wish list: faraway, so close

13063619536535391028_1If you’re like me you’ve long dreamed of Cuba, the faraway, so close island off the coast of Florida that’s been off-limits to US citizens for more than fifty years. Rich in history, culture, and all that glorious music, it’s an American traveler’s version of Snuffleupagus: a rare creature able to be seen by everybody but us. Insight Cuba, a leader in small group people-to-people travel, is about to change all that. As travel to this enigmatic island is made legal for only the third time in fifty years, this licensed tour operator has me salivating at the chance to explore the once-forbidden island with a sweepstakes, running now through June 17th. To take part, ‘Like’ the Insight Cuba Facebook page and enter via the “Win a Trip to Cuba for Two” tab at the top. A winner will be selected at random on June 18th and receive a free trip for two on the tour of their choice: Undiscovered Cuba, Cuban Music & Art or Classic Cuba. The grand prize includes round-trip airfare from Miami to Havana; first-class accommodations, meals and activities; an Insight Cuba tour leader and Cuban guide; entrance fees; in-country ground transportation and transfers; 24-hour emergency service and maybe most important of all, a U.S. Department of the Treasury License and Letter of Authorization. Underdeveloped, stubbornly unchanged for decades, the revolution and the resulting embargo may have decimated the travel industry in Cuba, but it didn’t kill it. And the irresponsible policies of our own government have done nothing to squelch the abiding curiosity about our neighbors 90 miles to the south.


phoning it in

VisitBritain is celebrating the anniversary of one of the UK’s most iconic symbols by dialing up one ring-a-ding-ding of a sweepstakes:  they’re giving away a telephone box to the lucky person who can figure out what to do with it.

Tell them in 50-70 words what you would do with a 300-pound, 3′ X 3′ x 7.5′ replica British Telephone Box right HERE.  Whomever comes up with the most creative adaptive reuse will win one of their very own – with a cool $1,200 to customize it and bring your “fantasy phone box” to life.

I can’t wait to see the shortlist for this one.


dreaming (and winning) is free

It’s one thing to go surfing online and drool over a travel fantasy or two; it’s quite another to log on and have a shot at fulfilling them.  Visit www.virtuoso.com, and complete the 4th Annual Virtuoso Life Travel Dreams survey by the March 31st deadline, and you just might get both.

Virtuoso, one of the industry’s leading luxury travel networks, launched a sweepstakes-based survey last month, and the prizes are three once-in-a-lifetime dream vacations: five nights at the new One&Only Cape Town, with airfare to South Africa aboard Virgin Atlantic Airways; 10 days sailing around the Galapagos Islands on the National Geographic Endeavour with Lindblad Expeditions; and a 12-day Bangkok to Shanghai cruise aboard the Seabourn Pride from The Yachts of Seabourn.

Not too shabby for just filling out a 10 – 15 minute survey.  And honestly, whether you’re an armchair traveler or a dedicated road warrior, the survey will get you thinking … about journeys of discovery, exotic destinations, and life-changing experiences.  For a few blissful minutes today I actually spent some quality time dreaming about possibilities.


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