Some of you may or may not remember that a year ago this past July (16 months ago) I won airline tickets to Fiji (read here), on Bucket List Publications, offered by Fiji Airways. Let me be clear about this: I did not win those tickets by merely entering my name– I worked my cici off, to win that contest! It was not easy, and I was facing a giant wall of doubt and mockery at the hands of… well, almost anyone who knew what I was doing. “Are you serious? You’ll never win those tickets! Everyone knows these things are rigged,” chided Smart Guy. Yeah, real smart, guy. “Mom, are you crazy? You’re never going to win!” and “Mom, this is ridiculous! You’re wasting your time!” Um, that’s why you’re Middle Man and Little Man, and I’m the Secretary General– the CEO– Queen of the Universe… and the winner of a trip to Fiji! And you guys… are not! Na-na-na’boo-boo!
So let me tell you my secret to winning the tickets:
I set my eyes on the prize!
I lost sleep! I skipped meals!
I worked my “cici” off!
I re-Tweeted, Liked and posted on Facebook every single time that Bucket List and Fiji Airways did anything. Any. Thing! If they burped, I re-Tweeted it. (Pretty much the truth) I went back and made sure I’d crossed very T and dotted every I. But the thing that I did over and over and over again, was play a memory game that Fiji Airways posted on their website. Every time I did any one of these things, I got a point toward winning, and playing that game was my golden ticket. Remember that card game, where all the cards are face down and you turn 2 over at a time, and try to make matches? They had that game on-line, only you were matching Fijian phrases, airline images, all things Fiji or Fiji Airways. I must have played that game 1,000 times in the three weeks of the contest– at least! I woke in the middle of the night and snuck out to my laptop. “Are you seriously playing that game again?” Smart Guy was sure I’d lost my mind. I had.
When I was in college, I saved and saved and went to Australia for three months. Back then, I swear, no one (no. one!) seemed to know where Australia was, and no one I knew could understand why I wanted to go that far away. I had my reason (one day, I’ll write a book). But, I was dirt poor. I saved enough for the airline tickets and a little more working three jobs and doing nothing else (but school), but not enough for the stop in Hawaii or Fiji that was offered. Both of those places were so exotic to me, but entirely out of my reach at the time. I stopped in the airport in Honolulu (staring out the window at what I couldn’t have) and flew over Fiji, but I didn’t get to see either. I was twenty years old, and I set my sights on getting there one day. Since then, Fiji has remained a dream.
Then Bucket List Publication’s creator and diva extraordinaire, Lesley Carter went. She posted such incredible stories about her trip– filled with beautiful pictures and exciting things to do. Fiji had been on my Bucket List since 1983, and her posts just stirred my desire to go. When she offered an incredible contest a few months later, I was on it! Like white on rice. Like lint on velvet… Like a red- head on determination– Me. I was going to win.
I played and I played.
I then, I played some more!
I dug in–
and was willing to forgo food and all other pleasures until the contest was over. I worried about it day and night, for the duration. In fact, two days before the contest ended we were going out of town (no wifi) and I was beside myself– sure someone else would steal it from me. On the night before the contest ended, we came home and I tried to make up for two days lost– playing until my eyes and fingers hurt. I was willing to stay up all night to win those tickets! In the morning, fairly early, I got an email from the contest… “The contest closes at 4pm EST today; however, you are so far ahead, it is entirely impossible that anyone else can win. You can relax; we’ll send you details later. “
Um, really?! I was flabbergasted.
I read that email several times, and for a few minutes thought it might be a trick. Could it be someone out there trying to trick me into losing my edge– another competitor? I double- checked and was told that I had in fact won. I’ll tell you, no one in my house was laughing after that… nope, they were groveling. Every family member (my husband, my kids, nieces, nephews, siblings, aunts, uncles), most of my friends, and countless blog readers told me why they should get to go with me. There were some pretty good pleas being bargained!
I took Smart Guy. After all, after nearly thirty years of marriage, it would not have gone down well if I’d taken anyone else, and, he’s my smart guy. We had to put it off for a year, because we had an exchange student the year I won, but this October, we finally went. It was an incredible trip; it was magic! I didn’t jump out of planes, as I’d envisioned when I commented on Bucket List’s posts. I’m chicken in Fiji too, it turns out. I didn’t go dirt biking or anything else crazy. We spent two weeks just reconnecting and totally loving every thing about Fiji and its people.
And here’s what it all looked like: (Warning: images are a fraction of the actual fabulousness and 1/2 as blue!)
The trip was worth every hour I spent, winning those tickets!
I owe it all to Bucket List Publications–
and Fiji Airways. We might have gone… someday. But someday often become a long time away, and that often becomes never. As the temperatures plummet and life gets busy again, I can look at the wonderful photos and dream of hot, beautiful beaches with my guy. Giant thanks to Lesley at Bucket List, I checked a 31 year-old dream off my bucket List.
Vanaka Vakalevu Bucket List Publications and Fiji Airways!
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