I know I’m coming up in the world when I’m invited to judge a travel contest! I’ve just agreed to be a judge for the $1,000 Splits Competition hosted by Leap Local, the service that puts travelers in touch with recommended local travel guides. BUT – there are only three days left to enter for your chance to win. Entries must be completed by midnight in your time zone on September 30, 2012.
The winning travel writer will split the $1,000 prize with the local guide, driver, tour operator, homestay owner, guesthouse owner, teacher, or expert they recommend on Leap Local’s website (a local is an individual who lives and works at the point of destination). The recommended local service must be new to the website and there is no limit to the number of entries travelers may make. As judges, we’ll be looking for a recommendation that makes us want to go on the adventure safari, or take the exact same eco trip, or stay with your favorite nomad family, based upon nothing but the power of your recommendation.
So why, with my very busy schedule, did I agree to judge this competition? Simple. I always seek to connect with local individuals who can provide me with an authentic cultural travel experience. In many, if not most cases, these are solo operators who do not have the benefit of a big tour operator behind them, yet they provide a richer experience than any tour. These folks struggle to earn a living, just as I do, so I’m really thrilled to be able to help one of them out (and maybe learn about a new culture in the process). Continue reading