C’mon, admit it. We all like to receive FREE things from time to time. Most of us though, never get to experience this during our lifetime. How many tickets have you bought to win the Lotto? How many raffle tickets have you bought during your lifetime, and actually won. If you are like us, you have forked out a lot more money to buy these tickets than you ever would have won!
WELL GUESS WHAT?????? We won. We finally won something. We didn’t even have to buy a ticket, we had to complete an entry form. Ok, you have no idea what I am talking about do you? I will start from the beginning.
Back in February I stumbled across a travel competition. The competition was being run by a large company that specialises in caravan & camping products, Dometic Waeco. Otherwise known as “Follow The Sun” ambassador competition. There were three winners being chosen, and each winner would be given the opportunity to win up to $25,000 to upgrade in your caravan and vehicle, plus fuel and accommodation expenses to travel for three months to a set itinerary. Part of the competition, being an Ambassador, was to host Happy Hours at various places around Australia to show other travellers the great range of products, and to thank them for their ongoing custom to Dometic. After reading through the terms and conditions I straight away thought that this competition was created for us. For those of you who know us, we love to meet people, we love happy hours, we love travelling, and yes surprise surprise, I LOVE social media. So I emailed off the entry form, and after a month or so didn’t really think much of it.
It was Monday, May 19th, we had just spent the weekend in Sydney and were on our way back to Canberra. Today was the day something magical was going to happen. Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I casually said to Corey “I guess we didn’t win that Dometic thing, the winners were announced today and we haven’t received a call”. He laughed, and we both agreed that things like this would never happen to us.
We arrived back in Canberra and were packing up our van, we had finished exploring our Nation’s Capital and were ready to head to Victoria. Being so busy packing, I didn’t hear my phone ring. I had a missed call, and a voicemail message. I recognised it was a Gold Coast number, I laughed and said to Corey “Bet it’s Dometic, haha”. As I checked my voicemail, I screamed, it WAS Dometic. They had left a message asking me to return their call. I must’ve called about twenty times, obviously the person I was trying to get through to was busy calling other finalists. When I got through and heard on the other end of the line that we had made the TOP 20 from OVER 8000 applicants my heart stopped, I couldn’t stop shaking and I was absolutely gobsmacked!
So what did this mean, making the Top 20? This meant that we had to submit further details together with a video submission outlining why we should win, and become the top 3. For a bit of extra confidence and support I asked friends to invite their friends to like our travel page. This made me feel loved, I admit it, I started to feel that we could inspire more and more people to travel, to bite the bullet and make sure that they never have a dull moment. Get out and explore our country, whether it be for a weekend, a week, a month, a year or a lifetime. This then gave us some further inspiration to make the videos and answer questions about what would make us great Ambassadors of Dometic.
After the video and extra information had been submitted we had to wait, a whole seven days to find out if we had won. On Monday, 2nd June at 11:58am we got a call. We got THE call. We were told that we were selected to be one of the three Dometic Follow The Sun Ambassadors for 2014. I was beyond chuffed, nothing could describe how I felt. This was an opportunity travellers dream of, to have the financial support to be able to continue our travels, we again were gobsmacked. I screamed in the car and Corey realised that we had won. Not only had we won, we were given our first choice itinerary and that was to explore NSW, SA and VIC. We were yet to explore the areas that are outlined in the itinerary so we were absolutely over the moon! The hardest thing was we had to keep it a secret until the announcement at the Brisbane Caravan and Camping Show, Tuesday 10th June. We managed to tell a few white lies to keep this all hush hush’, it was all worth it in the end.
The moment Brooke Hanson (celebrity Dometic Follow The Sun Ambassador) announced our names, we could finally break out into the dance that had been held inside our bodies for over a week. We met Dometic staff, who were just fabulous, did interviews for various magazines, radio, newspapers, we were on top of the world.
Since the announcement, we have moved in with some friends on the Sunshine Coast until we embark on this new journey. We have emptied our caravan out and have met with the Dometic Reps who have gone through what we can fit in the van. The products that we will be getting installed are just fabulous, and I can’t wait to share this with you all! Corey will be working on the Coast so we can save some extra money for the duration of time we will be away.
I have created a page on my blog “2014 Dometic Follow The Sun Ambassadors” where I will add links from the http://www.dometicfollowthesun.com.au page, and write about our journey’s for that time and share our itineraries hoping that you might be able to come along and meet us. I will continue to write the real stories about caravanning as well, as I’m sure we will hit challenges along the way.
I want to finish off by encouraging everyone to get out and explore this wonderful country of ours. Full-time travelling might not be your thing, but explore your town, your neighbouring town. Spend time with family and friends. Time is one thing you will never get back.
You get ONE Life, so make every moment count.
Kellie (aka The Blonde Nomad)
2014 Dometic Follow The Sun Ambassador (I will never get tired of writing that!)