A good idea travels. You can also travel on a good idea. Yet another dream tourist destination has launched a search for someone who wouldn't mind taking a few months off to see it for free.
This time, it's New Zealand. A travel company in Wellington, the little country's scenic and surprisingly hip capital, will fly the winner Down Under to tour the country for three months -- transportation, food, tickets, camera, and accommodation gratis -- to act as a sort of ambassador for the Kiwi brand.
There's no salary for this one, but there is a daily stipend, and since all the essentials will be taken care of, the winner won't go out-of-pocket. Not that it's a very taxing country to begin with: green, leafy, clean, with lots of sheep and unlocked doors.
If there's a place a person wouldn't mind rolling around for three months, New Zealand would be near the top of my list. Oh, yes, there will be bungee jumping.
For this one, there's an age requirement of 18-30. That's not because of the bias of the organizers (who work for a travel company and not for the government) but because of the visa required to make such quasi-employment possible.
Last winter, Queensland, Australia sponsored a PR-fueled search for someone to hire for the $100,000 dream job of lolling about on the Great Barrier Reef and blogging about it for six months. The winner of that one, Englishman Ben Southall, punches in on July 1.
Winning one of these things has its drawbacks: The British press, continuing its long tradition of attempting to destroy everything it touches, recently reported that Southall was already complaining -- he made the mistake of telling someone he was going to miss the beautiful summer in England.
Then Orlando duplicated Queensland's success, announcing a search for a two-person team to come try everything in Central Florida for 67 days -- condo unit, spa treatments, and park tickets included -- and be paid $25,000. That competition is still open. The deadline is June 30, and the residency period will be from the end of August to the beginning of November.
The application period for the latest contest closes Aug. 31. Whip up the winning video by then and you could be the lucky beneficiary of two summers this year: at home, and later on, in New Zealand, where the people will no doubt be thankful that I got through this entire thing without mentioning The Lord of the Rings.
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