble cutting lose the bonds of Toronto and saving up the money required to get me out of the mainstream rut. Having the points to fly to Asia would be such an incredible boost! Thank you for offering this, its wonderful of you.

  • Avishai Moscovich says:

    Hi Chris, I would use the flight to fly my girlfriend to Rome or Paris and propose to her to marry me! (I will fly with my own miles – its just not enough for two tickets)

  • Flora says:

    There a hundreds of places on my wish list I’d love to get to for free, but, if I’m chosen, I just want to go to Oklahoma to visit my mom.

  • I would go snorkeling in the Chicxulub crater, a cenote on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Beautiful, out of the way, isolated, and natural!

  • Emma Newman says:

    This year my debut novel will be published. It’s taken 5 years for the dream to come true. I live in England, but my publisher is based in Texas! I would love to be able to go to America to meet him in person, shake him by the hand and thank him in person for making my dream a reality.

    Then I would visit schools, do signings in book shops and do all I could to make the book a success, both for the publisher who took a risk on me, and my family. It’s a book for young adults called 20 Years Later, in case you were curious!

    His is a small independent press, so there is no budget for something as grand as a book tour in America – after following your amazing book tour I am dying to give it a go and meet the people I know through Twitter and my blog in person. And you can bet your life that I would take photos, tweet the socks off it all and run a blog diary of the tour too. I would even brave a video camera for you, and that’s saying something!

  • I would love to travel to the west coast. Specifically San Francisco. Despite a few trips abroad to europe I have never actually head out west in my own country. I want to see the pacific oceans and what the mountains look like on that side of the country.

  • Terri says:

    Hey Chris! I am currently hoarding miles for a trip this summer to see my husband’s parents and brother in Edinburgh, Scotland. We have 2 young kids who haven’t been in 2 years. They are dying to see the grandparents and vice versa! If I could add the miles to existing Delta for international ticket, I would. OR, if it must be used on a trip that you book for me without any other miles, I would use them to go to San Francisco in May for my best friend from high school’s wedding. Not planning to go now because I need to save miles for Scotland!

  • I would go to Ireland.
    I’ve got some family history that dead-ends when our ancestor came over from Donegal, and I would love the chance to dig deeper. Researching church records & graveyards would give me the information I need. Plus, it would be really awesome to see where Cornelius Haffey (& fam) lived! 🙂
    Thanks for your consideration!
    -Kristin

  • Carrie says:

    I don’t think South America is included in this contest, but I’ll give it a shot anyway…

    I would go to Rio de Janeiro.

    My Dad is 67 years old, recently retired, and grappling with the realities of getting older. In defiance of the march of time, he recently booked a trip to to a city that he’s been talking about for decades: RIO. My Mom, a woman who loves to travel, refuses to go with him because she’s nervous about the crime. So, my Dad is going solo.

    I would absolutely love the opportunity to join my Dad at the end of this month and share the experience. It would be the chance of a lifetime to travel with my Dad as ‘grown-ups’, especially in a place that he’s been dreaming of visiting for so long.

    In addition, my husband and I are starting a family, so this would be the last hurrah for me before we take that plunge.

    Thanks so much, Chris, for setting this up and being inspirational, as always!

  • Sara Stroman says:

    How does one compete for a one free trip that could be a life time/changing experience for so many? I don’t know. And I feel for you, your furry friend and the rest of the judging panel because from all the messages above, everyone has a dream, a passion worthy of 25,000 free miles.

    I’m planning a six-month journey to Asia at the end of July. It will take me to Tokyo and the Japanese country side to learn the centuries old technique of Japanese paper making and calligraphy and work with skilled people. After three months learning, I will travel around South East Asia to volunteer and learn about the people and cultures in countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The paper making is an important goal as it pertains to learning a skill for my small, but expanding business. The volunteering comes from just wanting to connect and give back to a part of the world that will be giving me so much more.

    Thank you for even the consideration and the chance to speak my dream loudly!

  • Christine Miller says:

    Hello, I would think that you would limit it to some place that can be flown for 25,000 miles. Most places I want to fly to are 40,000 miles for the timelines that I want to fly there. For example, I want to fly to Las Vegas for a ballroom dance teachers certification camp in June, but it would require 40,000 miles and I started checking a year in advance. This trip is critical as it is part of my 2nd chance and one more step towards transitioning to living the life of my dreams in the career choice that I wish I had followed 20 years ago. Another option is the Emerald Ball Dance camp in Los Angeles in May. Thanks for considering me and for writing this inspirational blog.

  • Gabby Fox says:

    I dance tango. It is my greatest passion after writing, which is saying quite a lot for a wanderlusty, passionate Sagittarian such as myself. I want to fly to Buenos Aires to study tango with the masters for a month, then take buses all across (and up and down) Argentina, with a quick jaunt to Machu Pichu, then fly home triumphant. It would be my pilgrimage to Mecca.

  • Maggie says:

    The trip would be for my son. I would like for my son, who is now 11, to visit a friend in Connecticut for a week this coming summer, we live on the West Coast. The friend he would be traveling to visit is his “adoption” friend, his adoption partner. They were both adopted from Pavlodar, Kazakhstan the summer of 2001 and have kept in contact occasionally since. The two boys are linked by their family beginnings and it would be an incredibly special time for them. Thank you.

  • Ruth Feiring says:

    Cairo,Egypt for the Pyramids on to Agra ,India for the Taj Mahal with a rest stop in Tahiti or Fiji on the way back to PDX and my job at a PetHotel ….a great profession but requires me to learn the art of “hacking” to feed my real passion of seeing every inch of this great big planet! (I think I’ve found my tribe)

  • Chewy says:

    NZ Milford Track.

    I’m sure the negative ions of the wondrous track will do us tons of good and my photographer husband Sweng will capture the scenery in the most wonderful ways.

    Sweng and I have been talking about it since our child was born couple of years ago and we haven’t been really able to do a real trip together since parenthood kicked in. It’ll be a GREAT place to immerse ourselves in serenity (much needed after chasing after and picking up after a fleeing toddler).

  • Proper says:

    Detroit.

    To visit the growing (pun not intended) urban farm community there. I will take my lessons learned back to my own challenged city, which is in desperate need of this type of knowledge. The six month requirement is great, since we are in a time crunch to move our vacant/abandoned land inventory and unemployed population in a productive direction.

    Thanks Chris!

  • Kris Boesch says:

    So cool and super fun 🙂 Chris, thanks for the generosity.

    I am looking to go to Minneapolis, MN the week of May 16th to launch my new company, Choose People, in that market.

  • Danielle Roesmann says:

    This year me and my best friend turn 30 (yikes!) and we’d like to spend it going on a girls trip to Thailand. We met in college but now live in different cities and rarely do we get to see each other. It’s been 10 years since we’ve actually gone on a vacation together. Right now the Thailand trip is more dream than reality. Help me earn my birthday wish!

  • Blair says:

    Hey there…the only place I really want to go now is HAITI. I live in the Trinidad and Tobago and the history and significance and rich culture of Haiti is buried beneath years of opression, disasters and propaganda. I recently started working with an organization called ITNAC (Is There Not a Cause) , a non profit, charitable organization, comprised of volunteer doctors, nurses, technicians, manual labourers, administrators, carpenters, masons and general helpers. Our mission is to help those persons who are confronted with challenging and unfortunate situations, to touch lives and where possible, help to empower such persons in the communities. In addition to local work, they also engage in several regional and international projects. This year I would love to be part of their Mission to Haiti. I am not sure if the miles can apply to Haiti but if it can I would be so grateful !!!!

    pEACe AND LoVe from the Caribbean

  • Joy Ayscue says:

    Our non-profit organization, The Conscious Healing Initiative, will be sponsoring a new branch, led by one of our graduating members, in New Zealand, and it would be amazing to be there in person for the launch! We operate almost entirely on a Love Offering basis, providing opportunities for our members to attend life-changing and enhancing events, no matter what their finances. Being a small, start-up non-profit, a free ticket would make this dream trip possible!

    Good luck to everyone!

  • Adrienne O says:

    I live in the UK and, given that the trip must be within Europe, I would use my free trip to take my boyfriend to the Netherlands. He’s NEVER flown before and the only time he’s even left the country was to go to France once as a child. Poverty, mainly, has prevented him from traveling.

    We’ve both agreed that the Netherlands is the #1 place we want to visit together. I’ve been to Amsterdam twice and it is such a beautiful and inspiring place, unlike any other on Earth, but I’ve never had a chance to really explore it with someone else before. My trips in the past were mainly spent being dragged around by whatever group I was traveling with. Being able to decide what see and where to go with the love of my life would be incredible. Furthermore, this would be a great opportunity to become more familiar with not only Amsterdam but other cities in NL like Rotterdam and/or Utrecht, which I’ve always wanted to visit, but never had the chance to. 🙂

    xoxo

  • Sophia says:

    A ticket to Germany so I can visit two friends (one in Berlin, one in Bremen). I would also make a side trip on the train to see all my cousins in Austria. Thank you for being so generous!

  • Nait says:

    My home base is in Austin, TX. This entry is not for myself, but rather for my girlfriend who is currently entrenched in a dead-end, soul-crushing day job that would not permit her leave to visit her father (who recently survived a heart attack) in Switzerland for the holidays.

    If selected, I would desire for her to fly to visit him and take some time to reflect on the values that are really important to her: family, personal freedom, and travel. Who knows, she might even take the leap and finally blow this mickey mouse popsicle stand she’s working for right now!

  • Sabrina Scott says:

    What a wonderful opportunity you are giving to a lucky winner! I would like to win because my husband and I have been dreaming about a trip to Scotland since before we were married (5 yrs now!). However, life keeps getting in the way and we have yet to take a trip together, aside from visiting relatives, going to weddings, etc. I don’t know if that counts as a good cause, but it would be a dream come true for us!

    Thanks for letting me throw my hat in the ring 🙂

  • i would like to go to india, tanzania or turkey:
    India for my work as an artist/photographer and to visit my true family & friends

    Tanzania because i am writing a paper for a class on agricultural development focusing on women & gender

    Turkey because my mentee of 3 years is from there and i want to meet her family/friends, take pics of all the beautiful places she’s told me about and learn as much turkish as my brain can hold

  • Natasha says:

    Cool opportunity Chris! I’m in Seattle and would like to fly to Ottawa, ON to visit my twin sister. She moved away almost a year ago. I’ve never been to Ottawa and it’s definitely time for a visit.

  • Brooke says:

    Well, given the opportunity, I’d visit my half-sister–she’s in Adelaide, Aus, and I’ve met her twice. She’s 17, and she’s pretty cool. We chat online frequently. She doesn’t have the cash to get here to Seattle, and I really can’t get down there, either. My family split when I was 2ish, and I had the guts to reconcile with my father about 5 years ago (bravest thing?) Reward? I got a fantastic second family (my father is in AZ, sis is in Aus with her mom). I just would love to visit more often… Skype just ain’t the same.

    Thing is, I don’t think I can make the 6-month cut, since I’ve had nasty health problems flare up… and I’m going to have more major surgery in 4 months. 🙁 Perhaps I’m out of the running.

    — brooke

  • Shirin says:

    One place i’ve always wanted to go, for as long as i could remember, is Cuba. I am a mother of two and a freelance photographer.
    i think Cuba has such a rich and raw culture and it would be a dream come true to actually photograph and document the streets, the people, the colours and the life there. I was a journalist before i came to Australia to study so i am very good with people and exploring the unknown and untouched is my forte.
    I’ve always plan to bring my kids to do a long term volunteer work in Cuba or Cambodia when they are older so if i were to win this trip, it would be a good chance for me to find the right avenues for future volunteering work for all of us.

  • Lauren says:

    If I could go anywhere it would be to Australia to visit my sister and her fiancee. My sister moved there about two years ago and I have been wanting to go visit her for a long time. But it costs so much $$ and it is hard to get two weeks vacation time for a proper trip. It would be a dream come true to be able to visit and see her life on the literal other side of the world!

  • I would take my boyfriend to New Jersey to visit his family. He has been saying that he wants to visit them this year but since I drag him all over the world with me we haven’t had the time. I think this would be the perfect gift and would force us to make it happen! And of course it would make his family very happy also since they are not able to fly to the west coast this year. Thanks for a great contest, Chris!

  • Jeff Hirz says:

    I have always dreamed of exploring my European heritage – specifically my Irish and Scottish roots. I would love the opportunity to immerse myself in those cultures – to kiss the Blarney Stone, to walk among the seemingly evergreen hills, to perambulate along the walkways of Edinburgh Castle, and, of course, to drink Guinness in its founding country. And more importantly, I would love to just mingle with the people in those countries, to meet new friends and just lose myself in the culture.

  • David says:

    Current Location: New York, America
    Desired Location: Canberra, Australia
    Reason: I had the amazing pleasure when making my first foray into traveling alone to meet an Family in the Blue Mountains of Sydney Australia. I originally planned to stay for one week helping them renovate their shed into a studio. This turned into 4 months of child care and odd jobs. To say this Family changed my life would be doing them a disservice. The very essence of who I am today comes directly from that experience and those boys that I looked after. I arrived there chasing myself and what I wanted from life. I left knowing precisely who I was and what I was meant to do. Work with children. I am now a Program Director of a YMCA Camp in New York working with inner-city youth and couldn’t be happier. So my trip would not take me home to the UK, rather to Australia so I can personally thank those that I owe so much…and to give those boys a huge hug!

    Even if I don’t win this trip, I HAVE to make it there.

  • Dan says:

    Need to get to Chiangmai by the end of the month!

  • Fabio says:

    I would like to go to USA, in Seattle to be precise, next summer. I live in Italy, and me and my girlfriend have a friend that lives in Seattle. Last summer she came to Italy and stayed some day with us, now is time for us to go visit her.
    Both are involved in metaphisics, alternative healing and so on and so forth…it would be great to meet her again so we can exchange experiences…
    Thank you Chris for this opportunity!

  • The one place I want to go right now is ………………..Steamboat Springs, Colorado. July 6 – 10 it appears we are trying to have a Family Reunion of 11 plus families. Georgia cousins and Colorado cousins are getting together with all of their families! This has never happened. This would require my husband and I to travel with our 3 children! See what you can do to make this easy on us.

    Now………….if I was able to go to International, I would travel to Vietnam with my husband. I have been told that it is literally one of the most beautiful places on earth and the people are wonderful. Our 19th anniv is July 25th. Maybe this could be squeezed in!

  • melissa zanartu says:

    I would love to go to Tibet…please please pretty please!!! it’s so expensive to to to Asia.

  • johnny says:

    If i could go anywhere Chris it would be, without doubt, Bhutan. Having traveled for the last few years of my life, the one place that holds the allure of true traveling is Bhutan. So many countries have targeted tourism as a major revenue source while Bhutan has been doing quite the opposite! That creates a burning desire to see what this hidden country offers, steeped in Buddhism and stuck on the outskirts of the Himalayas, i’ve imagined wandering around Taktsang Monastery for years and this could finally become a reality! Wow!

    Also, being based in Bangkok I know there’s an airline which offers direct flights there regularly, I’ve spent too many hours looking longingly at the departure board in Suvarnabhumi Airport to let this opportunity pass!

  • Aine says:

    It doesn’t sound like South America is included, but if it were, I’d book a ticket to Brazil, to visit the exchange student we’ve been hosting. We are going to miss her terribly, and we have an open invitation to stay with her family. (We’ve met her father, brother, and aunt in person, and have had video chats with other family and friends.)

    My husband and I are not world travelers – we are barely domestic travelers – so it would be precious to us to be able to make this trip. (And learn more Portuguese.)

    Barring that, though, my second choice would be a trip to Seattle, to visit my brother and his family. They moved there 8 years ago, and we’ve never been able to afford the trip. I would love to have them show me around the area. I’ve always wanted to see the Pacific Northwest. 🙂

  • There are so many places I’d like to travel. Basically this year my goal is get started going somewhere on a more consistent basis. In Asia I would like to visit Japan and China. Many people have told my I should visit Australia as well.

  • Aaron Wentzell says:

    Thanks Chris, that is very generous. Having traveled to a lot of places, there is quite a few dream trips that are still outstanding for me (once you get the bug, you never get rid of it). These miles would make my dream of a Round The World trip possible!!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. I just finished ‘The Art of Non-Conformity’ and it was quite inspiring.

  • Deb says:

    I would love to fly to Seattle or Portland and do a driving tour of the Pacific Northwest. For some reason that part of the U.S. really appeals to me. I would love to spend some time just enjoying that part of the country. I’m a born and raised Michigander—never lived anyplace else. As a photographer I have a feeling that the Pacific Northwest is full of amazing photo opportunities.

    Chris, thank you for this amazing giveaway and for being the inspiration I need to break away and lead a life of non-conformity. It means more than I can ever express. Thank you!

  • Lu-Hai Liang says:

    I would like to go to Japan, America and Brazil. Anyone of those would be lovely. Being Chinese, going to Japan would be fascinating, being British also, and growing up weaned on westerns, America just has the greatest romance for me. Brazil because a sweetheart lives there.
    I would most like to earn some miles because I am developing a travel website which will immerse readers in locations using text and photos.
    I am a student and have become engrossed in this site’s philosophy. My new website will be the start of my adventure and non-conformist life, and some airmiles would be sweet!

  • Justin says:

    I would take my daughter to Estonia.
    She is 3 years old and I’m teaching her chess—as it appears she’s a natural prodigy and has taken to the game like she’s played it before. It’s quite incredible actually, I mean…how do you explain how someone can know something that they’ve never been exposed to? When I was 4 years old, I woke up one morning and could play the piano. My family was floored. I told them I dreamed it and someone taught me in my dreams. Anyhow… we live in Michigan and the USA doesn’t place enough value on the game of chess—worldwide this game is used for educational and political purposes. It develops young minds and teaches them critical thinking skills. Why don’t we teach this in schools here?
    Estonia is hosting the Chess World Cup 2011 and the entire chess elite will be there.
    I envision my daughter being the one of the youngest to play in the free exhibition games and the experience would be incredible and invaluable to her development.
    Thank you kindly!

  • Kristal says:

    I’d love to take a trip with my mom to Washington D.C. I’ve been there a while back for a high school trip, and it’s really a great place. My mom hasn’t been on a vacation for over 25 years, so I’d use the miles for my ticket & buy my Mom’s ticket. I’d like to make it a surprise….I’m just going to tell her to pack her bags & she won’t know where we’re going till we get to the airport 🙂

    By the way to the first commenter, Lebanon is a beautiful place. You won’t believe how close everything is there….you can drive from beach to mountain-top ski resorts in about an hour (barring any usual congestion). The street food is fantastic, a lot of people speak English (at least enough to help you) and US dollars are accepted in most places. I recommend taking a cab or walking everywhere…..you DO NOT want to drive within the big cities if you are a foreigner. Driving there is something between playing chicken and demolition derby.

  • kathleen says:

    I would happily go to the travel mecca of central america, Hondurus, of course. :p And while we both actually know that Honduras is soooooooo not the travel mecca of central america, that is the very reason I want to go. But shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone what a fantastically cheap adventure this place is.

  • Jen says:

    Wow, this is so AWESOME! 😀 Thank you!

    I’ve always dreamed of traveling the world, but the one place I’ve been dreaming of the most lately is home.

    My fiance & I moved from Australia to China 6 months ago to teach English, but after a month I was unfairly fired – they even withheld our passports so we couldn’t leave! We went to the police to get them back, but even with our passports we don’t have enough money to go home.

    My fiance is still teaching here. I’ve been spending my time writing & staying positive, but it’s been hard.

    In 6 months, we can go home. But in order to do that, we need to use some of the money we originally wanted to save for our wedding, which is later this year, meaning we will have to find jobs asap once we get home & miss out on some of the things we wanted for our special day, because we don’t want to put any financial pressure on our families.

    Winning this would help us get home & really enjoy it without any more stress, it would mean everything!

  • Joe Lalonde says:

    Man Chris, I don’t think I can compete with any of these. Especially Cathy Brown. That sounds like it would be a blast and it is a dream of hers. I know I’m not on the panel of judges, but she’s got a vote from me.

    If I were to go on a trip though, I think I would take my wife and go to Ireland. I’m not sure why but I recently seen a picture in a pamphlet and the view blew me away. And now I have a desire to head on over to Ireland and enjoy it for a few days.

  • Wow so many of these posts are amazing. I feel sort of silly even bothering. LOL I want to go to San Francisco. I lived there for one year several years ago and I miss it horribly. Life’s been overwhelming to say the least and yeah, I’d like to jsut escape for a bit, go back to the place I loved so much, and come back stronger.

  • Chris – My passion to travel has been fueled by your blog. Although I have not traveled extensively I have had the opportunity to travel through the US, Canada, Mozambique, Colombia and a few countries in Europe. The more I travel the more I want to travel – it’s like and addiction. I could hold you responsible for my growing habit but I won’t – unless guilt would motivate you to consider me.

    This year I have one goal – to travel to Ireland. I want to make this trip with my mother (who is a vibrant 75 year old woman). She was born and raised in Northern Ireland and she promises me she knows where to find leprechauns. She also claims to have seen fairy rings. I have no reason to doubt her – although she also told me about Santa Claus. I am sure your readers would love to hear a first hand report about Northern Ireland as well as evidence of the existence of these mythical creatures.

  • Samia says:

    I’ve always had a fascination with Australia. My dream is to open the most soul-tastic restaurant on the face of the earth, with amazing organic food, art on display, and including an amazing music venue. Brunswick Street in Melbourne, Australia would feed this desire more than any place on earth. I would be honored to be inspired by a place that has always captured my spirit and to be surrounded by multi-cultural and amazing places to eat and be moved.

  • flo says:

    I was an exchange student in Minnesota. Since then I haven’t been back to the place. I would love to reconnect with all the friends I made during my stay 17 years ago. I would use the free trip for a flight from Europe to the Twin Cities.

  • Amelia Lim says:

    Hi Chris! This is my very first post on your blog after all the closet reading in the past month! I thought I had a very good shot at this contest with my recently inspired happy-to-quit-my-job-and-go-travel-and-volunteer plans in Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam, until I read through all the different posts before me and realize how outstanding every person is, with their own unique story and drive behind their passions. I also find it interesting that you have given hope and motivation to look within and write what compels us the most through this simple contest. Everyone deserves to go, and although there is only one winner, we are all winners at heart! So thank you Chris for affirming that. I’m going to keep following your writings!

  • Thanks Chris?! Happy to see the Travel Cartel is coming too?!
    But back to Winning Miles for an Airline Ticket to Anywhere – am afraid to read the rest of the comments, will just make a request to Win for a Friend…
    She’s at Safety Training this month in Texas & then off to Africa on a Mercy Ship as a Volunteer for 2 years (you know Chris, you’ve been there & done that – so has she, it’s her 2nd trip out on a Mercy Ship?!)
    I think she could use an airline ticket going to/from US/Africa or also just to go visit her family back in Hungary or her friends back in Norway or her friends here in the USA or maybe just a break when she needs it from the ship possibly…
    Oh, she’s already got a Blog going too – called ROAM, Reka On A Mercy ship?!
    Good Luck all, or I can still say Lykke Til from living in Norway?! ;o)

  • Joe says:

    Well, I’m just a broke 19 year old college student. Not poor, broke! I’ve lived in New Mexico all my life and I’ve never even left the country, except for maybe a trip to Canada that I can barely remember. (I’ve never even been on a commercial airplane!) There are few things I want more in life than the ability to travel the world, but, on my current budget of $0 and 0 cents that’s not totally possible. The one place in the world that most intrigues me is Germany. It’s a beautiful country with a rich culture and awesome people. So far as I know at least. I sometimes feel like I just need to get away or I’ll become so accustomed to staying put that I’ll never even make it out of the state, which would be a fate probably equal to death on the bad things scale. Christmas in Germany would probably be the most wonderful thing in the world, but because it’s more than 6 months away I could probably settle for going sometime in the summer. I know people have much sadder stories than I and a few probably NEED to go much more than I do, but I thought I’d at least give it a try. Danke schön!

  • Chantal says:

    I’d go to Cape Verde, Africa. Probably very different from everything I ever saw, wonderful music, nice weather, pleasant people. Isn’t that a good vacations choice?

  • Nick Kirkes says:

    After the year I’ve had, a vacation is in due order. I just haven’t been able to swing it. A prize like this would be a boon. I’ve also never traveled outside of the U.S. besides Mexico. The bug has bitten; and travel

    Japan. If I could fly anywhere today, it would be Japan. I’d visit buddhist temples, aging karate instructors, and the big city.

  • Jen says:

    I’ve always dreamed of traveling the world, but the one place I’ve been dreaming of the most lately is home.

    My fiance & I moved from Australia to China 6 months ago to teach English, but after a month I was unfairly fired – they even withheld our passports so we couldn’t leave! We went to the police to get them back, but even with our passports we don’t have enough money to go home.

    My fiance is still teaching here. I’ve been spending my time writing & staying positive, but it’s been hard.

    In 6 months, we can go home. But in order to do that, we need to use some of the money we originally wanted to save for our wedding, which is later this year, meaning we will have to find jobs asap once we get home & miss out on some of the things we wanted for our special day, because we don’t want to put any financial pressure on our families.

    Winning this would help us get home & really enjoy it without any more stress, it would mean everything, even if you can only get me to Singapore!

  • Jason Ford says:

    Name: Jason Ford

    Destination: South Bend, Indiana (SBN)
    From: San Francisco, California (SFO)

    When: Immediately – 2 months

    Why?: In a word, love. Earlier last year I left my college town and drove to San Francisco to chase my dream of joining a technology startup. In November, after just shy of a year of incredibly hard work the dream paid off and I joined a software startup. The traction is great, but as we all know startups don’t pay off on the front end. We sweat it out for the passion with the payout being down the road.

    I am madly in love with my college sweetheart and rarely get to see her. If I won, I would use the ticket almost immediately to fly home and see the girl of my dreams. Help me surprise her and make her one of the happiest girls on earth. 🙂

  • Very generous offer, Chris!

    My 4 kids have flown the (Chicago ‘burbs) nest, and are living in NYC, CA, MI and Helsinki, Finland. It would be wonderful to fly to see that they’re doing well. As a Mom, my greatest joy is seeing each child grow and follow their passion…it’s also most difficult to be so far away.

    Since the offer was within the country, I’d choose to fly to either NYC or Orange, CA — it’s tough to choose!

    I’d be happy to blog & photo the difference between the 2 coasts if you want to fly be to both! 🙂

  • E Lamprecht says:

    In considering how to respond to this post I immediately came up with upwards of 30 possible itineraries which I would gladly embark on tomorrow, however I think I’ve narrowed it down to the most appropriate choice for this year. This summer I will have the opportunity to join friends on an epic trip through parts of Asia but particularly focusing on Mongolia. I’ve dreamed of visiting Mongolia for years now, ever since Long Way’Round first showed me its potential and then later meeting travelers who had survived on horseback riding a figure 8 around the country for 6 weeks. Every story I hear come from there is inspirational and amazing, and though I had originally believed I could not join this summer’s trip, receiving a ticket to go would ensure I couldn’t miss it.

    Thank you for putting up the contest, I’m excited to see who wins as there are many interesting choices in the comments above. Best of luck on your own travels as well!

  • Britney Burger says:

    I am currently a graduate student at Texas A&M University studying for my CPA exam. I will graduate in May. I am paying for college myself and will start working as an accountant in Houston in July, when I will have to start paying off student loans and working long hours. Traveling, next to food is my number one passion in life, and I would love to get away for spring break or take a trip somewhere after graduation as a reward to myself for all my hard work. My little brother goes to school in California, one of my best friends lives in Virginia, my aunt and uncle will be moving to Germany in April. The possibilities are endless as to where I could go. My mom is a single mom and can’t help with expenses and I’m currently not receiving any aid since I’m not considered a full time student this semester. This trip would be a blessing for anyone. What an amazing thing Chris, thank you!

  • Marcia says:

    Hi Chris…pick me…pick me…please pick me 🙂

    My son has been teaching English in Seoul, S. Korea for 2 1/2 years and my dream is to go visit him…he’s had the opportunity to travel all around the Far East…he LOVES it…I really…REALLY want to be able to go to visit him…be able to travel with him…I will be able to share his memories…KNOW when he speaks of a place…a friend…a memory…we’ll have that shared memory for LIFE…what a joy and a blessing that would be.

    I trust you’ll choose the best entry…thanks so much!

    PS…I do understand I’d need to pitch in extra to get to Korea from Michigan…:)

  • lelehnia says:

    well I would love to see the world but feel a deep need to introduce my son to my father. I have just begun to get back in life with the birth of my son in 2005. In 1999 I suffered from an injury that caused my spine to collapes, tearing my spinal cord and pelvis to dislocate leaving me in a wheelchair for many years. In 2oo3 they began surgery after the rebuilding of my spine I shocked my doctors by walking. In 2004 I discovered I was prego!!! After being told NOT possible! And if possible would put me back in a wheel chair! Well guess what! POSSIBLE!!:))) NOw I have a beautiful, carpet surfing, rockclimbing little boy who only adds to the joy and adventure of life! Since I am on disablility it is difficult to make ends meet at times. Which has made it impossible for my son to meet his gradfather. I am a single mother. My mother passed in 1994 and my son asks why he dosent have a granny, a dad and grandpa like his friends. I would love to show him he does have a Grandpa in San Diego.

  • Jean-Pierre says:

    Biking in Utah – A dream !

    Arches National Park, Castle Valley, Canyonlands, Death Horse Point, Monument Valley, can’t wait to bike there. As a “human cyclist”, not the kind of guys shaving their legs to be faster by a few hypothetic seconds and constantly looking at the speed, I would love cruising around the outstanding panorama of this part of your country.

    I’m planning my trip next April-May flying from Montreal to Denver.

    Great contest – Thanks.

    Jean-Pierre

  • Being highly influenced by your ‘non-conformity’ mantra and all your various adventures, I did something out of the ordinary last year & submitted a rappin/dancin [and I’m a Scottish gal] video entry to go to an event in NYC, hosted by the fabulous Marie Forleo. I won, I went and had just the best time ever.

    I met some amazing like minded women and we formed a little online group, to keep ourselves on track with our lives & entrepreneurship. We have big plans to all meet up again in Barcelona again in July. As I’m already trying to think of all the ways in which I could hustle for the money for the flights[quitting the 9-5 to do my ‘own thing’ aint lucrative to start with], I know this incredibly generous and gracious offer would just make my year.

    I’ve always said you are just the loveliest man on the internet Chris, this offer just confirms it.

    Good luck everyone xx

  • Mariam says:

    I have never been much into domestic travel, but I turned 30 earlier this month and did a 30-day countdown with a way I gave back that day, things that I was thankful for, and something that I aspiring to do in my 30s. One of my aspirations was to visit the 26 remaining states that I have not been to in the US. A friend invited me to help move him (and his two Jeep Cherokees) from Michigan to California in a couple months. We would be camping and going through several of the states that I have not yet been to and would bring me several steps closer to this aspiration!

    Thanks for the many ways in which you give back Chris!

  • Neil says:

    I found out last week that my mom is planning on getting married in Las Vegas next month. My parents divorced when I was young, and my mom was lucky to eventually find someone new to love and share her life with. They’ve been together for more than a dozen years, but only recently decided to make their union official.

    It’s not every day that someone gets to watch one of their parents get married. My mother was an instrumental part of my wedding two years ago, and I want to be there for her now. Finances are pretty tight right now – I’m just back to work after being in job search mode for a year, and my wife is currently on the job hunt. We’ll find a way to make it work so that we can be at my mom’s wedding, but a free flight would certainly go a long way toward making that dream a reality.

    Naturally, I’d make sure to run a detailed review of the trip on my blog. Thanks Chris!

  • Holly says:

    I would go to Cape Town. A beautiful place on a continent I have yet to visit. Simple as that. Oh, it would be nice to escape this harsh Michigan winter too.

  • Debbie DeVoe says:

    Australia matey! Because I hear it’s a country with some of the friendliest people on the planet. The good cause will require some more thought. Passing on that friendliness everyday to others I cross paths with each day for the next year? Yeah, that sounds pretty good! Very fun Chris. Thanks!

  • Megan B says:

    I would love to go to Colombia with my boyfriend. I am a Spanish major, and studied abroad in Chile (see link). I am enamored with the language and Latin American culture, and want to share this with Mike. We’ve been together for four years, and I just know that if he gets a taste of travel and language that he will love it too. I’ve heard so much about Colombia and the open, friendly nature of the people there. For me, the aspect of traveling that makes it so life changing, thought-provoking and stimulating is the opportunity to connect with new people. Colombia would be the perfect place to share that experience.

  • Brenda says:

    I am taking a trip to Bolivia in June. (I know you didn’t say South America)but I don’t know how I’m going to pay for it yet. I want to do something big, adventurous and just for me. I have four children and have gone through a divorce this past year (after being married for 25 years). I have volunteered to work at a bed and breakfast and work on an organic farm in Samaipata, Bolivia. I thought I would volunteer and worry about how I am going to get there later. I am very excited and know that it will be a life-changing experience for me. I am afraid and scared too-which is good. We must do the thing we are afraid to do! Thanks Chris for your consideration and your great website!

  • Daisy says:

    I am currently being treated for depression and stress illnesses related to my teaching career. My family doctor recommended that I get away for a short trip, preferably someplace warm (I live in northeastern Wisconsin – Go! Pack! Go!).
    My husband and I would like to visit Sweetfield Manor, a Bed & Breakfast owned and operated by multi-talented children’s author Ann Clark. Clark’s last book, “People are so Different” won a Teachers’ Choice Award for Best Children’s Book in the year it was published. My husband gave me a copy of this book for Christmas and suggested the trip.
    The challenge in planning this trip: Sweetfield Manor is in Barbados.

  • Ivona says:

    That’s a great idea and great gift. Frequent flier miles are one of the most valuable treasures for all the travelers. I would fly to Hong Kong to explore the latest business idea I have and finally see this vibrant city.

  • Haolai Jiang says:

    My dream city is Las Vegas. I am planning to propose to my girlfriend in February and would like to have a trip to Vegas with her in late February. But the plan may be canceled due to my tight budget. If you can help me with that, Chris, I appreciate it very much!

  • Stacy says:

    My dream is to visit Paris. It’s been a life long dream and with my fabulous 40th birthday coming up in August, I can’t imagine a better way to spend it than visiting Paris.

  • Nelu Handa says:

    It’s my DREAM to throw a few clothes, a toothbrush, and my DSLR camera in a backpack and travel throughout India for a few months. As a first generation Canuck, I feel a deep connection to continually learn about the part of the world my family comes from. I would photograph, film and write stories about the people, social issues, and amazing experiences I encounter along the way. I want to speak Hindi with the fluency of a Bollywood starlet and I want to volunteer with an organization that helps empower women and girls in poverty.

    Thank you for this contest Chris! It just made realize that what is holding me back from traveling isn’t really the money, it’s the intention behind the travel- for me it’s the adventure and contribution (values more important than money). Traveling is always a good investment (years of appreciation afterall)

    AND thanks for the stop in Toronto last week! It was so inspiring to meet you (I started blogging again…thanks for the creative electrocution:)

  • bonnierose says:

    My heart and soul is telling me Ubud, Bali. It’s where the film EAT PRAY LOVE was filmed and it’s a place I’ve always wanted to travel to and spend some time there, learning the culture and having a peaceful tranquil vacation. A place where I can reconnect with my soul, with my authenticity, and figure out the next steps of my one crazy life. I need more clarity in my life in so many areas.. and going to this beautiful and magical place in the world.. I know.. I could sit quietly by the ocean and amidst all that greenery, and just be. I love to write. I want to write a book someday. It’s here where I’d love to travel to become more authentic, and a place where as I said, I could discover the potential that is within me.

  • Diana Rosen says:

    I’d love to visit international music and theatre festivals (SpoletoUS/SpoletoItaly, Edingburgh, Idyllwild, for example) for the thrill of seeing new performers and plays and hearing wonderful music, the international language of ideas, emotions, and communication. Sharing these experiences via photographs or video (as permitted) may just be a reminder how powerful music, theatre, dance, are to connect.

  • Oriana says:

    I would like to go back to Costa Rica to continue surfing! I’ve heard that doing what is good for you can be good for world, if it lets your spirit out into the world. So here’s to playing in the surf and sun, learning from the best coaches in the world, and letting my surfing-spirit play!

  • Kevin says:

    I would go visit my brother in law and his family in Germany. He took on a two year commitment as a school counselor at an international school in Kandern, Germany. This was a huge step for him, as we all considered him more of a home body than an international. That being said, we all miss him and his family and would like to see how they are doing in that beautiful area near the Black Forest. Also, I’ve never been to Europe myself and would love to see that part of the world.

  • Dyan says:

    I have two good friends who recently relocated to Europe (Ireland and France) for school (culinary and language) and I would just be too excited if I got a chance to go visit them. I’ve never been outside of the US (Except for Mexico when I was 7. I got a rash and my cousins stole my juiceboxes. It wasn’t the best trip, needless to say.) and getting over to Europe would be an amazing experience. I missed out on the whole study abroad bandwagon and sometimes I feel like an ignoramus when I hear people sharing their stories of their foreign adventures. If this at all helps my case, I also live in Chicago, where it is frigid and bleak throughout the winter. Getting out of the cold for just a spell might be the only way I survive another Midwestern winter!

  • Peggy Gerbo says:

    I need to go back to Sedona, Arizona to the Retreat and Heal facility to stop smoking and get my eating under control – again… The power of the vortex sights are so intense and the people at Retreat and Heal have special gifts/talents. Jerry is an American Indian medicine man and Annie specializes in EFT, NLP, and hypnosis and together they help you achieve your goals. It was so successful last time – like someone just flipped a switch off and immediately I no longer had any issues with either addiction. Lasted for over a year until major stress hit and I didn’t have a plan B. This time I want to work on that plan B as well so I am not overly tempted to return to these addictions. I would be so grateful to win this trip. Sedona is an amazing place for adventure and beautiful pictures.

  • I’ve never run a marathon, but I’ve been trying since 2004. The first time I trained, I fractured the fifth metatarsal in my left foot. The second time I trained, I strained the Achilles tendon on my left leg. What’s up with this left leg? I broke it in the 8th grade; almost fifteen years later, my right leg is still stronger.

    Running a marathon is on my bucket list, and 2011 is going to be different. I’ve run two half marathons. I have a running partner and mentor Daniel. I have a marathon in my sights: Berlin, September 25. I have Brooks running shoes and Smart Feet inserts. I have a lovely wife who is rooting for me. I’ve already begun to train even though that means running in below freezing temperatures.

    I want to fly to Berlin with my wife, Daniel, and his wife; run 26.2 miles; and recover fast enough to enjoy a few days of Oktoberfest. I just need to get to Berlin to kill this Goliath. That’s what I’d use 25,000 miles to do. Perhaps AONC can help…

  • Diana Murdock says:

    What an opportunity it would be to take my two boys to Cardiff, Wales, in May to compete in an international Tang So Doo competition! My youngest, an orange belt, and my oldest, just a year from earning his black belt, have only been to local competitions with approximately 50 or so competitors. This international competition will host about 1000 competitors from around the world! What an experience that would be for them to meet others from different cultures, in a country we have never been, sharing the love of their craft. I would love to give them this chance! Something they will remember, for certain!

  • Scott Cole says:

    I recently started a nonprofit focused on closing the achievement gap in K-12 education. We have researched the history behind its existence, and all the approaches that have been tried over the past 30 years to address the problem. There is finally an initiative in Cincinnati, led by an organization called Strive, that is truly making a huge difference by using “collective impact” to engage 300 organizations in service of the problem. I need to visit with the leaders of this project, and replicate their success in my home town of Minneapolis/St. Paul. I would use the ticket to spend a week or maybe two on the ground in Cincinnati learning so I can transport it back here. Thanks for the opportunity to make a difference Chris!

  • Sara Marie says:

    What an amazing give-away!

    I’ve always wanted to travel and see the world. It’s built into my DNA. Because of financial situations, I had convinced myself that wasn’t going to be possible. Then, one day, I picked up your “Art of Non-Conformity” book and my world was turned upside down. Reading it started a chain reaction of decisions that has allowed me to find an exit strategy from my current job and an entrance strategy into the world of travel. I’ve always been fascinated with the perspectives of different cultures and my goal in life is to see the world from as many perspectives as possible, writing about it and photographing it as I go so that other people can see the world through my experiences and be inspired to do the same with their lives. I would love to kickoff my journey by traveling to New Zealand to learn about their culture and their passion for eco-friendly existence, documenting my experience as I go.

    Thanks so much for all you do! You are such and inspiration!

  • Mark says:

    With my ticket, I’d travel to the state of Queensland in Australia. The recent floods have been the largest natural disaster in that country’s history. They need help. I would travel there and help a non-profit with the clean-up, and in addition, I would tour the state. I’m an avid scuba diver and would love to dive the Great Barrier Reef one day. It would certainly make for some great photos! I already have an underwater camera! As a film student, you can rest assured they’ll be pretty good looking photos. These could also be used to spread the word back home about the disaster that occurred there this month.

  • Eric says:

    My younger brother is following in my footsteps and is on Semester at Sea right now. I would love to be able to meet up with him when they port in Japan in April. Japan is a significant country to me because I lived there for a year teaching English and I would love to show my brother around. Thanks for your consideration!

    Eric

  • Jacki says:

    I would travel with the free trip to Africa.

    I write a blog, I believe in living my best life through adventure and by sharing my learnings, love and adventures, I can inspire others to live a great life with me!

    In the trip to Africa, I would bring along my boyfriend because he is amazing, a camera and an open mind and heart. We would go on a safari, do yoga in the communities (I am certified to teach), eat food we have never tried before, watch the sun set and rise in ONE day, dance, and laugh. If that is not reason enough, I don’t know what is!

  • Thank you for your awesome gesture, Chris!
    I have read many of the posts here and there are lots who deserve to win.
    My trip would be to Amsterdam to visit my two beautiful grandchildren whom I rarely see. I will be able to take them – he, to his International School and her, to her Playschool
    I would use the flying and traveling to add to my experiences for my newest writing niche, which is for, and about, senior travelers.
    Apart from my family time, I will explore Amsterdam and take photos of that unique old city.
    It’s never too late to pursue life and make it what you want it to be!

  • Phranc Lamm says:

    I’d head down to either Buenos Aires or Santiago to visit my wife and daughter. After buying the AONC and recommending it to my daughter, she left her job and set up a trip through South America from 2/6 to 3/31. I was a little concerned about her doing the entire trip alone so I proposed sending my wife with her; they leave in a couple of weeks.Depending on when the trip was awarded I might want to change it to Lapaz, Cuzco, Puerto Maldonado, Trujillo or Quito depending on where they are. I would try and just show up to surprise them, I would have loved to go on the trip myself but couldn’t leave my job for the 7.5 weeks required.

    As you can tell, your book and blog have been quite an inspiration to both my daughter and me. Her comment after reading your book was “Why not now?” I agree, why not indeed?

  • Deb Brown says:

    I’d fly to Winston-Salem North Carolina. I lived there before my dad had a heart attack and I had to come home. My friend Lisa lives there now. She had a bad divorce and her son and her moved back to NC. They need me. And I need them. It would be an opportunity to strengthen our friendship, spend some time with one of the greatest kids in the world and help myself recuperate a little too.

    Thanks for the offer. You rock!

  • Steve says:

    I would like to enter my brother into the contest to fly from the US to South Korea (where I live) to visit me (I have some miles built up with Skypass that hopefully I could contribute to make a transcontinental trip, but I don’t really know how that stuff works). He got married right out of college and and they had a baby when he was halfway through medical school so he hasn’t been able to take any time to smell the roses since undergrad. We come from a humble background so he’s basically raising his family off of student loans and the small money his wife brings in. He starts his residency soon and, outside of a medical mission trip he has planned, he won’t be able to take a break for a few more years. He’s got a short break between graduation in late May and starting his residency in early June. I want to get him over here soon because my wife and I plan to go back to the US in the next couple years ourselves.

    If not me, I nominate Rudee, so he can see his brother too.

  • Wendy Myers says:

    I am 28. I am single and I am not a mother. I also am not equipped with any of the tools to make me any of the above any time soon : )
    The joy i receive in life is traveling but with the recent recession I have seen my own business nearly plummet. I run my own medical massage therapy business and many of my clients have lost their jobs and are unable to come as often if at all. I am barely scraping by these days and my travel/my essence of life, has been put on a huge back burner. I would love to go to New Zealand! I hear you have to make it there before your 30’s, join a Kiwi tour and experience the time of your life! I can go anytime and my blog and pictures will be out of this world!

    Best Regards,

    Wendy

  • Jennifer B. says:

    I would love to go to Paris, France. I want to eat a baguette, walk the Seine, observe the parisians loving life. I want to practice my broken French and smell the aromas of old beauty. What a great way to get people to write out their dream trips. I will get to do this in a few years, but if you pick me, I can do this in the next 6 months. Thank you for your positive messages.

  • Sage Russell says:

    So here it is: I’d love to kill two birds with one stone… perhaps more. I would go visit my best friend in Portland (OR) who is just exiting a funky relationship and needs some perspective. My tool for gaining perspective: Food Adventures, for which Portland is perfect. I’d book us a bunch of food missions in and around the the city, eat, drink and celebrate life. Go to the outskirts and get in touch with the bounty of nature; Make some new connections and bring some new food knowledge back to share with the masses.
    It may sound trite to some, but I believe reconnecting with food, community and nature can heal all and refocus a wandering life path. I’d start with my best friend and keep sharing to inspire others.

  • Patricia Holmlund says:

    Ever since I was a very young girl I’ve dreamed of going to Samoa, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Boa Boa. I don’t understand where this desire has come from and now that I’m in my 50s and my husband has just had his 60th birthday, we beginning to align our lives to travel and develop some type of location independent business. What brings on this wanderlust? During the past year we’ve lost 6 friends to cancer or heart disease. One, just my age, had just bought her dream house with her new husband and 6 months later she was dead. Events like those certainly get one thinking. Hubby and I have been good little drones for many, many years and have saved and lived the drone life but always there has been an underlying objective – travel (and stay warm – we live in Canada). So now we’re scouring the internet finding out how to travel hack. With an offer like this – why wait? Let the adventure begin.

  • Tiffany says:

    My WONDERFUL older sister got engaged over Christmas and in her ever-so-awesome manner, she and her fiance decided to get hitched this June in Mexico. I moved to Boston in January ’10 from Chicago, leaving my sister and the rest of my family behind to try out a new city in which I knew NO ONE and have never visited. Keeping in touch with my family has gotten me through some lonely moments, and has in some ways brought me even closer to my sister. Traveling to Mexico isn’t exactly cheap, and though I’m going to her wedding no matter what, having these free miles would help tremendously. Jess (my sister) and Matt (her fiance) are the most genuinely in-love couple I’ve ever encountered, and the example for which I use to gauge any potential suitors. I can’t think of a better way to use the free miles than to help a hopeless romantic witness one of the best role models in my life marry her best man!

  • Kerri says:

    I would go to Newfoundland. My husband grew up there and has taken to watching a tv show filmed there, just to see how it has changed. I think it’s time he saw it again. The other bonus is that we don’t much extra travel cash, so we’d have people to stay with to keep the trip feasible.

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Hadassa says:

    My boyfriend lives in California and I live in Germany. Neither of us has the spare cash to travel right now so we have no idea when we will see each other again. So in the name of love… I’m afraid my cause is a purely selfish one! Great idea, Chris, and very generous of you – may the best cause win 🙂

  • Jason DeVinny says:

    My wife and I are just beginning our new life of non-conformity. She is going to quit her job in May and begin pursuing a career she loves, photography. We are currently planning a trip to Ireland, UK, and Italy in the next few months for four weeks, and could not be more excited. This is our first trip of adventure and exploring together, so we can not wait to capture amazing moments with my wife’s newfound love of photography. While we are by no means the most deserving of your miles, we certainly are taking a leap of faith as first time travelers, and this would be icing the cake! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  • Lucy says:

    My dream destination is Italy. Why? It’s simple. I was there in 2007, taking a course, and I fell in love with Rome. It’s so much more than ancient ruins, it is a modern city woven into an ancient, medieval, baroque, and renaissance metropolis. It was the capital of the known world, and it’s beautifully hot and sultry, gritty and luminescent. I live in the frozen north – Canada – and all winter I’ve been planning my escape. The travel miles would be the perfect graduation gift – I’m finishing up my MA in ancient history. But it’s more personal journey than scholarly endeavor. I returned to school mid-life and have been writing about women, roughly my age, who lived in the early second century AD. I’d like to visit their places – the villas, where they owned land, the towns they visited and write about our journeys. That’s my plan. Thanks for offering to help.

  • Erica Gott says:

    Chris, this is a very timely offer for me. I intend to leave the U.S. in early March (or late February) to travel for a year. My passion is meeting new people and talking to them about food. That is, I crave learning about other cultures and the traditional foods they eat. All this is because I believe that the best ‘diet’ is one that is all-natural and as close to the earth as possible.

    I haven’t bought my ticket yet, but am researching to find the best price. I’m heading to Europe first, but not even sure where to begin. Thought that I might go to Spain and work my way northward as the weather warms. I’d take my gift of miles as either getting to Europe from DFW, or as a trip within Europe, or beyond. I also want to visit Australia/NZ and SE Asia.

    I’m already blogging about my journey, and would welcome a chance to do a special blog and/or video post about the trip, whether from the road, or when I return.

    Woohoo! I’m on my way!

  • Lauren says:

    My husband and I are planning on seeking adventure, and we’ve landed on Germany to be the first European country we’ll explore! Between the castle hunting, the food, the wine, the beer, the culture, the history, and the landscape, we’re interested in pretty much everything that place has to offer. We’re also wanting to go using carry-on only luggage and experimenting with ultra light, ultra flexible travel packing and planning. We’re adventurous, funny, companionable, and have the sort of curious outlook that would make for some great blog posts about this trip. We’ll be heading there in June for about a month, and can definitely develop some great reads for ANOC followers.

  • Wendy says:

    I would LOVE to take my nine year old daughter to Whitehorse, Yukon. She has been studying Canadian geography this year in school and just finished a project on the Yukon. We live near Toronto, and the Yukon has always sounded so far away and sooo cold, but helping her with her project got me thinking that it would actually be an awesome place to visit.. to see what it’s really like that far north – the land, the people, to see where the famous gold rush took place, to behold Mount Logan – what a trip! And just to seen another corner of this vast, amazing country would be the experience of a lifetime and one I would love the opportunity to share with my little girl. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Amber Touch says:

    My dream trip would be to Germany. I discovered that I have a half-sister there whom I have never met. This is so important to me because I have no one on that side of the family. After my parents divorced, my father and his entire family abandoned me. I never saw any of them again. This sister is the only relative I have on that side of the family.

    This is very emotional for me because I am a mixed race person, and being raised with only my white relatives made me always the one who stood apart, looked different and raised eyebrows. This sister in Germany is also mixed race, like me. Despite the cultural difference, I think she and I can probably relate to one another in a deep way due to this shared experience. Both she and I can fill in that in that missing piece.

  • Sorcha Cremin says:

    I would love to go to Cambodia. I was there very briefly about 2 and a half years ago, its a country with so much history and so much on offer and would love to explore it more. Also, I have recently started volunteering with a foundation group here in Ireland who raise funds to build schools in various towns across Cambodia and it would be really cool if I could check them out first hand.

  • What a fun contest! I can’t wait for the Travel Cartel launch. I’m counting down to my departure from NYC in five days and your contest comes at the perfect time as I’ve given away most of my clothing, am selling the last of my furniture, and letting go of having a physical home. (This was all catalyzed by reading your book in September!) The Freedom Tour, which is the road trip of indefinite length that I’ll be embarking on starting February 1st, is going to be based primarily in North America since that’s where I do business. However, I’ve never been to the Western or Southern hemispheres so if I could pick anywhere to go this year I’d love to take The Freedom Tour to Australia. I was originally going to call my trip “The Driveabout” so it would feel very full circle to go to Australia and do my version of a walkabout there. Can’t wait to see you at SXSW and WDS!

  • I would love to go to Australia. Why? It’d be nice to spend time in a place where the most dangerous things are snakes and spiders, not people and cars.

    Also: Sharks apparently swim the streets of Brisbane right now. That’s awesome.

  • James says:

    I might be going against the rules here but will submit anyway due to my obsession with finally taking this trip.

    I must go to… Caraiva (ssshhhh!)
    Caraiva is a small and still mostly undiscovered Brazilian beach town far south of the state of Bahia.
    Every year my friends tell stories of new songs composed, more hours from midnight to noon spent dancing Forro (a podunk but beautiful Brazilian version of salsa…kinda), and more counts of adventure from my fellow players of our beloved Afro-Brazilian martial art (Capoeira).
    It so happens that this band of friends is planning a trip in July and I don’t know how I will make it down there from the US of A unless I find a way to hack it or get a ticket gifted my way by Chris 🙂 I
    If I am blessed with the ticket I will provide a treasure trove of Brazilian dance/Capoeira lessons in video format on a brand new vlog for the entire AONC community so they can prepare for their next successfully hacked trip to Caraiva.

    With trav-hack luv

  • Paul says:

    I want to go to Vietnam (maybe touring the country on a motobike), find a translator and make interviews with people there, to see their view on the world, on life, health, relationships, etc. I think you can learn a lot from simple people and communicating with them is the most fulfilling experience. I would do the same in China, Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand. This is my dream.

  • Traci says:

    You bet I’m entering this!!! Thanks for sharing your hard earned miles!

    Since moving abroad, homesickness has been creeping up on me. I was looking at photos just this morning, wondering if I would ever see those places or the people that I love there again. I know I will, I hope I will, but the distance is finally sinking in.

    I only recently received my permission to look for work. Counting pennies has become my way of life. It will take some time to refill my account enough for a trip back home. Winning this would go a long way to helping me get there….back to Austin, Texas. Where the margaritas on the deck at Polvos are calling my name. Where the cold waters of Barton Springs want to refresh my being. Where my darling, precious family live!

    I can get myself over to Boston (where one of my bffs live and is a place I’ve NEVER been!) or New York (because I NEED some opera). After that, can you give me a lift? :thumb out:

  • CleveRoh says:

    I would have to go to New Zealand. My little sister just moved out there from L.A., leaving behind her husband (until he ties up all loose ends and joins her in March), her shiba-inu and a few cats; all in hopes of working for WETA on the Hobbit movie. She has already worked her magic (like I knew she would) and is renting a room with some WETA folks. It’s just a matter of time before she takes over the whole country. I would likely see about taking a sabbatical from my current job to be a production assistant, or boom op, or bagel schmear-er on set for a while. How could I pass up a chance to sleep on my sister’s couch, take an extended amount of time to explore the country and then high five Gandalf on set?

  • Kim Surpris says:

    I think I deserve a treat! I’m graduating in May from college and it’s been a rocky road to success for me. I switched program at least 3 times and I finally found my way, with kids! I’ll soon be an early childhood educator and before hitting the streets looking for a job, I really want to travel a bit. I have a friend that I haven’t seen in 3 years since she moved to Japan. We’ve been friends for over 20 years and I miss her so much. So I would definitely use that ticket to go up there and give her the biggest hug ever!

    Thanks for the opportunity and keep writing!
    -xx-

  • Chris P. says:

    Well if I win, I will be going with my family to Washington D.C. in June. I want my three boys (9, 10, and 15) to see some of the things that have made (or make) this country great, things in the Smithsonian as well as some famous landmarks such as the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument. They are old enough to understand and remember these things now, and I hope they will be positively influenced and perhaps even motivated by what they see to help make this a better world. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Kimwh says:

    If I won this trip, my husband and I would join my 16 year old son at the World Boy Scout Jamboree in Sweden this summer.

    This opportunity is a “one in a lifetime” event. He will never be 16 again. This will be the only World Jamboree that will take place during his Scouting years. Events like this can’t work without volunteers either. We’d love to share it with him and extend the trip to see our family roots in Germany.

    We’d travel to Sweden and be Boy Scout event volunteers. When the event is over, and we would travel to Germany to see our family roots and all the Techno bands we can find. He *loves* techno music and so much of it comes from Europe.

    I have been unemployed for some time (but with the grace of the universe this will be changing soon). Our family has sacrificed so much to make this trip happen for him. It would be so cool to be able to experience this trip together.

  • Natalie says:

    I would simply like to fly anywhere, it doesn’t matter where, as long as I haven’t been there, to regroup, recharge and regain hope that there is not all struggle in the world. I need to believe again, that there are bigger forces at play in my life that will show me that the world is good.

    I’m looking for the world to give me a hand up. I helped my ex husband get sober which was not an easy thing to live through. I raised my daughter to be a happy and well adjusted ten year old who loves to bake. I left the corporate world, and my cushy salary, because I couldn’t stand the greed and meanness of the people. I formed my own company, which has been a very challenging road to navigate not having any clue what I was getting myself into. (I nearly lost my house last year thanks to slow paying clients–talk about lessons learned!) I am not complaining. My ex has now been sober for 9-yrs, my My daughter is happy. I would simply like a getaway to recharge and engage again with life.

  • Christina says:

    One of my goals is to visit all 50 states…. then on to all countries. I have 46 states checked off and need only to make it to the Dakotas, Alaska and Hawaii. I would love 25k miles to go to Alaska this summer.

    PS. Thanks Chris for your tips and inspiration. It helps me to keep believing in big things.

  • sambista77 says:

    Rio, I will go to Rio de janeiro, Brazil because “Girls just wana have fun”

    When I’ll get there (with or without your generous help) I will be volunteering with Rhythm of Hope for 6 months.

  • Jeff Carroll says:

    My wife, who is a artist and food blogger, and I would travel to Belgium, specifically Brussels and Bruges to tackle a scavenger hunt for the two food treasures that Belgians obsess over more than anyone in the world: Lambic Beer and Pomme Frites (Belgian fries).

    Belgian beer and fries are both the result of a long history and an obsession to detail which can fascinate the scientist with process and the foodie with flavor.

    And, along the way, we’d hope to give people a taste of the art and architecture of a country which is nothing if not eclectic. Victor Horta and Art Nouveau, Rene Magritte and Surrealism, and certainly Herge and Tin Tin and the Belgian’s broad and often public admiration for cartoons and comic books.

    Thank you.
    P.S. We would pay for the second ticket ourselves.

  • Chris says:

    Wow, a free trip would be amazing! I would take a trip to Australia in the next few weeks. I am working towards photographing 2500 species of birds and living in North America this is going to be hard as we usually only have about 650 hanging around. Australia is the next big place for me to get closer to this goal!

    So if I win this trip I will head over there and likely be able to add 200 pictures of new bird species to my count!

    Thanks for the contest and supporting such an awesome community!

  • Hayley Boyle says:

    My dream trip would be to Kenya. I am a twenty-year-old student at La Salle University and I am addicted to traveling. The summer after my freshman year I took a service trip to Tanzania with 13 other people, and learned some Swahili before and during my time there. But I was not able to visit Kenya during my trip to Tanzania. I would love to do some kind of volunteer work in Kenya, just as I did in TZ (I taught English at a seamstress school where young girls now attend after having been trafficked, so that they can have more opportunities when they get older). I think it would be an incredibly rewarding trip and it would be for a good cause.

    I would also like to say thanks to you Chris, for being a huge inspiration in my life. You have shown me that you don’t need extravagant amounts of money to travel, and that learning about other cultures is important.

  • Roy Naim says:

    You are mighty kind for doing something like this Chris.

    I would love to go to a city where I can race in.

    What city would that be? Well, Big Sur Marathon would be my choice out in California, but too late to register.

    Ah, but I think I would love to go to Denver to do the Denver Marathon in May. It would be a cool opportunity to visit the cities, meet some friends, run a marathon with them and just have fun.

  • Molly says:

    My husband and I just found out that we are pregnant! (don’t tell our parents. 😉 With this wonderful news, we’ve had to put the planning of our dream vacation on hold. We have long been planning on an”old home” tour to introduce him to my family in the Netherlands and visit our ancestral homes in Sweden and Sicily. Would be wonderful to have a little help making this happen as our last babyless trip, and to let my family see the baby belly. 🙂

  • Lindsay says:

    I’m going to be totally selfish here – I want to go to Daegu, South Korea to visit my sister – And I don’t want to bribe you with volunteer activities. For someone who works at Habitat for Humanity part time, and teaching yoga part time, I’m all out of time and I want to do something for myself! She married into the military and has never been away from home until now, so the idea is for the both of us to spend time together exploring in her new home. I would definately go as soon as possible – both to see my sister and to explore an amazing country! No way in the world would I pass that up 🙂

  • Sherry Ott says:

    I would most definitely use it for my one way airfare home from Mongolia after completing the Mongol Rally. This summer I’ll be driving from London to Mongolia in a small inappropriate car, with 3 other people crammed into it, across 15 countries and 10,000 miles. If by some miracle we make it – the car gets donated to charity along with thousands of dollars we raise for children in Mongolia (Christina Nobel Foundation). Without a plane ticket home…I’m stuck!! I would love to use the miles to get back in style after living out of a car for 2 months! A trip home all for a great cause…pick me, pick me!

  • Helena says:

    Hi Chris!

    I would love to go to Shanghai, China. My husband is from there and my sons and I have never been to Shanghai. Working on getting our business off the ground and using all our financial resources there.
    What a great giveaway! Thank you and have an awesome day!

  • Amanda F says:

    Dear Biased Judges;

    WHERE: withOUT hesitation….this Canadian girl dreams of climbing miles and miles of iron ladders along the Via Ferrata in the Dolomites of Italy. Not an adventure for the faint of heart for sure …but the view from up there? …breathtaking. And the witty commentary including pictures w/t video??? SPECTACULAR (editors note: they would look FAB on AONC’s site).

    WHY: Adventure. The pursuit of my own hearts adventure and bringing home that excitement and sharing it with my family and friends…and if I do it right… sparking that flame in their heart to do the same. Life is too short.

  • Lauren Rains says:

    I use to play it safe – a lot. And for a lot of reasons, or should I say excuses if I’m being honest here. It was the judgmental faces I got when people saw my enthusiasm for a path less common. It was my own doubt in myself that I could take myself where it was that was calling me be it a location, a person, an idea, a moment to chase after.
    But I just changed last year. I can’t really say what sparked it. It was probably something random like accepting the message of a stupid pop song with lyrics telling me something along the lines of “Baby, I’m a Firework.”
    So I moved to China for a year and I found myself. Although I think we’re always finding ourselves. I want to go explore again because I want to FEEL things. I want to feel adventure, loneliness, excitement, scared, accomplished, content. We do the things we do not for the experience but for the feelings it gives us.
    So, I choose Australia. Because something about it just FEELS RIGHT.

  • Mary says:

    I’d go to New York City! Many good friends live there, and I’ve never been. Trips to NYC have been planned many times… then fell through. I’m a HUGE theatre lover. Been doing it since I was small, studied it in college, and now work in it. I want to see my first (and hopefully second and third, maybe more!) Broadway show. Though there are definitely international places I’d love to go, NYC is special. Plus there’s no way I can take a big trip out of the country in the next six months. 🙂 Domestic travel w00t!

  • Nick Rae says:

    I have always wanted to go to the Azores. I want to see where my Great Grandparents have come from and explore my heritage.

  • Jonathan says:

    Hey! A round trip to Portland, OR would be amazing. I want to see the aftermath left by the World Domination Summit! I have always thought Portland would be a great city for me and I really want to check it out. I am using some flier miles (no hoarding here) to go to San Francisco in February, which will be my first time in California. Excited! I’m an amateur photographer, so if you guys pick me I will take the sweetest pictures of Portland you’ve ever seen! Thanks to Chris, Libby and the rest of the crew. Keep on keepin’ on.

  • JeanGardner says:

    I have had a recurring “kizmet experience” for the last year or so that I need to check out. I had never thought of visiting Brazil (or even South America) before 2010. All of a sudden last year, I starting having coincidences everywhere: I’d meet Brazilian people during my normal workday; I’d stumble upon articles, headlines, and web posts about Brazil; I even started having dreams about living there and speaking Portuguese (I don’t actually speak it, which made very interesting dreams!).

    During the course of 2010, I started doing a lot of research into what it would take move to Brazil (I’ve always known that I would live overseas). Strangely enough, I do have a couple of friends from Brazil and one of them (probably the best friend among them) recently returned to Brazil and invited me to come visit. So now I’m taking Portuguese and getting excited about the possibilities ahead when I fly into Rio de Janiero and explore my new “home”!

  • Brett Thurman says:

    My fiance and I love to travel and we are getting married at the beginning of August. We have the funds for the wedding but the only problem is we don’t have enough for the kind of honeymoon that we both truly want. We actually barely have enough cash for a local honeymoon. We spent all night looking through the internet trying to find cheap tickets to somewhere, anywhere. We thought there would be some small hope that we’d stumble upon this amazing deal, sadly they were all outside of our budget. I would love to be able to give my fiance the honeymoon of her dreams and I know that she has always wanted to go to Thailand. So if I won this contest I would give her the ticket and we’d be off to Thailand.

    I think this contest is great! Not just for the winner but for everyone who comments in. It allows us all to dream for just a moment. So hey for all of us who don’t win maybe just realizing our dreams will make them come true someday soon!

  • tracy says:

    My dream is to return to Kenya, my heart is calling me to go ~ it’s been 15 years! With these free miles I can hand-deliver some LOVE to the young women of the Maisha Collective, part of the Heshima Project. This year I decided to stop wallowing in my own woe is me-ness and do something for others. I am hand-making ceramic heart-shaped necklaces to autction off to the lovelies I have met in Bloglandia. My goal is to raise a modest $1,000 for these young refugee women and support them by sharing the beautiful scarves that they make with lots and lots of folks. Doing good feels so good!

    Thanks for such a fabulous give-away! What fun!

  • Harri Munro says:

    May, after my final exams, to Seattle so that I can road trip down the coast to Los Angeles and then finish at Las Vegas.
    I’d meet with the friends I met last summer on an acting course – the best, most true to themselves, incredibly inspiring people I have ever met, and we’d all blog collectively. I want to experience all that the west coast has to offer, and spend the remaining days in Vegas, because I adore magic and want to show my friends how incredible it can be too (and hopefully learn some new stuff of my own). I want to experience everything… and I want to teach everyone how beautiful life is. I think a trip like this would be a great standing point. I hope whoever wins really makes the most of it.

    Thank you

  • Kenna says:

    I would like to go to Cambodia with Steps Of Justice. This trip is a combination of justice awareness, education on justice issues both locally and internationally and opportunities to work with victims of injustice. The team will work at Happy Tree orphanage that brings in children with HIV/AIDS, spend time in slums with the poor putting on children’s programs, run clinics on sanitation and hand washing and do hair washing for the kids in the villages. We will be “customers” for rescued victims of human trafficking who are working in new jobs. We will be on the ground in August for 10 days. I have to apply for the trip. If for some reason I am not selected for the Cambodia trip, I can use the points to go to Ensenada, Mexico in June to volunteer at a rehabilitation center for women with children.

  • Bodhi says:

    I’ll keep it within North America (where I am) as per the rules.

    9 yrs ago I visited my good friend, roommate, and martial arts partner Ben in his home city of Montreal. It was one of my most favorite travel experiences ever. Now I’m a little older and I’d absolutely love to go visit him there again and see it with more experienced eyes. That city has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it so alive, especially in the summertime!

    I’d road trip around there a bit too to see Toronto and Quebec and anything else I can.

    Thanks for the opportunity and keep rocking!

  • Lisa Champagne says:

    Hi Chris, and thanks for such a compelling giveaway.

    I’ve been unemployed for 14 months, which has put a serious crimp in my concerted effort to turn my daughter into an open-minded traveler of the world. I’m a single mom, so of course in the past year I’ve had to balance resources carefully. I’d love to share this trip with my daughter, who has rarely complained in spite of the number of times I’ve had to say ‘no’ or ‘not just now.’ She is a flexible traveler and even at the challenging age of 15, I have a sense that she’s going to be a great young woman, too.

    Seeing Peru (Macchu Picchu/Galapagos Islands) is one of my hearts dearest desires. Since SA seems to be out, I’d happily go with her dream. She frequently mentions St Petersburg / Russia as a place she longs to visit. I’d be able to swing it if one ticket were covered by this contest.

    Thanks for the chance to tell you about my pride and joy — it put a smile on my face whether or not I win the trip.

  • Emily says:

    I have been wanting to go on a missions trip to China with my church. On this trip my group would be helping an orphanage of children with cerebal palsy. Being halfway around the world, the trip is going to be very expensive. I’ve been working and trying to save what I can but I have a long ways to go as the trip is in two months. I am hesitant to ask my parents for money because my dad is deployed to the Middle East for a year and they are both quite stressed. This is such an awesome opportunity. Thank you.

  • Michelle says:

    What an opportunity! And what a challenge to select one dream destination! After thinking long and hard, I would have to pick the Middle East (Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan). I have traveled a fair amount (Canada, US, Mexico, Europe and Asia) but the allure of the Middle East has me enthralled… the sights, sounds and smells all entice me!

    I am a Canadian citizen (and an amateur photographer) currently living in Mexico. For the past 3 months I’ve been here learning Spanish following a short but successful battle with cancer and a recent separation from a 14-year marriage. I initially spent 6 months traveling alone through Asia post-cancer and I realized that life is so precious and that travel is such an amazing gift. Experiencing new cultures is what excites me… it can be enlightening, shocking and even scary but it’s truly what I love to do.

    I’m trying to be ok with not making too many life plans at the moment but if I’m honest, it’s a little frightening! For now I’m just trying to follow my heart, fulfill some desires, live the life I dream of (the one that exhilarates and terrifies me at the same time!) and figure out who, what and where I want to be!

    Thanks for giving someone (even if it’s not me!) the chance to experience their dream!

  • Nada H. says:

    Chris, you are awesome for doing this! Please help me check off at least one of my “places to see before I die” list- Santorini…Tanzania…beunos aries…Goa…Croatia…Paris…Barcelona…San Fran…Miami…If I win, you can decide the place!

  • Brandy A. says:

    Best….contest….ever!!

    I left a relatively stable government job to pursue a Cinema/TV/Journalism degree in a new city. I’ve been saving up my miles slowly but surely, but with the extra 25,000 I would go to Brazil ( to conduct interviews and research for a documentary idea that I have on race relations in that country. Or I would go to India with friends this summer to see the sights and do some volunteer work. Wherever I go thar my cameras be. I’ll have photos and video footage to share for sure. 🙂 (Good luck everyone!)

  • A delicious place where I’d love to find myself? Drum roll…Portland! A mecca of scrumptious, sustainable food! And if Chris chooses to live there, it’s got to be an amazing place, right?

    I’ll take my husband, son (under 2 so can technically fly free still) and camera to document every last bite. We live in Brooklyn and think that spring would be a perfect time to show our little one some unspoiled Pacific Northwest. JFK -> PDX, baby!

  • Violeta BALAN says:

    I would use the ticket to take my daughter (currently 3 months old) on her very first trip. We will likely go to NY or DC – since these 2 cities would carry the most symbolic meaning. I hope she will be a world traveler, like her mom, and your ticket (miles) will be good karma to put her on that path.

  • Rob says:

    My friend from Moldova is celebrating his 30th birthday and has invited me and a bunch of other friends to come and celebrate it with him. It’s a country I would not visit that easily myself without good reason but now I have a good reason and I really want to go. Vodka, wine and porkchops await!

    From the Netherlands with love, Rob

  • Michele Chaplin says:

    I need to figure out the next chapter and have no means or emotional support to do so. I have made a dream board of sorts to travel this year and find some independence. It would be like jumping off a cliff!!! I am turning 40 on February 1st. I have never made any decisions for myself. Married too young, kids next and finally the light has come on. That song plays in my head, whose life is this, letting the days go bye…. I am at a crossroads. I need to make some big ass decisions. A place where I can wander, do some yoga and sort out what’s best for me and my kiddos. I would love just one chapter of Eat Pray Love!!!! Italy or maybe just Hawaii.

  • This sounds like an awesome opportunity! I would go to France for the Juste Debout stand up dance competition. Ever since I started dancing when I was 5, I have wanted to perform around the world. This annual competition was something I heard about in 2005 at college in Idaho and have never been able to get to France to compete. It’s a once in a lifetime thing that I want to cross off my bucket list and be able to come back to the US and share that experience with so many people. Dance is my life and its the way I help this world be a better place, so if I can spread the love and joy of life by going to France for this hip hop dance battle, I know it would affect so many others for good!

  • Jadyn says:

    I would use it to go to Zaandam, The Netherlands to go to my sister’s wedding in April. She just got engaged, got unexpectedly pregnant and is now planning an earlier wedding thus giving me less time to save up…

  • Marni Gable says:

    If I won the miles, I would quit my dead-end job, fly to St. Petersberg and open an art gallery.

  • Rick H says:

    I want to travel to New Zealand to reenact some of my favorite scenes from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Seriously, to see the beautiful landscapes, travel across the date line and do a little fly-fishing in one of the few remaining unspoiled land masses in the world.

  • lizsong says:

    hi chris.
    i’d like to win the miles so that i can go back to montana and be out in the back country, fish, be in the expansive quiet, and internally regroup.
    🙂 thanks!
    liz

  • Andi says:

    My baby brother, who happens to be my best friend, is moving to Hong Kong in June for over a year. I would LOVE to surprise him with a trip out there. I’m going to miss him more than words can explain and this would be the greatest present that I could give both of us!!!

  • Liz R says:

    I would like to go to Malawi where my friend is going to be teaching at a university this year. When I am in Malawi, I would like to donate enough food for a party with her students. I’ll get there regardless, but 25K miles would sure put a dent in my travel costs! Thanks!

  • Vanessa says:

    Thanks so much for the opportunity Chris! The power of loyalty.

    I would love to either go to California (San Fran etc) or if the miles will take me there, it is my goal to go to Europe from Toronto this May/June and couchsurf with friends in London and Edinborough. I also want to do a solo trip either to Portugal and/or Morocco and/or Croatia (whatever I could fit into 2.5 weeks).

    Your miles would save me from my new corporate job (I think I have more growing to do before launching my own legacy project). They would also be an acceptable consolation prize to missing the WDS. I’ll blog for you everyday if you’d like and perhaps take a dare or 2! Regardless, I’ll still twitter stalk you and be your fan. 🙂

  • Bynta Ernest says:

    OMG!!!!! (Sounding like a teen giddy with excitement). You are too awesome

  • Alisa Roup says:

    I just got married Jan 3,2011 to the most wonderful guy in the world! He loves LOVES to ride motorcycles and I know his dream is to go on a motorcycle trip along the coast of South America. So I would use the ticket to fly him to South America so he can have his trip of a lifetime. What an awesoome wedding present, don’t you think?

    Thank you so much for this offer Chris!

  • Liam says:

    I’ve been caring for my mum and gran unexpectedly for the last couple of years and can’t think of a more exciting and life changing way of taking my own life off pause and hitting GO in a big way by traveling around the world, falling in love with people, places and new experiences. I’d love to visit India, Malaysia, South Africa and New Zealand amongst others.. cheers!

  • Tamara says:

    First, let me just start by saying this is absolutely amazing!
    Second, english isn’t my first language so I apologize in advance for my mistakes.
    Third, place or the country where I would like to go… Russia! Definitely Russia. I’m fascinated by their history, rich culture and people. I would like to sit there in a crowded ‘inn’drinking vodka and thinking maybe Jesenjin was here. Or drive in a train to Petrograd just like Karenjina. What can I say, I’m opsessed! 😀

  • Marco Vasse says:

    Hi Chris,

    Although I would really like to visit Indonesia (to finally see what remains my fellow-countrymen left there throughout history and of course to enjoy the wonderful wildlife), I’d rather donate the miles to a person who really need it. So if you choose my entry, please select from all entries the one that needs those miles the most.

    Greetings from The Netherlands!

  • Shannon P. says:

    I am launching a charity to improve engineering education in Africa. The lack of local technical capacity means that water pumps, for example, don’t get installed. And when they break, they don’t get fixed. It also means that innovations that could address local technical challenges are in short supply. I hope to change this trend by working with local schools to institute a series of sustainable engineering design competitions. There are a number of goals, but for the sake of brevity, the top two are: (1) introducing students to design concepts and hands-on learning, and (2) inspiring a generation of youth to consider engineering as a career.

    I need someone (who may or may not be me) to spend some time on the ground to drive this initiative forward. The pilot competition will likely be in one of Malawi, Zambia or northern Ghana. All of these, I acknowledge, are not on your list, but in the spirit of non-conformity, I hope you’ll still consider this submission.

  • Lily says:

    It may seem like a really small, specific trip, but I want to go to California. One of my best friends in the entire world (and I’ve got friends scattered across continents) lives there. We met two hours after I’d been released from an ER, and a night before I’d be taken back to the same ER. I’d love to be able to go see my friend, play with his cat, and walk around in dry, warm, sunny weather. We’d get to work on a labor-of-love (co-writing a project together) and I’d get to see a state I’ve never been to, and breath a little, before I jump back into a work intense year, and possibly saying yes to the surgery my doctor has been urging me to undertake. It’s a little adventure, but it’s the one I want. I just want to see a friend, before the only time I’ll see them is during hospital visiting hours.

  • Keith says:

    I’ve been following you for almost a year now, and as I have read through your blog, finished your book, and read your emails – I find myself saying so often “That is me, that’s how I feel”. Your encouragement to get off the sidelines has allowed me to look past the fear of it all and to continue to pursue developing a non-profit org that rescues kids forced into sex trafficking. When you’re starting out you can’t afford to use a free trip on yourself so I’d use the free trip to visit a new prospective donor in search of funding for a Restorative Care Facility. I’d happily take a day to enjoy the city visited complete with articles and photographs. If I had to choose a leisure trip for myself, I think I’d finally take that trip to photograph Yosemite. Thanks for all of your helpful input and encouragement.

  • Madison says:

    I’d like to go to Cork, Ireland. My best friend moved their a few years ago and I haven’t seen her since she left.

  • I don’t want to go anywhere.

    actually, that’s a big lie, but I just want to say that I don’t want those miles.

    I just came back from my first out-of-Europe trip, spent amazing one month in Bangladesh. and in month and a half, I will be flying to Portugal for another one-month-adventure. I would ask for that 25.000 miles, but recently I managed to find a way to travel for free, but that’s a whole different story…

    I shared this link with members of my FB page, hope they will give you a hard time choosing a winner for this trip :p

    good luck to everyone! :o)

    smile from Croatia, T.

  • Barron says:

    When I started my college career 4.5 years ago I thought I knew what I wanted to major in and what career path I was going to choose. After one semester, I realized I was clueless. I took my second semester off and moved around in attempt to find what I was good at in a place I enjoyed living. Eventually I did. However, changing cities, schools, and majors prevented me from doing the one goal I had set for myself: to study abroad while I was in college (specifically Australia). I will be graduating in May with 5 years of tuition, multiple student loans, 3 credit cards worth of debt, and let’s not forget that sought after piece of paper. I had considered applying to graduate school in Australia because it seemed like the only way for me to fulfill my dream of studying abroad. After reading your chapter on graduate school vs. the blogosphere I quickly removed that idea from my thoughts. It’s not the schools or the learning I am seeking in Australia, it’s the cultural experience.

  • amy wuthrich says:

    There are tons of places I would love to see, but right now, I’m jonesing to get myself to Belize. I’d love to play in the rainforests, dive the reefs and bike tour some of the rest of the island. I don’t know anyone there (which is one of my favorite ways to travel) so a trip of this nature is purely about experiencing somewhere I’ve never been, enjoying the beauty this world has to offer and opening myself up to what might be a really great adventure.

  • Jeff Nett says:

    I would fly my fiancée’s adopted daughter (foreign exchange student) here from Schwerin Germany for our wedding. It would be worth more to me than any trip for myself.

  • Elizabeth Kibodeaux says:

    I’m an aspiring singer/songwriter dreaming of traveling to all fifty states in the US. My desire is to gain inspiration from every state and write a song about each one and give it back to the world. I’d like to do this within the next 10 years.
    I’m also a spiritual dreamer. My dream is to one day have a home in Sedona Arizona. Sedona is a very mystical and beautiful piece of God’s country.
    If chosen, I would travel to Sedona, explore every aspect of the community, meet as many wonderful people as I can and tell everyone of them…..one day, I will have a home here and will be a contributor to your beautiful city. I’ll play my guitar and sing in the courtyards, to the people, to the mountains, to the trees, to the rocks, to the land…..to God.
    I would tell everyone about you Chris, and about your generous spirit and your wonderful gift of adventure and journey. Yes, I can see it, feel it and believe it. Love and light, Elizabeth

  • Christi says:

    FUN! Much gratitude to you, Chris. My destination would be Half-Dome, Yosemite National Park (although looks like San Francisco might be the closest airport).

    My heart yearns to climb to the top, face my fear of heights and prove to myself I can do it. It’s been a dream of mine since my children were younger, but something that I’ve put low on my list of priorities as a single parent. I also want to take my children on the trip so that they can see me conquering my fears, be inspired to do that for themselves and have an awe-inspiring experience they can relive for the rest of their lives.

    Nothing like being face to face with nature to expand one’s perspective!

  • Gretchen says:

    I have been diligently working to accumulate enough mileage on Delta to cover 2 round trip flights to Spain for the 2nd week of June this year. My husband and I are going for a close friend’s wedding but plan to rent a car and drive/camp thru the countryside trying to practice our newly learned spainish (working on rosetta stone for about 6 months now), hiking, and enjoying the local food and architechture. I think your 25K miles would put me right at the limit i need to get both flights and I would be ever so grateful!!! and super excited..!!!

  • Kshusya says:

    Hi, Chris!
    This post makes me specify some places around the Globe, not to say that i would like to travell it all through… So i choose Easter Island and Machu Pikchu- mesmerised by the ancient culture, Buenos Aires, where my close friend lives, Rio for the carnival and New Zealand – it has been my dream to explore it since i was a child…Promise to make a great report on the trip 🙂 thank you for this wonderfull opportunity!

  • Claire says:

    What a wonderful contest! Well, this summer, my husband and I will have reached several major personal and professional milestones. In June, I am (finally!) graduating from graduate school with my Masters in NonProfit Management. Our birthdays are in June and August. Our second wedding anniversary is August 1st. We were planning on taking a nice, ambitious trip to celebrate these events. We’d like to fly into Vancouver and out of San Diego, taking the Amtrak down the lovely Pacific Coast. We’d stop along the way, visiting friends and family in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I’m thinking that an extra 25,000 miles in my frequent flier account will help make our little celebration a reality. Thanks Chris, and I love your blog!

  • Teresa Burns says:

    I would like to go to Montreal this June. I have never been, and an elderly friend of mine tells me about how cool the art and food scene is there. I am in school again after 20 years and will have just finished my second semester. I deserve a big reward, (in my opinion) .

  • Abbey says:

    Chris, I would definitely go to Thailand. Not only myself, but I would love for you to come with me! I discovered your blog a few months ago and have been spending most of my time since then engulfed in your entries and trying to catch up on the last three years in a matter of months. I found your blog at a perfect time in my life, as I’m looking to quit my 8-5 corporate job, and move to South America. I have always been intrigued by Thailand and their unique culture and strong spirit of their people. I think it would be a great catalyst to kick off a new chapter in my life full of traveling and exploring the world. So pick me already, and let’s go!

  • In October I was faced with a decision. I was in a job that was slowly killing me and I had enough. But my boyfriend and I were planning a spring trip to Costa Rica and I knew that if I quit, I would have to bust my butt to be able to save up enough for the trip while trying to work at home for myself (go empire building!). I told myself that I would have the money saved up by January so we could buy tickets and plan the trip.

    The trouble is that I underestimated what it would take. I’ve been busting my butt trying to get this started and it is growing steadily, but I didn’t make my goal and I don’t have the money for the trip. My boyfriend and I had a talk last week and we realized that we had to cancel the trip. It broke my heart. I had a little money, but not enough to afford plane tickets and the rest of the trip. Your tickets would allow me to go on this trip that means so much to both of us. I’d be ever grateful. And as hobbyist photographers, I can guarenttee amazing photos!

  • Michelle says:

    I’d go to the Basque region of Spain and eat my heart out! I’d love to visit San Sebastian for the food and Bilbao for the culture.

  • Sophy says:

    Collegiate cyclist with big, big dreams. I’m spending the summer in a small town in the Alps in France. My plan is to train and race, and conduct research for my senior thesis.

    Here’s the kicker: I only have a semester of French under my belt so, frankly, this summer is going to be terrifying. This town is tiny–so there’ll be few, if any, English speakers. My teammates won’t know English, either. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Airfare’s my biggest roadblock. The plan is to blog about my 90 days–so of course AONC will get lots of photos and updates!

    A sneak preview of things-to-come on the blog:
    -Climb every major mountain pass of the 2011 Tour de France (plenty of pics as I go)
    -Whip up research for my senior economics thesis (development in small towns hosting the TdF)
    -Race as many weekends as possible (race reports galore)
    -Watch a stage of the Tour de France
    -Watch a stage of the Giro Donne
    -A day in Paris without the bike

  • We’re about to become AMERICAN CITIZENS after having moved here from South Africa (8 suitcases, 2 kids, $5000 + knowing only 1 person on the whole continent = Adventure!) and I would love to go to Washington DC to celebrate.

    Most appropriate, don’t you think?

    And since I’ve saved 25,000 miles already, I’d be able to take my husband for free too!

  • Amberine says:

    As you’re going travelling across Canada right now (as I live here too), you can probably see why I would like to go to Hawaii…especially in the next while. Usually my new years resolutions consist of me trying to “lose weight”, “find love”, etc…always something too complicating and never working out! This year, I made it simple…make it to Hawaii and learn how to surf! Other then surfing, I really want to learn about the Hawaiian culture. I’ve been reading up about it, and it has such a rich and humbling history. Would love to speak with their local elders and really understand. Please pick me 🙂

  • Raqui says:

    Thanks for having this contest! If given a free ticket, I would use it to fly to Ulaanbataar, Mongolia. This is where my partner and I would like to go after getting married.

    Last year he had a dream where he was flying and landed in a mountainous region that was unrecognizable to him, but beautiful. A tribe of people saw him and seemed taken aback. The leader of the tribe, who seemed like a shaman of some kind, approached him, spoke in her own language and then pounded his chest which woke him up. We discussed this dream a lot and he spent time searching for pictures of tribes in mountainous regions to try to recognize from his dream. Months later, for non-related reasons, I visited a psychic/medium in NYC. She was excellent and the real thing. When I asked her about marriage, she said she our marriage involved being in Mongolia this summer on a mountain. When I told my partner he googled “Mongolia shaman” in particular and found pictures of the tribe from his dream.

  • sarah says:

    Egypt. I just read today that King Tut’s tomb will be closed to the public by the end of this year and I have yet to pay my respects to him! Also, I really think my life would be complete if I could dance the Steve Martin King Tut dance… in King Tut’s tomb.

    Of course, I’d also visit the pyramids, cruise down the nile, hike Mt. Sinai and watch the sunset, maybe hang out in the desert, and be THAT traveler who makes Walk Like an Egyptian jokes.

    Don’t hate, you know you like that song.

  • Kim Schutte says:

    This is so hard! There are so many places in the world I want to visit. I think if I were to win I would go to Southeast Asia. I’d fly to Bangkok I think and then travel overland to as much of the area as I could squeeze in. I’ve been dreaming of heading to this region for years, but the flight’s always been a little cost prohibitive.

    (Even if I don’t win, hopefully a little travel hacking will help me get there sooner rather than later!)

    Also, good for you VY for your Room to Read support! I’m also a huge supporter of the organization and am actually one of the leaders of my local chapter. I too am hoping to visit a Room to Read school. Next year is the big 3-0 and I think a trip to Nepal is in order to celebrate!

  • Sharyn Earl says:

    What an outstanding offer, Chris. Bless you and thank you, no matter who wins. I would love to visit northern New Mexico and take a micaeous pottery class at Ghost Ranch, where I would make my own stovetop-safe bean pot. I will take photos of the landscape, the pottery process and the beans.

    Sharyn Earl

  • vicki says:

    As I figure out my next steps, career transitioning, I would love to get certification for teaching English as a second language. ESOL, TEFOL. whatever you call it, I would like to study, explore and volunteer. I did a short volunteer stint at an orphanage in Cambodia last year, and desire to get more training. If I won the trip, and could augment (as I think 25,000 would only get a domestic trip), I would go to central america for training. If the logistics do not work, I would simply figuyre a good place I could go to do another volunteer stint…. working toward the training goal. The next step of my next steps and hopefully touch many others- exponentially over time……

  • Stephanie says:

    It’s been over a year and I’m stuck. After moving back home post-college & working a job I hate, I’m worried about taking the plunge and going where I want to go. These days I’ve been scouring the web/library for advice, which varies from: “just do it” to “only follow your strengths.”

    After some research, I’d love to check out San Diego, find a job, take an acting and a painting course. The acting is because I’m addicted to films and want to break out of my shell. The painting is for my soul. There’s nothing like it, but I know I’d get bored if that was all that I did. San Diego seems like a good place to start over (and to escape this wintry tundra in the north).

    Conversely (and to use up the mileage), a visit to my relatives in Hong Kong is in order. I haven’t seen them in over 12 years. It’s about time.

  • marianney says:

    Wow Chris, I commend you for reading all these posts and picking just one! Also, thanks for the generous opportunity, I don’t know that I can really beat some of these stories, but I thought I’d try….

    My wish is to go explore SE Asia (I live in Denver). I would use the free miles for my fiance and pay for my own trip because I feel that he needs more exposure to the world and other cultures. He has spent his entire life in Colorado and traveled outside the country for the first time last year (to Ireland and Mexico). He is a little closed minded sometimes about other cultures and I think that being exposed to it first hand, he might open his mind a little.
    My dream is go to Laos (esp. Vientianne), Thailand, Vietnam and if we can fit it in, Cambodia.

  • Melanie says:

    I will keep this simple.

    I want to go to Portland, Oregon. Why? Not only because you live there, you rock and it is a beautiful city. BUT because I am in a LONG distance relationship and I am in NYC and he is in PDX. We see each other every 3 months or so. Seeing each other is difficult financially while we are both in school but we love each other so much and each time he visits NYC and I visit PDX it is like a vacation.

    Love is worth flying anywhere!

  • Dawna says:

    My mother recently passed. We loved to be creative together. We often talked about going away together and taking an art class. I would use your gracious gift to fly to Boone, N.C. in June for a week of art classes. I feel like I would carry on a dream that was cut way too short. I would be able to paint my joy of her memories. You know each day would be filled with thoughts of her and how much she would enjoy being there with me. Big love, Great joy. Thank you for the chance to do this. If it helps, I’m sending Libby scratches under the chin and a sunny spot to nap:)

  • Sean says:

    Me and my lady would like to visit her grandmother in Vegas. Not the most glamorous or life changing, but it’s our intent, pure and simple.

  • VEDRANA says:

    I bought an Amsterdam guide some time ago. Never got around to it. This would be an ideal opportunity 🙂

  • Becky says:

    Love your blog. One of my best friends left St. louis. MO about 3 years ago and I have not seen her since she’s been traveling all around the world. Her next stop is Buenos Aires and having never been to South America, it would be such a treat to surprise her with a visit, practice our tangos and Spanish and catch up over a few bottles of malbec.

  • Jamie says:

    AHH!!! So excited about this! I’D LOVE LOVE LOVE to go to ICELAND. This probably will take a bit more than 25,000 miles, but I’ve got some of my own that should be, as you say, USED AND NOT HOARDED! I’ve always wanted to explore Iceland after falling in love with the Dagur Kari movie “Noi Albinoi”, I think it would be an amazing place to visit in the late spring / summer, and I am sure I would have THOUSANDS of photos to report back to this website 🙂 I’m looking forward to all of the outdoor exploring and adventuring alongside the fjords and giant icebergs.

  • Emily says:

    My paternal grandfather was marched from Stalag Luft V in Germany to Dachau as a POW in World War Two. He survived the war and was liberated by fellow Allied troops, and went on to have a successful Air Force career and raise four boys. Sadly, he died before I was born. I would use this trip to honor his memory by walking the same path he was forced to take as a POW, tracing it as accurately as I could through historical accounts of the march.

    This would be especially meaningful to me because I am a historian with a focus in German historical memory, exploring how contemporary Germans interpret and live with events in their historical past. I love Germany dearly- Berlin is my favorite city in the world – but this would be more a pilgrimmage than a vacation.

    Thanks so much– this is such a generous gift!

  • stephen a says:

    Whenever I talk w/ friends & family, they’re always asking me where I’ve come from/where I’m going. This was happening after I graduated college and it was then that I realized I was always traveling. I remember my 1st big trip volunteering in the Chiang Rai region of Thailand. Throughout the years I’ve touched down in many other countries to take in the sights, sounds, and food that I would never even dream of seeing in my hometown of Portland, OR.

    This year, I would like to revisit that giving attitude. The American Foundation for Children w/ AIDS organizes a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for their organization. This cause reignited the desire for me to make a change while also getting the chance to travel. The thrill & excitement of going somewhere different, talking to amazing people, and gaining new perspectives never gets old. What better way to supplement that than by providing medicine, food, equipment, and other materials to children with HIV/AIDS throughout Africa?

  • sandra says:

    I’d like to go to Ko Phi Phi islands in Thailand. To be more specific, Phi Phi Leh.
    Why? Because it’s my dream place. As simple as that

    When I was 13, I made a promise to myself that from the day I step to the Phi Phi land, my life will change. This change is needed because my studies are near the end and I have to start saving the world!
    It’s not just a story, I’m really working on it (through different NGO’s and my “Voluntary Youth Initiative). So, please – help me save the world 🙂

  • Great idea Chris. Its great to see what people would do with a free trip somewhere.

    In six months I will be getting married to the most wonderful woman in the world (granted, I’m a bit biased). We would use the flight for the honeymoon to either Hawaii or Mexico to relax and plan our lives together before we start the next stage in our lives.

    Thank you for the opportunity Chris and I look forward to the launch.

  • Lisa Brown says:

    I’ve got a few at the top of my list: Machu Picchu in Peru, Japan, Tibet in China, and Fiji are all on top of my must-see list. AND… thank you for such a great opportunity.

  • sara says:

    i would love to go visit my friends in nyc! i adore nyc and the last time i went i was with my aunt and mostly just went w/ her shopping, and i want to see things! Moma and greenwich and eat the most delicious foods! I want to go browse brooklyn and look at art in williamsburg! ahh!

  • Megan Monday says:

    I realize that this is suppossed to be for a good cause, and as I am writing this I know that I have no profound cause in mind (at the moment, which is to say i won’t find one once i’m there). With that said, I desire to Travel. I would like to travel to the ends of the earth and back, but Australia/New Zealand would suffice. I’m graduateing college in May and have decided to do something JUST for ME, sort of like a graduation present. I am currently living in Indiana, USA and feel horribly bogged down by the snow. Not to mention all those asking, “What are you going to do with your life, now that you’ve graduate?” I have recently bought your book and well, it’s starting to make me think about what I REALLY want to do… I feel that Australia/New Zealand would help in the discovery of ME. So this ticket would mean: finally doing something for myself, stepping out from what i’m suppossed to be doing, give me a new sense of purpose, and ignite the passion I have for exploring. That’s all

  • Shelly says:

    I have been invited to attend a royal wedding in Indonesia this may! (my friend is getting married to the grandson of the first indonesian president) It will be a three day wedding with and the president of indonesia will be attending which means I could meet the president of indonesia! 😀 I’d even be wearing traditional indonesian dress!

    Not only would I be attending a royal wedding but ill be able to explore the islands with my friends family…kinda like our own personal tour guides! I’ll be able to see the Taman Safari, Borobudur an ancient temple, a tour of the Kraton Royal Palace, Taman Sari ancient palace and underground caverns, Kuta beach, kayaking, nature hike, snorkeling, rafting, train rides with panoramic views, hours carriage rides, all the coconut I can eat and soo much more that I can’t wait to explore and photograph! Who wouldn’t be excited for indonesian culture, a royal wedding, music, adventures, food, & the amazing sights!

    May isn’t coming fast enough!

  • Maryann Mans Garland says:

    Wow, what an opportunity. Just this past year I found some long lost cousins from my father’s side of the family. My father was born in Estonia in 1916 and left there when he was 17 and never returned due to soviet take over and war. My father passed away 30 years ago. His sister kept in touch with my mother over the years until she died. The cousins I have found are the girls who were learning English and would write the letters for their grandma (my dad’s sister). I was working on a family tree and found my cousins on the internet and facebook. We all want to meet in Estonia in June (just about six months from now). I cannot go due to lack of funds and to win this trip would be just what i need to meet my cousins in person and to see the homeland of my father. I don’t know if I qulaify since I would be traveling from the US to Estonia…you say within the US and within Europe and I am not sure if that means from US to Europe. Anyway, thanks for your consideration!

  • CHI says:

    Wow, tough question.

    Hmmm, let’s see I’d go back to my birth country of Vietnam. Having immigrated to Canada when I was two, I’ve only been back once in 07 and what a great experience it was! I had the opportunity to meet family I never even knew existed. It was humbling to return to my ‘roots.’ A visit back is long overdue for me : )

  • Christopher says:

    Hi Chris!

    Remember the Chiropractic Domination Group from NJ? I’m Alex Rinehart’s friend.

    Well, I got an opportunity to volunteer at the 2011 Crossfit Games in California as a chiropractor and A.R.T. provider!! I’m definitely going … but since I’ve been investing the little income I am making in a new practice and blog website and paying off loans, don’t have the money at this time. I will go because I want to badly enough, just thought it’d be nice to win it. : )

    Hope all is well!

  • Linda says:

    Chris, your generosity is awsome!

    My choice: Ethiopia … to volunteer in some way for the 2011 Charity: Water Project.

    It would be chance to give back and support a very real need in our world!

  • Blue says:

    I’m taking your Empire-Building course and have been steadily biggifying my business. I was invited to speak and perform at IdeaWave in Victoria, BC on Feb. 23. If I were to receive the free trip, I would use it to fly RT DC/Victoria for IdeaWave, and use the money saved on travel to reinvest in my business, specifically by upgrading my recording equipment (which was the top piece of advice I received when I asked music industry professionals about how to improve Hello, The Future).

    Thanks, and thank you for sharing so much with all of us.

  • Stacey says:

    I would love to go to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – for the simple reason that it is fun to say out loud. I heard about Saskatoon for the first time yesterday, and became immediately fascinated, both with how it flies trippingly off the tongue (well, after practicing a number of times), and also with its incredible beauty (search Saskatoon in Google Images for viable proof).

    A side trip to Moose Jaw (3 hour drive) would also be in order, because it also has a highly enjoyable name. There we would visit a mineral spa to enjoy the rejuvenating effects of the geo-thermal waters, and tour the underground tunnels visited by Al Capone and home to the “famous burrowing owls” (who knew?).

    I live in the US of A, and so 25,000 would cover the trip beautifully, I expect!

  • Ben says:

    I think Croatia is next on my list. I’d love to travel the lands, hiking/backpacking and seeing what that area has to offer.

    keep up the great work Chris

    Ben

  • sarah says:

    And by Egypt, I mean England.* There is a royal wedding this year and while I haven’t received my invitation yet, I’m pretty confident it is on it’s way. It’ll be bittersweet to see one of my former flames get hitched but that’s the way life goes, I suppose.

    *I got so excited about this, I temporarily forgot Egypt was in Africa, which makes it ineligible for this contest… if you’re flying direct to Egypt, that is. The way I see it, I’ll just stop by Buckingham Palace first and then I’ll catch an EasyJet flight over to Egypt. <—-See what I did there! I just travel hacked your own contest!!!!!!

  • david says:

    Prishtina, Kosovo. Have you been there yet Chris? I recently visited the amazing – and very new – country of Kosovo in the Fall of 2010 (I don’t think it makes the UN list, but it should definitely be on your list of places to go) and I can’t wait to go back. I am looking into starting my own business with a partner there and your blog has definitely inspired me to take the leap. If chosen, not only will you get some great video feedback but you will have given much more than just inspiration to start a business. If you ever do make it to Prishtina (whether I’m chosen or not) let me know and I’ll be sure to introduce you to some amazing people there.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

  • Joseph Machado says:

    I have been blessed to travel internationally with middle school aged youth for years and am hoping to use this to visit a dear friend in Detroit who is undergoing major surgery in the coming months. Detroit is not as exciting as other places, but community is important to me. She and I met as educators at a national educational technology conference, both trying to make a difference in classroom reform using open-ended creativity software to engage 21st century students. My friend informed me just days ago that she has to possibly have her uterus, ovaries, gallbladder, and appendix removed. She has undergone other health issues prior to this and is only 32 years old.

  • Shawna says:

    If I won, I would fly to my friend’s wedding in Vancouver, BC. I’ve just moved to Ontario and not only am I homesick for Vancouver, but if I won I could fly according to the best time to help her prepare for her special day, rather than flying and only staying a short time based on specials/deals.

    I would send pictures of lots of bridesmaid bonding, my friend and her hubby & contribute to their life together. Also, there will be a 10 course Chinese food reception – the pictures would make anyone hungry!

  • Chris this is awesome, thank you so much for doing this.

    If I were able to use this free trip it would be to Sweden. I am a full-time touring singer/songwriter and the last 2 years I’ve been lucky enough to get considerable amount of radio airplay over in Europe(Sweden especially) with my last album release. This April my new album will be coming out and I’d love to be able to set up a short tour in Sweden after its release. I’ll be touring the U.S., I just don’t have the means to get to Europe at this point. This trip would be put to great use and help realize a dream.

    Thanks again!

  • Stephanie says:

    What an opportunity! My boyfriend and I are trying to save up the cash (and become travel hackers… very much looking forward to the Cartel!) over the next year or so to take our first “big” trip together. Our minds drift to a new country every day, we dig out maps and travel guides and pour over possibilities, sketch out travel routes, get inspired regularly by travel and photography blogs.

    Some days we want to hop aboard a freighter at Tierra del Fuego and stepping foot in Antarctica, sometimes we dream of bazaars in Morocco, to find our family histories in the Irish countryside, to dive with sharks in South Africa, or hope to finally meet up with longtime friends in Australia.

    Today, with the time frame allotted, starting summer on the Croatian coast would be incredible. I love the Adriatic, and both of us have wanted to see the fabled Croatia for years. One of us getting a ticket would be the perfect incentive to get going already!

  • Meg Muirhead says:

    I am an aspiring travel writer, and just started my own travel blog! I’ve only made two posts, and already I am addicted-thanks for what you do! I’ve been fortunate to travel a good amount of places throughout the world. A few years ago, I lived in Port Elizabeth, South Africa for six months. I made two friends there that live in the townships outside Port Elizabeth.

    They were so welcoming to a few of us from California. They opened up their homes to us, fed us, just truly gave all they had to make us feel welcome. I would really like to repay the favor. If even one of them could get the trip (my friends and I would figure out a way to get a second ticket), it would be such an amazing experience for them to go from PE, South Africa to either Los Angeles or San Francisco. In SA they are an aspiring musician and a poet; they have so much soul. I know it would be their dream to come visit, and hopefully leave their imprint on California.

  • Brody says:

    I’d use the miles to visit New York. I’ve never been, and it’s on my “things to do before I’m 30” list. I just turned 29, so this year is the year! I think everyone should get to visit New York at least once in their lives, and I just today received an invitation from a friend to help him on an art piece that’s going to be displayed in NY this spring. I wouldn’t be able to go unless I got a free ticket! My life has been full of wonderful coincidences lately- maybe this will be one more!

  • Jeff says:

    I want to take my future wife to see northern Italy and then tour with her down into the Croatian coastline. It’s an area we’ve both been in love with for awhile—she through studying abroad in the Czech Republic, me through my love for great wines, (real) tiramisu, and pristine beaches lacking any “tourist” paraphernalia. We’ve talked about traveling there one day, but I want the opportunity to establish a strong traveling “habit” from the beginning; that is, by proposing to her while abroad! Yes, there will be pictures galore. In fact, as I’m certain of her answer, I can also promise those pictures will be full of smiles and new friends and celebrations. And, yes, 25,000 miles will take care of one ticket, but the ring is already bought. Given such an opportunity, I’d immediately spring for the second ticket so that we could enjoy the love of traveling together.

  • Tara says:

    What a wonderful gift! I would have to say Italy. My father came to the US from Italy in his 20’s and I have a lot of family there. My dad died when i was 14, so I never met them, although i had heard stories from my dad and Nona. Now that I have a daughter, I really value my family more, both close and extended. Meeting family from my father’s side would be fantastic. And an opportunity to go and walk where my father walked, perhaps have a beer where he once did, would be great.
    Thanks again.

  • Autumn says:

    I would like to visit a friend I actually met via Omegle (the site that sets you up to chat with stranges) who lives in Kiev, Ukraine. I found myself on this site often during a particularly difficult period of my life, during which I realized one of my goals was to move from the US to Europe.

    A year later, having worked two jobs and returned home to live rent free with my parents, I’ve made it to Berlin. As a person who loves art and electronic music, Berlin is a perfect place for me. Having only recently arrived –and living off savings– I can’t imagine taking a trip immediately. But Kiev sits in back of my mind as a place I know I have to visit someday, aided by the fact that I know a native who happens to organize some of the city’s best dance events.

  • Daniel Mick says:

    My girlfriend and I serve those in need, but we need a break from these Portland Winter Blues!

    I work for a non-profit helping individuals with disabilities get independence through renting or owning their own homes. I’m also finishing prerequisites to get a master’s to become a nursing educator. My girlfriend works for the county coordinating aid and legal response to high-risk domestic violence cases.

    We would LOVE to be rejuvenated by taking a trip to somewhere sunny this Spring, but can’t afford one since I’m in school, with enormous loans looming, and my girlfriend is chipping away at her own loans.

    I’ve been mileage hacking thanks to you, Chris(!) but I don’t have enough miles to pay for BOTH our tickets for a trip yet. We have the adventurous spirit to have a wonderful inexpensive vacation, but can’t afford to get there.

    Please help us find some sun so we can continue giving freedom to those with no voice, aiding vulnerable women, and putting abusive dirtbags behind bars.

  • Peter says:

    Great contest Chris!
    I’d love to revisit the Canary Islands. Especially La Gomera, it’s a beautiful island that I’d like to promote a little so more people can discover it.
    I can’t wait to see the travel hacking cartel. I’m finding it fairly hard to obtain free miles in Europe, but I’m probably looking in the wrong places.

  • romina puno says:

    can i just say that this is so COOL.

    i’d really like to go to New Zealand. why you ask? because in my things-i-want-to-before-i-marry list number 3 states that:GO BUNJEE JUMPING. so if i’m going to do this, it would be in the best place to do it and thats in NZ. i dont know if this will finally make my fear in heights go away or it will make it worse, but one thing’s for sure, if i win this trip, i have no good reason to back out.

    : ) good luck to everybody! may our wishes come true!

  • Melissa says:

    Hello biased judges! If chosen, I would use 25,000 miles to visit New Zealand and if possible, swing through Rapa Nui (Easter Island) as well. My husband and I are on a quest to trace our roots through the Polynesian triangle (Hawaii in the north, NZ west and Rapa Nui east). We live in Hawaii, and have traveled through the center of the triangle (French Polynesia). Currently have enough miles to return to Tahiti, but not enough to get us down to NZ, and Rapa Nui is a dream that’s going to require a bit more planning as well. Looking forward to the Travel Hacking Cartel for sure, b/c we’re doing this trip of ours one way or another!

  • Mark Simi says:

    Buenos Aires, without a doubt. I just need to be Argentina and see if it speaks to me as much as I think it will, and will be scratching the itch eventually. Late nights, tango, wine.

    Thanks for running this, Chris. Seems like it’s given us a chance to refocus on some goals that might have been set aside.

  • Brook says:

    I love to travel and I love to “plan” trips… some I actually go on some are saved away for the future. I am currently trying to plan a trip to Central America where I can get three stamps for the flight of one. I have a plan to fly into Belize and bus to Guatemala and then to Honduras where my cousin is the Athletic Director for one of the Dole Plantation schools. There are mountains to hike, lagoons to swim and endless adventures to have in that area of the world. All three countries have a history, culture and life that I would love to get to know and find a way to give back. It is my life goal to see every country feasible in my lifetime. You are truly an inspiration to me!

    I appreciate the fact that you are willing to gift your miles to your readers. Your blog posts are such a welcomed addition to my days when they show up in my reader!!!

    Thank you for all you do!

  • Erin S says:

    I have an indescribable passion for our National Parks Service in the US. Much like you, I’ve decided to turn this passion into a mission – I’ve made it my lifelong goal to visit every site governed by the NPS. There are nearly 400 unique sites in the NPS system, so this will be no small task. I know the most daunting part of this mission will be to visit those sites flung farthest across the globe, namely Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. As I don’t think that 25,000 miles would get me quite that far, a more modest use of these miles would be a trip to visit a friend of mine who currently lives near the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and is planning to move cross-country soon. Making this trip would also allow me to check four NPS sites off my list!

    I would be honored if you would invest your miles into my mission, and in turn, I know this gift would kickstart me toward investing more in the dream myself. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

  • Jenny says:

    What an amazing competition. It is hard to limit this to just one area but if I was lucky enough to win my dream trip would be to visit Japan, and I’d love a stop in Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam or the Phillipines on the way back home to New Zealand.

  • Kramer says:

    I’m looking to go to Africa this summer for a one month mission trip. I want to get a much bigger perspective of the world, so I’m hoping to go to Burkina Faso, Africa… where there’s a lot of poverty and need for help. I know you didn’t say Africa within your air miles, but if you chose me, I would use them to get close to Africa then pay my next flight to actually fly in to Africa. Thanks!

  • Coast to coast… I live in Vancouver BC (looking forward to meeting you Chris this Sat !), and have always wanted to dip my toes in the Atlantic. My destination ? Newfoundland. I imagine standing atop one of those awesome seaside cliffs, looking out across the sea, imagining what it would have felt like to be a Viking, arriving in this land thousands of years ago. I hear the music, the laughter, the ocean, the people… all the things that make the east coast so special. This is where I’d go.

    Thanks for asking.

    Patrick

  • Nikki says:

    What an amazing idea, Chris! As for my dream trip: Ireland. I’ve always wanted to go there to get a look and feel for where my family comes from. To tell you the truth (though this violates your six month rule), my plan is to go there on my birthday this year, which just happens to be 11.11.11. I’m normally not a big “birthday person,” but this year feels significant. My dream is to find myself sitting at a quaint little pub in the Irish countryside, ringing in the next year of my life with a lager in hand at 11:11 p.m. on 11.11.11.

  • Brittany says:

    I am getting married to my girlfriend in September. We actually don’t really have the funds to have a honeymoon so we’re probably just going to go away for a weekend. However, it would be amazing to get a free plane ticket so we could go to Hawaii! Otherwise, we may have to hold our breath for lots of wedding money and maybe we could get to Italy (she’s never been!)

  • Marissa says:

    Greetings travel hacking cartel! I am full of adrenaline thinking about my future travel possibilities. Up to this day i have only ever been to Orlando florida as a young girl, Vegas as a teenager for my sister in laws bachelorette party and most recently to Negril for my first taste of adult travel and culture experience. I am very interested in authentic, local experiences well off the beaten path. This year I am determined to make it over to Italy, I hear that July/august are primo times (primo…I’m already there!) My father was born in Puglia and it would be such a shame to not explore the land of his childhood. I have also really wanted to learn to speak Italian, I think my grandmother (nonna!) would be thrilled! Let’s not omit the opportunity to take in the authentic art of Italian cooking (and eating). I am 24 now and so ready to get out into the world. I look forward to beginning this journey with you all, I hope to become a travel pro too. Thank-You!

  • Cindy says:

    My husband, Steve, was born in Australia, brought to the US at age 4. He’s never been back. We’d been saving for years to return for our 25th anniversary. Our dream-trip: a month-long adventure w/ a few target destinations while letting the trip unfold. I’m a journalist and Steve a forester. We like to take in our physical and sociological surroundings to learn and tell how our story interweaves with new people and places.
    Steve was recently laid-off. Australia is shelved. Our first obligation, and savings belong to our college-age children’s educations. Not much left for us, and as we see our dream evaporating we get a bit teary. Steve’s employment status lets us create a new future – but the resources to realize it are few. This award would allow us to restore our dream.
    We will celebrate 25 years of adventure together no matter what – but what a blessing it would be to launch our next quarter-century in the land of his birth.

  • Jason says:

    Actually this is quite an easy decision. My father’s 60th birthday is coming up in a couple of months, and I’ve never really gotten him anything big before. He’s been there for me through everything in my life, and is quite simply the biggest soul on earth. I want to take him somewhere he’s never been before. Very easily done, as my father has always relied on my personal stories to fill his void of traveling at a young age. Alaska, or New Hampshire. Two places he’s always talked about going, but never found the time.
    Thanks Chris (and team)!

  • If I win this contest I would like to go to Scotland to see an old friend who is ill and cannot fly so this would be my last chance to see him as he is in his 80s.

  • Jay says:

    Thanks for this great opportunity, Chris! I would love to return to Washington D.C. to re-tell our clean fuel story to key members of Congress and President Obama. Our last trip to D.C. in May, 2010, did not allow us enough time to educate political leaders because they were wringing their hands over the GOM spill, and yet doing their level best to shoot down climate change legislation at the same time!

    We have a carbon-bridging pollution solution. Please help us get Washington’s undivided attention so they can wrap their pointy heads around it! Thanks again.

  • Berard says:

    I would love to go attend Burning Man 🙂

  • Doli says:

    That would be Rome in Italy. A reason could confirm that all roads lead to Rome. I have great friends whom I never met. A common friend of us had met us virtually and the love of art, traveling, conversations about life and common passing through the everyday life is what makes us closer together and made of us the best friends. We live in different parts of the world. She is from Boston in US and I am from Croatia, small country in Central Europe.Next month she comes to Rome and since we found out about it looking for all possible ways that would allow me to come too. We are both unemployed and life tickets are not on our side that we will succeed in the plan to met this time.This competition is like a ray of hope that we will be able to have five unforgettable days together,walk the streets of this “natural museum of art”,eating “gelato”,making art and, finally, be one with the other in this city of love!!

  • Cata says:

    My dream trip: Peru or Mexic or Guatemala… anywhere where I can find the remains of the pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations. Why I say it’s a dream trip? Because I live in Eastern Europe (for Cathy Brown, you are welcomed here 🙂 ) and being a student I don’t have the financial possibility to buy a plane ticket from my country to the American continent. I can but envision myself, my feelings, emotions but even so, it wouldn’t rise to the satisfaction, the feeling that you’ve somehow managed to touch your dream, to hold it close to you and to shape it. Macchu Piccu or Tikal or Chichen Itza… Well I better go start saving some money then, who knows what the future might bring. 😀

  • Shari says:

    I’d love to fly in to LA or San Diego, rent a car, and drive up the coast of California, visiting friends and family as well as sea lions, vineyards and forests, and then fly home from San Fran.

  • Val says:

    I’d go to Thailand! I have never been outside of N. America so I’d want to go somewhere far and exotic. I’ve also heard that Thailand is less expensive than say, Europe, so I’d want to go somewhere I’d be able to stretch my dollars to stay as long as possible.

  • Sara says:

    I am so torn. Dear, dear friend are getting married in Costa Rica in March, and I haven’t been able to figure out the $$ to go. It looks like a beautiful country, and goodness knows I like the hot sun! I also lived in England for 6 months in 2003, right as my marriage broke up, and I have been dreaming of returning on my own terms, and seeing it with my own fresh eyes. And really, either one of these things would be an incredible gift to me, which I would LOVE to document with pictures and blog posts. As a single mom of three, I haven’t done as much traveling as I’d like, although now that my kids are getting a bit older, and it’s not so scary to travel by myself with them, I’m changing that. And i’m also learning the confidence to travel alone…a new world for me.

  • Ever since my brother told me about it, I’ve been wanting to go to Iceland and dive the Silfra Crack – where the Eurasian and American continental plates are slowly drifting apart, and a deep, rocky crack is being kept full with clean, clear mountain runoff. Because it’s so cold and clean, the water is so clear that divers can get vertigo. I have had dreams about diving there.

  • Megan says:

    In the past 2 months my dad had a major stroke which has left him unable to talk and paralyzed on his right side, my horse of 25 years died, my other horse was badly injured, I was unable to go to school this quarter to pursue a degree in graphic design for multiple reasons, and the family that was making payments on my last horse finally made the last payment so my partner of 11 years is no longer in my care. It’s been a bit stressful. I need a vacation from my life! I can not think of a better way to regroup and reorganize than to go visit my uncle in London. He lives there and works for the American School. He knows all the best places to go, the best places to eat, and the most fun things to do. One of my cousins wants to visit him too, so it could be a little family reunion. I could visit friends in Ireland and take a train to France. Woot!

  • Michelle says:

    Hey Chris. My mom got me your book for Christmas, & you even signed it! Thank-you it was really good 🙂 I want to grab the bananas. Won’t you give me a ladder?

    Anyways this is my story. I am in the middle of a divorce. I am 24. I gave up traveling to be with my ex. I also didn’t attend school because we were supposed to have a family. I jumped into another relationship right away. Now I am completely lost. I don’t know what to do in *any* area of my life. I’m also broke. What I need is a bit of time. Preferably far away from here. Because you see I have a little secret. (Shh… I want to change.the.world.) I just don’t know how. I’m no good to anyone in this current paralysis of indecision & pain. I’d even ask AONC to choose where I go. & I’ll write any blog post you want.

    I’m sure whoever you choose will be ecstatic & I’ll go on my way & be fine. But if it was me? You could possibly change my life – and hopefully the world too. Thanks either way.

  • Seriously great idea, especially judging by the other comments, Chris.

    I’d go to Africa with a friend this year for some relief work. I haven’t been and am trying to find a way to make it happen. This would solve that. Trip in July.

  • Margot says:

    Hi Chris (and assistants!), thank you so much for putting this incredible offer out there. I’ve been traveling the world for most of my life and putting your tips towards even more travel. I’m very fortunate in that I’ve been able to afford fulfilling my dreams of seeing the world. So I’m not entering my name in this competition, but rather, my boyfriend’s, Dan. We’re in a long distance relationship and spending most of our travel resources to see each other. He dreams of traveling the world, and works harder at his job of elementary school teaching than anyone I’ve known, but his time and financial commitments have meant postponing a lot of dream trips. He’s always wanted to see Rome, and we were thisclose to going last year, by had to cancel at literally the last minute. He is an amazing, selfless person who wants to see more of the world than a small town in Florida can show him. Please send him to Rome!

  • I have been just mentally salivating over going to India and connected with the entire yoga/spirituality movement. Having been doing yoga for about two years now, I feel that my insides are tingling and need to take that next step to that side of the world. I want to make the trip part giving and part receiving. meaning, I want to give of myself while I am there to the community. If this means helping to build homes or to teach some language or anything in that area, I am open to it!!! Thank you for being so present and always galvanizing me!!! Be well….Chase

  • camila says:

    I would travel to the Caribbean to rediscover my roots. We left when I was 11 and now I’m 33. I would record the voices of my old aunts and uncles, bear witness to passed-down stories, learn to speak patua, taste coco pods and sugar cane, archive family recipes for sweet bread and channa, travel inland to meet the only true natives to the island: the Carib Indians. The rest are all settlers from many generations ago: Africans from the days of slavery, Chinese and Indian workers sent to replace newly freed slaves, Spanish, French, and English colonisers who decided to stay. All these form a part of my heritage and racial mixture. The blog will be called “Where The Heck Am I From Anyway?” (or something like that).

  • Hi! I’m Jeff from Belgium and I’m 27.
    I’d like to become a professional travel photographer, specialised about Asia.
    I use to travel with my backpack and my photo bag. I come back from a one year trip in New-Zealand were I lived in my car, travelling around during 8 months, and then I missed Asia so much that I came back there and travelled around Burma for a month (I was dreaming about seeing Burma since 10 years)
    I’m not rich but I’ve already been to China, Mongolia, Russia, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, New-Zeland and Burma (Myanmar).
    Travel, meet people and take pictures and are my life.
    That’s it.

    My next trip will be to go to North of India, in the area of Ladakh and Zanskar, a place called “The Little Tibet” to take pictures of the amazing people living in the mountains with a portable photo studio this time.
    And if I have the budget, come back to Nepal to see my Nepali friends running a school in the mountains that we are helping through an NGO we created when I came back

  • I’ve been reading all the comments and I must say, you have a formidable job in front of you.

    So instead of asking you to choose me, I’d like to ask you to be a guest on my radio show and talk about your book, and about travel hacking. We’ve interviewed everyone from Buzz Aldrin to Harvey Mackay.

    Best of luck with deciding who should win the miles!!

  • Elena Atanascheva says:

    At this point in my life I have been everywhere I had ever wanted to go – India, Japan, UK and other countries in Europe. Going to yet another place physically could not give me half the satisfaction of doing something I haven’t done before on a different scale. So I would like to participate on behalf af another person- her name is also Elena (but different family name), a young woman who has not been as lucky as myself. She has almost no intestines after an operation, she is probably about 35 kg and she is awaiting another operation. I think if she wins a trip like this she will have something to look for after she recovers from the next operation. It would also mean a lot to all her relatives and friends supporting her while she was practically living in hospital for many months.

  • Dini says:

    Oh my gosh, I’ve read half the entries and I wish I could vote for all of them! I almost feel bad for entering too haha but here goes: If i got a free ticket I’d love to go to Turkey. Not to visit family or friends, I don’t know a soul there, but I’d love to experience it for myself because of a simple childhood memory when I was living in Botswana I met an old Turkish man who used to tell wonderful and frightening stories of his life back home. His stories helped spark in me a realization that I love writing stories and just would love to hop on a plane (swallow my fear and discomfort of flying!!!) to experience a country where I have no inkling of the customs, the people, the lifestyle, the language, (at least not first hand!) yet has actually given me more fuel for my passion of writing than probably anything else in my life! I’d explore EVERYWHERE with a running commentary 🙂

    If bias doesn’t swing my way (!) I’d vote for the person who chose Haiti to do some work there.Thank you!

  • And I really would like to thank the amazing traveller named Thomas Love Perko who gave me this link by the way..
    His comment here below is just like him, unusual and full of love.

  • Connie says:

    Thank you for your generosity. What a wonderful thing to do. I live in Chicago, IL and would love to visit my aunt, uncle, and 6 cousins during a first time visit to Anchorage, Alaska. It has been years since we’ve been together and an Alaskan Adventure in the summertime would be phenomenal!

  • Kate says:

    Wow Chris this is amazing. More amazing is how many miles you have I really hope I can work on doing that myself soon, but not sure where to start. In the mean time I have to say my dream trip would be to Italy. I know it’s not as exotic as some places, but the history of that country and it’s gorgeous landscapes enthrall me. Not to mention because of a huge issue I had in college when I was studying abroad in Wales I had to leave early due to finances and never got to go to Italy. To some it may seem like I’m complaining, but really it was heartbreaking and I guess in light of everything that went down I knew some how I would make it back up on my feet and get there (I especially want to visit Pompei…not sure why it fascinates me). Anyway, this would be a great opportunity and I think anyone who get’s it will be incredibly lucky, but not gonna lie I hope it’s me 🙂 my young self with my old soul needs to travel more.

  • barbro says:

    OK, you got me. I would fly to the American hub which would take me to ICELAND!!! it is the most democratic, egalitarian country in the world, invented the word “geysir,” doesn’t participate in the corrupt world financial system, has a bunch of great music, plus bitchin’ volcanoes no one can pronounce, and rockstars who argue publicly with corrupt, greedy corporations.

    Iceland is saying something important right now in terms of the balance of consumption and what this planet can continue to sustain. I want to look that place in the eyes. (I would also like to meet some of the sheep who made some of the sweaters I’ve collected over the years. I also think the moss looks super interesting.)

    So, basically, I want to experience raw power, democracy, moss, sheep, volcanoes, and find some new friends who speak their minds.

    I would use the ticket to get from Alaska to Seattle, where I could fly to Iceland after that.

  • mshedden says:

    I am very interested in going to London. I have never world traveled I figure it would be a good start to seeing some other part of the world outside of my small corner of North America. The journey of 1000 miles begins with small step and with your help my small step would England…. Cheers.

  • Sarah says:

    I’m an American living in Prague and I really need to go to Morocco (Essaouira, Marrakesh and perhaps Casablanca) to research the trilogy of historical novels I’m writing. Part of the action takes place there and it’s hard enough to build an authentic-seeming atmosphere for a time long past without having any personal, sensual experience of the place and its sights, smells and sounds.

  • David William says:

    I am thrilled by this idea. I like reading the ideas of other and where they’d go. I also wish people wouldn’t hope for an opportunity for something like this to happen.

    As for me, I will be going to Cuba. I am fascinated by the time capsule that seems to be Cuba. My idea is to do it on the super frugal. I’m talking couch surfing, camping, and meeting the local life exactly where they are. So with or without frequent flier miles, keep an eye out for my Cuban adventures!

  • Eric says:

    Holy comments batman!

    I would fly my wife to savanna GA. She has always wanted to go there, eat at Paula dean,s resteraunt and take in the culture and charm we only read about. She works hard and is a great mom who rarely gets a break…. And with all my take over the world ambitions she really could use one!

    Humble request, I know there are folks out there that could create a more high impact earth changing situation….but if you met my wife you would know she would be awesome at updates on video and text!

    Cheers! Cool contest, good luck with the site.
    Ev

  • Merle says:

    I would like to take my grandmother to see Venice, because it is her dream to see this place. The requirements of this competition are harsh enough that would motivate me to do this thing in the next 6 months and not postpone for another few years as have happened so far. Also it is my own dream to see Venice and experience the magic everyone talks about! 🙂

  • Georgeanne says:

    I would choose Tibet. I would love the opportunity to experience a new culture with traditions rooted in peace. I live in Tucson, AZ and unfortunately have seen too much violence and hate in recent weeks. Beauty and peace would be a would lend itself well to an amazing adventure.
    PS. Can’t wait for the Travel Hacking Cartel — have been looking forward to it!

  • Michelle S says:

    I would like to visit Kabul, Afghanistan. I would like to learn about the Afghani culture. I am currently learning the Farsi language (used by 49% of Afghanis) and would love the opportunity to use it first hand in Afghanistan. I live in Toronto, Canada and work with women to build their self esteem. I would use this trip to volunteer with women and girls that have been affected by rape and violence. I want to empower each and every women while helping them see what opportunities await them.

    Thanks for the chance of winning such an amazing prize.

  • Denise says:

    My mom is from Bolivia. I went to first grade there.

    That’s all it took for me to continue a life of travel. When I was a teenager, I lived in Japan. As a young adult, I lived in France. When I got married 11 years ago, I showed my husband Europe for the first time in his life. It’s been fun. And none of this travel would have been possible without the support and encouragement–and some cash (although I have no idea how since my father died when I was nine years old and my mom raised my brother and I single-handedly)–from my mom.

    My husband and I haven’t traveled anywhere since the birth of our six-year old son. We talk about showing him Paris someday. My mom, on the other hand, has always talked about going to India.

    I don’t want to go to India. I want my mom to. She hasn’t traveled outside of the United States for 34 years. So as you’ve probably guessed, I’d give this trip to her.

  • Tamara says:

    While I would enjoy a trip to an exotic place, I’d really love to share the world with my boyfriend, who has never left the country. 18 months ago he quit his job and spent a couple months on a solo road trip across the country. He planned to travel Europe before he met me, but since then we’ve been spending our time on shorter trips in the Western US. I don’t want to deprive him of the world, so I’d use the free trip to either send him on to his own adventure, or to accompany him to explore new places.

  • Leah says:

    I want to take my mom to the Great Barrier Reef. This past year I’ve taken her to the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, the North Church, the Great Wall, and to the Vatican. All are places she dreamt of going prior to her death from cancer on February 7, 2010. Although my mom is always with me, spreading her ashes along my journeys is a symbolic reminder to always live in the present.

  • Priyanka says:

    I’d like to go to Tanzania or Ethiopia. Just a college graduate from Bangladesh, I have saved up most of my money from part-time jobs to travel to Africa, of which I’ve read and heard so much from my uncles who live in these two countries. Although now I have the money to travel around the countries, the huge plane fare from Bangladesh to Africa seems to be eating up all my savings. I so wish to get out of my country and see the mysterious Africa!

  • Katie says:

    If I could pack up tomorrow and go somewhere it would be India. My cousin and one of my best friends moved there and I would love to see her. But I would also want to see the world the way she sees it now and the way the people that live there see it. I want to experience India to gain perspective and to step out my own life. I want to see their definition of beauty, family, religion and good fortune. I want to be out of my element so I can feel something at the very core of not only myself, but of humanity overall.

  • Jes says:

    If I could go anywhere, I would go to Hawaii. My brother lives there with his family. I haven’t seen him since 2006. His daughter will be 7 years old in March, and I have yet to meet her. They also welcomed a new baby girl into the family in November. It would mean the world to me to see my brother and sister-in-law again and meet their beautiful family. It would be a bonus to experience the beauty that is Hawaii.

  • I would love to go to Portland, Oregon to visit my aunt and uncle there. I live on the East Coast, and have only seen them a handful of times in the past fifteen years, and never where they live. Also, I hear Portland is a beautiful city (you seem to like it). Also, I am an artist and would love to do some on location sketching (this would make for a really cool blog post for sure!)

  • Corina says:

    What a beautiful and generous offer, and what amazing and inspiring responses. I just wanted to say thanks for such compelling questions and thoughts, Chris. I have been touched many-a-time by your posts, and look forward to hearing about the person chosen for this trip, and their adventure….

    I would choose a trip to Palestine/Israel. I want to photograph and see with my own eyes what is happening in the West Bank, and Gaza (if possible). I have been working on getting back to Israel since my first visit, a year ago. It’s an incredible place. I recently came across James Nachtwey’s photo portfolio, and my commitment to social justice via photography was reignited, after several years of working-to-get-by kind of work.

  • Patu says:

    As I,too, believe in sharing the love, I would like to take my newly married friends to Mexico City. My friend, Barry, is a ghost buster & I think it would be a blast to take some measurements at Teotihuacan where so many people were sacrificed to the sun god. Since I don’t know the first thing about ghost busting & he does, it would be a concerted effort. I am a photographer and writer. His beautiful wife, Karen, is a reiki master & math teacher so we would be restrained by a her school schedule. I’d like to go around Eastertime to take in the wonderful Mexican Easter pageantry & already have frequent flyer miles on Alaska Air.

  • I regret to inform you that I require only half of your offer. My goal is to transition to a nomadic lifestyle as I do location independent writing and marketing. Destination options are: Edinburg, Scotland or UlaanBaatar, Mongolia. Either way I’d end up at the other at some point as I traverse the world, talking about the experience and, of course, being ever appreciative of your benevolence.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’d like to take a trip back home to Aruba. I live in the Netherlands and it’s been almsot three years since I’ve been home.

    After my recent operation I’ve resumed my studies but I’m having a hard time trying to get a grip of my life for a while now and being with my friends and family will help me refocus and get back on track with my goals, plans and aspirations.

    Winning this trip would literally be a breath of fresh air!

  • Mike says:

    Return to India for more photography to be used in sharing the message of those who are being exploited due to their illiteracy.

  • Teresa O'Kane says:

    Hi Chris & Libby !
    I pick Kamunjoma (it’s not on any map), Zambia. I was there last August helping the community build a footbridge so that children could get to the school located on the other side of a river. My husband and I were the first foreigners to spend time in the tiny village near the Mozambique border since 1912. We worked on the bridge all day and slept in our tent pitched across from the school – the sound of distant drumming lulled us to sleep. Every day I took photos of the bridge construction and even more of the people of Kamunjoma. When women in surrounding villages heard there was a “white woman with a camera” they walked miles to have me photograph their babies. Most had never seen their own image. Ever. I promised I would send photos but it is impossible to mail anything to Kamunjoma, it’s just too far out in the boonies. If I win the trip I will take over 300 photos to the villagers, kiss the babies again, and say hi to all the people who became like family to me.

  • Shannon says:

    My best friend Chris lives in South Korea with his Korean wife and I would love if I could get a trip for him to come to the USA b/c he is really homesick/ feels down and has lost 3 family members to death (one around his age.) He hasn’t been able to come to the USA in a long time and misses us all terribly.

    If it cant be reversed trip, My husband and I would like to go visit him. 1. to cheer him up 2. B/c he’d love to have us and said we could visit anytime 3. We have never been outside of the US and would love to do so. Thanks your kind offer and I’d be grateful if you pick us!

  • Gerald says:

    My wife and I celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary this month and I would love to take her to Cartagena, Colombia, a city that neither of us has been to before, but that holds a special place for us as we wanted to go there for our honeymoon but couldn’t for various reasons.

  • Aliotsy says:

    Thanks for this opportunity, Chris! I would use the free trip to help pay for a “heritage” trip for my wife and I to the United Arab Emirates, particularly Abu Dhabi.

    My wife and I had the privilege of growing up in diverse locales: Tennessee, Vermont, California, Lebanon, Kenya, Madagascar, and the United Arab Emirates. Many of my wife’s fondest childhood memories are of Abu Dhabi and Dubai before their meteoric rise in prominence over the past few decades. We’ve talked about the idea of taking “heritage” trips to show each other the places we grew up, and to see how they’ve changed.

  • My choice isn’t as exotic as some places I’ve seen mentioned, but it has great meaning for me.

    A trip to CALIFORNIA would be really really impactful. I found thousands of old photos in my parents house going back as far as the 1870s and my ancestors are from all over California. It turns out our roots are pretty deep. I started a website, which I put in the URL section, that showcases the old photos (The Old School Documented). I would love the chance to update our family California collection and have photos from 3 centuries. This would mean a lot, please consider me, and thanks for this great contest!!!

  • Elise says:

    9 months ago, just as I was turning 20 years old, I packed my bags and bought a one-way ticket to France to begin reconstructing my life my own way, rather than in the way everyone was telling me to, and everything surrounding me was manipulating me to.
    I am now in the middle of my own very tough but very rewarding life adventure, and I would like to use the winning flyer miles as a gift to one of the people who took me under their wing when I began my journey, and encouraged me to flourish. I am already on a journey. I think the least I can do to repay someone for supporting my adventure is by giving them a headstart to have one of their own.

    What do you say?

    (If this can somehow be shared for two people to go on the trip together, provided it is a relatively short journey from where they’d be travelling, then I would love to give it to two of the people who have helped me! If not, I opt to choose one person to give this trip to, if that meets your guidelines at all!)

  • Lilly says:

    I would go to India. My aunt is a world traveler, like you Chris, and says that there is nowhere in the world as incredible as India. I want to see it for myself. My dream would be to spend the summer traveling and working across India, with my boots tied tight and a pack on my back. No guide books. Nothing but the vibrant atmosphere, beautiful people, and delicious food to guide my way through the country. As a 19 year old college student, I want to spend my youth exploring and learning as much as I can. India is the home of a culture and many lifestyles very different from my own in California. What better way to learn than to immerse myself for an entire summer?

  • My husband & I know that we won’t be in our 1 BR apartment in Brooklyn forever, so I’d absolutely use the miles to fly us to potential would-we-wanna-live-there places!

    Thanks for hosting this contest, Chris!

  • Emily says:

    For a long time I have been interested in the enormous (and often ignored problem) of child trafficking. Once I have completed my education, I hope to be armed with information in order to join others in tackling this issue. However, although I am blessed to be learning more and more every day, I long for real-world experience. Words on a page surely pale in comparison to living, breathing human beings.

    I do not wish to travel to Thailand in the same manner that countless other Westerners have rushed to developing countries to “save” the impoverished. I wish to simply watch, listen, and slowly gain a fuller and deeper understanding of the problem. There are too many nonprofits or charity projects that are unproductive or even harmful. All I have seen of poverty, abuse, and neglect is what I have seen in books or movies. I recognize my limitations – and I know how they can be improved.

  • Angela Barton says:

    Hello! I am a French teacher who hasn’t returned to a Francophone country, let alone had a vacation, since 2000. I would love to discover French Polynesia! The past 10 years have been filled with many ups and downs – marriage, birth of my 2 children, separation, sicknesses, loss of job, moving for a new job in a community that is lovely but far from family. Stress has been high, but what keeps my energy going is the love I have for this language which unites so many diverse cultures. My 2 young children benefit greatly from me having a job for which I feel genuine enthusiasm. We have survived a lot, are strong and resilient, and I would treasure the opportunity to recharge my personal batteries in a way that ultimately would also benefit those in my high school language classes. Thank you for the opportunity!

  • Meg says:

    I would love, love, love a ticket to LA. ^.^;; Thanks to us not being prepared for our first Washington winter and my husband’s crazy work schedule (Thanks, USAF!) I haven’t been able to work. Which is okay since I’m still in school…. But I’m trying to save for modeling trips to work. (Mostly crossing my fingers for Seattle’s first ever Alternative Fashion Week this year. If I can walk in it, I’ll need to make two trips to Seattle, and I prefer to fly.) I think in August I’ll be traveling to Seattle for one event, and that’s one of three potential trips this year.

    I can handle that with my spotty promotional work. But a trip to LA/California to possibly work at a car show and to work with some great photographers I’ve networked with would be awesome. It’s *just* out of my budget if I count on traveling to Seattle for the times that I am, but would be an awesome step for my modeling “career.”

    Hope that’s short. >.> I guess I felt I needed to explain myself…

  • Kari says:

    Four years ago my brother sent me a card for the birth of my first child that said, “Congratulations! Your Life is Now Over…” Gee, thanks bro.

    I certainly have not traveled out of my backpack since. Or flown on a whim to wherever I felt. What we have done is a 2500km road-trip in our non-airconditioned sedan, storm-watched in Tofino, and camped throughout the Northwest.

    We have also journeyed through our dragon-infested backyard and had tea parties with happy monsters at the ocean. If you are mindful enough to see the world through the eyes of your kids, every single day is a journey.

    I have an idea Chris. My mind is ablaze with ways to combine my passion for travel and parenthood. Vancouver to New Orleans to absorb the energy, spirit and creativity of the place! I may bring my family to expand my vision or go it alone for the time to reflect, explore (both outward and inward), and create!

    Regardless if I win or not, thank you for inspiring more fireworking sparks in my brain!

  • Amber says:

    My free trip to anywhere would be to New York City. While this may not be that exciting for other people, it is in fact a place that makes me feel alive. When I visit this city, all of my senses are stimulated. Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell, and Touch. This city draws me in, it calls to me from afar. It’s a place where you can truly be yourself and express what you need to express.

  • Ann C says:

    My daughter would love to meet her niece who lives in Tver, Russia. We have been fundraising to donate to the orphanage my daughter lives in, and would love travel there to see the kids and meet the family that remains in Russia.

  • Kathleen says:

    I recently made the decision to scrap my grad school plans. Taking a major trip in the next six months would also require me to *finally* quit my job, so this could be the push I need.

    I want to use this trip to learn something. I’ve taken loads of “vacations” to typical places (Europe – which I loved) but I want to go and see how other people live. I’ve never been to Asia, so that’s where I’d go: specifically, India. If I could I’d team up with an organization that’s doing some good over there and spend part of my trip volunteering on a project; I’d spend the other part sightseeing, eating street meat, meeting people, and learning yoga from a real yogi.

    If you pick me, I promise to learn some of the local language before I go. I love to write, so I’ll write interesting and descriptive dispatches, and I’m not afraid to try new things, so it will be a real adventure.

    Thanks for the opportunity, Chris!

  • Mark G says:

    Privlaka, Croatia. Easy answer for me. As a new daddy, I want to spend time with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who still live there. My son is 21 months old, and I’d really like for him to learn the Croatian language and get to know his great grandparents while they’re still alive. Also, I’m feeling like our lives are a too busy & distracting in NJ. WE”D LIKE TO SLOW IT ALL DOWN with Baba & Dido (“grandparents” in Croatian). No TV, no computer, no vidoe games. They have chickens and roosters, and a small family vineyard not too far away. Conversation & cultural family revival in a great European country…. I would love to report back this summer from the homeland with video’s, blogs, etc… Best!

  • Sara says:

    I would like to go to Alaska. I have a great online-only blogger friend who lives there and we have a number of connections (both of us are raising a child with CP who was born way way WAY too early, for example). In would love to spend some time with her in person And I’d love to skate there too – outside, with mountains and snow all around!

  • Chris C. Wilson says:

    I would like to go where ever YOU are going next. That’s right, I’m upping the ante and using my one comment for all it’s worth.

    Here is my proposal: If I win, I’ll go with you on an upcoming trip of your choice. I get to see how you travel and work while running a business, while you get a fantastic travel partner. I would prefer that the trip involves helping others, however I have no bias regarding the destination. As an aside, I’m a photographer and I would like to incorporate that into the trip (hopefully by helping people through photos).

    Of course I’ll be more than happy to pay for my own room, board, etc. I’ll even sit in economy if you manage to get upgraded to business or first due to your elite status! My only caveat is that I will have only 10 days for the trip due to work constraints, but other than that I’m completely flexible.

    Oh and one more thing, if I win I’ll pay for ALL the coffee consumed during the trip but you can’t order any Kopi Luwak!

  • Burton Kent says:

    I have three trips in mind:

    1.Go to Holland to bike through the country for 2 weeks (maybe Germany/Belgium too). Holland has an amazing system of bike trails – you can to get anywhere in the country on bike. A friend will help me with equipment. When my 10 year old is older, we’ll do it again together.

    2.Go to Thailand (again). I’m deaf and was walking around in Bangkok signing to a friend, and a deaf street vendor started talking to us. Our signs were close enough to talk. I later went out with her friend I call ‘Because’ (his sign name looks like “because”). Met about 26 deaf street vendors – very sweet people. I also want to learn Thai massage.

    3.Go to Shanghai to visit my sister’s family. They left on the 10th and I miss them. Then fly from Shanghai to Delhi to visit an Indian coder who does work for me. We’ve become friends and he’s keen to have me visit.

    Wow – just realized, I better sign up for the cartel!

    Burton

  • MattM says:

    My dream trip is to visit Normandy France so I can see where my grandfather landed during the first wave on D-Day.

    My grandfather was a highly decorated war hero during WWII and nobody in my family (other than him) has been able to retrace his steps through Europe during the war.

    It is my dream to see the beach he fought on and then follow the same path he took from France all the Hurtgen Forest in Germany where he earned his 3rd purple heart and Bronze star and was finally allowed to return home.

  • Gayle says:

    Wow. My travel dreams are landing me in Belgium (Brussels and Bruges). It seems like a fairy-tale world that’s often overlooked by the surrounding countries.

    Thanks for making this a remote possibility. And keep up the good work.

  • Indrek, 23 says:

    I live in small town in Estonia and every sign have showed I’ll become ordinary replaceable worker, waiting for pension.
    But heck, my free spirit had different plans and til now I have reached the point of almost being an entrepreneur, reader of this kid of blogs and continuous spiritual searcher.
    Because of the last point my ultimate dream now is to go to Peru to Amazonas jungle and have the Ayahuasca experience- the next great step in my spiritual/self development.
    South-America has always been in my heart for some reason, maybe that’s the case..

  • Elvira Valera says:

    I would go to New York City. I’ve been living in California for 3 years and never found the time/courage/motivation to go on my own. I guess I would use the trip as an excuse for confronting my fears of traveling alone.
    Thanks a lot for the opportunity!

  • Denise says:

    Hawaii. This would be our 50th state. My grandfather used to fascinate me with his stories of travel (alot of it was WWII), but I was in awe at the time when he told me he’d visited every state. I couldn’t fathom that as a child, or young adult for that matter 🙂 Well, I decided that my husband and I needed to try this….my first flight was when I was 30 years old – so my proposition was to visit all 50 states by the time we turned 50. Well, we made it to 49 – Alaska twice, but I don’t think that counts. But it was so much fun, researching the airports and where we could fly into, to best make it to the most states per trip! About the time I was working on Hawaii (and I’m an airline and hotel points person, trust me), my salary got cut by 35%. So…….if I were to win this awesome award, it would be a plane ticket to Hawaii !! (I guess we’d have to cough up another ticket for my husband, because what fun would it be alone??)
    Love your site. Thanks for all the info.

  • Mike Purcell says:

    Hi Chris,

    If I could go anywhere in the world it would be with my partner, Liz, to Mt Kailash in Southern Tibet. This is considered a sacred place by Hindus, Buddhists and others. Circumbulating the base of the mountain is considered to clear ones Karma. We are both about to begin a long journey of personal and spiritual growth and this would be a great start to that trip!

    Bless you for being such an inspiration to so many!
    Mike

  • Briget Block says:

    I say yay to non-conformity!

    I would like to go to New Zealand. I have had a long time love for Kiwi culture and a curiosity for the Maori people. I want to experience New Zealand and understand more of their past and present. I would also want to hike the Milford Trek with a spirited guide. Finally, I want to stay with a Kiwi family and learn to make and eat Pavlova. If all these wishes are fulfilled I would be a blessed traveler, if none of them come to fruition I’m sure it was because I was meant to see and do other things.

    Thank you for your love of travel and generous contribution for others to get to see the world.

    Briget Block

  • I would go to Greece. I’d love to see the ancient artifacts and study ancient history there! Then I’d use it as a jumping off point to probably Egypt, Sicily and Turkey. See all that old but rich history in close proximity.

  • Well Chris, it’s fantastic! If the biased judges choose my entry, I will use my free trip to Achuar people in Ecuador. they living in the Amazonas and I’d been working for “Awakening the Dreamer, Change the Dream” and now it´would be amazing to meet the Jungles Mamas projest and learn more! I’m happy to be in touch with you and your big heart! Thanks!

  • Cameron Lofink says:

    My dream trip is not as lavish as some of the ones listed above, but I feel that it would be one of the most important trips of my life!

    I currently live in FL and my fiancee lives in OR. We got seperated geographically right after college due to the job market and we do not get to see eachother very often.

    That being said I would actually go to New York City to see my fiancee’s brothers masters degree graduation. I have only met my fiancees brother once and he is the second most important person in her life.
    I have never been to NYC and I feel this trip would not only be a life changing experience I know that this will be one of the most insperational/life changing trips in my 23 years of life. My fiancee will be there no matter what, but I am still trying to figure out how I am going to get there. Not only would it give me a chance to spend time with an influential person in my fiancees life I would get time with my fiancee in a beautiful city.

  • I haven’t been to Portland, but I really want to come out there to get the lay of the land soon. I want to move there this Summer and would love the chance to connect face to face with some of the awesome people I’ve met online that are also on the quest for world domination. Oh, and Portland can also be the jumping off point for my epic road trip to Alaska. 🙂

  • Doug says:

    While reading The Art of Non Conformity, I created my lists of radical goals and my travel destination of choice (which is currently on my five-year list) is Machu Picchu. Since I first read about it as a teenager (I’m now in my late 40’s) I’ve dreamt of making the hike and exploring these mysterious ruins. It would be a dream trip come true.

  • This is so cool! I’ve been a fan for years … it started with a download of the World Domination manifesto, next was Art + Money (I’m an artist … very informative) and of course, the weekly emails.

    This year I am traveling … everywhere. Two trips are in the planning stages … one to India to visit a friend teaching yoga for six months and the 2nd to Santiago, Cuba to work with a group of amazing artist.

    Free trip to either destination … I’m down! 🙂

  • Jeff says:

    I’d like to go to Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan, yurts, and sheep milk.
    Traveling during the Nadaam festival would be especially exciting – maybe I’ll even enter a wrestling tournament (good incentive to lose the lbs I’ve been meaning too.
    Who wouldn’t want to visit the largest grasslands left on earth, experience the Gobi deserts and Lake Hovsgol? Ride a camel, or a horse, visit the land of the Khans…An acquaintance of mine, having purchased a used Soviet jeep, spent a year traveling throughout and claims it was the best trip of his life!

  • Diana says:

    For my free trip, I would travel to Greece. I would stay at this meditation center on the Island of Lesvos. It would further enhance my life transforming spritual journey of self discovery. It’s time for some spiritual nourishment. One of my long term goals is to open a meditation center and going to this center and taking meditation and spiritual classes would help prepare me in realizing my heart’s desires. The beautiful setting and sunny beaches don’t hurt either and I could explore Greece to my heart’s content. It’s also a great in-between spot to travel to Instanbul, visit the Blue Mosque, go to the Ukraine, get acquainted with Kiev, visit some friends I have in France, Holland, and Spain. It would feed my spirit, my emotional side, my travel bug, my connection with friends, and of course, my hedonistic side as well:) It’s the perfect spot! Thanks so much Chris–You Rock!!

  • Briget Block says:

    I say yay to non-conformity!

    I would like to go to the Truk islands in Micronesia where my uncle was in the Peace Corp in the 60’s. I am a spirited person and I have a great connection to my family and all their adventures. I want to see, do, and be amazed with cultures so different from my own. I would be nervous and excited to be out of my element. Plus, I think it would be very entertaining in a blog.

    Thank you for your love of travel and generous contribution for others to get to see the world.

    Briget Block

  • I am moving with my daughter from Boston to New Zealand in twelve days! Needless to say, it has taken most of my resources and a grandiose leap of faith to make this happen… but I know it’s the right thing to do.

    I would LOVE the opportunity to see more of the country once we arrive. If I won, we would get the chance to explore the south island in all of its beauty. Thanks!!

  • Charity Johnson says:

    I dropped out of school this semester due to financial issues. I attended a university in Chicago for violin performance, and I am hoping to return to school next Fall.
    After I dropped out, I moved in with my aunt in California in hopes of scoring a day job to help with expenses. I have no friends in the area, and I would love to go back to Chicago to celebrate my 20th birthday (March 21) with my friends at school.

    Thank you so much for your generosity and the chance to win this trip.

  • Jan Bourdo says:

    I am turning 50 this summer and have been inspired by your work so I have signed up to run a half marathon in NYC’s Central Park in April. (My first race ever) My 2 daughters will be making the trip with me. It would be amazing to be able to fly there free! I’ve been checking flights and have been a little discouraged. I really don’t want to drive 12 hours from Georgia but this is a goal I am going to reach so I will get there somehow. Thanks for your offer and your encouragement! Keep it up!

  • Rob elkin says:

    I would love to go and visit Bolivia and Peru. I went there back in 2004 to build a house with habitat for humanity, and it was a fantastic trip. I would go back to see how the family we built the house for are doing, and to climb the mountains throughout the country.

  • So, here’s the deal. I am surrounded by people who have jet-set around the world. And while they were off finding out about the richest places in the world, I’ve been making kind of no money as a part time English teaching my students about how important it is to understand the cultures of the world beyond their own, donating most of my time to help my best friend/boyfriend keep his business afloat, running a non-profit for six years with no salary, etc, etc. The furthest I’ve been is Costa Rica, when my family imploded and I needed to leave for the holidays. My boyfriend is off to Israel this month to visit his parents, their dime. I stay behind, and, as usual, keep on working.

    I have taught my community college students about the war in Sudan for seven years. The closest I’ve been to it is what I’ve read. I want to see it. I own it, I bleed for these people, and by now I have put 1000 people out in the world who are telling the story of the Lost Boys.

  • Ivana says:

    Pozdrav svima!

    I would like to go to Palau, one of the world’s youngest and smallest states. I was reading about that state in the National Geographic. They accepted many of Uyghur prisoners in Guantanamo. Since then I can’t stop thinking about Palau 🙂

  • cindy says:

    Costa Rica! why? god, i don’t know. it just keeps calling to me. looking for a place to call home in the winter; i wanted to drive, but all the research sounds like that would be pretty dangerous, traveling thru mexico and honduras. i speak espanol, so that is not problema, but i want to bring my little blind dog and i would never forgive myself if she became taco meat.

  • Kevin Le says:

    After my parents fled Vietnam in 1984 (insert George Orwell joke here) by boat, miraculously navigated the South China Sea to be saved by the Dutch & sent to Pulau Bidong,Malaysia, I was born on a refugee camp in Bataan,Philippines. We were fortunate to have been sponsored by a Priest from Cedar Rapids,IA and later relocated to Southern CA to start our new life.

    Although I’ve been to Vietnam a few times, I haven’t really felt the connection to the place as much as I think I should. In essence, when I’ve gone, it was as a tourist where I’d spend my few weeks there with distant family and see the sights but never get intimate with where my heritage is from. Oftentimes, it is natural to kind of forget the traumatic journey my parents took to make it to America and I can understand that.

    It would be a dream come true if I could take that journey, even if only part of it, in reverse to truly walk a mile (a few thousand at that) in my parents shoes to truly appreciate where I’ve come from.

  • April says:

    It’s not so glamorous, but…I would fly into Vegas, relax and enjoy the sites and great food for a day or two (I’m not a gambler but enjoy Vegas anyway!:), I would rent a car and drive to St. George, Ut to explore the possibility of making a life & home in this city (I love the idea of 300+ days of sun and close proximity to Best Friends & Vegas). I’d search for job options and hopefully along the way find inspiration for my own business too! For me, the icing on the cake in this trip would be an additional drive up to Kanab, Ut for a few days. At Kanab, I would tour and volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society. I am so inspired by their love and kindness for animals! I would love the exposure that sharing this trip with your readers could bring for the animals at Best Friends too!

  • Mathieu Spencer says:

    Would love to be able to go see my grand mother in Chicago.
    I was fortunate enough to see her a few months ago while she was still doing good.
    Since, she has suffered a massive abdominal infection and has lost a lot of her abilities.

    She has always been a great model for me. For her first trip to come see us in France she was in her late 60s. She had the opportunity to go paragliding, she was super excited. And I will always remember the smile on her face when they crash landed!

    This demand is non-conform to your “rules” but I want the world to know how much I love my Gram!

  • Dawn Conry says:

    I have two trips planned this summer. The first one is in June for your conference and the second is in July to see friends in LA. These are all planned and budgeted for.

    I would use a free trip to go to New York and New Jersey to see family and spend more time exploring Manhatten.

    The last time I was in New York I made it a mission to see all the Vincent Van Goghs at the MOMA and the Met. Mission was accomplished! I was even lucky to be in New York on National Cheesecake Day. (Gods be Praised). I loved going to NYC and I walked everywhere. A free ariline ticket would allow me to get a hotel in the city and stay for a few days rather than taking the train back to N.J.

    My family has contacts at the Opera where I could take a tour and view the workings backstage. I am very interedted in set and prop design for the Theatre.

    I would also see a broadway play and an OFF Broadway play. I would eat great food!!

  • Rebecca S. Boddie says:

    Bamboo promotion can improve the lives of people in poor countries and I will travel to Haiti, to meet with people who are working to make bamboo homes, and to Indonesia, to learn more and to network. Bamboo will provide housing and many more benefits, so I hope to travel the world to encourage people to grow bamboo and create networks to promote bamboo. Through travel, my legacy will be helping the disadvantaged of the world. I will write about my travels and help the cause reach millions. Thank you.

  • I would like to go to Israel & Palestine in order to meet interesting people and learn about their music culture.

  • Fred says:

    My next continent by priority is South America. My ideal trip is down the coast (and beaches) of Brazil, across Patagonia, and finally to Buenos Aires.

  • Stefani says:

    Thank you Chris for this awesome opportunity. I’ve been reading all of your wonderful blogs and your book on the Art of Nonconformity. Living the life you want. I had accumulated over 130,000 american airline miles and decided to take your advice in traveling around the world. I leave next Saturday and my first stop is Singapore, followed by Thailand, Nepal (to do a volunteer vacation in an orphanage), New Delhi/Agra, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Egypt and then several parts of Europe.

    If I won the 25,000 miles, I would ask to give them to my Mom so that she can meet me in Germany. She was born there when she was 3 during WW2 and moved to the United States with her family. She has one suviving Aunt still living in Fillshoven near Munich that should would love to visit before she passes. My Mom has had the worst year of her life and this would be an incredible opportunity for her to see her family and meet me while I’m on my journey. Thank you for offering such an incredible gift!

  • Laronda says:

    Ah! I want to enter but I can’t decide! It’s been so long since I’ve been on an adventure. If I win I would let the judges decide where. I would even like it if it were some place I’ve never heard of!

  • Justin says:

    Chris- I am fairly new to the AONC Army and recently finished your book last week. This is my first comment, and I appreciate the opportunity you are offering. I would love to take my fiance to Israel for several reasons. As a 100% commission employee I rarely have time to take a vacation, nor the money to spend. My fiance on the other hand is a Chicago Public School teacher and has 3 months off during the summer! This really put a strain on our relationship last summer since she wanted to travel and see the world, but I did not have the time or money to join. She decided to stay in Chicago with me but does not want to spend the entire summer here again. It would be amazing if I could surprise her with a vacation this summer! My father is from Israel and I have many relatives there. I would love to introduce her to my family while enjoying the beaches of Eilat and night life of Tel-Aviv. This would be a blessing and would really strengthen our bond. Thank you for the consideration.

  • Julia Swanson says:

    I’m not posting because I want the ticket, I’m just posting to say how generous this is of you, Chris. I really appreciate your newsletters and sharing so much of yourself with us. It’ comforting to know of good people out there. Best of luck and much happiness in all you do!

  • Sharon Terhune says:

    Excellent! I am about to crack my life wide open by ditching my 25 year career for a new one as a Life Coach. I need some training, though, so I would fly from my rural, frontier town in Wyoming to the training in the San Francisco Bay area.
    Pick me!
    Thanks

  • Bruce Ulrich says:

    I would love to go to New York or Boston and checkout the art museums and shows. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Azalea says:

    Scandinavia!!!! I have always wanted to go there. I am of viking heritage and there has always been something about that place that calls to me. In school I am studying archaeology and some of the most interesting sites in the world (to me) are in Scandinavia. I am also studying Sustainable Community Development and this particular corner of the world if pretty darn good at it, I want to see what all the fuss is about. I would probably fly in and out of Copenhagen and travel from there up to Stockholm, Uppsala, over to Helsinki, back over to Oslo then along the coast to Stavanger (the fjords are calling) before meandering back down to Copenhagen to ride my bike for another week before going back to Vancouver.

  • Joanna Smith says:

    This summer my entire family is reuniting on the eastern coast of Maine.
    Being a full-time student and work-at-home-aholic, I don’t have the money for a plane ticket from San Francisco to Maine to join them.
    So, if I were to be chosen to win the 25,000 miles, I would use them in June to fly from San Francisco to Maine to see my family.
    I’ve never been to Maine before, but I hear that it is positively beautiful – especially in the summer. I would love the opportunity to take photographs and blog about a cool new travel spot in the U.S.! [As well as be with my family 🙂 ]
    Joanna

  • roberto l says:

    I wish to travel to Melbourne in Australia for the following reasons:

    I recently divorced myself- 1st separated and then divorced last month of 2010, pretty intense but I’m happy and really cool now.

    After 6 months of being divorced I started to date a girl who I really really like from my previous job, we have this really wonderful relationship, thing is, when I began to date her, she was on a job interview process to move out to Melbourne, at first I was sad and kind of down, but our relationship has really begun to take off, we love each other deeply, and are already talking about having babies and family, which is really awesome for me, because I really want to be a father. (I’m 38)

    Her birthday is on April 16th and I’d love to be there to celebrate her first birthday with me, mine is March 30, so I’d be a dream come true being able to be together and celebrate our birthdays together.

    And that’s that, I couldn’t ask for a better gift on my 39th B-day

    One Love
    roberto

  • Rashe says:

    COSTA RICA. My soul friend moved to Santa Theresa Costa Rica from Oman 3 years back. He and his girl friend have been asking me to visit them since they moved and finished building their own home. Having lived in a desert climate the past 5 years has really muted the colors of my soul. It’s as if the blowing sand hollows out your heart. So, I would love to visit them and see the rainbow of colors and sounds that make up Costa Rica. Travel truly enriches a soul.

  • Melissa says:

    San Fransisco. My hubby says it’s one of his favorite cities in the US, but the closest I’ve come is a short layover at LAX… so, not close. I’d love to go there with him and explore and make some new memories. We could really use a change of scene, and San Fran is definitely a change from Connecticut! 🙂

  • Darlene says:

    I would go to Vancouver in March to visit my best friend that I haven’t seen in almost two years. I was going to go in January but timing wasn’t good and flights were expensive. It’s my birthday in March and maybe we could have a girls weekend to celebrate that.

    I have your Travel Masters ebook and Travel Ninja, both of which I’m working my way through now as well as your book. So I’ve got a lot of “Chris Guillebeau” reading to do, but I love all of it!

    Thanks for all you do Chris!

  • Erika says:

    First off, thanks for this generous offer, Chris.

    Second, I have 4 destinations on my “ASAP” list:

    (1) Seattle, for my husband and I to meet up with my family for my mom’s 70th birthday Alaska cruise extravaganza;
    (2) Switzerland, to visit a friend who is battling cancer;
    (3) Sweden, because that’s where my grandfather emigrated from; and
    (4) Scotland (apparently, everywhere I want to go starts with “S”), because 60 hours in Edinburgh just aren’t enough.

    My husband and I are both opera singers — we’re already working on accruing enough miles for first class tickets to Germany (the hubs is very tall) for an extended stay. I’ve been highly inspired by your blog and am regaining some of the steam I’d lost in the recession – thanks for sharing your story with us masses!!

  • Emily says:

    Dear panel of biased judges,
    If I won I would love to go to Alaska. I promise an excellent blog post and amazing photos of Denali and all the other amazing sights Alaska has to offer. I’ve not ever been before, but know I am aching to go. I haven’t traveled in quite some time and am beginning to get wanderlust again. I love nature and nature photography. And traveling. Who knows, perhaps this may be the badly needed spark to reclaim my life!
    I’ll be turning 40 this year and want the next part of my life to reflect who I am and what I love. Thanks for the opportunity …
    Thanks for doing what you do; writing what you write and being an inspiration to many. Best, always …

  • britta says:

    My horoscope says I ought to travel and try something I havent done before- no kidding between jan 19 and Feb 21

    I would go as far south in Europe as possible (Southern Spain sounds warm) to get out of the cold in Germany and explore.
    which I would love to do anyhow but havent had much of a chance to do lately…
    no big story here-but plllleeeeaaaase vote for me 🙂

  • I would actually give the points to my wife and let her take a trip somewhere… so I’m not sure where she would go. Perhaps back to Finland to visit her study-abroad host-family once again, or to Madagascar (which she’s always wanted to visit), or to California in order to visit family. Wherever she goes, I’m heading there as well, but it’s so much better to let her pick. 😀

  • marian m. says:

    Chris, thanks for sharing this opportunity with all of us! I’ve been reading your blog for the past few years and have ordered a few of your e-books online. All of it has been so inspiring to me because you live a life I have only dreamed of embarking on. However, I feel like it’s my turn to live that life. A few weeks ago I gave my last two weeks resigning from my office job, and tomorrow is my last day of work. I bought a one way ticket to the big island with my airline miles (Thanks, AAdvantage!). I’ll be living there for a few months, first to unwind for a week, but then to work on establishing myself as a freelancer and entrepreneur. One project I’ve thought of, inspired by author, Alex Bellos, is to create a blog about ethnomathematics, travelling starting in Europe and working my way to Asia then back to the US. I plan on documenting my journey through video and photography. I may not win based on judges rule but I definitely thank you for you time & all the inspiration!

  • Tom says:

    I haven’t been able to travel anywhere near as much as I would like. The past few years have been really difficult ones and finances are tight. If I could travel to one place in the world and didn’t have to worry about the airfare, I’d go to Prague, Czech Republic. Several of my friends went there in college and everyone I’ve ever talked to has said it’s either one of the most if not the most beautiful city in the world. Plus, I’d love to be able to say “I’ve been to Prague” (KICKING AND SCREAMING reference).

  • Megan Ross says:

    Wonderful idea!!

    I am a marathon runner, and I would love to use the 25k miles to fly to my next marathon. Although I was registered to run the Portland Marathon again in 2010, I had to miss the race due to work-related travel. So I’m itching for my next marathon.

    There are many on my list, but, given the opportunity through these miles, I would love to go to the Maui Marathon on September 18th, 2011. First of all, I have never been to Hawaii, and I am on a 50-state quest. So far I have visited 35. If all goes well over the next few months, I anticipate 36 (TN) & 37 (TX). I’d have a fantastic story to tell, one more state to add, and one more race under my belt.

    Secondly, I’m a Marathon Maniac, and crave new and exciting races. What could be better than running a marathon then enjoying the paradise that is Maui?

  • Katie Brooks says:

    Seattle. My very best friend is currently working for Americorp in the Pacific Northwest. We grew up in Missouri — I now live in Florida and she lives in Washington — As far apart as we can get. As a graduate student it’s hard to find the funds to fly that far…. With your help I could make it happen and we could be reunited for a week of camping, hiking and adventuring.

    Thanks!

  • I have a good friend that I have been promising to visit for some time. He is from Kyrgyzstan, and his family was affected by the ethnic clashes and government transition that was going on there in 2010. He had to get on a plane to go to his graduate program in New Zealand early than he needed to because he feared he would be harmed in the turmoil as well.

    He also just had a wedding in Kyrgyzstan.

    I haven’t seen him in more than a year. If I am chosen, I will fulfill this promise to visit him and congratulate him on the marriage and making it as far as he has despite the difficulties he is going through.

    Thank you for the consideration,
    Daniel

  • James says:

    After reading all of the 373 comments above mine, I’m almost dissuaded from requesting a consideration. There are certainly a lot of people who would cherish a trip, just as much (if not more) than I would. But this request isn’t for me…

    After thinking about it for a bit, I’d like to request this trip for my Mom to be able to fly and meet my Dad who works overseas nine months out of the year. She has stayed home with my little brother and sister (11 and 13 years old, respectively) for the past five years. Her dream is to be able to find the time and the money to surprise my Dad with a trip, meeting him in Europe. (Aside: My Dad works overseas because he cannot find a comparable-paying job in the States; he also cannot afford to jeopardize the health insurance because my Mom has cancer)

    I would like this trip to be from New York to Dublin, Ireland or Rome, Italy (whichever is easier on your miles). I know that it would mean the world to her.

    Thank you for your time and generosity!

  • David Powers says:

    I would travel to Saipan. My grandfather was a World War II Marine and fought on the Japanese islands. Inspired by him I entered the Marine Corps 50 years later to the month. We lost him a few years ago, but one of our failed dreams while he was alive was to take him back there to see the island again in a peaceful way.
    I would still like to visit for several reasons. I would like to see the land where he shed his own blood and lost his buddies in order to honor his memory. I would also enjoy visiting to enjoy the post-war peace and wonderful relationship that we now enjoy with the Japanese instead of the wartime aggression and hatred that was all he ever knew of the people from the land of the rising sun.
    Despite past events the Japanese have a wonderful culture that he and many of ‘the greatest generation’ brought back and shared with us.

  • Hey Chris: I work for a non-profit children’s program in Miami Florida, and we have received an invitation to attend a conference in March in Raleigh, North Carolina to learn more about how we can assist at-risk kids in that state. At this time of the year, we are waiting for funding reimbursement for programming we have already provided, so cash flow is tight. A free Miami-Raleigh round trip ticket would certainly help!

    Thanks, Clifford

  • Pam says:

    I would go anywhere in IRELAND… and I’d get on a plane within a week if need be. I have been obsessed with visiting Ireland since I was 8 and I was first introduced to the idea that the world was larger than Saskatchewan (I know, big concept) and even bigger than Canada (woo, mind blowing) by my 4th grade teacher who had moved to Small Town Saskatchewan from Small town Ireland. Since age 8 (and I’m mid-30 now) I have studied Gaelic, Irish Dance and history. This trip has been ripped out of my hands over and over (death, illness, birthing babies) and anything that will get me there I will do 🙂

  • Laura Neff says:

    Ah! So many worthy comments and dreams here already, but I’ll toss mine into the mix and hit “submit” with a big dash of hope. If I won this trip, I would take my so-hard-working-and-stuck husband on an adventure in New Zealand that would last at least a month.

    Eight years ago, during lighter times, we met Gareth, a crazy, wide-open, fun-loving New Zealander who loved to claim 1st descents on wilderness rivers and throw himself into LIFE full-on. We’ve lost track of him since, & my husband has lost track of his joie de vivre that was so present back then…but the dream of that free-spiritedness and that Gareth so embodied still lives in and haunts my love!

    So this trip would be a gift to him…to help him unhook from the relentless work rut he’s dug, to give him a view from the outside in, to help him reconnect with the lightness and freedom within himself that’s gotten covered up these past several years.

    Thanks so much for doing this, Chris!

    With gratitude & hope,
    L

  • Andy says:

    My wife and I found out recently that we will be having our first child in June. We are thrilled and plan on exposing the child to be to the wonders of the world.

    My trip though would be used before the child is born to take my wife on a trip while it is still just the two of us. We would travel south to spend a little time in the sun, and enjoy some intentional time together before things get a little hectic.

  • Ooo… ooo… pick me:) As I complete my transition to advocacy writer, I have identified four bodies that I would like to pursue. Two of them require international travel to be able to do the necessary research (interviews) to give proper voice to the cause’s story.

    I’d like to go to Slovakia to research my family’s genealogy and to visit Roma camps to gather research (capturing oral history/personal stories) for:
    – You, me & the Cold War: 20 Years later, the 2nd Cold War Kids are Alright; and
    – Break the Spell: advocating for the end to anti-Gypsy discrimination.

    One goal for this year is to kick-start the research by finally experiencing my nomadic ‘backpack-across-Europe’ phase that I missed out on in/after college. It’s also a way to continue the process of self-discovery, finding my roots and connecting with other people/cultures — in a sense discovering the essence of what makes us human in unifying themes that transcend physical/cultural borders.

  • Nicola Simmons says:

    What a great way to make us all de-lurk and start posting on your blog! I would like to go to a beach with real sand and sun. I moved to Canada two years ago to be reunited with my high school sweet heart from the UK. We got married in October 2010, but were unable to have a honeymoon as my visa at the time meant I couldn’t leave the country with any guarantee of getting back in!! We are currently taking a year off together to enjoy being together and to plan our next move. An opportunity to travel like this would be fantastic. Thanks for a great comp and getting us all excited about travelling. Looking forward to hearing more on Monday!

  • Elaine C says:

    Hi there,
    Ironically enough, I work in a bank and have been diagnosed with a condition last year that (long story short) I fall unconscious and my heart stops beating. So a few times a year I am basically clinically dead. It happened to me yesterday and when I woke up, the first thing that went through my mind was “If you would have died now, you would have accomplished NOTHING. A waste of space” And as I mention, I work in a bank and was just letting life live me instead of the opposite.I didn’t want to enter this contest cause of my sob story, but a friend pushed me to do it cause “there is nothing better to start a life journey than a free trip!” she said. If I won, I would go to New York. Breathe in the city, take what it has to offer me: the art, the people, the music and just let it drive my creation to new heights. I would go and sit alone at the MoMA, go see a broadway show. Cross things off my bucket list. Live in the moment. Finally create what I was meant to create.

  • Felix says:

    USA – My dream will be to pay a visit to the tomb of The man whose dream comes true – Martin Luther King Jr. He is my inspiration. If I am picked for this journey, my dream must have come true just like my mentor Martin Luther King Jr. I will also pay a visit to the Havard institute. (even if I cannot attend it, let me see it). New york city! Wow! I can’t wait to be selected. I Am ready for this.

  • Kari says:

    I want to go to Southern, Sudan or as far as your ticket will get me to it (maybe drive up from Uganda)in July to document the birth of a free country. The voting has just ended for their independence and I believe this is world history in the making. This is the stuff our kids will read about in their history books. I want to tell the story of the people who been captive for so long. I want to use my camera and vision for something different that what I do every day. I want to bring back that story and share it with the world.

  • rani shah says:

    I would love to visit my parents in India! Oversees tickets are pricey, and since my parents have moved back there a few years ago, they have come out every year to visit their grandkids. But I would like to visit them and see more of my “homeland,” so to speak! We did a family trip two years ago, but my husband didn’t get to go due to work. I would love to give the ticket to him and we gather funds for myself and my two girls. Love your site and the valuable info you provide!!!! I keep saying if I was younger, but I realize age isn’t a factor when finding savings and taking on the world…anyone can and should be doing it!

  • I’ve always been a traveler, making my first intercontinental journey when I was 15 years old to live a year in Hungary as an exchange student. Since then I’ve traveled to 11 other countries and have ambitions to travel to many more. Next year my itinerary includes going to Africa for the first time. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to help me with that trip per your specifications of this contest. I do have a dream however, that’s much closer to my heart and that you could help me with. I have been with the same wonderful man for more than seven years now. He’s from Honduras and I have been unable, for various reasons, to visit his homeland in all the time we’ve shared our life together. It would means so much to me to be able to get to know the place he came from, his family, his friends, his culture. I’ve heard so many stories. I want to see it for myself. I want to better know him. I want to better know Honduras. Help me do this.

  • jr cline says:

    I’d like to go visit an elderly friend who lives near Phoenix, Arizona.
    I’ll take the pictures. do the blog and maybe throw in a video for the fun of it.

  • Hard to admit, but I’ve never owned a passport. NEVER. I’m 43 and well-read-but-untraveled. I traveled as an infant in 1967, on my mom’s passport (group b/w shot of beehived woman holding 4 kids age 4 months to 8 years), to the Philippines during wartime. My total out-of-US travel: Bermuda in 1977, Cabo San Lucas in 1997, Vancouver a few times to dance (Lindyhop).
    I’ve always wanted to travel to Italy, to the UK, to Australia, to the Mediterranean, to warm beaches and jungles and stony cities full of history and art. But, I’ve always let something get in the way, usually money, but mostly fear, I think. I want to put that fear behind me and visit the places I’ve always dreamed about: Ireland, to see where my best friend was abducted and lost forever in 1993; Italy because the art, the language, the food and the light enthrall me; a hot beach on an island where no one looks like me or sounds like me, an unknown road in an unfamiliar country leading to something new…to living my life!

  • Nicole B says:

    What a beautiful gift! If someone knocked on my door right now with a free trip to anywhere it would have to be Italy. I’ll be finishing my Master’s degree in the next two months and told myself that a trip to Italy would be my present to myself when I was finished. A lack of finances and job (I know, not a good excuse) are making that dream seem further and further away. But even if I can’t make it this year, I make a promise to myself that I will get there someday..famous last words 🙂

  • Vicente says:

    First I would stop in Madrid, Spain to visit my brother and godson. I haven’t seen them in years! Then I would continue to Berlin, Germany, one of the cities I really want to visit before I die, and maybe make a little trip through the country by train visiting other cities…

  • Alex mendoza says:

    I just graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. It took me almost 22 years to graduate, so I need to fly to New Jersey for my Thomas Edison Commencement. I live in Los Angeles, but finished my degree online. The Commencement Ceremony is April 16, 2011. This trip is important for me because my 9 year old daughter will be able to see me graduate from college. This will be a very important day for me and my family. I hope I win!

    The best,

    Alex Mendoza

  • Paul says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit Cambodia and live in a rural community. It would be amazing to see how simple life can be.

  • Katie says:

    There’s a trip I’d really like to take within the next 6 months. I live in New Orleans, and I’d like to travel to Philadelphia for a weekend in June to attend a natural foods cooking workshop.

    After about 10 years in the international development field, working on reproductive health projects for NGOs and educational institutions, I recently left my full time job so I could have more time to pursue my passion, which is educating people about how to cook healthy food. (I still do some consulting work part time to help pay the bills while I’m building my new social enterprise.)

    I’ve recently launched a website/blog and am in the process of developing some products and services to help people learn how to cook healthy. As you can imagine, it’s not easy to find healthy cooking classes in southern Louisiana, so I’d like to be a bit of a trailblazer. The more I can develop my knowledge and skills, the stronger my contribution will be. Thanks for your consideration!

  • Cat says:

    Wow, my head is spinning and I don’t know where to choose! Right now, within North America, I would love to go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to snowboard and photograph the scenery which I would of course LOVE to share with AONC readers! Living on the east coast I don’t get the chance to see real mountains with real snow and would love a chance to go have fun but to also share the experience with others!

  • Jenya says:

    I would love to fly to San Francisco, CA to see of the city on my travel list, visit one of my best friends who I have not seen for over 2 years.

    Best,

    Jenya A

  • Michelle Hugli Brass says:

    I would love to visit Haida Gwaii on the Canadian west coast!

    I want to meet some of the Haida people. Historically, they’ve been one of the most powerful and feared warrior societies in Canada. They have a rich and vibrant culture with fascinating stories about the land, animal spirits and the ancient poles that still stand. I would love to visit their villages, see their dances and share a traditional meal.

    While I’m there, I would visit the Gwaii Haanas National Park. It sounds like one of the most beautiful and pristine places on earth. The rainforest has huge trees, some of them ten centuries old, covered in moss. I want to stand next to one of these ancient trees and feel the power and history of the place.

    I would see the ocean, and maybe a humpback whale! I would go kayaking, camping and hiking. I would relax in the hot springs after a long day of exploring. And because I live in Saskatchewan, I can go to this magical world on a domestic flight!

    It would be so much fun!

  • Nassos says:

    I’d like to go to Colombia to see some real coke cartel action!

  • Kemal Sedick says:

    2011. I turn 50. … in the beginning there was an old brown man … he lived by a beach and sat on a milk crate …. He was the King of all he surveyed …. and often told …. whom-ever would listen ….. of his importance …. he grew accustomed to his aloneness …and lost himself in the ocean whenever he could escape the land … he longed to meet a soul mate and a fellow traveller on the road …. he wanted to ride on unknown waves and speak in ancient tongues ….. he thought maybe he would die alone … in his journeys … he met a fiery haired gypsy … in her eyes he found happiness … her eyes were his ocean … in them he could dance the tango …..he was ready to begin … I am ready to begin

  • Pawel says:

    I would go to Constantinople to see the city of two continents. From there I would travel by train to Tehran for a short tour in Iran, then to Damascus, then… back to Warsaw.

    Great contest Chris!

  • If I were to win a free trip to anywhere, I would combine it with my free trip using United Miles (which I’ve been hoarding for years) to take my husband and I to Barcelona, Spain. We would expand our minimal knowledge of Spanish, be inspired by the mosaic glass artwork and architecture of Gaudi, go to The Chocolate Museum, eat amazing food from the street markets on the Ramblas, explore a part of the world we’ve never seen, and maybe make some new friends. Why Barcelona? You see, my husband was supposed to go there for work this year, but the company he worked for was failing financially, so he bravely looked for, and found, new work this year with a successful company and we moved from Seattle to Portland. He missed his chance, and I want to give it back to him.

  • Melanie says:

    Wow, a free trip anywhere… where to go? There are so many options! I could go to Newfoundland to see my family and start building some buildings. I could go to Australia and hang out with my dear friend Sebastian, he’d take me sight seeing and we’d watch Bjork videos together. I could go to London and hang out with my brothers-in-law and see their newly-renovated flat. I could go to New York and go shopping with my friend Sara and her new little baby boy, Finn. There are so many places to choose from! Where ever I go, I’d be happy to report on my travel adventure – I hope I win!

  • Lise says:

    Hi Chris and esteemed Judges 🙂

    I’m heading to Toronto in June to catch up with my second family, the lovely friends I made when I lived there for 2 years… help with getting to Toronto would be awesome, but I live in Australia so not sure if that works… but the connecting flight from LA to Toronto could! I can promise plenty of adventure, debauchery and it all recorded on video for the whole world to see – my friends in Toronto are pure entertainers I assure you! We are also heading to NYC while I’m there, a little bit of SATC is in order!!

    Good luck everyone, I’m sure the amazing Chris and his lovely Judges will choose accordingly 🙂

    Take care
    Lise

  • Aline says:

    I know exactly where I would go, and when. My 30th college reunion is June 3-5, and getting from Kansas City to Middlebury, VT isn’t cheap – around $450 for the airfare when you include taxes. I haven’t been to my alma mater in 20 years so it would be a blast to see my classmates from back east – just think of the small revelations I might blog about, and if you’ve never seen the beauty of Vermont in spring, this would be your chance via photos! So the worthy cause here is reconnecting with friends in person, in our original bucolic setting.

  • Christina says:

    First of all, thank you for doing this – good on you mate! Whoever the jury chooses, with all the great ideas and motivations in all these comments you’ll make someone very happy by paying it forward.

    It’s my birthday today, and in the spirit of minimalism, spending less and dropping consumerism, which I adopted in 2010, I asked my partner and family not to give me presents. However, since you’re giving away airmiles, which technically is not spending money, I feel it would be wrong not to join the give-away. 🙂

    I’d love to visit New Zealand again and take WAY more footage and WAY more pictures of all the great stuff there is to see and do, so I can put it on my blog and tell everyone about it!

    Happy judging!

  • Ryan Turner says:

    I only recently found your site but I liked it immediately and have already subscribed to the feed.

    I have a close friend living in Adelaide, Australia, that I met four years ago while I was there as a missionary. He’s an old man, and he’s dying. I am a young man, with little cash thanks to my graduate student status. I am living and studying in Lisbon, Portugal. I have been pondering how I could ever afford to visit him before he’s gone. Well, when I found today’s offer I thought I would apply.

    I feel like I’m writing the nightly news sob story; I really do have a dying friend in Australia, and no I really won’t die if I lose, but you asked for a good cause and I think this qualifies.

  • david says:

    Would love to take my son to boston or new york in the next few months for some college visits as he is finishing his junior year and needs to get college choices made before the end of this year.

  • Tara says:

    I’d like to go to London because I’m thinking of making that my next big move (currently finishing my Master’s in Hawaii). I would love to check it out, feel the vibe and see if that’s where I should consider living next year. 25,000 miles may not get me all the way there but most of the way, and I’ll make up the difference. 🙂

    Thank you for such a generous contest!
    T

  • Suncana says:

    Such an great thing you are doing :))
    Would love to go to Madagascar to see and feel how it is to spend days and weeks on a place which is so different and special!

  • Tanja Raaste says:

    For the last few years a return visit to LA has been tugging at me. I currently live in London. In 2001 I moved to LA for 4 years, and it was a crazy, chatic, intense, happy and sad time for me. I made a lot of good friends, and fell in love with the deserts, with the many neighbourhoods, and became a defender this often unloved city. I learnt to rollerblade and boogieboard, and beat my fear of the massive waves.
    I guess like often happens when we make a new life in a new place, when we move away again we leave a little of ourselves there. I certainly left many good friends, who I am dying to see again. If possible, I would do a stop-over of a couple of nights in NYC, because its a great city, and several of my LA friends have migrated there over the years.
    If the trip needs to be in Europe, I would visit my friend in Finland, since we both turn 40 this year and see each other far too little and it would be great to celebrate with her.

  • Alexandria says:

    This is such a wonderful idea! Thanks for the opportunity!

    I personally would go to one of the artisan cheese and breadmaking countries of the world, such as Italy or France. I am completely in love with the art of cheese and breadmaking and would welcome the experience to learn how these amazing people live their lives, creating such tasty, sustainable goodies. Hearing the stories and histories of these people would be something I’d never forget.

    Thanks again!

  • Jonathan Dale says:

    I want to go to Uganda so that I can see a Silverback Mountain Gorilla in the wild.

  • Gabriela says:

    First of all, Chris, this is incredibly generous of you. My sincere congratulations for a great idea! As much as I tried to come with a smart and deep answer to the topic, the idea is pretty much the same for me. I would go ANYWHERE. Absolutely anywhere. And that is because, in the end, in my perspective, although all places are different, the sensation you experience traveling is the same. I have the same thrill in seeing New York as I have seeing a far away little village in Nepal. Its about changing, about life expressing itself different (not better or worse) and that’s why it is so beautiful, wherever it is. This answer is probably disqualifying me from the start, but I felt I had to say it exactly how I think . ?

  • Erica says:

    Well, this contest really opened up the floodgates – I can only hope to be one of the 1000 on Tuesday!
    My desired destination would be a flight from my home (Michigan) to South Africa, as I am setting up an internship with Cross Cultural Solutions in Robertson then visiting a dear friend in Cape Town, and since Africa isn’t available with these miles, I would say judges: good luck, glad I don’t have your job, there are lots of worthy contestants!

  • Janie says:

    I would start my journey in Cape Town to renew old friendships, enjoy the amazing beaches, eat good food and drink good wine. Then, I would travel north to Swaziland and/or Lesotho and see if I could be of service in one of the orphanages. I traveled a lot as a child and young adult, my kids (now grown) were inspired to travel because of my tall tales of adventure. These days, I’m a nine-to-fiver working in a cube 🙂 Help!

  • Michelle Kay says:

    Hong Kong, hands down. The last time I was there, I was four, over 15 years ago. Needless to say, I don’t remember much about it. My parents left HK over 30 years ago, but for some reason the city only vaguely tickled my fancy, with my travel urges always aimed towards Europe.

    Not anymore. I plan to visit the monolithic city in two years, but this might help speed up the process.

    My father once said to me, “Michelle, Hong Kong is not a city for living. It is a city for shopping.”

    Well, I’m not interested in shopping. I want to see the city in its sprawling mess, for its confused identity and gastronomic wonders. I want to see what lies in its underbelly, what kind of art scene it has, whether it had underground music. I want to meet cousins I’ve never met before and hug graying aunties and uncles. And I want to take photos of buildings that scrape the sky, crammed markets and people scurrying around like ants.

    P.S. I lied. I would go shopping. Maybe just a little.

  • Amanda says:

    Wait a minute. I might be mistaken, but as the girlfriend of a “Jeff” who, like her romantic yet practical boyfriend, likes to read about travel and personal finance, I think I might be the aforementioned “future wife.” A windfall of 25,000 miles sounds great, but I am IN LOVE with the idea of a ring!!! And hey, even if there’s a different Italy- and Croatia-loving Jeff out there, I’m willing to cast my vote for him! Here’s to romance and crossing new borders!

  • Zach says:

    Hello,

    I would like to utilize the aireline miles to venture to Alaska to participate in the 84 annual Seward Mt. Marathon mountain run on July 4th. This trip would be supplemented with a halibut and salmon fishing, kayaking in prince William sound and fourwheeling into the wild on the Knik river. Taking this trip would be dear to me due to the fact that my parents still live in Eagle River, AK. Due to the cost I rarely am able to visit home (it’s been 10 years since I’ve been home in the summer).

    I am planning to make this trip happen 100% by any means possible. I appreciate your consideration.

    Thanks
    Zach

  • Omar says:

    I’d like to go to Istanbul, Turkey during late June/early July. I am trying to attend a two-day workshop their for PhD students interested in cultural psychology. I am also trying to present at a professional conference that proceeds after the workshop.

    Why do I want to go? First, it would be a great learning experience for me and an opportunity to make some good professional contacts as well as learn from some prominent researchers in my field. Second, the trip would be beneficial for my research, which is on fostering positive inter-cultural relationships in organizations.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to participate in this competition!

  • Jen Mueller says:

    We’re on a quest to take my husband’s dance company, Human Landscape Dance, from Washington DC to Halifax, Nova Scotia, next summer for a performance spending only miles. We’ve already been working travel hacking strategies, but there are six of us (4 dancers, me – staff photographer, and our 3-year-old). One more ticket would be fantastic!

  • Reza says:

    Well I just quit my job to go travel so a free ticket would be sweet!

    I start in 2 weeks in Uruguay and hope to make it up through Central America and then off to Asia!

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Chris & Libby
    I’m a 23-year-old suffering from major wanderlust. My next travel plan in the works, is to go to Australia (I live in Ottawa, Canada) in April. I have friends staying in Melbourne until the end of April, so I’m going to abuse their hospitality for a few weeks and see the south-east corner of the country. I had plans to see the Whitsundays and Cairns, but those plans are on hold until the flood situation gets better. I’m also dreaming of stopping in Hawaii for a few days, but it depends on the flights available and my budget.
    Thanks!
    Sarah

  • Lorra says:

    Wow, what a great prize. Crazy! I would go to the Maldives because it’s in my top two destinations (the other is Antarctica). Failing having the dosh to actually afford accommodation there, I would go back to Australia/NZ because my first trip was rather lame due to a crappy travel partner (I learned my lesson). But, since I have already been there, I will probably put off going again for a long time. I really would like to go back! Specifically to Melbourne, where I have not been, where my friend lives.

  • Amy Hoekstra says:

    I would like to go to Washington DC, from Orange County, CA to see my best friend from junior high. We were the best of friends, and lost touch as she jetted off around the world for her career. We reconnected via social media while I was on a trip to DC for school. Then she came out to Cali to see our favorite band, Duran Duran, with me. That was 2 years ago and we are itching for a reunion.

    If you pick me, I will go in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom!

  • Alex says:

    I live in NZ and would use the 24000 odd miles I already have and take my partner to Queensland Aus to visit her sister. They’ve been hit by the floods and haven’t been in Aus long enough to recieve any Government assistence. She has 2 little boys and will need the help to sort out her house.

    Thanks Chris

  • LizC says:

    I would like to go to Portland and, time permitting, Seattle. I have had a strong feeling, for at least a decade now, that I’d be happiest living in the northwest. I’ve lived all my life in the Midwest, never elsewhere. I’ve visited just the east coast, the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, and Los Angeles. But I’ve never been to the northwest. My niece Jennifer lives there with her husband and son. I promised I’d go last year, had already looked into flights and made tentative plans, but had a major life upheaval, so I had to cancel due to lack of funds. I’m still building back funds, but I’ve also returned to school to pursue a better career, so all my extra money goes to classes and textbooks.

    Best of luck to whoever wins. What an opportunity!

  • Lorett says:

    I will use my free trip to go to Portland, OR. I’ve been thinking about where I want to continue raising my children, and the Portland, OR area is at the top of my list. I want to raise my children somewhere where the climate is nice and we can get to where we need to go via legs, bike, or public transportation. There are other things I’m considering as well, and Portland seems to fit the majority of my criteria. I’ve read a lot about the Portland area and I would like to go see what’s it like before making my final decision.

  • Siddharta says:

    I live in Philly. I am 27 years old and have not been back to the motherland of India since I was in kindergarten. I want to go India and travel within the country and just experience the culture, villages, and people that my parents experienced. I have been living in the United States my entire life and my parents have been living here for the past 20 years as well, but I have always been meaning to go to India and just experience everything the country has to offer. I have a friend who has spent the last year over there working for the Indicorps and would love to visit her if I could. Just taking it all in on my own would be a great experience for me, something that would give me a great perspective for the rest of my long life.

  • Peter says:

    Since Christmas I’ve been trying to locate a friend I hadn’t seen or heard from in 21 years. Today, in the same day’s email as the Art of Non-Conformity newsletter about this contest, I got an email (in response to a paper mail) from my friend. Is it a coincidence or an omen? I don’t know, but the idea for a trip would be to visit this friend. I’m not sure yet which letter made it to him, but the trip would be within the US.

    I recently joined Chris’ Frequent Flyer program and have a few miles collected so far, but not nearly enough to take a trip.

    Thanks!

  • Michelle says:

    I’m planning a trip to Europe this summer, my first overseas trip! I’m planning on traveling through Germany and visiting the wine country.

    If I won these points, I’d use them towards this trip, though it would only cover a portion of the travel. 🙂

  • emma says:

    Oops. I meant “tragic” not “traffic,” although I have great traffic stories from that trip, too!

  • Amanda Larrinaga says:

    Upon first glance, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Pacific City, OR.

    It all starts with the story of a boy and a girl. They meet, fall in love, and begin their journey together. But as life will have it, tragedy and loss befalls this couple. Before the age of 25, the boy loses both of his parents and the girl, her in-laws. Filled with enormous grief, and uncertainty, this couple spends the next 2 years finalizing estates, selling childhood homes, and struggling to come to grips with being forced into “adulthood.”

    But despite the pain and loss – there is a happy ending in store. They are ready for a life comprised of more. A life of meaning and adventure – a life built on their terms. They begin to build this life with a reprieve to Pacific City, OR, a favorite childhood vacationing locale. This couple, charged with the task of defining their lives and making an impact on this world, begins to build their future together in a place of their past – in Pacific City.

  • Lynne Mixson says:

    I would go to Portland for the World Domination Summit. Why? Because I think it would rock my world. I already follow the blogs of some of the speakers (Mondo Beyondo, Danielle Laporte, yourself) and the others look straight-up inspiring. I’d love to be in all that radically inspiring, non-conformist energy in person for several days and see what undiscovered parts of myself emerge.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Lisa says:

    WOW Chris, Thank you for this opportunity…I do not envy your “biased judges” in having to make this decision as there are a lot of great entries here.

    As an artist, my dream has been to visit all 5 of the Guggenheim Museums located around the world. I have been to the Bilbao and New York Locations. I would love to be able to go to one of the other locations and I’m not picky; although I have to admit Venice would be on top of the list. The other 2 locations are in Berlin, and Abu Dhabi.

  • Aisha K. Moss says:

    I am on a mission for greater personal freedom. Part of this I accomplish daily in my new job as an underpaid community organizer assistant, accomplishing my dream of saving the world. But the other part? Involves kicking my bucket list by traveling the world, starting in April 2011, to Paris, France for 1-2 weeks, where I will rent a tiny studio near the Picasso museum and live, eat ,cook and write as a local. Wow! Just seeing it in print makes me feel inspired. If you knew me you would know that I am shy, but love people and push myself beyond my personal limits to get know everyone on a deep, personal level. You would know that I worked full-time to put myself through broadcasting school, but ran out of money, and became a part-time pastry chef. I want to own my own pastry business, blog on food travel and feel that I must travel abroad to fully develop my dream career. I would love the frequent flier miles to expand my world view in my personal and professional life. Thanks!

  • Anne says:

    Great contest, Chris. I’d really like to go to Washington D.C. I went when I was a kid, and unfortunately, not ready for it. After 20+ years, I’m enough of a history buff to want to do the town up right and see what’s changed since I was there. Best of all, as a Smithsonian member, I get some awesome discounts at the museums. ^_^

  • Jenna says:

    If I were to go anywhere in the world, it would definitely be Finland. I’ve been interested in that country, their language, and (most importantly) the people and their culture for years; ever since I got a pen pal there when I was still in high school. It would be ridiculously wonderful to finally be able to go there and see it all for myself! However it happens, I’m determined that one day I -will- get there, and have the adventure I’ve been dreaming of.

  • I would use the trip to kick-start a dream that’s been on my heart for several years.

    I’ve always wanted to serve in an orphanage overseas, and continue my business (freelance graphic design) to support the kids where I’m serving at. I would cover my costs of living, but all other disposable income would go towards the kids. I have contacts in Cambodia and have already narrowed all my possessions to 50 items. I’ve also purchased a mini projector and am collecting documentaries/movies for the kids. I’m taking all these little steps towards this dream… but at this point, it’s just a matter of taking a giant leap of faith!

    I believe I will do it one or the other (my goal is this upcoming June)… but I would love to partner with AONC and use the money I’m saving for the ticket to benefit the kids in some way.

    the world awaits…. 😉

  • Laura Washington says:

    My love for Holy Basil/Tulsi plant (alsp known as ‘Ocimum tenuiflorum’ for us herb-a-holics) is what makes me want to visit Thailand – a land that loves and respects the true “Holiness” of this sacred herb. In the Hindu religion, the word tulsi means “the incomparable one” and the tulsi plant has been a symbol of the religion for centuries. In addition, Holy Basil has been around for more than 5,000 years and has been used to treat serious illnesses such as malaria to more common ailments such as cold. Holy Basil is most famous in this country in a tea form and is used to relax the mind by relieving mild tension. I want to visit the land where the herb was first discovered to uncover all the other ways that Holy Basil can be used and share my love for this herb with others. I see this as a platform to begin my goal and live out my dream travelling the world while sipping herbal teas in the lands most famous for their success, and live to tell the story! Thanks and happy travels!

  • ryan says:

    Excellent posting. If I were to win your giveaway I would book a trip to Washington to climb Mount Rainier.

    I have never climbed a mountain before, as I am a flatlander from Ohio. A friend and I started kicking it around and it stuck. I am coming up on my 30th birthday and am itching to go on my own professionally, to prove that I can. Reaching the summit just seems to represent too many feelings and facets of motivation to not do it now.

    Get me there and I will send you a picture from the top.

    All the best in 2011. Please continue inspiring.

  • Seth says:

    I’m not sure if my comment submitted correctly. If so, feel free to delete this one.

    I am a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelors in Social Ecology and a Bachelors in Global Cultures. I am currently unemployed but am pursuing a career in sustainable development.

    I have two main adventure goals, both of which are in South America. The first is to hike the Inka Road from Northern Chile to Quito Ecuador. The second is to kayak through the network of fjords and islands of the Chilean Patagonia. On each of these expeditions I will be assessing any social, economic, and environmental impacts associated with various uses of the land.

    Because I noticed that South America is not on the list of destinations above, I will also mention Norway. I have always wanted to go there because of the spectacular landscape as well as the leadership they have taken (along with the rest of Europe) in sustainable thinking and practice.

    Thank you for this opportunity

  • Kyle says:

    I’m a bboy(breakdancer) and I’ve been teaching dance in the states for years now! I’d love to share my passion with kids in another part of the world; Cambodia! I’ve dreamed of going to Angkor Wat for years and my ultimate goal is to be able to travel the world doing free workshops for kids in underdeveloped nations.

  • Donna Carty says:

    I’m going to give two answers because I’m in the US.
    If I can choose anywhere in the world, that’s simple. India. India has been on the top of my list forever, as opportunities to go elsewhere (Copenhagen, Krakow, Norwich,UK, Barcelona, Lisbon, Berlin, Paris, Greece, Amsterdam, probably others) came along over the years and I took them gratefully. This could be my India opportunity.
    I’d research where the dish Rogon Josh comes from and I’d go there because I’d know I’d manage well on the food. When I got there, I’d track down anywhere local that they do any textile arts, because I love them all, and I’d go and learn all about what they do, even sign on as a temporary intern to get experience doing it.
    If I must restrict myself to anywhere in North America (not really a horrible restriction at all) I’d head for Costa Rica and I’d be scouting to see if, when I reach retirement age in just a few years, I’d like to go and live there

  • Arman says:

    p.s. The trip will be from March 19-28th, and I have not yet purchased my ticket.

  • Sullivus says:

    I would go to Iceland. I have been fascinated with Iceland since College. I majored in Environmental GeoScience and all of the professors and TAs in my Geology classes had been to Iceland to study it’s geological features and they had the most amazing pictures of various hot springs, volcanoes, etc., etc.

    And the horrible cold Boston weather is really making me want to go sit in a hot spring right now 🙂

  • Kayla Story says:

    If I could go anywhere within the next 6 months, it would be to London. I went to most of high school just north of London at an AF base, and alot of my own personal growth and nostalgic memories is based in England along with a couple of the most important people who made me who I am. I am doing a photographic project based around portraits of these people, and its an epic task to collect these images because growing up in the military, everyone has spread out all over the place. This year alot of these people have started moving back there, either through the military or school adventures. I will be graduating from college in May, and this project is hopefully going to be shown in my senior show, it would mean so much to me to be able to put these portraits, these most important people, into the project and to complete it this year finally. But I will most likely not have the funds to go to London as soon I will be in need of the few funds I do have. <3

  • I will use those 25,000 miles to fly the farthest that I possibly can from LA (where I live), thereby maximizing the benefit of the miles. I will pay for a second ticket to take my wife and 1.5 year old (who still flies free) along, and I promise to take PLENTY of photos & videos along the way and send updates via Twitter. This won’t be hard since I’m an avid photographer & love posting my work online.

  • Morris Nye says:

    Okay, so;

    I’ve never left New Zealand. I was born here, and the furthest I’ve ever travelled is from Auckland to Wellington – Auckland being my home city, and the longest continuous period of time I’ve been out of Auckland was only 13 days.

    I have issue with going overseas just simply to do the tourist thing, or to do any volunteering/activist things either, I feel it’s best to leave people who know the local conditions to do that – there would have to be an awesomely special event to ever convince me to leave NZ on my own steam. I’m not sure where on the ethical-moral-anxiety scale that lies with me, but it’s a big thing none the less. So winning a competition, which relies on the frequent flyer miles of a well travelled individual would cross that threshold for me.

    In return for entering this competition, I volunteer myself as a native guide to anyone who wants to come to the North Island of New Zealand.

  • neil keleher says:

    My sisters 40th is in june and my dad’s already bought tickets for all of us to take a cruise from vancouver to alaska. I just need to get from taiwan to vancouver (and back) so that we can all celebrate my sister getting old together.

  • Bryan says:

    I would like to go to Costa Rica (never been) to fulfill my childhood dream and learn to surf.

  • neil keleher says:

    p.s. liked kyle’s bboy video, but most touched by cathy brown who wants to do circus art training in romania. Go girl

  • tara says:

    My dream travel the world
    2 part mission:
    1)to explore zen (enlightenment) around the world and understand what it truly means for all different ppl.
    How i will do this..through yoga,meditation,tradition and practices according to place.
    2)It is my belief to live each day to the fullest ending with a feeling of accomplishment and gratitude.
    How i will do this.. sightseeing,adventure travel, customs,cuisine,festivals,dance and traditions..feels right to me.

    My goal is to combine these experiences,this knowledge,principles of law of attraction,the secret,the power ect,to teach and give seminars worldwide.

    In the meantime my intention is to create an adventure in wich i can take all of u around the world on. I hope to gain an understanding of zen (enlightenment),and feeling aligned with our world.

    There are 16 countries in asia alone i plan to visit,so on that note india or thailand will be a great starting point..

    Thanks for this oppourtunity 🙂

  • Laran Kriese says:

    I and my lovely daughter would travel to Mexico to explore, see and feel a culture so unlike the rest of Anglo North America. Chiapas appeals to me since I’ve explored Oaxaca and was fascinated with the area. While I was there I would also get some dental work done thus maximizing the benefit of travel….

    I always come back from any journey with new tales to tell and this would definitely ad to my experience roster for future writing/art projects….

  • Marion says:

    Even if I don’t win at least this might make my mind up where I want to go – so thanks!
    I recently set up a landscape architecture office with a friend of mine (both of us are German) in Scotland and as part of our work we would like to do study trips to look at good quality design within the public realm, architecture, garden, parks (which is unfortunately hard to find over here) and to stay inspired as well as share those good examples through our website.
    But where to go? Hm, I think it would have to be Norway – Oslo and a road trip to see various projects further north. I have never been before so it would be a great start for our study trips.
    PS: thanks to your blog and book I got this far combining landscape architecture, art and family life – you keep me inspired and going!

  • Melani W says:

    I only scanned about half of the entries but there are some intriguing trips that I think you should consider:

    Cathy Brown’s trip to Romania to train for the circus! How cool is giving a girl a chance to live her dream?

    CountryDreaming’s wish to visit her friend in Texas and buy her groceries breaks my heart.

    Maggie’s wish to bring her son to see his ‘adoption partner’ is so sweet!

    Amber Touch’s desire to see her half-sister in Germany is also very touching.

    Finally, I must speak up for Flo, who wants to travel to Minnesota, because that’s where I live! Go, Flo!

    I’m not a good flyer myself so I have no dream destination to fly to, but when you’re ready to give away Amtrak or VIA Rail tickets, I’m your girl!

  • David says:

    Three years ago I started a small venture in Japan. It has been a long process fraught with both successes and mistakes (read learning experiences). I recently moved the operation to Tokyo and restarting the whole process here. Life as a foreigner in Japan and the limitless crush of urban life weighs on me but as my finances are sunk into the business it has been ages since I’ve traveled or taken a break, and I’m starting to get weary. My life’s work is helping people and educating people who help others. I want to be fresh and strong so I can bring my best to this import work. I long to get out of the city for a period to reestablish my relationship to natural rhythms, reenergize myself, and to get back to something simple, fundamental, and primal.

    Its been a dream to travel around the Polyeniaian/Micronesian Islands. Sharpen up my sailing skills and perhaps even do it by boat. I want to live simply, give in to the fluid life of the islands, and revive in the pure elements.

  • Deborah says:

    I would like to enter my mother for this because she has been wanting to go to NYC. She was last there when she was 5 years old and wants to see it as an adult. She does a lot of geneological research and I know she would absolutely enjoy going to Ellis Island. She would also be able to see her cousin that she has not seen in over 37 years who lives nearby in NJ. I thought I had her convinced to book a ticket, but then she started using the “it costs too much” excuse. I would like to get that excuse off the table for her and make sure she gets there.

    Thank you for the consideration. You and your jury have a big task ahead of you. Good luck in choosing a winner.

  • Ibrahim Saada says:

    I’m from Asia , Middle East , Israel-Palestine
    i would like to see the Istanbul’s map from the windows of the plane and to feel the difference ,the changes between the continents , the Dread of the names Asia & Europe by crossing the Bosphorus . and after crossing my continent I will Choose Europe . I will choose somewhere that i dont
    know any body there to start exploring the people in this area .. to feel bad in
    the first days and to feel better day by day and then to be in my second home
    I will Choose Roma Italy …. enjoying the features of the country , the rythem of the Italian language .. looking at the faces in the Bus Etc…. Stop I’m here !!
    From Tel-aviv to Istanbul from Istanbul to Roma
    any way thank you for giving me this imagination Now
    Good Night For & Best wishes

  • John Paton says:

    Hi Chris!

    I’d go to Reykjavik in Iceland over spring break and see the Northern Lights for the first time.

    I’ve always wanted to go and it would be a great place to take in the scenery, calm down, and start appreciating the peacefulness of life again.

    Thanks,

    -John 🙂 (Cornell, class of 2014)

  • Maricar says:

    My everyday stressful, sometimes accident-prone, often adventurous commute to work using the mass train system (yesterday’s news reported a stampede in train stations) never fails to make me think how ‘third world’ the country I live in is. And then it occurred to me how ignorant my musing was because, except from what I see in TV shows and movies, I haven’t really been to a “first world” country to know what makes it so.

    So while I still have high hopes that slowly, someday, my country will reach its full potential and become developed, this chance for a free trip to anywhere leaves me wanting to go to Europe (entering Rome, Italy perhaps) and criss-cross the EU states onboard the connecting trains. It would be fascinating to experience train rides just enjoying the view or chatting the passengers up or simply observing how “first world” people live and go on about their everyday lives.

    It sure won’t be stressful & accident-prone anymore, but I bet it’ll be just as adventurous.

  • Maria Falvey says:

    Cambodia. It was never even on my top 100 list.

    Hot, humid, dengue fever and you can’t drink the water, so why bother? And then I bothered.

    I don’t like the humidity, not at all. I sweat profusely. Despite that, after a week, as I got to know some locals… I fell in love with the lush, tropical paradise and the Khmer who are fighting so hard to rebuild after the Khmer Rouge.

    Due to extenuating circumstances my year long stay was cut off at 2 months and I had to return to the US. So I’m back with a broken heart for the country, people and language I’d only just begun to learn and determine if and how I could fit in and aid them in some small way.

    I write on my blog about my experiences there, and review the thousands of photos (you gotta love digital cameras) I find it’s not enough to mend this broken heart.

    I must return. There remains so very much I still don’t know.

    Ahkun Chhrun!

  • Susan says:

    Alaska! Preferably Ketchikan. I’ve traveled abroad, was a paid travel writer for awhile, but have never been to Alaska. I have what I call “survivors guilt”. I got to travel often growing up and as an adult, so I tend to let my husband choose or at least heavily influence our travel decisions. I’m happy doing it, I love traveling anywhere.

    But Alaska has always eluded me. I want to see something I’ve never seen before, something so spectacular and meaningful right here within the US. Can’t wait!

  • Chris, your offer is very generous. Earlier this month I sent my wife,
    daughter-in law and two grandson’s to Phoenix to visit my youngest son. He recently took a job out there. I did not go as there was not enough “room” in the budget. I would like to get to Phoenix to see
    him. Winning this trip would be just “the ticket”, no pun intended.
    Thank you in advance for you consideration and thought fullness.

  • Alice says:

    My heart’s set on going to Indonesia. To experience the culture and lifestyle there, even for a brief period of time, would be unbelievable. It seems like the perfect place to find some balance and a new perspective on how we should be living instead of how others think our lives should be.

  • Martine says:

    I’m from Montreal, Quebec, Canada and with 25 000 miles I will go at the other end of the country on a camping trip in Tombstone territorial park, Yukon.
    I saw pictures of this park and it’s gorgeous, an outdoors paradise!

  • Jen says:

    One of my best friends, who I’ve been close to for more than 15 years now, is a pilot in the Air Force. She is stationed in Germany (and deployed to Afghanistan through the end of this month). I haven’t seen her since last summer. I had already planned to visit her sometime this year, but the details haven’t been worked out yet. Getting a free ticket would give me a great financial boost in turning this trip into a reality!

  • Rosanna says:

    Montana. I’ve never done anything or gone anywhere completely on my own, and I’ve always been in love with (and at the same time afraid of) the idea of a solo adventure where I can visit a new place, be outdoors and on my own. I would travel from San Francisco to Montana over the summer to explore and be inspired by the glaciers, lakes, prairies and all the beautiful and things that state has to offer.

  • Nazima Ali says:

    I’d like to go to Fiji to visit my dad – I haven’t seen or talked to him in 20 years. I’d like to have at least one face to face conversation with him before its too late. Alternatively, I’d would go to Spain to walk the Camino and do some soul searching and being open to answers that may come my way. These are the two big things I’d like to accomplish this year. Love this opportunity to make either a reality. Many thanks.

  • Miguel Gomez says:

    I would go to Barcelona, Spain. I just finished reading “The Cathedral of the Sea” (a historic novel by Ildefonso Falcones) and the history behind the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Sea is just amazing. I want to see with my own eyes the only church in Europe built by the people, for the people, not for a prince or king.
    I see that temple as a way to show humanity that we can build awesome things if we work together regardless of race, socioeconomic level or culture.
    My video will show highlights of Barcelona, with focus on temple and I will explain the amazing history behind its construction, including how the port workers would carry the huge rocks on their back for miles and for free, only motivated by their commitment to see their church completed.

    Thank you Chris for this opportunity and for your inpiring blog/book/life.

  • Caren says:

    Peru- it’s an act of non-conformity; totally out of my comfort zone!

  • Yvette says:

    Wow Chris, a very generous post!

    My love of travel stems from my Dad’s birthday request for Paul Theroux’s “Great Railway Bazaar” when I was a teenager. He talked about catching the train across Russia for years after reading the book, but won’t go because my Mum doesn’t want to go. His interest inspired mine, and the Trans-Siberian is now top of my travel wishlist. I’d like to start in Beijing, head north to Vladivostok and then across Siberia, stopping at Lake Baikal before crossing from Asia into Europe and soaking up the arts and culture of Moscow and St Petersburg. I can’t wait to find out if the Russian ladies who run the trains are really as scary as all the guidebooks say, to leap on and off the train at stations to experiment with local food, and swim in the world’s deepest lake. And tell my Dad all about it …

    Thanks for sharing your points with one of us! Looking forward to the launch on Tuesday, too.

  • Schuyler says:

    My family runs a small sustainable (5th generation) farm (and a green-building business). We raise chicken, lamb, and eggs on pasture. We work from really hard from March- November, and plan how to make our farm more sucessful during the rest of the year.
    If I had your 25,000 miles I would go to Cuba to learn more about sustainable farming. The embargo has made it necessary for Cubans to become (maybe the world’s most) innovative sustainable farmers.
    I would learn a lot, and also be able to relax a little before lambing starts.

  • Bryn Taylor says:

    Submitting my vote for ERIN WIGGER – an insightful and insanely gifted photographer and filmmaker. Nebraska won’t know what hit em.

  • Jon says:

    I’ve never traveled very much in my life. I’m interested in living in another country during my life. I would like to use the trip you would make possible as a scouting mission to check out a new country to live in.

  • Lorraine says:

    Lovely offer for pre-launch to your Travel Hacking Cartel. I have learned a lot from you from your travel hacking tips and have implemented some of them.

    I think you are going to have a hard time picking someone for the 25,000 miles as there are so many worthy requests. I will make your load lighter and not request and just want for the Travel Hacking Cartel to be launched. I’m writing this from Khon Kaen, Thailand where I am lecturing for a day the university. Next stop is Taipei to lecture, the to Shanghai.

  • Joel Warren says:

    I n a sea of debt from student loans.

    N earing the pivotal moment of transcendence in my life.
    E urope beckons mercifully, I wake up dreaming of it nightly.
    E nergy, exercise and engagement will be the tenants of my trip.
    D edicated to my students until a vacation of self-discovery.

    Y our book has been the flash flood that broke the dam of resistance in my mind.
    O nlookers will see joy emanating from me that I am more than willing to share.
    U nder utilizing potential is no longer an option, wing spreading is!
    R ed Wine in Barcelona will quench a lifelong thirst.

    H elping others see life’s infinite possibilities is a burning passion.
    E nterprising ideas will assure that this isn’t “just another euro-trip”.
    L ingering inhibitions squashed, I will be the best I have ever been on this journey.
    P erhaps acrostic poems are a bit “old school”, but I beg to differ 🙂

    Thank you Chris for the wonderful contest.

  • Dwayne says:

    I would (if the rules allow) send my wife to Sorrento, Italy for a week in June or July. And, of course, I’d pay for myself to follow. We had two days there in 2006 on our honeymoon so the place has some special memories. Since 2006, my wife has had a couple of children (with a little help from me) as well as holding down a full time job as an environmental officer for a major New Zealand company. I think she could do with a decent break and Sorrento in summer is the closest place to paradise we’ve been able to find.

  • Heather says:

    We have our wedding in Mauritius booked for May. Our second week is booked for the hotel where the beautiful Irish girl was murdered last week, and now we’re feeling the need to change hotels but this comes with added expense (not for the safety aspects – have no fears there – it will be the safest hotel on the Island probably but because of the sadness that may well shroud the place now). My Fiance’s previous wife of 25 years who he met when he was 9 years old was killed in a head-on road collision in 2009 so and he’s been through so much even prior to that, and now we feel like we’d just like to have a happy time celebrating our love. I am 46 and first time of being married (loved my globe trotting too much to get hitched before now!) and never thought I would meet such a lovely man:) The recession being what it is has taken it’s toll on both of our very small businesses, so, we’d use the prize to help us acheive our dream wedding! Thank you:-)

  • My husband and I would go out West (Cali, Oregon and WA) to hitchhike/ride public transport/hike our way from Los Angeles to Seattle. The West is glorious….

  • Kay says:

    My husband and I were so excited to see our love and respect of travel being embraced by our children! Our seven-year-old (who has been to Germany, England, Scotland, Canada, Mexico and 10 U.S. states) challenged our family of four to visit every state in the U.S. Airport stops don’t count, and we must do something representative of the state. So far, all four of us (together) have experienced 7 states with plans for Alaska (8) already in place for spring 2011. If the AONC judges rock our world, then we would travel to Louisiana (9) and Mississippi (10). Thank you, Chris, for this wonderful offer!!

  • Sam says:

    Hey C –

    I have been planning a trip to Taiwan & Hong Kong for this spring. The purpose of the trip is to figure out if I am going to quit my job (gulp!) by summer and live in Taiwan & Hong Kong for a year to learn to speak better Cantonese & Mandarin Chinese.

    Not sure if your 25k miles plus my own will be enough for a overseas trip by March, but I definitely will have enough by summer!

    Added bonus #1: I will be coming to your WDS in June. Don’t you want a success story to talk about?? **nudge nudge** Added bonus #2: Being from Portland myself, I will coach you on your Chinese if you like. I know you’ve tried before… 😀

  • Irina says:

    Hi Chris and the team! Thanks for giving us this great opportunity, I’m having fun just by reading all the posts.
    I’m Russian living in Toronto. I moved on my own about 4 years ago because I wanted a challenge of living, studying, and working in a different country with a different language. So I moved to a place where there was not a single person that I knew. And it has been awesome so far!
    Since I’m new to this continent, I try to explore as much as I can, and up till now have been concentrating on Eastern part of it, mostly because it’s drivable. That being said, if I were to choose any place within North America to fly to, I would pick Calgary, Alberta because that’s where Rocky Mountains are.
    And here’s why:
    -Mountains are breathtaking! Rockies are a Canadian alternative to Grand Canyon and deserve to be seen.
    -There are spectacular views, hotsprings, lakes, trails, fresh air and real wilderness – I want to see, photograph and experience it all!

  • aileen says:

    i would fly to portland, maine to visit my very elderly and very frail grandparents who have been married over 70 years and who still live together on their own. i am a photographer by trade and their first grandchild by birthright. i would love to spend a weekend with them, just them and i (no my mom there, no my 4 kids there), no distractions, just me soaking them up and photographing the weekend, preferably in black and white film on my medium format camera. i want to photograph them, their everyday, the struggles of being 93 and living, the love in still looking into the eyes of the person you married 70 years ago. i want to interview them and write it all down. i want to produce an heirloom album for my family… THESE are our people. KNOW them. and LOVE them. that’s where i would go and what i’d do.

  • AMBER says:

    JAPAN PLEASE!! Is it possible for two 1 way flights instead?

    My husband & I are currently trying to plot a trip to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Osaka, Kyoto, & Japan … any help with the flight $$ would be badass! 🙂 Can’t stand the idea of buying flights for $181-300 each! I also don’t think I would have the patience to take the 2 day ferry 😀 I’d drool all over myself waiting to get to Japan! I’ve already informed my boss I may not return to work after this trip.

    We’re going to fly Chicago to HK, then take a train to Shanghai, then hopefully fly to Osaka, then another train to Tokyo!. We have to check out this Modern Toilet restaurant in Hong Kong!

  • Wow, this is an amazing contest to say the least! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to possibly win the trip of a lifetime. If I’d have to pick a place, I’d have to go with Australia, probably Sydney. I have never been out of North America and I’ve always wanted Australia to be the first place I venture off too. I’m a huge fan of any place with a beach, amazing restaurants, and great nightlife. Of course I’d have to bring my DSLR and capture all the great sites and memories to share with everyone on here. And do daily blog updates from my phone or laptop. It may not be the most exciting place in the world to anyone else, but I’m ready to experience a new culture and this place excites me just thinking about it! Thanks again Chris! Keep up the amazing work on this site!

  • wendy says:

    Honestly, I could really use a trip from St. Louis to Washington, DC. What would I be blogging about and taking pictures of? The first grandchild of the family. My sister is due with my first niece/nephew and can’t wait till this time comes. With our economic situation we are in, it will be a struggle to get to D.C., but it will happen!! That beautiful miracle of life in my arms. . . from my sister — just priceless!! This miracle is due at the end of July — wouldn’t it be also wonderful to get pictures of one of D.C.’s newest members near all the major monuments — introducing this beautiful child to American culture? Introducing it to why we are FREE to do what we want if we just dream it and take action to create it? Where possibilities are endless!!

  • claire says:

    Hey Chris,
    Thank you for offering such a stellar contest!

    My unofficial theme for 2011 is “…a person needs new experiences.” Given that, I would like to visit Portland, Oregon so I can finally meet some of the cool bloggers I’ve interacted with online for years. Definitely outside my comfort zone, so I think I should definitely do it. I would also like to eat at the Waffle Window, stop by Sock Dreams, check out a comic store cafe a blog bud mentioned, and, of course, visit Powell’s.

  • Jennifer Cundiff says:

    I told my fiance I don’t want to get married until at least 2012. Since he’s in school, he will have the summer off. I would like to go on vacation to Hawaii and surprise him with a wedding. Hopefully he would be down for it!

  • Clark says:

    Thanks Chris… great offer.

    I’m 42 with a passport that’s never been used. I’ve got over 100K airline miles, over 100K hotel points and not once I have used any of them. But, if I win I’m going to fly into Barcelona and make my way down to Vilassar De Mar for seafood… then I’ll use some of my miles and fly to London and go to St. John’s for the Roast Bone Marrow & Parsley Salad… no more hoarding, my journey will begin.

  • Jill says:

    I had to stop reading the other comments, they made me sad. Before I got sick, I would have written about some dream trip to an exotic location. That’s just not possible anymore or at least not now. Giving up international travel is the hardest adjustment to life with chronic disease. As I recreated my life in this new, more limited body, I made a point of designing a project that still involved travel. My Close Strangers (www.myclosestrangers.com) is my year of seeing all of my US based Facebook friends in person. I’m writing a book about Facebook’s impact on relationships based on the interviews I do with my friends. This is a big risk on my life dream, I’m self funding it out of a dwindling savings account. When I saw your post, I thought if I was chosen I’d go to Hawaii. I’ve never been, it wouldn’t risk my health, t’s on my thirties bucket list, I have a few FB friends to interview there and I’m not sure I’d be able to afford it without some help. Thanks for doing this!

  • Jonathan Gregory says:

    I hope I’ll be able to do this for someone someday…so just to see what happens for fun:

    I’ll be graduating college in May and have recently broken off my life’s “chosen” path of Corporate America. Everything I’ve done my entire life has been to add to a resume; so I decided that instead of a summer of internships and work, I’ll have a summer of freedom, travel, and experience.

    I’ve been planning on going on a trip to Europe for the upcoming summer. I will start off in my grandparents place of birth in Italy, only to wonder the countries of Spain, France, Ireland and the likes. I’ll be backpacking, Couchsurfing, hosteling and all…not sure how it’ll all be funded, but I’m also not sure where this life is taking me right now-I’m confident though that good things will happen along the way and in the end, all will be fine. Many thanks.

  • Angela says:

    I’m in Changsha, China; if I could go anywhere in Asia I would go to Japan. I’ve always wanted to see Tokyo, but there is a bigger reason.

    In my experience, Chinese people harbor a dislike for the Japanese. I am in only one city of the largest country by population in the world. I am sure that people in other cities in the country may have different experiences, but this experience is mine.

    My students, colleagues, friends, and random strangers that I meet seem to be obsessed with asking me about my opinions of the Japanese. I refuse to get into this question politically and I always answer simply that I have never been to Japan.

    I’d like to visit this country so that I can see for myself what the Japanese are like. I’d like to learn as much as I can about Japanese culture while visiting.

    It is my hope that after visiting Japan, the next time I am asked what I think of the Japanese that I can say, “I have been to and love Japan. I have many wonderful Japanese friends.”

  • Derrick says:

    Chris & Judges:

    If you pick me, you guys can pick where I go. This may sound like a loophole since I’m supposed to say where I’d like to go, but here’s why it’s a great idea.

    Picking me will give all of you truly experienced travelers the opportunity to expose someone (me) who has only been to popular, safe, touristy hot-spots (like Cancun, Paris, and Edinburg) the opportunity to experience a hidden gem on the globe… one that you’ve stumbled upon and loved; one that the majority of people will never even hear of or consider.

    Whatcha think?

  • Barbara says:

    My father died in September 2004 and my mother in January 2005. I have no aunts or uncles, so my only family is my brother and his family, who live in Chicago. I live in Portland Oregon, and I haven’t seen them since my mother’s funeral. The two oldest kids are graduating from college and if I don’t see them soon, it may be hard to get together with them. If I won the trip, I would go spend some time with my family, and even drive down to Arkansas and visit my parent’s graves, which I have not been to since the funerals. It would mean a great deal to me to see them again. Thank you for considering me.

  • Alexandra says:

    I am in Alabama and I spent a semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I fell in love with a local man. I would fly to Buenos Aires to meet him and tell him that despite the inter-continental distance and years gone by, I still think of him and he made my time in Argentina a fairytale.

  • Abz says:

    Hello I hope this finds you well. I’m 30 years old and for 10 years I was chasing a dream that barely reached land. After someone dear to me passed I made the decision to go back to school and pursue a degree in healthcare. Now FT in school and with many responsibilities there is simply no $ for treating myself in larger than life ways. The way I treat myself now is breaking away from the Ramen and having sushi…from target. I do what I can and I don’t complain because I am doing something amazing with my life and when I’m done I will be able to see what I can in this beautiful world. The only way I know it is beautiful is by watching planet earth. Unfortunately I have never left the country. When I do I will be swept with emotion. Its something I have dreamed of since I learned there was an existence beyond my small town. Traveling would be a great reward and something I will never forget. Given the opportunity, London where my passion of music flows or Greece, where family is.

  • Lonnie Tapia says:

    Libby, Chris, and all family who influence this decision:

    25,000 is a lot of miles, but I bet this would be a fun experience.

    I would love to take with my boyfriend who is the best traveling buddy I’ve met, so we only have 12,500 for each of us. I’ll pay the difference!

    PHX-SJO (Phoenix to Costa Rica) – 2.4k miles
    SJO-BCN (Costa Rica to Barcelona) – 5k miles
    BCN-PHX (Barcelona to Phoenix) – 5k miles

    I chose Costa Rica because although I’ve been there, I didn’t get to see all of it! I saw 3 cities but missed the cloud forests. Also, La Fortuna is my boyfriends favorite spot in the world. I’ve never been to Spain, but I’ve met lots of people I would love to see again.

    Thanks for the post. This was fun!

    – @lonnietapia

  • Sherry says:

    As part of an elective class I am currently taking, I am hoping to visit Guatemala for a week this March, as part of a team developing a marketing strategy for a nutrition bar for malnourished children.

    Malnutrition is an important health issue in Guatemala, where many children have stunted growth and developmental deficits due to lack of proper nutrition. The goal of the project will be to look for opportunities for local production of the nutrition bar, as well as ideas to distribute the product to those who need it.

    As a graduate student who has never been to Guatemala before, I believe that this trip will be a great opportunity to do something good for others, as well as to gain personal development experience as well.

    Thank you for holding this contest; there are lots of wonderful responses and I am sure that whoever wins will have an awesome trip!

  • Sabrina says:

    I’d definitively go visit my boyfriend in California 🙂 He lives in San Jose, I live in Montreal. It will soon be a year that we live in different countries but things are going great so far, and we try to see each other a weekend every 2 months… 🙂 We’d go to San Francisco and meander in the city, enjoying our time together. We’d stop by the Golden Gate park and visit the gardens, inhaling the flowers fragrance, enjoying the warm day. And we’d walk by the ocean, our feet in the water, until it’s time to admire the sun sets… That’s what we’d do! 🙂 Have a great day xx

  • ghina says:

    Hello Biased Judges!

    I’d actually love to go to South Africa, but since that’s not possible, Japan would be it. As a single mother, I’d love to go on a trip with my son who is learning Japanese in high school (lucky him!) This might be my last trip with him as a family as he’s an independent sort of fellow, and it would be a way to share something important to him.

  • JOF says:

    if i could just a rip a hole
    through the very depths of my soul
    and let the inner light shine out
    and let it roam out to the land of India and
    swim out to sea
    to come back where I am renewed and brightened by the scenery.

  • Tessa Zeng says:

    One of my best friends who I have not seen in years has an apartment in Paris, France. We’ve been talking about combining our talents for a new business experiment. The thought of this city of lovers and smoke and speculations sets my heart on edge. For the last fifteen years, I’ve been sheltered in privileged, suburban America. Now I’m leaving art school, as well as everything I have ever known and worked for to date, to start the revolution that’s been keeping me up at night for as long as I can remember.

    Paris will be its first international stop. (I say will, because dreams are nothing without a supreme trust driving them forth.)

    Thanks, Chris & kitty cat!

  • Laura Novak says:

    I would fly to Thailand to visit my closest friend pearl to run away from my current materialistic life and search for clarity of purpose. To find myself for once and calm my mind.

  • Ellen says:

    Thanks Chris for the opportunity to win a trip – it’s very generous of you!

    In the next 6 months, the only place I really want to travel to (other than Portland for your workshop of course) is Houston – for the birth of my granddaughter. What more can I say?

  • Candice says:

    I feel bad that you and your “helpers” have to wade thru all these comments. Hopefully my one little cmoment won’t hurt too much! I’m going to have to choose Alaska (from CA) because I am on a mission to take my mom on a big fun trip every 2 years and the last trip was 2009!

  • Gwen says:

    What a cool thing to do!!! Well, I’d love to go to Seattle. I’ve never been, and it’s a place that I’d really like to see. I have four kids (ages 9 & under), and while I love them to pieces, I’d really love a vacation without them, with just me and a new city to explore … and photograph. I am a photographer, so a blog post with pictures would certainly be a given if I went on this trip.

  • Kev says:

    I want to visit the American South. I’m from California, and have traveled to Europe and Asia, and to New York City, but I have never been to the South. I guess I would fly to Atlanta and check that out, but then I would want to visit some rural areas and eat BBQ and stuff. I am interested in linguistics, and I want to listen to the different accents of people from the South. Nobody from my family has ever been there either. I will send back some very nice photos and stories if I win the contest.

    Cheers!

  • Irene F. says:

    “Il bel far niente.” I would take a trip to Italy. So I can experience “the beauty of doing nothing” for the first time. So that I can savor living in the moment and renew my spirit, energy and health. So that I can learn about another culture, its history and art. Plus, I would take some awesome photos to share with everyone. As a burned out professional, I’ve been planning a sabbatical and would love to have my first stop in Italy. Ultimately, I’d like to do some volunteer work abroad for an organization like Peru’s challenge and then eventually start a business. I would love to start my career break with a vacation that just allowed me to enjoy “now” before jump starting these changes in my life. Thank you for this opportunity!

  • David Andreas says:

    I was born in Wiesbaden, Germany because both my parents were in the military and stationed there. My mother from what I am told (she passed away when I was six) was infatuated with Germany and it is why she choose to live there. My father (haven’t seen him since we left Germany) was also a fan from what I am told. I lived in Germany until I was five years old but sadly have no memories of the place. All I have are the stories from my mothers journal and my every other week searches on google about it. I was able to find my place of residence on my birth certificate (I use Google Earth every once in a while to view it) and it has always been one of my childhood dreams to go back to the house and country I grew up in. Winning a prize like this can make my dreams a reality so I just want to thank you Chris for presenting this opportunity and even if I’m not chosen want to thank you and your team for what you do everyday for people like me. Thanks in advance for your consideration!!

  • Samantha Borow says:

    I am so excited about the possibility of this trip! I would love to go somewhere in Asia to practice meditation/yoga but mostly to learn about Asian medicine and foods so I can take that knowledge back to the US and help heal this country from the inside out. My mission statement for my time on this earth is to help people achieve optimal health & wellness. I’m slowly starting my own small army of people who want to overturn the “healthcare” system here by focusing it on prevention (and my army doesn’t know this yet but someday we are going to stop Coca-Cola dead in its tracks…:). My sob story of why I think I should win consists solely of the fact that I am the oldest of 7 children and at 25 I’m just now starting to see the US. The rest of the world is on the list but without this trip it’s going to take a very looooong time. So! May the best person win and I look forward to seeing you and 400 other people in June!

  • Dino says:

    Greetings Chris and Co.,

    The Phillipines.

    Negros Occidental in the Visayas to be specific. There to visit with one of the last Grandmasters of a fading family martial art, an art centuries old. I study and promote a Filipino Martial Art here in the U.S., yet due to fiscal constraints have never made it there to train with one of the last masters of his kind. My decade long passion has been to preserve this legacy to hand to future generations. I know somehow I’ll make the trip someday, but perhaps it can come sooner than I’d imagined. Thanks kindly for your consideration, best regards to all…

  • I want to go to Italy and put on performances and a teaching seminar to the community in Bologna.

  • Quan says:

    Living and working in New York has its pros and cons. The majority of my time spent here has me catching my breath or keeping up with the hectic pace. It’s time to slow it down and reevaluate priorities. Some people live by the mantra of ‘If you make it in New York, you can make it anywhere’. But when that’s said and done, what’s the next destination? Do you live in what seems like perpetual motion or do you sit down, observe your surroundings and take a mental note? I want to do that. I want to meet new people and figure out why, as an American and unofficial New Yorker, my life doesn’t seem to be up to par. Apparently, the happiest people in the world reside in Denmark. The concept of achieving happiness does not involve money or buying things or working until your fingers go numb. It’s a complex map that results in a grand, blissful state of mind. So how do I gain a little bit of what they have?

  • Rob says:

    I rarely see such generosity, but perhaps this is the essence of being a non-conformist. In any view, it is excellent that you can do this.

    My desire is simple. I am planning a trip to Indonesia in March. I hope to travel in Jakarta, Bandung and Bali while there. This is a trip to get me out of my comfort zone, much like you have heard from others; however, I also intend to explore some business ideas as well and meet some internet friends, too.

    My only need at this point is to reduce the overall cost of the airfare. If you know a way to stretch those miles to some Asian destination, that would be incredible. I would still be insanely satisfied with the first leg, namely San Francisco.

    I can tell that you and your biased judges have quite a job ahead, so give a few good skritches to Libby, and I’ll look forward to any choice you make, not to mention signing up for the travel cartel on Tuesday.

    Thanks for your contest!

  • Megan says:

    China would be my first pick, without a doubt. The country and its people have such a rich culture and history that is thousands of years old, the rural and mountainous regions are breathtaking, and I’ve heard that the people are really nice. Admittedly I’ve been to only one (allegedly) authentic restaurant in the U.S., but the food is definitely another attractant. I’m also studying Mandarin independently, and, although I’m merely a beginner and can speak only a few sentences and phrases (terribly), I’d love to be completely immersed in the language and culture I’m studying. Maybe I’ll surprise myself with how much (or how little) I know! China also happens to be the birthplace of my boyfriend, his family, and is still the home of his extended family members. Getting a taste of his birthplace would be a nice treat as well. Amateur that I am, I love photography and will, of course, be taking an absolutely insane amount of pictures!

  • Dulce says:

    I’ve always wanted to travel to Australia but I’ve never had the funds for it. My sister is traveling there to study abroad and keeps telling me to go with her. I really wish I could but I still can’t afford it. It would be great to get chosen for this free trip. If I don’t win I think the woman that wants to go to her sister’s wedding should get it. I can understand her wish to visit her sister on her special day. 🙂

  • Dave says:

    Chris, what a great way to start the year! There are so many great places that I still have yet to see so I shot a Nerf gun at the map on my wall and it hit Spain.

    With that, Spain is a place I would love to visit as I could work on the Spanish I learned while living in Mexico, run with the bulls or see the Vuelta and experience the convergence of many great cultures.

    Here’s to another great year!

  • Krista says:

    I want to visit Thailand. To be honest, I think I want to live there on a partial year round basis. I’m a teaching artist and actress in New York city, but I also have a dream of teaching English in a foreign country and the beautiful beaches of Thailand are calling my name…

  • Jonathon Braden says:

    Wow. More inspiration. No surprise there.

    I would like to go to Georgetown, Guyana, to visit a good friend of mine, Sarah Graves. She’s there volunteering for two years with the Sisters of Mercy program. She, too, inspires me, makes me rethink things and encourages me to think and act on my impulses and my dreams. She’s a great friend and I’d love to see her before her volunteer trip is done.

    Thanks!

  • Chris Cloyd says:

    This trip has been on my “life goals checklist” since I was 14. I need to jump from France to Italy on my snowboard. I am an avid snowboarder, and I want very much to go to Chamonix, France on a snowboard trip. The resort spans the France/Italy border, and there is a “Welcome to Italy” sign. It has been (and continues to be) one of my goals to build a jump over this sign, and get a photo of myself bonking that sign. (Bonk: v.: to tap with one’s snowboard while in the air). If I am chosen for this trip, you can expect photos AND videos of this goal being accomplished. Thanks!

  • 10 years ago I worked for a summer studying shorebirds on the Yukon Delta. Alaska was so beautiful … so challenging. I want to take my husband and my little girl there – to hear the mosquito chorus, the loons, the cranes. I want them to hold a newly hatched sandpiper chick in their hands. And eat the best, freshest salmon in the universe.

    And be enveloped in The Wild.

  • Tom Meitner says:

    I don’t want to go to someplace exotic, and I don’t have to do something crazy with it. I just want to take my wife somewhere cool outside of Wisconsin. It would be nice to take her somewhere and enjoy our marriage a little bit (leave some of this stress behind for a little while). I know it’s not a sexy answer, but it’ll have to do. 🙂

  • Norma Reyes says:

    I know for sure that everything is possible in life, when we really go and search for our dreams. I’d love to go to Sweden to meet my wonderful friends, I have been talking with them (by internet) for about 10 years and I had the opportunity to see them in 2008 and 2009. That kind of friendship is priceless. I thought at first I won’t ever be able to meet them but another wonderful friend helped me with the miles and I made my dream come true. So even if someone else win these miles, I want to thank you Chris for being such an amazing person who’s more than able to share all your words, thoughts and life experiences with us. Greetings from México and good luck everybody!

  • Chea says:

    Cannot imagine how you’ll be able to choose from all these wonderful wishes to travel. My hats off to you for doing this! Thank you!

    I would go to NYC to attend the best Tarot conference around, Readers Studio 2011. The opportunity to be in this magical place with my tribe, wow, would be simply wonderful, especially with the opportunity to learn and rub shoulders with the greats in the field. So much FUN!

  • Tisha says:

    Buen dia Chris and sidekicks 😉

    Wow, there are some compelling stories out there. I’ll keep this one short and simple…

    Because I have been so inspired by your blog and book, Chris, I have taken a bit of a turn in the road. I am a college student/artist working on becoming a self-sustaining, traveling artist. Sounds awesome, right? Well, my goal is to make art based on that travel and turn that art into children’s books as one way of giving back to the world and inspire the little ones early on. So, I’d visit India first and get my start there. That’s it!

    Thanks for the opportunity and thanks for writing Art and Money – I can’t wait to put it to use.

    Muchos abrazos!

  • Madeline Moffett says:

    Almost a year ago today me and my best friend left to go volunteer at an aids clinic and orphanage in Tanzania Africa. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced in my life. This was my first time leaving the states and I have been anxious to take another trip every since we returned. From this trip and a few small ones in between I have earned about half the amount of miles needed for a international flight. One of my top travel destinations has always been Machu Picchu in Peru. I have always envisioned this being a solo trip. Just me, myself and I. My best friend/travel partner and myself have made a commitment to be of good use wherever we go. No doubt I would do just that in Peru. Thank you for the opportunity

  • Bill says:

    I am comment #564. So, little chance of success here, but nonetheless…

    I live in Texas which is really an awesome place. Good schools, good jobs, great weather (except August). I was born here and I have lived here all my life – I have lived in 4 different cities, but always in Texas.

    I did not travel extensively as a kid. My first major trip was my honeymoon. I caught the travel bug then and I have tried to go anywhere I can whenever I get the chance. I have been to many places, but I always come back to Texas.

    What trip would I take? I would take my son to Beijing. I would be thrilled if my kids choose to live close to me when they leave my house, but I want them to choose from all the options. They need to see the world and see what everywhere else has to offer before choosing a home. If my son chooses Texas, great! But he should choose TX because that is where he wants to be, not because it is where he has always been.

  • Chris says:

    I wanna go on a walkabout in the big red desert in Australia ’cause my good friend Sean keeps saying it’s the only way I won’t go crazy from the cage I’ve been living in for the last 10 years. I need a hand getting there, in stoking the fire – I’m a self-described non-conformist (ask my girlfriend) but the non part seems to have conformed… help me break out and spread the word… I AM READY.

  • sanjay says:

    Take the love of my life on his first international trip. I’m thinking Europe (from India). I’ll pay my own way and use the miles on his behalf.

  • Anthony says:

    Hi Chris,

    As somone who is about to embark on a traditional education ypi really enspired me to look fo what it was that I really wanted in life. While I am not sure if my chosen course of economics is really for me, I decided to do it anyway so that I can see what I’m really good at and hopefully find my place in the world.

    My dream holiday would be to go to China and Japan. I’ve allways been facinated by asian culture and I’d love to check it out for myself. I don’t just want to see the major cities but also go to the country side, the mountains and the three Gourges Dam, the largest man made dam in the world.

    Also as an obsesed anime fan I’d love to go to Japan to see where anime began. Espically Tokyo and Japans mountains which have enspired writers, artists and musicians for centries, including the anime writers of today.

    This trip would be so awsome and it would mean the world to me. It would also force me to face my fears of not being able to communicate and my intense fear of people and delicate social situations.

  • Bhaskar says:

    That was a great way to engage with readers. I have been lurking on your site for months and now, with this comment I am going to throw my hat in the ring.

    I know that South America is not mentioned explicitly but if I have to go anywhere it would be there.

    To be more specific, I would love to go to Brazil. There is someone in Rio who is very special to me. This trip has been on my list for a very long time and if Lady Luck smiles on me I will grab my visa as quickly as possible and jump on the plane. Try to make up, repair hurt feelings and bring some amount of happiness and peace to another person’s life.

    If Brazil is off the table, I would love to go to Greece. The country that gave the world Socrates, Plato and Aristotle needs a lot more investigating, regarldless of how unremarkable or depressing the current situation is.

  • Lorma says:

    It’s hard to pick just one location.

    1) If I were to be completely selfish I would go to Italy. I’ve never been and I’ve always wanted to see Roma. Also, the girl who sold me my Mini Cooper studies theatre in Firenze. These cities have so much history – and I’d love an excuse to eat pizza every day.

    2) If I were trying to be a little more selfless, I’d visit my friend Karen in Ottawa, Ontario. She moved there a little over a year ago after getting married to a Canadian. She loves it, but I think she misses her friends. I’d love to visit her; I haven’t seen her since I attended her wedding.

  • Gary Kenning says:

    Lions and Tigers and (No Bears), Oh my! My dream for as long as I can remember has been to go to Kenya. Even as a little kid, all my friends wanted to go to Disney World and I wanted to go to Nairobi. Back then, I wanted to go for one reason – the animals! The Kenyan wildlife experience would be a dream come true. Going on an actual safari – seeing giraffes, zebras, lions, babboons, elephants, wild buffalos, antelopes, the beautiful birds, etc. As I grew older, I added more reasons to my list of why I dream of Kenya. The first being the art! I love African artwork in general, Tingatinga pieces, and art made by Kenya’s Masais tribe just fascinates me. and the second being I would be a short jump from Mount Kilimanjaro, a place that calls my name, begging for me to master it! If I am selected for this journey, not only would I produce some great videos, pictures, and stories of my trip, but would also spend time learning from and assisting the people of one of Kenya’s tribes

  • A. Leotta says:

    Hello Chris,

    I studied Arabic and Arabic language. The irony is that I have never stepped foot In any Arabic speaking nation!(DOUBT Israel counts. If it does then I have been to ONE).

    I have friends from dotted all over the Middle East including Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and UAE. I would like to include( though don’t have friends there to bunk on) Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Baharain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and finish in Egypt(Arabic speaking not really mid-East but hey ho)

    I live in London with my husband. Our dream is to spend the next decade working and living somewhere warmer and completely new(the tax haven UAE very attractive!)

    To have a feel of it before complete move will be a dream come true.

  • Andrea says:

    Hello!
    I am from Croatia and i been daydreaming to visit Asia for longest time.Love traveling and always looking for new destination to visit. I never made it to Asia as tickets are so expensive and i never was able to afford it. This year after 6 years break i am finishing my college degree and it would be such a wonderful gift to travel somewhere so far before i start working when i will be limited with time . If i can pick one country that would be Indonesia – thousands of islands- i would love to visit some of them, meet the locals , eat local food…oh daydreaming again..

  • Annie says:

    Oh what fun! With the winning miles, I would head straight to Eastern Europe. Likely Romania. I would take a month off work and tour around, perhaps spending a bit of time in my mom’s old home town. As a Torontonian (Nice seeing you last week Chris!), I’m surprising myself that I wouldn’t choose a warm destination. But once you’re used to negative 10 degrees, it’s the new normal.

    Thanks Chris & team for such a great opportunity!

  • Maree Murfet says:

    I would really enjoy a domestic trip to Darwin. Australia.. I love the upper northern parts of Australia. and I haven’t been there now since the 90’s. It is a special heart home with real spiritual significance to me and to be there again would bring me a lot of joy.
    Also my son lives 300 kms south of Darwin and I’d enjoy catching up with him, as well as being in the land in and surrounding Darwin, in whatever spiritual capacity is asked of me at the time.

    In gratitude for the opportunity
    Maree

  • aviva la loca says:

    Hola! Ciao! Shalom! Guten tag! Sayonara! Salaam! Hello!

    I am an experienced hitch-hiker and world traveler, and (besides food) the most fascinating aspect of travel is getting to know those who live so far away, in such different places with very different cultures, history and languages. I’ve met and traveled with many people from all over the world (two Brasilians in Kenya, a Dane in Egypt, a Greenlander in NYC, a Kiwi in Morocco…) but I have had minimal interactions with “others” who are so (genetically) close to us. These “others” are commonly referred to as monekys, I prefer primate friends. Biologists classify us (humans) with a select few other species including the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) who live their lives in the diminshing forests in Southern Indonesia . The opportunity to explore Borneo (Indonesia) and learn a bit of Bahasi (a very easy language, I’m nosy and always like to know what’s happening around me) would be the best opportunity. I will spend July and August frolicking from tree to tree respecting the orangutan’s space and life and exploring other areas of Indonesia with my handy Nikon documenting all moments (I’ve got a decent personal collection of dirty animal photos, I’m sure I could enrich my collection after spending time with the orangutans!).

    After volunteering with capuchin monkeys in Bolivia and vervet monkeys in Uganda, there is no better place to go than to BORNEO especially because there has been a recent discussion/controversy that there is more (physical and behavioral) similarity between humans and orangutans (as opposed to chimps). If this is “proven” true then I will get to know some creatures who are as close as possible to me yet on the other side of the world!
    =========
    SINCE it appears that this (incredibly amazing) offer is only valid for flights WITHIN Asia (or Europe, North America…) and I live in Spain I will plan to hitch-hike from Spain to Turkey (one of my favorite countries for food) in June (I finish teaching June 1) and then fly from Istanbul (Asia!) to Indonesia 🙂

  • I would take my 2 and half year old son for a trip to Yellowknife in the northwest territorities. (I would use my points for the other ticket) He and I try and get away every year for a little bit, but this year will be extra important as he no longer flies for free and his mother and I are seperating.

    To take full advantage of this trip we would make sure to take advantage of the stopover we would be allowed to visit a whole host of friends in Vancouver and Victoria BC. One couple are expecting their first and would love to be there to share in their joy.

    Great contest!

  • hemang panchmatia says:

    I would like to travel to Machi, Pichu,Peru….. one the best places to visit.. wanna connect with the long forgotten civilization of the Incas. Have heard that it is one of the few places left in the world, which is still “virgin”. Great trekking, hiking options. Great historical place and its inexpensive too.

  • Rich says:

    I live in the US (Denver), so this would mean a US trip. I have 2 cousins and my best friend from High school living in Charlotte N.C. I have never visited. One of my cousins has had a difficult couple of years with a divorce and subsequent death of her ex husband. I would love to go spend some time with her, my other cousin who I am just now in adulthood getting to know, and my most loyal friend in the world who calls me every other week whether or not I return his calls. This trip would give me the opportunity to say I love you to 3 of the dearest people in my life. And as I am currently self-unemployed, there is NO question that I will be able to make the trip.

    A simple family and friends trip to help me stay connected is just what I need for my mental health. Thanks for your consideration.

  • MG says:

    I would go to Nepal.

    I have been before (more than 10 years ago, just after I graduated from high school), but a dear friend of mine is getting married this June.

    I’m based in the UK, so I’m not too far, but because I’m a self-funded student I’m still scraping my money together. But there’s no way I would miss a Nepali wedding!

  • michael says:

    Im involved with a charitable organisation (Global Dialogue Foundation) and one of our partner organisations (SAGE) in India have organised a “voluntour” (volunteer tour) to experience the culture and help the homeless children of Mumbai. There are several activities, although I’d involve myself in construction of the training centres.
    I’ve always been of the view that we are so lucky to have what we have (I’m in Melbourne, AUS) because most of the world are doing it much tougher. However, I haven’t experienced 1st hand the extreme poverty and living conditions of the worlds poorest. It would be am amazing opportunity to go and see it, document it (I am also quite the photography enthusiast) and report it. The free flights will allow me to get there, to help raise awareness that we have it good and to stop focusing on this extreme consumerism and start focusing on human development rather than developing new records in waist circumference and mine is bigger than yours attitude.

  • Louise Mason says:

    I feel little a little kid in class stretching my arm up way up in the air to get attention, shouting “Pick me! Pick me! I know the answer, pick me!
    My answer is that I’d love to go anywhere in the world, I have a bucket list of the world and the few places that aren’t on it aren’t because I don’t want to go just that I want to go to the ones on it first. I’d love to do an island tour, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asian,…
    But after reading the posts above I don’t feel worthy amongst all the offers of volunteer work and people who want to visit their families, I cannot imagine being separated from my close family for years at a time, and the amount of happiness that being reunited would bring.
    Am off to research volunteer opportunities and my family tree see if I’ve got any long lost relatives I can visit to compete with the other entries!

  • Ryan says:

    If I could go anywhere in the world, I would use it to take a break out from Year 12 studies and travel to New Zealand in the June/July holidays for the Rugby World Cup!

  • Regina says:

    If the free jaunt was given to me,
    I’d pack my sack with utter glee,
    A camera, notebook and recorder in hand,
    I’d board a plane for a distant land.
    Where I’d go? It’s hard to choose,
    But in Latin America you can never loose.
    The Galapagos Islands would be swell,
    Where exotic creatures dwell.

  • Liesl says:

    I would go to Haiti to participate in Sadhana Forest Haiti. A reforestation, and water conservation project that started in India, where I am now. And Started in Haiti early 2010. I would love to go and be a bigger part of that project. It would be continuing my explorations of the world while being a part of something bigger then me. And in the process I’d be making wonderful memories, fabulous pictures and stories.
    Thank you, love and light.

  • I would take my bride to Scotland, which is her family’s homeland. Since my father was adopted – my family tree is “spotty” at best. My wife and her mom have spent years working on their family tree and the last remaining pieces of the puzzle are in Scotland.

    This has been her life’s dream and she deserves that (and much more) for her support and devotion to our family, my persuit of free-agency and her general tolerance of my quirkiness!

    The beauty of the land, the people, places, food and research would make for an AWESOME blog / sightseeing series. I could also digitally record our journeys to release as a “soundscape” tour.

    WHAT a DREAM!!

  • Allan Isfan says:

    Travel is what makes our family happy (myself, my wife of 20 years and our three girls aged 14, 12 and 10). Helping others is also becoming a recurring theme around our household and our goal is to combine travel with helping and learning.

    The kids have begun raising money to build a school and we are committed to making that happen … likely through Free the Children.

    I would use this trip to visit one of the Free The Children locations, likely Ecuador. The goal would be to lay the foundation for the whole family to ultimately visit and make our project happen.

    That’s just the beginning. We are in the early stages of planning for a year of travel with the whole family starting in mid 2012.

  • Dalibor says:

    Super idea, Chris! It is a great thing to share things and experiences with others.
    If it will be me, I`d go to Laos. Especially to see (and feel) Luang Prabang, but also the rest of the country. I know two people who had been there and both of them say it is their top 3 destination.
    I love to meet different cultures, people and their customs and traditions, different religions. I`ve always wanted to take a tour around south-east Asia. Laos could be my first check point.

  • Sylvester says:

    My children (6+, 5 and 3) have been wondering and asking in recent times why Daddy is the only member of the family who has travelled to the UK. Reason is: finances are limited. This will go a long way in planning a family vacation to the UK (from Lagos, Nigeria).

  • For ages, I have been wanting to escape to New Zealand. I live in the US now, and have lived and travelled in Europe and the Middle East, but I never considered those travels as a true escape. A true escape would be to go so far away so as to cause myself to doubt I am on the same planet. It would be to get so enthralled by the natural surroundings so as to not just forget every problem you’ve ever had, but to shrink those and all future problems to simple insignificance.

    I’m not certain of what urges me to experience New Zealand. Maybe it’s the photographs of New Zealand which I saw at a young age that hypnotized me. Or maybe my limited knowledge of the country makes it seem mysterious and catches my curiosity. Perhaps its literal location on the opposite side of the planet makes it seem figuratively the most distant location on Earth… Or maybe, once in a while, one’s soul just craves an escape.

  • Touko says:

    Destination: Brazil

    Reason: According to some test, it is the ideal country for me, so I want to check it out.

  • birgit says:

    Hey Chris,

    here is my story: My name is Birgit, i am 27 from Austria/Europe and almost 2 years into a round the world trip that is about to end some time around Sept11 (way too soon).

    On this trip i’ve been to many super awesome places and made the most incredible experiences (think Everest, Dalai Lama, temple retreats…) but i have also found my home away from home in a small city in Northern Thailand. I stayed in the country for a total of 6 months, learned the language, volunteered in an orphanage for hiv positive refugee kids and made lots of local friends.

    Right now i am in Ushuaia, Arg – from here i plan on going up to North America and fly back to Europe from there, where the trip will be over. Once i am back home, i will be bound to Austria for the next 20 years (min) and not be able to travel very much. Therefore i would love to go to Thailand one more time, see my friends and say goodbye to the place i love so much.

    If i can’t win, i vote for Roy – he is awesome!

  • Francesca says:

    “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
    St Augustine

    I welcome the opportunity to be a voracious reader!!!!!!!
    I would be so excited, honored and ready to travel anywehre in the world at any moment! What could be better? Just thinking about it makes me smile 🙂

  • Ryan says:

    ** * I quit my unfulfilling, highly coveted corporate job after 2.5 years of pencil pushing and taking orders and then moved to Thailand to teach English. I traded financial security and 1st world living for noisy (but amazing) kids, rooms filled with ants and a hefty dose of smog. Miraculously, it is everything that I needed for myself and my life. With encouragement from you, Tyler, Everett, Tim and a handful of others, in Nov 2010 I set out to see the world and to re-evaluate what I consider to be important. I intend on breaking down the barriers that guide people towards shallow living and helping them to see the true possibilities that are available.

    Between semesters and I want to use the time to explore the landscapes of Japan. I have befriended a Japanese teacher who has provided information for my travels. Needless to say, I am very excited to visit this beautiful country, which I am considering as my next teaching location and life hub.

    Thanks for inspiring!

  • pam nordaune says:

    For the last seven years, my partner has been on a trek through the most inaccessible, rugged terrain on this planet. And he has never left the country.

    Though the journey has taken Jim from coast to coast, most time has been spent on the windy plains and frozen trundras in locales like Iowa City, Iowa and Rochester, Minnesota, or Judgment City as he calls it. It was 2004. After being told by multiple experts that his finally diagnosed pancreatic cancer would take his life in a matter of months, Jim left J-City sans one spleen, one gallbladder, ½ a liver, tail of a pancreas and a slice of stomach, too. What do you need these organs for any way?

    Since then, Jim has been changing his world in very unconventional ways as he traverses through the world too many know as CancerLand. His destinations are always medical centers, some large and most small. There are no complimentary peanuts in hospital waiting rooms. And, Frequently CT-Scanned Programs do not exist.

    Jim’s journey has taught him to travel lightly: there is no room, ever, for unnecessary baggage in life. Jim greets every day with an attitude of gratitude; Jim doesn’t practice a philosophy of ‘beating the odds’, but rather he chooses to manage his opportunities.

    After waging war with a rare, misunderstood, misdiagnosed and under-treated disease for these last seven years, most of what’s available in the United States has failed Jim. But, serendipitously, he received an invitation (this morning!!) from a doctor in Switzerland to participate in a 2-part treatment that has been the gold standard of care for his disease in Europe for the last decade. Jim is Basel-bound at the end of February and then back for a second treatment ten weeks later. Since this amazing opportunity, this life-expanding adventure isn’t sanctioned in the U.S., the expense is significant. Airfare support would be an enormous blessing.

    And, I know that Jim, as he has always done, will pay the blessings forward. He’ll continue to work hard and play even harder. He’ll get lost in and share his music. He’ll laugh at his kitty, pet his pooch, mentor & survive his teenagers. He will go on believing that the Red Sox will be in the race again this year. More importantly, he’ll tell his story to help shine the light on rare diseases and healthcare challenges. Jim’s example will continue to inspire.

    My partner, Jim, is the ultimate nonconformist in an exceptionally conventional way. He didn’t plan this trip and was told the journey would last about six months. But, Jim simply didn’t believe all he was told. Instead, he committed to his path and has been traveling for seven years, believing in the next discovery and reveling in all lessons of the road. It continues to be the trip of a lifetime. Truly. Jim has a passport that’s never been stamped and has never had an opportunity to leave the good ole USA. Til now, that is. Please help send him on his way.

  • Kari says:

    What a great and generous giveaway!

    I would go to New Zealand. My husband and I are planning to relocate there from the U.S. to start our long-term travel adventures when he gets out of the military in a couple years. We’re in our 20s and have gotten a lot of inspiration from blogs like yours to not delay traveling until the timing is perfect or we’re retired, or the stars align. We’ve so enjoyed planning a fact-finding trip to sight-see and determine where we would want to live while we’re there, but we haven’t been able to get there yet. This trip would be the perfect opportunity and would halve our travel costs, and if he gets deployed, I can go explore on my own!

  • Lindsay says:

    Italy. I was supposed to study in Florence for a semester in college, which unfortunately did not work out. I’ve mourned the loss of the experience ever since. On a bright note, my husband and I became engaged the semester I should have been abroad. It all worked out in the end, but I would love to go and study metalwork in Italy, even if for a short period of time.

  • Dea says:

    Short and Simple: I would fly to Italy. Because I am jobless and have free time and because I am single and feel like falling in love with an italian man ;D