Two American girls from Florida are about to find themselves pretty far from home. Dara Simkin and Catherine Fleming won the Tasmania leg of the WorldNomads.com Van-Tastic Adventure. This is the first time an American team has won the Australia contest. On December 19, 2009, they’ll fire up the engine and start to drive through Tasmania for six weeks. On January 30, 2010, they’ll arrive in Melbourne, having completed the fourth of seven legs. The seven-part journey begins in Queensland and consists of 10,000 miles of driving in a van named Geoff.
During their journey, Dara and Catherine will report on their experiences kayaking on the Freycinet Peninsula, mountain biking Mt. Wellington and walking through Cradle Moutain. You can keep track of their progress on YouTube or on the Van-Tastic Adventures website.
But, watching might not be enough for some people … there are still three legs open, so you may want to put your application video together.
Orlando has spoken! A pair of New Yorkers rose above hundreds of applicants to become Orlando’s Smile Ambassadors. For 67 days, they will experience more than 100 attractions offered … which includes a hell of a lot more than just a dance with the Mouse. Alligators will be involved, for example. Along the way, they’ll blog and their experiences, giving the rest of the world an “in the trenches” view of what Orlando has to offer.
The final test for Kyle Post, a Broadway performer and Stacey Doornbos, a childcare worker in Harlem, was a 67-hour “boot camp” that ended on July 29, 2009. The candidates went hang gliding, did some indoor skydiving and checked out downtown Orlando, blogging and tweeting as though it were the real deal.
“Every member of the selection committee agrees that selecting one pair from our ten finalists was one of the toughest career decisions we have each faced,” said Gary C. Sain, president and CEO of the Orlando CVB. “Each pair demonstrated tremendous creativity, desire and commitment. We thank all of the finalists for making us smile and ultimately look forward to Kyle and Stacey bringing the complete Orlando experience to life for a worldwide audience starting Aug. 27.”
Kyle and Stacey have been frends since childhood, growing up together in Holland, Michigan. They have taken more than 30 amusement park trips together and say they’ve been on 618 rides. Kyle moved to New York and was cast in RENT, and Stacey wound up in the city after experiencing seven countries in three months.
The duo took a “friendship honeymoon” (how it pains me to use that expression … it’s worse than “staycation”) to Orlando shortly after they finished college, so it’s easy to see why Kyle says, “We feel like everything we have done in our lives so far has led to this moment.” He continues that they “chose to apply for this position because Orlando embodies everything we are – passionate, charismatic and adventurous. We can’t wait to start our 67 days in Orlando to share everything we learn about what this amazing destination has to offer.”
The bidding starts at NZ$1, but it probably won’t stay there long! New Zealand Luxury is auctioning more than NZ$30,000 in luxury travel with a reserve that’s 0.033% of its value. The package includes four weeks worth of accommodations at an exclusive private villa, flights on a private jet and local trips by helicopter. Oh, and did I mention the yacht? And the chauffeur-driven private car?
Yeah, not bad for NZ$1. Hell, it’s not bad for NZ$30,000.
If you don’t win the big auction for a small price, don’t sweat it. Maybe you’ll be able to pick up some clothing from Untouched World – the proceeds of which to go Untouched World Charitable Trust.