Our lives are boiled down to dollars and cents. These days, $10 will get you as far as:
- 1 vodka-soda at the nearest bar (gone within fifteen minutes, ten if you’re super thirsty)
- 3/4 of a movie ticket (1/2 if you’re going to a movie in 3D)
- 1.3 extra value meals at McDonalds (GROSS no one needs more than one!)
- 2.5% of an Ipad (not even worth it)
- This Groupon for OhConcept Leather-Look Leggings (um, if that’s what you’re into…)
$10 doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you’re lucky, one donation could get you:
- 1 travel media course at MatadorU
- 1 HP Slate 7 tablet
- 1 iTravel2000.com gift card
- 1 The Emperor 85L backpack
- 2 nights at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa
- 3 nights at The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Florida
- 4 Passes for Louisville MEGA Cavern
- 5 nights and 2 tours in Rome
- 15 days in Morocco
- 100,000 Club Carlson Points
Put things into perspective – donate to Passports with Purpose and make a difference by helping to build schools and literacy programs in Mali, Africa. You could win one or more of these awesome prizes, and do something good in the meantime!
PwP has a goal to reach $115,000 by December 9. Are you up for the challenge? Click here to get started!
Matador Network has teamed up with Twenty-something Travel to donate a MatadorU course of choice. This is your chance to educate yourself with one of our awesome travel writing, photography or film courses, while helping to educate children and adults in the Sikasso region of southern Mali.
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! I know it’s cliche, but ’tis the season everyone – Hanukkah is in full-swing, and Christmas is on it’s way. You COULD go out and buy an Ipod for a loved one, or a latte for yourself, but what if you took that cash and spent it elsewhere? Say, on someone who could use a few extra dollars to improve their life?
I’m talking about donating your extra holiday money to Passports with Purpose. Each year, travel bloggers from around the world host prizes to raise money for a special charity aiming to make a global impact. This year it’s all about buildON, an organization that, with the money raised through PwP, will help construct three schools and fund three adult literacy programs in the Sikasso region of southern Mali, Africa.
Education is the doorway to success, and because of that, I’m happy to announce the donation of a MatadorU course to the prizes available at PwP. The prize is hosted by Stephanie Yoder of Twenty-Something Travel, a seriously cool chick who Matador Network is proud to partner with in this endeavor. Donate for a chance to win any MatadorU course of your choice – travel writing, travel photography, or travel film.
Receive an awesome education that will help you launch a career in travel media, and help jump-start the construction of education facilities for adults and children in Mali! It’s literally a win-win situation!
There are tons of other prizes to bid on as well, from hotel stays to travel gear, tours and gift certificates. I’ve donated already but will probably donate again, because it’s just that fun!
What’s the process like?
Go to the PwP website. Click on DONATE NOW, and browse through the prize catalog that comes up. Read the descriptions of the prizes, then choose which ones interest you the most. Your donations will be tallied up and you can pay via PayPal at the end. There is a donation minimum of $10, but every $10 is another chance to win your selected prizes.
Donations will be accepted from November 26th to December 9th. Winners are drawn at random, and notified thereafter. Last year I was lucky enough to win two Windows Smartphones, a seriously awesome prize that I was able to give to my parents who were stuck in the flip-phone stone age.
I hope you join me in this charitable endeavor. Even if you don’t win, you’ll still feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing you were a part of something BIG!
Did you donate to Passports with Purpose this year? Which prizes did you bid on?
I thought that, with an extra week to write, NaNoWriMo would be a piece of cake.
My hubris got the better of me.
Last year, I was soooooo diligent in writing my novel, because I didn’t really have anything to do. Sure, I was dealing with Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, but I also didn’t have internet for about a week, so it was easier to hunker down and, you know, write. I also was able to sneak in passages at my shitty job, and my semester was donezo, so I had loads more time to spare. Back then, I wrote only a few articles for Matador, so NaNoWriMo took up most of my editorial timing.
Now however, I’m working for Matador full-time, and working on some awesome freelance gigs for a major company, and student teaching. I try to write whenever I can, but it’s hard to even get my 1,500 words a day goal in – I teach until 3pm, get home and work until 11pm, and suddenly, it’s time for bed.
I don’t think I’ll be nearing the 50,000 word mark this time around. I’m halfway there, which is admirable in itself, but the odds are not looking good. What is good is that I will definitely be working on this project after NaNoWriMo is over, with plans to publish it sometime this summer. So I won’t be abandoning the idea swiftly, but I won’t be achieving my goal of NaNoWriMo winning for a second year in a row.
But who knows? December doesn’t start until Sunday – maybe I’ll get a second win, and come out all right. For those of you participating this year, how is it going during this final stretch?
It makes you try out a new style of writing. While it’s awesome to be an expert in a certain genre, as writers, we should be challenging ourselves. That means diverging away from traditional travel writing, and trying something different. How would you incorporate your travels into a fictional story? What elements from your writing can you bring to something totally out of the box?
It instills diligence. The best way to get better at writing, is to write – a lot. Like, all of the time. You should honestly write something every day, even if it’s just a short blog piece, or a letter to a friend. Even journaling is good. But to really excel at writing, you have to write with a purpose. Crafting your NaNoWriMo story is an awesome way to up your game.
It teaches you the art of setting small goals. ”I want to travel to Alaska from Argentina by motorbike in one month!” Awesome idea, maybe not totally realistic – especially if you don’t own a motorbike. It’s the same thing with NaNoWriMo – “I’m going to write 50,000 words in one week!” is totally unrealistic, but setting a smaller goal like “I will write 1,500 words a day” is like saying “I will learn to first ride a motorbike before embarking on this adventure.”
The 21 rule. Some debate this as actual truth, but supposedly, if you do something for 21 days in a row – yoga, using new vocabulary, washing the dishes – it becomes habitual. I think there is some credence to that, because if you do something long enough, you do get better at it, and it does become somewhat second nature. So if you write every day, for 21 days at least, most likely, you’ll continue writing on day 22, 23, 24…This is good for travel writers because you will always find time to write, even when days on the road get hectic.
There is publishing potential. This is the perfect opportunity to get started on that eBook you’ve been putting off. When my eBook was published through Thought Catalog, I had a limit of 30,000 words – if you choose to go through a publisher, you may have already exceeded the maximum amount of words required of you with NaNoWriMo. If you choose to self-publish, all you will have to worry about is cohesion. After one month and a little editing, you’ll have a completed work that you can actually make money off of.
Are you participating in this year’s event?
Add me as a buddy – username katkatravels.
Stuff on the internet I liked reading this week…
These Fascinating Maps Show The Origin Of Words We Use All The Time. Me gusta maps. Me gusta linguistics. I’ve always been fascinated by cognates. This article serious blew my mind and is just amazeballs.
Should we take the ‘free’ out of freelance? The freelance debate is growing stronger every day. I’ve read a lot of articles about it, but for some reason hearing people discuss it is a different experience. A must-listen for those who take pride in being paid to hang out in our pjs.
Los Angeles: A Walking and Public Transit City. I’ve always thought about living in LA, but since I hate driving, I’ve pushed it out of my mind. My good friend Spencer did a little experiment to dispel the idea that LA is completely a driver’s city.
How To Travel With Your Best Friend. Love this breakdown by Brenna, who crafts beautiful words into sage advice and uses her own experiences traveling with her bestie.
20 of the most ridiculous TripAdvisor reviews. This article will make you laugh so hardcore. Trip Advisor is so ridiculous sometimes (most times).
I always miss Prague this time of year. It’s a combination of a bunch of things – the weather, the holidays, how the sun sets earlier, folding shirts and dresses I brought with me to Europe, fresh out of the wash…needless to say, I’m a little Prague-sick, and I am desperately trying to remedy it.
Here is how I’ve been coping with the country I haven’t seen for almost five years:
Beer. I picked up a pack of Joseph’s Brau Czech-style beer from Trader Joe’s the other day. I’ve been trying to stay away from beer with my new diet, but when I saw the word “Czech” and “Plzner” I splurged on a six-pack. It’s not the best I’ve had – I will probably spring on some legit Staropramen over the weekend – but it was comforting, despite the ridiculous labeling on Trader Joe’s part (nothing about this brand is Czech).
Movies. I downloaded a slew of 1960s new-wave favorites – Loves of a Blonde, Closely Watched Trains, Daisies, and Larks on a String. I also downloaded some new Czech films, Burning Bush and Don Juans, which were released this year. I’d like to watch some with my boyfriend, I think he’d like Closely Watched Trains in particular (seems to be the fan favorite for many). I should also watch Citizen Havel – the anniversary of Havel’s death comes up next month.
Czeckoslovak Independence Day. So this happened on October 28th, but being that it was my first full week student teaching fourth grade, yeah, I forgot about it. Hooray to the Czechs, who celebrate their independence from the Austro Hungarian Empire in 1918.
Trip planning. What does one do when they get wanderlust? Trip-plan, of course! I travel to Norway in March but my flight was so cheap, I’m toying with the idea of spending a few days in Slovakia as well. It would be a logistical nightmare, so I think I’ll decide closer to the trip, but being that I could fly into Bratislava for $120 (when my flight to Norway cost a mere $430), it might be worth it.
I know I’ll get back there someday, I just wish it wasn’t taking me so long…