In a few weeks I’m off to Italy to speak at the Travel Bloggers Unite conference. One of the sponsors is Oyster Worldwide, a company that specializes in volunteer experiences for gappers and career breakers. They are giving away a trip to a blogger to go volunteer in Romania at a bear sanctuary. Who knew Romania had bears?? Well, probably everyone except me. Putting my ignorance aside, I want to now make my case for why I should be selected for this two-week trip. Here are my top 10 reasons.
- Genuine interest in the bears. I love being around animals and that probably is a result of having grown up in rural Texas. Besides dogs and cats, we had pigs, goats, chickens, fish, guinea pigs and even orphaned deer as pets. And, after filming my episode about volunteering at Monkeyland in South Africa, I really became interested in doing something similar myself.
- Hard working fool. Some might just say ¨fool.¨ But, I’d be ready to jump in and get working with whatever is needed.
- Have a leg up on the language. OK, I don’t speak Romanian. But, I do speak Spanish fluently. So, I think I could have some kick-ass basic Romanian quickly.
- Love me some mountains! As a former resident of the state of Colorado in the US, I love exploring the mountains. I also had some great experiences in the Andes in South America. So, I would love to have the chance to explore the Carpathians by foot and camera.
- In need of a career break myself. I know, it doesn’t seem as much of a benefit to you. But, after working hard to get the site and travel show off the ground, I could use a break and the chance to give back, to practice what I preach. And, that would come through in the writing. So, I wouldn’t be pretending to be on a break. I’d actually be on one making the writing all that more authentic.
- The Dracula Factor. OK, I admit it. The fact that the sanctuary is in the heart of Transylvania does make the experience even more interesting.
- Audience match. Let’s talk turkey. My site is all about career breaks and how to get the most out of your trip. Volunteering on a career break is the second most popular activity for career breakers (but you probably knew that). People come to the site looking for advice not only about how to leave their job, but also what life is like on the road and to follow my travels. I focus a lot of time talking about how to make the big trip count. So naturally, volunteering is one of the best ways to do that. Frankly, I would love to be able to write about the topic from a first-hand perspective.
- Active social media presence: The site’s growing (400% last year), as is our social media presence (Facebook: almost 1050+ fans, Twitter: 2600+ followers, Klout: 50-51 range, and I’m active on StumbleUpon). Once we get the content up, I share it early and often.
- Mix of content to deliver. In addition to the stories, I can also take lots of great photos and if I get some really good pics, a few might be part of my Suh-Weet Shots series. Depending on the working conditions and what’s happening on the ground, I might be able to get a video or two done.
- Early bird gets the worm, right??? Surely there must be a few extra brownie points awarded for getting this well before the conference.
So, to the good folks at Oyster Worldwide, please pick me!!
And to my readers, please let the folks at Oyster Worldwide know your support for me winning the trip to Romania!