What would you do with £5000 to spend on travel? Hmmmm what would I do with £5000? I am thrilled to say that I have been shortlisted in the Affordable Travel category of the Post Office Travel Blogger Awards 2018, and the prize is up to £5000 from Post Office Travel Insurance to spend on adventures abroad! The only thing I have to do is say what I would spend the money on. And get you lovely people to vote for me! Voting closes on 17th July, so please please click below to vote!
Where Would I Go?
This really is tough for me, as I really do want to go everywhere. Not just to say I’ve been to every country, for me flying into the airport and out again doesn’t count. I mean I want to explore everywhere. To meet the people, try the food, learn about the culture and admire the scenery. I want to go everywhere and do everything! So how could someone like me, with such a raving case of wanderlust, possibly choose the one place I would go if I won £5000?
I have only briefly been to Asia, so travelling around Asia would be incredible. India is definitely on my bucket list too, as are Australia and New Zealand. Africa of course would be a dream too as well, to go on safari and trek to see gorillas. When I have so many places I want to go, making a decision like this isn’t easy, and I would be thrilled to go to any one of these destinations. However, I have been thinking about this for a few days now, and I keep coming back to the same answer. The one place that I definitely can’t go to on a budget. A place where not many people get to go. An inhospitable place, which takes more than a simple charter flight to reach. A place like Antarctica.
A Dream Destination
I love to travel, and most places I have been a relatively low budget, once I have bought my flights at least. Mexico, South America, Europe, these destinations didn’t require any specialist equipment, no cruise ship, and no risk of freezing to death if I got lost (apart from perhaps the trek to Machu Picchu). Antarctica has always been the final frontier on Earth for me, the last unexplored expanse where you can’t just pop over for a weekend to enjoy.
That is what I would use the £5000 for. To pay for a ticket on a cruise ship to the Antarctic and take a trip to the seventh continent. That would easily eat up the £5k, and then some! I couldn’t afford that without some help, so it really would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to go. While I am in Argentina I would of course spend some time exploring Patagonia, Buenos Aires, and go to Chile too, all of which I missed on my last South American adventure.
Since I quit my job to go travelling and started blogging, I have had to careful about what I spent money on, so to have this guilt-free chunk of cash to spend on an incredible trip would be unreal. I can’t imagine actually being able to afford a trip like that so if I win you will probably hear me shrieking at the top of my lungs, no matter where you are in the world!
I hope I don’t have to justify this destination, I am pretty sure Antarctica speaks for itself! A frozen land where penguins are king, or rather where King Penguins are, where I could kayak among the icebergs and take a dip in the freezing water. Having said that, apparently other types of penguins like Adélie and Chinstrap are more likely to be spotted on this trip, but hey, wild penguins are wild penguins.
I also learned a new fact today, that a group of penguins on land is called a rookery or a waddle of penguins. A waddle of penguins! I want to see lots of waddles, of cute fluffy babies and beautiful proud parents, to see these birds up close in the wild would really be a dream come true.
Not to mention the chance to see orca and humpback whales. I went whale watching once on my first every solo trip, off the coast of Boston, and caught a glimpse of a couple of humpback whales, as they moved gracefully through the water. That moment has stayed with me for more than 15 years, and is an experience I definitely want to repeat. I can’t imagine how it would feel to see these animals surface alongside our boat, between icebergs or with a backdrop of glaciers.
What is an Antarctic Cruise Like?
I admit, I hadn’t really researched what the trip would entail, as it was only a pipe dream for so long – but now there is a possibility of actually going, I read up on some Antarctic trips to see what my potential prize money would go towards.
Departing from the world’s most southerly city, Ushuaia in Argentina, I’d board a cruise ship to sail through the Beagle Channel, and across Drake Passage, named after Sir Francis Drake, English sea captain, privateer and pirate. I just hope we have smooth sailing to keep my motion sickness in check! The South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula stretch out in front of us, as we explore by land or sea to spot the animals and birds who make Antarctica their home. After spending a few days here, we would head back the way we came to Ushuaia. A short trip, around 10-12 days, but one that would stay with me forever.
Having read some itineraries, I am also impressed that there are naturalists and experts on board who offer lectures and educational talks to help us learn more about Antarctica and the fragile ecosystem that exists here. I’m really happy to see that, and it confirms that a trip to the Antarctic isn’t your usual holiday, this is going to be life-changing.
Eyes on the Prize
Now I’m excited! Having decided what I would spend the prize money on, I can’t wait to see if I win. There are some other really good nominees so If you would like to help me out on that, you can vote for me here (until midnight on 17th July). Don’t worry, I’ll keep reminding you to cast your votes! In the meantime, I am still dreaming of my trip to Antarctica, and have every finger, toe and other extremities firmly crossed!
What would you do with £5000 to spend on travel? I’d love to hear your dream destinations, and hope we can all fulfill them one day!
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