Winning in Life (Or, Winning an Awesome Contest)

I’m several days away from a much-needed vacation and I’m actually going away for almost an entire month! This is the first time since 2013 I will be traveling for more than two weeks straight and I cannot tell you how excited I am for this trip. Best of all? Two weeks of the trip is through a contest that I won! I am literally winning in life right now!

Crazy good luck

Crazy good luck, you mean! (Photo by Diana Ma)

What contest did you win?

You know those spammy emails you get, teasing you with the chance to “win a luxury trip for two” to a myriad of exotic locales? I can’t help but enter them (every single one) even though I don’t really believe they ever award prizes to any of the poor suckers (like me) who end up getting added to mass distribution lists for all sorts of crap.

Well, one day I was deleting my inbox full of all sorts of crap when one caught my eye: “You’re our contest winner, Connie!” I was intrigued because the email was sent by a legit-sounding email, as in first-name-last-name-at-travel-PR-company-whose-name-I-recognized-dot-com. Even though I was skeptical of winning anything, I replied to the email asking for more details.

We don't always dress alike or hold up playfully racist cups (don't get offended; they're from India and makes sense humorously in Hindi - I can explain later), but we get along just fine.

Kim and I don’t always dress alike or hold up playfully racist cups (please don’t get offended; they’re from India and makes sense in Hindi*), but we get along just fine.

Long story short, (the long story involving many, many emails back and forth, signing waivers, and lots of miscommunication) I fly out this Friday night to Paris for an all-expenses paid two week vacation through France and Switzerland, by way of river cruise up the Rhone, with my friend Kim, who very fortunately gets to be my guest (i.e., personal photographer and luggage valet. Life ain’t free, people!).

My prized dinnerware set

My prized dinnerware set.

Along with winning this amazing free trip, I also won a rather lovely 30-piece dinnerware set from Villeroy & Boch and a 3-piece luggage set from Delsey. I’ve tacked on a few extra days at the beginning so that I can first travel to Luxembourg to meet my friend, Matteo (he’s made an appearance on the blog before) along with his wife and infant daughter for the weekend before enjoying a few days in Paris with a couple of my Parisian friends, all prior to the two week tour with Kim. Once the two week tour ends, I jet off to Costa Brava, Spain for a week of sunshine and beaches, several days on my own and a couple days with friends from Barcelona. I am honestly winning at life right now.

I am also a little nervous about a few points:

  • I suspect that Kim and I may be the only young folks on this tour with a larger group of older, retirees from America. It could be (fingers crossed!) super cool and fascinating to hang out with people with so much life lived, or it could end up being two weeks stuck on a boat with like everyone’s racist aunts and uncles. The anticipation is killing me.
  • The scheduled itinerary is the complete opposite of how I prefer to travel and I don’t know how I’m going to handle rushing through the stunning cities and towns of the Burgundy region in just mere hourlong excursions. According to the itinerary, we get to explore Chateauneu-du-Pape for 30 minutes. 30 MINUTES?!!?!? Are you kidding me? I might end up breaking the world record for most wines tasted in a 30 minute span if that isn’t a typo.
  • Although several meals are included in the tour, Kim and I already have a long and exhausting list of fabulous restaurants we want to try. I don’t want to alienate our fellow travelers, but I also refuse to eat at tourist traps/hotel lobby restaurants.

Fingers crossed Kim and I make it out of the two weeks together on this trip alive and still friends because that’s a thing too. If you’re interested, follow along on social media for Instagrams, live videos, and fun Snaps! All platforms: @connvoyage

*Those are Indian chai cups. The Hindi word for sugar is cheenee, which is also the word for Chinese people. I quite enjoyed the attempt at humorous wordplay via mildly racial caricatures when I saw them in Bombay so I bought them. EVERYONE always asks me why I have those cups the first time they see it. (Please don’t be offended!)

Categories: Europe, general travel


  • Jenny says:

    Can’t wait to see the photos and read about the experience…I’m hopeful that I get texts along the way!!! Enjoy, you deserve to forget about this place for a few weeks!!

  • Randee Ball says:

    Wow! How awesome that you won a trip! Hopefully you get to venture on your own a bit without having to follow the group’s itinerary. The plates are gorgeous too! What a nice prize! I always enter those contests too but I’ve yet to win. One day, maybe. Your week in Spain sounds nice. I’ve been there and it’s gorgeous! I’d definitely say you are winning at life! Also, I love your little Hindi cups (I didn’t get it until the end when you explained it and I think it’s awesome!) I can’t wait to see pictures!

  • John says:

    Let’s all hope that that “30 minutes in Chateauneuf-du-Pape” really IS a typo.

    Great to see your blog in the e-mail. Keep writing!

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