Dec 14

Grantourismo Travel Blogging Competition: November Winners

For our ninth contest in our yearlong series of monthly Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals competitions we asked you to create a post on based on the theme Living Like Locals. Our November Competition winners are…

FIRST PRIZE A stay at a HomeAway Holiday-Rentals property anywhere in the world valued at UK£500/US$750, a Viator tour voucher worth £100/US$150, an Olympus FE-4040 compact camera worth £125/US$190, and a Trourist Moleskine notebook goes to Anne of Prêt à Voyager for her post Live Like a Local: Go to a (Greek) Wedding. Experiences don’t get more local than Anne’s: sipping frappes in a local hair salon, enjoying a hamam experience with ten new friends, and sleeping on the floor of the bride’s mother’s TV room!

SECOND PRIZEContext tour voucher worth US$100, a private half-day tour with a local guide anywhere in the world from Our Explorer, and a Trourist Moleskine notebook goes to Nikki Hodgson of Never a Dull Moment for Breakfast in Nablus. We loved how Nikki simply pulled up a broken plastic chair and slipped in with the local television-watching crowd who were totally oblivious to her eat eating her knafeh and sipping her Arabic coffee.

THIRD PRIZE a 1-year subscription to AFAR magazine and a Trourist Moleskine notebook goes to Pam of Nerd’s Eye View for showing us how she lives like a local when she travels using Local Transit.

Congratulations to this month’s winners and thanks to everyone who entered. If you haven’t yet read the many inspiring November entries we received, please do take a look here; links to the posts appear in the Comments and/or Trackbacks.

And once again, a very sincere thanks to our competition sponsors, HomeAway Holiday-RentalsContextViator,Our ExplorerAFAR, and Trourist, for so many fantastic prizes! Details for December’s competition will be posted next.

Here’s the winning November post:

Live Like a Local: Go To a (Greek) Wedding
By Anne of Prêt à Voyager (That’s Anne’s photo above.)

Going to a wedding is always a cultural reflection; it’s even more so when you travel half-way around the world to attend one. Weddings in Cyprus are quite a production as an all day – and night – affair, leaving ample time to get to know the cast of characters involved. And as the only American representative at this particular wedding, they got to know me too (particularly by the time for the dance floor).

In attending the wedding as a good friend of the bride, it meant that she was too busy with wedding stuff to feel the need to tour me around in typical tourist fashion. The perks? How often do you get to spend time sipping frappes in a local hair salon, or snack on specialty Greek wedding treats? And a hamam experience is always fabulous, but its way better when you experience it with 10 new friends.

My home for the week in Cyprus was on the floor of the bride’s mother’s TV room (who can’t believe I just wrote that), which I would have not changed. I woke up in the mornings, and everything – literally – was Greek to me. Before I knew it I was shuffled into the cousin’s apartment across the hall and was force fed amazing foods. There was so much going on that no one had to worry or fuss about me – instead, even though we didn’t always speak the same language, I became part of the family.


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  1. Lindsey

    Bravo to Anne!!

  2. Cathy Sweeney

    Congratulations to Anne, Nikki and Pam for such great articles. Nicely done!

  3. John

    Felicitations! Anne, Nikki and Pam for managing to transport us to another place with just 250 words and a photo.

  4. Lara Dunston

    Thanks all – on behalf of Anne, Nikki and Pam. We think all the entries perfectly encapsulated what we love about living like locals and local travel – simple and unexpected things like sleeping on someone’s floor, going unnoticed in a local cafe, and taking public transport.

  5. Prêt à Voyager

    Thanks to everyone for all their lovely support and congratulations! It’s a true honor :)


  6. victoria

    bravo, anne!!! so well deserved!

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