We recently ran our first contest on Facebook and to enter the draw, we asked people what they would say to their boss or partner if they won the 8-day New Zealand adventure trip we were giving away. The name we pulled out of the box was John Suggs, a pharmacist from Supulpa, Oklahoma, who is looking forward to getting out of the country for the first time in 5 years and said this on his entry:
“I currently do not have active employment nor a true significant other, so what more perfect time than this to set out on an adventure akin to New Zealand. If I am fortunate enough to win, I will select my sidekick, randomly, from all of those Facebook friends who tell me they have voted for me!”
He certainly played it smart, since he got more than 300 entries from it (we asked our Facebook fans to vote for their favourite entry and each vote counted as an extra entry in the draw). If it helps, John, we take up to 14 people on a trip so you could bring an entourage if you can’t choose a sidekick.
Luckily it was a random draw and we didn’t have to pick based on merit (we learned that the hard way from the first photo competition we ran!). However, it doesn’t make it any easier to disappoint anyone.
Such as April Coles, who wrote in her entry:
“I’d convince my husband Nick to let me go by taking him with me! This trip would be our honeymoon, since we were unable to take one. Just like Active New Zealand trips, we have lived off-the-beaten-path. My husband took part in a live-donor liver transplant to save his mother’s life. Talk about a trek. His big scar is his badge of honor and I couldn’t be more proud of his sacrifice. Though things have been tough – our first time visiting each other was spent in hospital – we’ve learned that you get the best views of life when willing to climb the highest mountains. We don’t want to live average. We welcome challenge & don’t run from pushing ourselves to the limit – and beyond. Winning this trip, to the most remarkable place on earth, would be an extraordinary adventure we would never forget!”
She didn’t win the trip this time unfortunately but she and Nick would fit right in. People often say one of the highlights of travelling with us is the interesting people they meet on our trips, and reading the entries as they poured in reminded me of the calibre of people we do get on our trips.
Funny thing is, putting together vacations for people is a seemingly ordinary job. Yet, when it’s done right, there are few things more rewarding than being a catalyst for positive change and touching people’s lives so profoundly. You only have to read a few reviews to see that people who travel with us remember those few days forever, and many count those as some of the best days of their lives. Hopefully it’ll be one of those experiences for John Suggs, and all the other people who are coming down to New Zealand with us this summer.
So even if I only played a tiny part in that experience, I guess it’s worth dragging myself to the office when there’s fresh powder on the mountain or the sun is shining and the lake is flat…