Entries close April 23rd, 2012 at 2pm AEST (UTC +10).
Do you want to be a published travel writer?
This year we decided to shake things up a bit and instead of choosing just one country for our scholarship…we’ve decided to send you off to three different countries in Southeast Asia! Once on the ground, you’ll have the opportunity to see for yourself life beyond the banana pancake trail, and get to know Southeast Asia from the local perspectives, through the eyes of three amazing writers.
Here’s the triple-dip deal:
First you’ll head off to Singapore to go on assignment for five days under the mentorship of Rough Guides writer Richard Lim to review and update ‘The Rough Guide to Singapore’.
Then you’ll fly to Bali and meet up with Stuart McDonald, founder of Travelfish, the online travel guide to Southeast Asia, before heading off on six days of cultural insight and adventure in Indonesia.
For the last leg of the scholarship, you will be whisked off to Malaysia for a food odyssey through Kuala Lumpur and Penang with former local and cookbook author of award winning hsa*ba Burmese cookbook, Tin Cho Chaw, to explore how cuisine shapes the lives of Malaysians.
**You need to be available between June 18th – July 6th, 2012 to participate on the assignment.**
April 23 Submission deadline
April 24-May 11 Judging preliminary shortlist
May 11-16 Finalists shortlist
May 17 Winner confirmed and announced
May 17-June 17 Trip preparation
June 18 Arrive in Singapore
June 19-20 Meet Richard Lim – Singapore, shadow for two days
June 21-22 Solo assignment for two days
June 23 Meet up with Richard, feedback on assignment etc.
June 24-30 Indonesia: Culture & Adventure
July 1-July 5 Malaysia: Food Odyssey
July 6 Depart
August 20 Copy deadline
Singapore: On assignment with Rough Guides
Photo courtesy of Rough Guides
Your Rough Guides brief
* We’ll fly you to Singapore from your country of residence.
* After spending two days learning the ropes with mentor Richard Lim, you will have a chance to explore this bustling, progressive city for two days on your own. In this time, you will research, review and update essential travel information for ‘The Rough Guide to Singapore’, including accommodation, bars & restaurants, cultural sights and activities, tours, and transport, as well as searching out those local secrets that travellers want to read about. On your final day, you will meet back up with Richard to go over your work together.
* Your mentor will be at hand to offer guidance, but essentially this is your assignment; you will travel on your own for this part of the journey so you must be comfortable travelling solo. Richard will assign you a specific area based on your travel experience.
Photo courtesy of Rough Guides
Mentor, Richard Lim
Indonesia: Culture & Adventure
Photo courtesy of Emanuele Siracusa
Explore a whole different side of Bali. Venture off the grid to the remote village of Sidemen – live like the locals live, experience firsthand their coconut and salt industries and delve into the Balinese belief in “black magic” (need a hex on your ex? you’re in the right place).
To get your blood pumping, you’ll then hike up to the top of Gunung Agung, an active volcano, and the highest point on the island, followed up with a refreshing dip in the surf, with lessons at a surf camp in West Bali (yes…you must be comfortable in the water!).
You’ll also have some free time to explore on your own and to sit down with Stuart of Travelfish to pick his brain about online publishing in the travel space.
Photo courtesy of Travelfish
Malaysia: Food Odyssey
Photo courtesy of hsa*ba
Malaysian cuisine is comprised of three distinct cultures: Indian, Malay and Chinese – and the fusion recipes that make it so uniquely Malaysian. On this portion of your scholarship journey, you will be sampling it all, and learning about the process, stories and people behind the famous dishes (picky eaters, you’ve been warned!).
You will meet up with Cho of hsa*ba (with a blog that translates into “please eat”, bring an empty stomach) in Kuala Lumpur and eat your way around the night markets before checking out the KL fine dining scene. You will also join a local food blogger and her Makan Club for a typical night out in Kuala Lumpur to experience what’s happening in KL’s food scene.
Finally, head up to Penang, the renowned food mecca of Malaysia. You’ll get a hands-on cooking lesson and learn how to plate up some of your favorite dishes, wander through the endless wet market stalls, and visit a durian plantation (to sample the delicacies, of course!).
Photo courtesy of hsa*ba
What you’ll need to produce
Along with your work on the ‘Rough Guide to Singapore’, you will be required to keep a daily travel journal on WorldNomads.com (no less than 200 words per daily entry) to share your adventures through Southeast Asia. Your journal should be completed no later than two weeks from returning from your trip.
Who can apply
* This opportunity is open to students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel looking for a career change.
* The scholarship is open to all nationalities, however, you must have a high degree of proficiency in written English.
* The opportunity is designed to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a travel writer on the road, so you must be comfortable doing some travel on your own.
* Minimum age 18 by the date the scholarship application close (April 23, 2012)
* A current passport with at least six months before expiry
* You must be available as per the dates set out. Please note these dates are not changeable in anyway, you must be available for the entire assignment.
* You should be an exceptional writer with a lust for adventure travel, a desire to experience new cultures (and eat them!)and above all, a burning desire to become a professional travel writer!
What constitutes a professional travel writer?
Essentially this is a ‘learning opportunity’ for someone who is looking for an introduction into the travel writing industry and importantly keen to be mentored.
As a guide, for the purposes of the opportunity, we would consider you to be professional travel writer if you have been published regularly in newspapers, travel magazines or travel journals. We would also consider you to be a professional travel writer if you derive more than 25% of your income from travel writing.
If you have had a few stories published, or keep a regular travel blog then we would not consider this professional.
We would also like to further clarify that a professional writer of any sort (travel writer or otherwise) is not eligible to apply if they derive more than 25% of their income from writing.
Please consider the spirit of the program which is intended to help those with a burning desire to be a professional travel writer and need some help getting started.
If you want it, you’ve got to show it. To apply you need to:
1. Write. Craft a 2000 character or less (about 500 words) travel focused essay based on a personal experience around one of the following themes;
a. ‘Understanding a Culture through Food’
b. ‘A Local Encounter that Changed my Life’
c. ‘Seeing the World through Others Eyes’
d. ‘Giving Back on the Road’
It’s up to you to convince our judging panel through your writing that you have the spirit of adventure and passion for travel writing to be chosen for this scholarship. We will be looking for:
– great descriptive ability
– strong eye for detail
– ability to uncover and tell a compelling story
– excellent spelling and grammar and a knack for avoiding clichés
2. Complete an entry form which includes contact details and a maximum 800 character (about 200 words) essay on why you should be chosen and what the opportunity will mean for you. Your answer will provide considerable weight in the judging process.
3. One entry per person.
4. The entry must be submitted in English.
Applications close April 23, 2012 at 2pm (AEST)
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY – Please read before applying!
The recipient of the Scholarship, along with the shortlist of best entries will be published on the WorldNomads.com website on May 17th, 2012.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,600 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
In a couple of weeks, i’ll be travelling for a badly needed vacation with the hubby. However, I stumbled across these wise words and observation from a fellow traveler. Like I told a friend, have fun, relax and embrace the sun this year.
One of the wonderful things about children is their ability not to worry. They’ve got no care in the world and are happy to take one day at a time. Now that I have two children ( and one on the way) by proxy through my sister, I see how important it is to keep them in that safe bubble.
When I was younger (in my teens), I never realized the full import of elections. Pursuing self-interest was the major past-time. Now, i’m much older and wiser. I realize the need and importance of elections. I know why it is important to participate in the coming elections in January 2011.
I read in the news today about a 52 year old US returnee pharmacist, who decided to sustain his political ambition by smuggling cocaine through the International Airport. Agitation for self rule, resource control, civil unrest globally is driven by limited access to economic power. Karl Marx has often been quoted as stating that “Religion is the opium of the people”. I couldn’t agree more. When people are limited economically, it limits the ability to take vital decisions. We’re such a religious country…so freaking religious, it amazes me how we can endure so much. Some people reading this might attribute it to the “Naija Spirit”. I beg to differ. Our search for a daily dough has dulled our inner sensibilities we’d prefer to sell our soul to the devil if salvation (in terms of material wealth) lies with him.
On the other hand, economic power is no power if it’s not backed by an effective political power that translates into respect for the power to vote. Voters registration will soon kick off. What are you doing in terms of registration? Are you going to participate or adopt a siddon look while corrupt officials trample the corridors of power? I’m not sure what our religious leaders are doing. They also need to join the campaign towards fair elections come 2011. They need to preach the interrelated links between political and economic power rather than asking us to cast our gaze upon heaven. More emphasis should be based on educating people rather than asking for seeds and more seeds.
The world might not end anytime soon. For those of us who are bent on storing heavenly treasures, please carry on. However, remember you have a duty to leave the world a bit better for upcoming generations.
“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” – Shakespeare
First, please read the quote pasted above. Let the gravity of those words sink into your system. Then, if you haven’t already, and if you’re strong enough to stomach witnessing sheer and absolute horror, please click on the following link: http://www.anglicandioceseofjos.org/dogo.html
There is no other quote that better describes the recent inhumane attacks in Jos, Nigeria. If “a picture is worth a thousand words”, then what do we say of pictures like these? It’s unimaginable. Each picture represents a horrific, gruesome murder. Innocent women, children (and men) were brutally ambushed, attacked, maimed and murdered worse than animals. It’s unthinkable that in 2010, after the world has gone through so much progress and development, some of us in Nigeria are still living like this. It’s heartbreaking to witness these events. It’s heart-wrenching to think of what happened on the morning of March 7th. It’s unfair and deplorable. It’s mind-numbingly sad, pathetic, and downright insane.
But this is the Nigeria we live in. A country full of extremes. Extreme wealth and extreme poverty. Extreme Joy and extreme pain. It’s hard to imagine that this is the same Nigeria that just hosted the U-17 World cup; that just celebrated it’s 50th Year of Independence and boasts of some of the most expensive luxurious lifestyles in the world.
Nigeria is the most populous Black Nation in the world; it is also very much a melting pot. It is home to 250 to 400 different ethnic groups, and is almost evenly split amongst Muslims and Christians (not to mention various other traditional Religious Belief systems). However, while in some metropolitan areas of the world, vast diversity is generally a positive attribute, in Nigeria that diversity is ripping us apart. We are different, but that should be a strength.. not a disease. Instead of learning from each other we resort to fighting. Instead of maximizing our varying degrees of potential, we resort to killing each other.
How men can devise this kind of terrible plot is beyond me. News reports have put the death toll anywhere between 200 and 500 people. Probably More. Innocent lives snuffed out for absolutely ignorant, ridiculous reasons. Mothers and children. Families destroyed forever. All because of some ethnic disputes, disagreements over land, or even religious differences. What’s sad about occurrences like this is the fact that usually, there’s some underlying resentment towards policy, authority, Government or the powers that be. But instead of finding some other way to address these issues, people resort to killing other innocent (and probably-frustrated-as-well) human beings. Maybe you’re justifiably upset at the way things have been… is that reason enough to take the life of someone else who is innocent, and like you, probably just trying to get by in these harsh times?
The worst thing about the Jos attacks is the fact that this is not the first time that we’ve witnessed such horror, and conventional wisdom says it won’t be the last. There’s a song on my last album called “Why”, where I tried in my very limited capacity to speak from the heart on situations affecting our Nigeria. I specifically mentioned “fighting in Jos, killing one another no remorse”. This song was created by Cobhams Asuquo and I over a year ago; I was inspired to write, when similar killings occurred and a friend of mine lost 2 immediate family members. Little did we know that the song would prove to not only be an account of times past, but a prophecy of things to come as we are now witnessing the same evil history repeat itself.
My heart aches for those that lost their lives in Jos and for the families that mourn them. My heart aches for the present state of Nigeria. My heart aches for the future of Nigeria, but it shouldn’t have to. I once read that the definition of Insanity is repeating the same actions over and over, while expecting a different result. We are all frustrated with the political and economical climate in Nigeria. We all complain and we are quick to point out everything that has been so wrong for so many years, and rightfully so, because it’s just pathetic. But if we decide as a generation to do nothing about it; if we decide to turn a blind eye and ignore the need for change, then our future generations will inherit the EXACT same issues. And that will mean that we have failed them.
We all witnessed the inauguration of President Barack Obama in the not too distant past. The whole world watched in awe, as America, once the chief criminal in slave trade, voted in its first Black President. We all know the U.S.A. still has issues its dealing with, but President Obama’s swearing-in is a day that will forever go down in history as a day that changed America. Prior to Obama becoming Commander-in-Chief, most people thought that there would never be a Black Man voted in as President of the USA. Prior to Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and co, most people thought black people would never be able to vote in America and that Segregation would never be demolished. I put it to you that we CAN change Nigeria’s future, using similar formulas. Obama became President largely because the younger generations (and those young at heart) decided to exercise their God-given rights by voting for change. We can do the same here in Naija.
Change does not happen overnight… Some will recall that in the USA in 1994 there was a revolution of sorts, but partly due to somewhat dubious circumstances (Florida, etc), the Bush Regime lasted an additional four years. We are used to Politicians in Nigeria treating Power as a birthright and votes not counting, despite our calling it a democracy. But in the same breath, how many of us actually turn out to vote? 2011 might be the year that changes our country forever. We may or may not succeed in toppling the “birthright-mindset” of our leaders immediately, but we MUST, in the very least, get the ball rolling. We the (young) people must decide that we are fed up of the nonsense we’ve seen for years and vow to change things.
We still have no constant power supply. We must vow to do everything within our power to get our government to #lightupnigeria. We have leaders that are complacent and corrupt. We must vow to register-to-vote and to actually vote. We can, possibly, abruptly change and take charge of the future of Nigeria in the 2011 elections. Or in the very least we can IMPACT it so that it never stays the same. We are fortunate enough to not have to deal with any Natural Disasters, like the recent earthquakes in Haiti, or the Tsunamis in Asia. It’s time for us to stop BEING the disasters, and to start being part of the solutions. I will be one of many young people completely devoted to bringing about change in this country because I believe we deserve it and it’s long overdue. I hope you will too.
Lastly, my heart still bleeds for Jos. I will never claim to be an expert on the problems that the region is dealing with, or the solutions. I do know however that we must all decide to collectively be a part of the change we all desperately hope for and deserve. May those who died Rest In Peace. May their deaths not be in Vain. May Peace reign in all parts of Nigeria and Africa. And lastly… May Change Come. Enough is enough.
Have we reached a tipping point in this country? Do you think we have gotten to a stage, where we are thinking about how to solve problems for our common good? I think so but I don’t know what you think regarding this. While the momentum is gathering beind the strategies being devised by the presidents’wife (Turai), it is left for us to decisively engage in a discourse that will ensure a better tomorrow for our children.
We must continually strive for a better country in as much as the world has not come to an end. We cannot allow a few selfish individuals to dominate the affairs of our beloved Nigeria. Today as we go out, let’s have that at the back of our mind.
On a lighter note, after ten years since the release of Lover’s Rock, Sade is back with ‘Soldier of Love’. Grab a copy and immerse your senses in her soothing, sensual and lyrical world. My best track apart from Soldier of Love is ‘Babyfather’. Have a wonderful weekend peeps.
What next for our future as Nigerians? Why are we bedeviled with bad leadership on the African continent? Did you happen to watch Aonodakaa’s interview with Christianne Amanpour on CNN? It was embarrassing to say the least. When asked if it was normal for a president to be absent from his country for more than 60days, he had stated that there was nothing abnormal about the situation.
Now that the Vice President has been sworn in as Acting President, I hope things will better. Notice that I do not use the word ‘pray’. I’m not against praying, I think we have prayed too long and God would pretty much appreciate if we dust off our asses and get to work by becoming an advocate of ‘No More Mess’ in this country.