Announcing My Flight Contest Winners (and Other Housekeeping Items)

Let’s take a break from travel today to do a little housekeeping, including announcing the winners of my miles giveaway!

The Airline Ticket Winner
Remember two weeks ago when I announced that I would be giving away all my airline miles? Well, the contest is over and I picked two winners. They were chosen randomly using the random number generator site, There were a total of 5,230 entries. These two won:

Prize #1: Olivier P from Canada wins this prize and is going round trip to New Zealand.

Prize #2: Basem Y (also from Canada) win this prize and is flying to Ottawa.

Congratulations to the winners!

Thanks to everyone for entering the contest. I’ll do it again next year, so if you didn’t win, you can always try again then.  But don’t be too sad because in two weeks, I’m going to be giving away a free 12 day trip to Europe, so you’ll have another chance to win something! It’s like Christmas in July…er…August!

Blog Mentorship Program
A few months back, I mentioned that I was going to start a blogging course. However, I decided against that idea. Instead, I am going to turn that blogging course into a limited 12 week mentorship program. Instead of creating just another online course, I am going to do a hands-on mentorship program open to just 10 people. With this program, you’ll get weekly Skype calls with me, hands-on technical help, tutorials on every aspect of blogging, group workshops, videos, a customized development plan, and much more. I am going to help you to build your blogging business and give you the tools to be a success. By the end, you’ll know everything I know.

I’ll be announcing the sign-up date in a couple of weeks and availability will be first come, first serve with the mentorship program beginning in September.

I’ll be attending the following conferences over the fall, so if you are around, come!

TBEX Europe – September 21-22nd in Girona, Spain (I’ll be speaking at this event.)

World Travel Mart – November 5-8th in London, England (I’ll be speaking at this event too.)

If you are in Europe, want to learn more about travel bloggers or just meet generally epic people, come check them out. They are worth every penny!

Reader Q&A
It’s been ages since I did a reader Q&A. Since I find them a ton of fun I am going to start doing them again. Eventually, I’ll get to filming the videos with my answers again but for now, I’ll be answering your questions via blog post. Simply leave a question in the comment section of this post and I’ll answer it. It can be about whatever you want, just make sure to keep it PG!

Ok, that’s it! I just got back to Stockholm from sailing around Croatia (blogs coming soon!) and I’m happy to be back “home.” There’s a lot to do….including finally moving into an apartment!

  1. Paul

    You seem to have traveled around Asia a lot. But why haven’t you ever considered going to the Philippines? :-)

  2. Jim

    Hey Matt,

    I am flying into Ganzhou the first week of February, and am going to be backpacking / exploring for the next 17 days. Any suggestions on where to visit, what to see while I am there? My buddy is based in Ganzhou full time so I will have a place to crash, but I am hoping to explore as much as possible in those two weeks.

    Thailand & Bali are on the list, but thought you might have some better insight.


  3. Elle of Solo Female Nomad

    Oh, you spelt my name wrong. Its actually E-l-l-e

    :- 0) Congrats to the winners!

  4. Jen M.

    Can you talk about your experiences with finding internet access? I’m specifically wondering how easy it is to find reliable HSIA as you’re traveling. My job as a programmer allows me to work remotely, but I need a high speed connection that I can connect to for many hours at a time (ie. connecting for one hour to upload/download is not an option).

  5. Olivier

    Yeah he does contact the winners via email, and I did receive an email today :D!

    Sorry that our names were similar 😛

    Olivier Pinette

  6. Sasha Watson

    Any question? . . . . Well I’m trying to decide between spaghetti and meatballs or spaghetti bolognaise! Which would you choose?

  7. Tyler Link

    What city in Europe is the best hub for cheap air travel within Europe? Any tips for not getting taken advantage of by the notorious low-cost airlines (RyanAir, EasyJet, etc.)?

  8. Shaf

    :( didnt win… but still, congrats to both winner. Eagerly waiting for the Europe prize….!!! . . . 😀

  9. Joel

    I was curious about some of your worst mistakes your made while traveling. Either things you did wrong to lead to nightmares with your itinerary or maybe decisions you made while being inexperienced that led to a problem or something you just wished you did differently. I know you posted about lessons learned but I was just wondering about some specific examples with details. If I missed about this somewhere let me know, I’m new to your blog!


  10. Guess I’m not that lucky of a Canadian! Haha. Ohh I have a question: What do you like best about Germany? (because that’s where I’m moving in 2 weeks!)

  11. How lovely to be give away those fab flights. I am very excited for those who get to visit NZ, I hope you get to visit Waiheke Island where I lived for many years.

    I am very sad I can’t go to any of those blogging confs. I’d love to meet you and all the other bloggers. It makes me want to move back to Europe. But that’s where I started out many decades ago – I don’t like the idea of going full circle – although maybe I should consider it the beginning of a second circle:) Now there’s a thought….

  12. Joanne

    Hi Matt, I’m just in awe at all the great tips and info you share on your site. I admire people make it point to travel Somewhere at least once a year. I read how you quit your job and just traveled and I find that very inspiring.

    I am about to hit 30 soon and I feel like I’ve hardly made a dent in my traveling dreams (mostly because of $ and not knowing how to do it.) The other reason is because it’s been so hard to coordinate with friends to go anywhere. Most are all talk and no action or commitment.

    I am comfortable now to travel by myself, depending on the destination. I really just want to go away some where on my own, but it is more expensive to do so because of “single traveler supplement fees” etc so I end up not bothering, especially with vacation deals etc.

    Any advice for this hungry traveler who wants to go solo? Any good sites that offer organized trips like contiki but w/o the party animal focus? I want to see culture and i want to relax too, not feel like I’m stressing or dealing with college kids while on vacation.


  13. Becky Parker

    Hey, as your offering my question is =

    Im planning on setting on a backpacking trip round Europe, rough plan is to start in Estonia and work my way down through eastern europe back up to the swiss/austrian alps then Italy, Spain, France. I think I will have saved enough money by February but when I looked weather in Tallin in February is average minus 6 C and only 2 hrs daylight! Coming from Southern England I am kinda interested in seeing such extreme conditions and how people live like that but will I just end up bored with nothing to do im much more into doin outdoors nature based stuff than wandering round cities and museums. But also Im mega dying to get off travelling and dont no how long I can bare to wait.
    So after all that the question is, would it be worth visiting Estonia in February?
    also have you been to Estonia and where abouts in Estonia would you recomend visiting?

  14. Teela

    Wait.. You got an apartment?? Congrats! I’m in the search and I just want to give up and live in brooklyn bridge park at this point.

  15. Hi Matt, As I was reading your Guatemala section I saw you tip as to doing volunteer work in Guatemala mentioning to go straight to the places to volunteer rather than through an agency. Which places would those be (did not see it in the Guatemala guide) or any other tips? Plus would I be able to take a bus from Yucatan Mexico into Guatemala directly without going to Belize? Thank you

  16. Hi Matt,

    Sorry to read that Sweden fell through. What you described is really weird. I had planed to attend TBU in Porto, but have had to cancel. WIll be going to WTM — perhaps we can meet up.


  17. Sue's Kid

    Congratualtions to the winners! I really like your site Matt. I’ve been having fun exploring. :-)