I don’t want to explain the whole adventure, but the last time I went to Paris I had a serious and uncharacteristic lapse of traveling awareness and made a blunder that resulted in the loss of two hours and the necessity of purchasing an additional €99 train ticket.
Needless to say, I was quite frustrated with myself and not looking forward to telling my husband about the expensive bonus ticket. Frantically, I rationalized the situation as follows: I had that week become aware of an online writing contest with a first prize of $500. I determined to tell Tim that although I regretted the situation with the trains, I would redeem myself by winning the contest. (Or, preferably, not mention any of this until the situation was resolved.)
Somewhat to my (thrilled) surprise, this actually happened.
Through another Dutch expat blog, I recently discovered ExpatsBlog.com. Expats of all locations and nationalities can link their blogs there, and you can spend a really long time perusing them and trying to decide where you want to live next. I submitted a note to link this blog, and decided to go ahead and do an expat interview with them, as well as enter the contest: 1,000 words+ on creative advice for potential expats. As this is a topic I really have thought about, writing the piece was enjoyable. My sister gave it a read for me and promptly moved to Europe. (Unfortunately, just kidding.)
After I entered, I learned that a factor in the contest was gathering social media votes for the entry, and to be honest I groaned. But as I’d already put time into my essay, I asked you all to click some “like” and I really want to thank everyone who did, and who left such awesome comments. Of 40+ entries, I squeaked into the top 5 for social media votes, and then waited to hear what the judges had to say. When the results went live on Saturday night I was amazed to see my name, and immediately took a screen shot with my computer, saying to Tim, “in case they change it!”. (They haven’t.)