Travel Writing Contest: A Mongolia Connection

If only I were a college student. Here’s a travel/writing opportunity not to miss. National Geographic Traveler has paired up with the travel company Trovcoa to cook up a very cool essay contest. In 300 words or less, write about an experience that moved you, excited you or changed you. Easy, right?

If yours is chosen out of all the other essays they receive from college students in North America, you will win a trip to Mongolia. This could be your springboard to bigger and better travel writing experiences since you will be working on assignment with the magazine’s Editor- In-Chief Keith Bellows. Your work will be published on National Geographic Traveler ‘s Web site.

This is kind of like “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars” but the writer’s version. Except, either you win or you don’t, and you won’t have to stand in front of the judges while they critique your work in front of a live audience. Of course, there’s not a million dollar record contract either. But hey, you’ll be published by the same magazine that publishes Pico Iyer. And you’ll have seen Mongolia. I call that even.

The deadline is December 31, 2007 so you have some time to figure out how to condense down your experience to make it zing.

Mr. Hu: Do NOT Tear That Wall Down!

Interesting news keeps flowing out of China, so we’ll keep relaying it. It turns out that a private contractor was building a new road, which destroyed a section of the Great Wall of China, as well as a large beacon tower.

The fine on the contractor, from the Cultural Relics Bureau of Inner Mongolia, was a tiny 500,000 yuan ($63,000 USD), for the destruction.

This took place in the Inner Mongolian village of Longsheng, near Fengzhen, north-west of Beijing.

I guess they figured they still have 4500 more miles of the Wall left.