Thursday, January 5, 2012

Viajando ... and a Giveaway!

Updated to announce winners.
Congratulation Melissa, Cheryl and Nicole. Based upon the numbers selected by, you are the winners. I will be in touch for your mailing address. Also, thank you everyone who entered. I enjoyed reading your comments!

Next month we are heading to Spain ... and boy are we ready for a vacation. Bob has been working hard on a project and I have been focused on getting my business up and running. Honestly, it will be great to get away for a bit. It sounds strange to say that, since we live in one of the most peaceful places in California. I guess what I am really craving are exciting urban landscapes, lively Spanish culture, different food, and the intoxicating travel buzz that comes with exploring new places.

I've reserved our lodging for two cities through airbnb. Check out the cute studio apartments we are renting in Madrid and Barcelona, the two cities that will bookend our trip. The week in between these two cities is likely to be a mix of hostels, Couchsurfing, or last minute decisions, depending what town we are in. Since it is the off season, I am comfortable not having all my bookings pinned down.

Anyway, this is all a long introduction to tell you about a special deck of playing cards that I plan to take on our trip. TrekDek is set of cards with the theme "Live Well. Travel Well."  Each card includes a "challenge" of some sort, something to get you to try something new while you are on the road. Here are some of the "challenges" that I may give a whirl when we are in Spain:
  • Watch a movie at the local cinema.
  • Arrive somewhere without having booked a place to stay.
  • Buy some local music.
  • Attend a locally-advertised event.
  • Find a local bar and learn the national drinking game or song.

When I think of some of the more memorable travel experiences I've had, they are often the unplanned ones. Like seeing a string quartet in an old Venice church based upon a posted advertisement we saw, watching an over-the-top Bollywood movie in a cinema in Delhi, getting invited to a lamb roast in Chile from strangers we met on a boat, or watching a rugby in a packed bar in New Zealand. These cards are reminder to seek out the unexpected.

The best part about the TrekDek is that you can use them locally to inject a little adventure into your daily life ... and who can't use a little more adventure? 

If you would like enter for a chance to win a TrekDek, leave a comment below telling me about an unexpected joy you had on a trip. If you want to purchase your own set, you can head over to this web page.

One entry per person, and the contest closes 11:59 PM PST on January 8, 2012. I will use and select one winner on January 9, 2012. Be sure to check back to see if you are a winner. Contest is closed. Please see the top of the post for the winners.

Good luck to you and may 2012 be full of adventure.


TrekDek said...

Awesome contest! I will also donate 2 more decks of TrekDek Cards to the 2nd and 3rd place winners.

Happy Travels!

-Dale, Founder

Caroline said...

Sophia! What a FUN trip - it looks like it's going to be AMAZING, and the places you are staying are very sweet. I agree, the best memories are made from unexpected things happening. One of my favorites was actually in Lisbon, John and I happened across a flyer for a Fado show, decided we had to see it, and ended up getting the last table available for the night. It was so close to the stage that we could touch the performers, and the woman who sang that night made me cry every time she opened her mouth. It was a beautiful evening that I'll remember forever.

Melissa said...

A few years ago my husband and I took off on New Years Eve and just drove north. We landed in Chattanooga, TN and loved it! The whole trip was completely random and unplanned.


Cheryl Goddard said...

Your trip sounds so fun. You are living the life :) My sister, a girlfriend and I booked a trip to Chicago for the end of the month. It was part of Southwest's 50% off deal. It's our "girls trip" and we will be there for one day with no plans and no hotel booked. I'm sure it will be a blast. A day of boredom, led to another spontaneous trip with girlfriends. We had nothing to do and no where to go so we just started driving. I headed north and asked them for a number between 60 and 200. It would be the exit number we took. We ended up in Old Pasadena and spent the day exploring and shopping. It was so fun.

Jessica P. said...

Great contest! It is always fun to go on a trip and do a little of the unexpected! Your trip sounds amazing and I can honestly say that I am a little jealous. I recently got married, so my travels with my dear husband have just begun. A few months ago, we took a trip to Gatlinburg, TN. One morning on our way into town, we actually took a wrong turn and ended up in Sevierville, TN. Following the street signs to Gatlinburg, we found Pigeon Forge. What a GREAT find! Pigeon Forge is a small tourist attraction town just outside of Gatlinburg that is famous for the Dixie Stampede. Even though we got a little sidetracked, we had an absolutely amazing time and enjoyed our stay in Tennessee. I am looking forward to many more adventures with my husband and hope the TrekDek cards can help enhance them!! Thanks so much!! Jessica P.

Nicole B said...

One interesting thing that happened to my husband and I while travelling was when we were vacationing in Hawaii. On a Sunday morning we decided to check out an oceanside church service on the beach. After the service we were talking to one of the members and it turned out that he used to work with my father-in-law in Illinois! We haven't yet had the opportunity to travel abroad (our furthest destinations have been various points in Mexico, the Bahamas, and a couple of trips to Hawaii) but it is something we definitely dream about doing someday. Maybe we'll have the opportunity when our children are a little older. When we do travel though, we love to explore and head off the beaten path, eat where the locals eat, etc, so we'd LOVE to try out the TrekDek Cards - sound awesome! Thanks for the giveaway!

Meghan said...

Wow, Caroline - I have been thinking about what to write about and came to post a comment that is exactly the same as yours! After arriving in Lisbon very, very late, my friend Katie and I happened upon a fado show. Even though I was exhausted, and the place kind of gave me the creeps (it was along a poorly-lit street and strange men were standing outside smoking), we decided we had to see it. I love music, and have never heard anything that even comes close to fado. It is haunting and beautiful. I will definitely remember that night.