In my first post on December 14, 2010 I wrote:
“…assuming enough people get involved to make it worth continuing with this blog, I will chose 6 of the participants to come to Costa Rica as my guests. We’ll continue the conversation in person. I’ll pay all expenses including economy airfare…”
Click here to read the entire post.
Then on December 21:
“The idea is to use the blog to select a few people who together would create a magical few days”
“Perhaps describing my goals for the trip will shed more light on how I am going to choose the participants.“
- First and foremost I want to have fun and enjoy the company.
- I also want to get video of the most highly evolved travelers I can find having a wonderful time.
- I want to get audio of these same people talking about their experience.
- I want to use the video and audio clips for training and marketing.
- I want to advance my own growth and education in exploring the ‘interesting questions which resonate’.”
Click here to read the entire post.
In June I invited 7 people, 5 of whom were able to come. The trip took place from October 19-25.
One of the participants, Patty Chang Anker, has chronicled the trip far better than I could ever hope to do myself. Here is her first installment:
Ticket to Ride- Patty Chang Anker
“I can hardly believe it. I am settled in my window seat, flying BY MYSELF, to Costa Rica.
The nice lady sitting next to me asks if it’s for business or pleasure.
I feel guilty answering. I won a free trip online. Just for me. My 2 small kids are with their dad going to see their grandmother. They drove away this morning fighting and crying with each other. I packed them up for their trip and then ran around packing myself. I forgot rainpants, and I’m going to a rainforest. I hardly ever travel without my family. I didn’t know how to use the airport computer to check in. I don’t know how to use the I-pod in my bag.
I sound crazy. What kind of person leaves her family to take a vacation with strangers that she won on the internet? I sound like I should be reported to the authorities.
Turns out my seatmate Meryl is an adoption social worker who also has a son with special needs. We have so much in common – so I tell her all. How wonderful, but how hard it has been, all these years by my kids’ sides. How right now, everyone is stable, good, and how I don’t know what next month will bring. How when this opportunity came up, in a year where I’ve committed to saying yes to things that scare me, I couldn’t say no.
It’s being billed as the “Trip of a Lifetime” by Costa Rica Expeditions (http://www.costaricaexpeditions.com), the most established and reputable tour company in the country. The president, Michael S. Kaye, a pioneer of eco-tourism, invited 5 active participants of his travel blog (http://www.vacationtimeisprecious.com/) to visit him in Costa Rica. We will be filmed for their marketing purposes (hmmmm, hope that doesn’t end up on YouTube), participate in programs he is piloting and give him feedback. There will be networking opportunities for me as a public relations pro, and untold opportunities to try new things, starting with this solo flight into the unknown.
Meryl takes it all in.
“This is such a good thing you’re doing.”
“Do you really think so?” I gush, breathing a huge sigh of relief. “Because you’re a licensed professional! And a mom. Your opinion…”
“You have my official stamp of approval,” Meryl says, stamping her palm. The sun is setting over New York as we take off. Meryl smiles, giving me a thumbs up.
I grin the biggest grin, and look out the window.”
Next week follow Patty in: “Bienvenidos a…Costa Rica!”
In the meantime share how you felt as you set off on a particularly momentous trip.