Our friends over at major travel blog My Destination set the online world buzzing when they announced their Biggest Baddest Bucket List competition earlier this year. In addition to trekking around the globe with all-expenses paid for six months, the winner of the travel blogger search will also get a cash payout of $50,000!
With the shortlist now down to 10 individuals and with the announcement of the lucky victor just around the corner, we asked My Destination’s social media manager Anna Lucy Terry what the BBB experience has been like so far and how the team over at headquarters feel about making a final decision:
Tell us a bit about the reaction you’ve received over the past few months in regards to the Biggest, Baddest Bucket List competition.
The competition has been an incredibly positive experience for My Destination. Firstly because we were able to run a campaign that each and every one of us at HQ would run over hot coals to win and secondly, because it captured the imagination of travel hungry individuals all over the world!
We found the public’s main reaction was one of “WOAH, now THAT is a prize!”, but the stakes are so high for a reason. We’re serious about finding the next travel superstar reporter and our mission is to discover someone who understands what makes engaging travel content and is the best ambassador for our brand on the road.
It also brought the travel community together in ways we could not have predicted. Entrants and travel enthusiasts communicated on Facebook and through the #MyBBB hashtag, with many of them now firm friends and contributors to the My Destination Blog, despite not making it to the Top 10.
How many entries did you receive in total?
We received an incredible 1,251 submissions from over 640 destinations and more than 110 different countries around the world. From sleepy towns in the Scottish Highlands, to beautiful Fijian beaches and the chilly snow deserts of Antarctica, we were shown every inch of the world by those that know their destination best, whilst gaining some top local tips too!
If you haven’t watched or read the entries yet, what are you waiting for? Once you start watching, it’s pretty addictive…so you may want to take the day off. Just saying.
You’re now down to 10 finalists. What was it about these individuals that made them stand out?
With so many diverse and exciting entrants it was a mammoth task differentiating one entrant from another and trust me when I say, there were many a sleepless night in the run up to the Top 10 announcement. The Top 10 Finalists stood out for us because they are all-rounders. They have a passion for travel, a hunger for creating fun and engaging content and most of all they are likeable.
Of course, each finalist entry possesses his/her own unique quality that makes for a superstar submission. Take Ceara McEvoy for example, who is a budding filmmaker. Her shots of Cape Town are stunning and she hunted high and low for the best bits of her hometown to show off. Then in comparison, you have someone like Dave Zwolenski who descended upon Apollo Bay equipped with nothing but a smartphone and a smile…but the result is no less spectacular.
In short, we feel it’s the diversity of the Top 10 that makes this competition so exciting…anyone could win.
You’ll be announcing the winner in just a few short weeks! How is everyone over at My Destination feeling about making this decision?
It’s hard to describe the atmosphere at My Destination HQ but it’s electric. I think I can sum it up in 3 words: nervous, excited and…absolutely shattered!
You have Ben Southall, winner of Tourism Australia’s original “Best Job in the World,” as one of your guest judges. Considering he’s gone through a similar experience to the contestants, what kind of valuable insight and tips has he been able to provide?
Having Ben on board has inspired people to enter the Biggest Baddest Bucket List in the first place – you have to be in it to win it and no dream is too big. To quote the man himself within our Spotlight on Ben Southall piece; “You have to give things a go in life. Be a doer, not a thinker, and remember that sleep is for dreamers, so fulfill your potential every day.” Wise words indeed.
He has also urged the entrants to be realistic, as this opportunity is more than just a holiday. Any seasoned adventurer like Ben knows that travel isn’t always a walk in the park as there will undoubtedly be times when the winner will have to make difficult decisions, take on challenges and roll with the punches.
You had video applicants from all over the world. Was there anything unique/unusual that you learned about the destinations they featured?
We urged entrants to show us the best bits, the worst bits and the weirdest bits of their destination and boy, did they rise to the challenge! For instance, we found out that the world’s largest two-headed mammal collection can be found in Los Angeles, that ‘Dog Cafes’ really exist and can be found in Seoul, and that rap tours of destinations (like Brandon’s entry for Bellingham, Washington) is a new and undiscovered genre that we love!
And finally, what would be on your personal travel bucket list?
My personal bucket list grows by the day and its only been made longer by watching each and every BBB entrant! However, seeing as I have a penchant for the weird and wonderful, it would have to be taking a visit to Isla de las Munecas (The Island of the Dolls) which lies 17 miles south of Mexico City. It’s an isolated shrine to the tragic loss of a small girl who was taken before her time and was never meant as a tourist attraction, however, the creepiness of lots of lost, plastic children that populate the island is undeniable and a sight to be seen!
Keep updated with preparations for Winner’s Week, Top 10 news and videos and ALL things Biggest Baddest Bucket List right now on the My Destination blog! And to keep in touch with Anna, make sure to follow her on Twitter @AnnaLucyT.