Mar 12

Grantourismo Travel Blogging Competition: February Winners

For our twelfth and final contest in our yearlong series of monthly Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competitions we asked you to list your 10 most memorable travel moments. It was a tough contest to judge this year with so many outstanding entries, but our February Competition winners are…

FIRST PRIZE A stay at a HomeAway Holiday-Rentals property of your choice anywhere in the world valued at UK£500/US$750, a Context tour voucher worth US$100, and a Trourist Moleskine travel notebook go to Nicole of The Mansionblog for My Top Ten Travel Memories (below).

SECOND PRIZEViator tour voucher worth £100/US$150, a private half-day tour with a local guide in a destination of your choice anywhere in the world from Our Explorer, and a Trourist Moleskine travel notebook go to Suzanne of Walkabouts for My Top Ten Moments Spent with Locals.

THIRD PRIZE A 1-year subscription to AFAR magazine and a Trourist Moleskine notebook go to Rebecca of The Distance to Here blog for 10 Memorable Slow Travel Moments in Ireland.

SPECIAL PRIZE This month, we have an additional prize from our generous sponsor HomeAway Holiday-Rentals for Keith Kellett AKA ‘Nomad Keith‘ of Travelrat’s Travels blog. Like many of you, Keith has travelled vicariously with us this last year. He has also participated in every contest, mostly being the first person to enter, and for that he gets a stay at a HomeAway Holiday-Rentals property anywhere in the world valued at UK£500.

Congratulations to Keith, to this month’s winners, and to all of our previous winners. Thanks also to everyone who has entered our competitions over the last twelve months. If you haven’t yet read the many inspiring February entries, or any of the hundreds of other entries we received, please do take a look here: click on the month, scroll down to the Comments/Trackbacks and click on the links.

A very sincere thank you must also go to our competition sponsors, HomeAway Holiday-RentalsContextViatorOur ExplorerAFAR magazine, and Trourist, for their amazing travel prizes this month and over the last 12 months! This is the final HomeAway Holiday-Rentals Grantourismo Travel Blogging Competition, however, we will continue to host more travel writing contests in the future, the first of which we’ll announce soon.

A reminder to all prize-winners: there is a condition of entering the competitions that you blog about your prize, link to the prize sponsor, HomeAway Holiday-Rentals and Grantourismo. Please let us know when you do that and we’ll link back to your story from the Competitions Winners posts and promote your post on Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s the winning February post:

My Top Ten Travel Memories
by Nicole of The Mansion

I drink cherry wine and learn to dance, in a town where teens compete to do the best polka. Czech Republic

Ten year old Majda teaches me to count in Moroccan Arabic. “‘Wahet,’ ‘jooj,’ ‘tlata,’” she says patiently. Erfoud, Morocco

We find shelter from a downpour with Rocio and Andres, from Chile. After introductions, he produces from his backpack a bottle of wine carried from home. Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Eighty-seven year old Bill teaches me how to plant garlic. New Zealand

Seventeen and on my first trip alone. I meet a boy on the train who makes me jump out at all the stops so that I can say I’ve been there. Austria/Italy

She asks in Quechua, and when I don’t understand, begins singing what sounds like a lullaby. Then she points to me. The first thing I can think to sing is Dido. Bolivia

I sit on the edge of a cliff, 12,500 feet high in the Andes. Below me is a cauldron of fog. Above me, a star-lit sky. Peru

Our conversation is so engrossing that by the end of the night, I hardly realize that she and I have not shared a word of common language. Italy

I am eating meat from chicken that has lived its whole life outside. I never knew meat was meant to taste this good. Vashon Island, WA

A herd of goats rushes past me, breaking the alpine silence with miniature rockslides. Austria


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  1. jeannie

    Congratulations to the winners!! :)

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your support, Jeannie!

  2. Nicole Sharkey

    Thank you so much Lara and Terence, HomeAway Holiday-Rentals and other sponsors. It was great to be part of this competition, and to have the chance to read all of the amazing memories that were shared. I am honored to be selected.

    1. Terence Carter

      It was fun reading, wasn’t it? Congrats!

  3. Lisa Bergren

    Loved these Top 10s from everyone. Thanks for the year of competitions, Lara and Terry. Very inspiring. :-)

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Lisa! We loved them too – which is why they were so hard to judge. More competitions to come in the future! :)

  4. Kim Petersen

    Way to go winners! Thanks, guys, for the fun opportunity to connect. All best.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Kim!

  5. Suzanne

    I ditto Nicole. Thanks so much to Lara, Terrence, HomeAway UK, Viator, Our Explorer and Trourist for the honour of second place. Reading and writing your competitions has been immensely inspiring in many ways.

    1. Lara Dunston

      So glad to hear that, Suzanne!

  6. jiffer

    Congratulations to everyone and YAY for Keith! He truly did deserve that special prize!!!

    1. Lara Dunston


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