The road called and demanded a Boston weekend

boston map

boston map

I haven't traveled somewhere new for the sole purpose of leisure in a long time. Ironically, my mind doesn't focus on potential trips I can take myself on without a 'work' angle - work being a very fuzzy concept often mistaken for hobby. Moving to New York and the east coast was a strategic escape from the Midwest region that I've already traversed and learned to appreciate. In this portion of the states, aside from the city whose Indian name is Big Apple (or more accurately, Manna-hata), I've only meandered through Rockport, Maine. And I'm not even sure a trip centered around a daunting photojournalism course counts for leisure.

I wanted to be surrounded by unknown territory and be inspired to constantly day trip or weekend elsewhere. There were music festivals to attend, mountains on which to frolic, friends and family to visit - an abundance of excuses.

Well, the inspiration and excuses weren't strong enough for the first eight months, but the road called me this weekend. Yes, she dialed me up - on Skype - and said:

skype with road

skype with road

Lindsay, it's Road here. Look, you've been flying over the North Pole and crap, hitting up Caribbean islands and such, all while your home base is here in the the unknown land of New England! Why have you neglected me? I suggest hitting for Boston this weekend. Why not? Join the rest of the working world and take a weekend. Make me screech --I mean proud.

Her video was super choppy, but I got the message. In the name of the road and seizing my potentially fleeting New York days, I booked some Megabus tickets to Boston to visit my good friend, Katie, and of course the puritanical motherland.

Museum cocktail parties, national park hikes, fancy sandwiches, ocean air - I'm not really sure what side of Boston I'll see this weekend, but if you have any recommendations, how about leaving a comment and spearheading a Nomadderwhere, user-generated guide to Boston! I took the same approach when re-discovering Chicago in 2009, and your comments facilitated a unique week. And I don't mean to draw uncouth connections between Beantown and the Windy City...

Jobs for world travelers: TV host in paradise

I know many of you amongst the Nomadderwhere readership jumped on board after seeing the World Traveler Internship. A year after my WTI, I still receive messages from people in search of such great opportunities in the travel world or wondering how to snag such jobs that require some online savvy and marketing know-how. Therefore, when I hear about new marketing schemes that send people on the road for free or for pay, I'm inspired to pass the info along to you, the reader. A friend forwarded this opportunity my way, and I think many of  you will find this an idyllic work and living situation.

The "52 Week Paid Vacation"

Here's the write-up:

Travel website is scouring the globe for a host for our upcoming Travel TV Series "Paradise Hunter". We're looking for someone with enthusiasm and a passion for travel. The job requires you to tour the world in search of your personal Paradise. Try the food, the activities, and see the sights of a dozen countries. On the way, interview locals and expatriates who live in each country to get a sense for what life is like there.

The salary for the year is $60,000. In addition, during the final episode once you've found your paradise, you will get to pick a property in that country worth up to $150,000.

No acting experience is necessary. Open to anyone 18 years and older. Applicants are required to submit a 60-second (or less) video showing why they would be perfect for this job. We recommend viewing the competition details before applying. To submit your video application and to see more details on the job, visit the "52 Weeks Paid Vacation" competition at

My Two Cents and Advice

This, to me, sounds like quite the offer for a specific type of person. What comes off as a year of paid lounging and a couple on-camera appearances is most likely a very labor intensive position. This is for someone very comfortable with being on camera and essentially acting. One look at their sample episode and it's clear they shoot these episodes with many retakes, lots of set-up, and expectations of the host to be prepared for the work involved.

If you're unaware how much work goes into shooting travel shows like this, I advise you to watch No Reservations: Making of Kerala, India.

Many of these online contests seem directed toward the obsessed traveler, the people who endure the "good enough" jobs for now while endlessly searching for ways to break out of their ruts. Those people have the most heart, the most motivation, and are most likely to publicize the crap out of their application video. That makes great marketing sense for the companies involved.

The thing is, these companies need someone with very specific skills, in this case hosting and production skills on top of travel savvy and work ethic. If you have all those things, you will be way ahead of the majority of applicants.

Screen shot 2010-10-05 at 2.11.51 PM

Screen shot 2010-10-05 at 2.11.51 PM

This is an online contest, meaning you will likely spend many hours promoting your material, fighting for votes, and hearing some stupid comments regarding your person and your work. This is the nature of online competitions for such jobs. Those who go for them have to have very thick skins and be prepared to commit a solid amount of time and effort into winning. And of course, no public vote is safe from the whims of the operating party, in this case If you're not who they're looking for, the public vote doesn't matter.

After all that, if you're not dissuaded, I suggest checking out my application advice for the WTI, which applies to most travel online competitions, as well as my grooming post. If you have any specific questions or want further advice, feel free to contact me.

Additional Advice:Vijaya Selvaraju has some hefty experience in going for TV spots through online competitions. Here are the words of wisdom she would have loved to hear during her go. [Passion should never be extinguished. These tips are to help you gain a solid understanding.]

Vijaya Selvaraju

Vijaya Selvaraju

Go in with an open mind and the possibility that you may not walk out of the competition as the grand prize winner. Despite how much energy you invest in a competition like this, there are thousands of people who are doing the same.

For the most part, the minds behind these competitions already have a description of who they want their "winner" to be. No matter how qualified you are for the job, the fact that you are not a "male with brown hair", could quickly put you behind the pack. Just know that these competitions are casting calls, and that you are one of many.

Voting makes up a large portion of the competition, as competitors are encouraged to rally their friends, peers, and colleagues to gain as many votes as possible. I have personally observed (one too many times) that this is usually insignificant and simply a marketing ploy to get as many people to perpetuate the details of the contest as possible.

Keeping all of these things in mind, there is still the chance that you will make it to the top. Imagine how satisfied you will be knowing all the hoops you jumped through to make it happen.

Links for more information: Apply, The Job, FAQs, The Competition, The TV Series.