Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's not over...

OK, we've lost out on Entirely Kiwi paying our way around New Zealand ... but it's not over.

We're planning a Summer trip through New Zealand with highlights including:

  • Walking the Milford, Keppler and Routeburn tracks (probably back to back).
  • Time in tourism hotspots including Queenstown and Rotorua.
  • City-seeing in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
  • Lots of lazy afternoons at beaches up and down the North Island.
We're also hoping to be joined along the way by a special guest from Britain.

And you can still follow along in three easy ways:
1. Get the Indie Travel Podcast in iTunes or via RSS.
2. Sign up to our weekly website mailing list:

3. Join our Facebook page in the sidebar.

There's also going to be a New Zealand feature in the December edition of the Indie Travel Podcast Magazine. You can read for free online on buy a print subscription.

If you hate New Zealand, that's ... not OK, but in 2010 we hope to visit:

  • South America
  • The UK and hopefully some more of Europe
  • Northern Africa
  • and get into Asia around 2011

If you would like to sponsor a part of our trip or partner with us in creative ways, get in touch.

We lost to Nicquel...

More later, but for now - thanks for your support and votes.

By the numbers ... for the last time

It's over; the voting period has closed and WE MADE IT! We're amongst the top three finalists, so now we're waiting on the organisers, Entirely Kiwi (@entirelykiwi) to make their decision.

At 12:01pm, here's what we found:
Lindy 506
Nicquel 469
Craig and Linda 403
                     <- the cut off
Cat 380
Matty 259
Anthony 209
Christina 205
Lauren 185
Maria 113
Dominika 97

Cat was fighting hard over those last two hours. At times she got within a dozen votes, but massive Twitter and Facebook support helped us through that; two mediums we'll need to use well if we get the position.

I just got off the phone with Vanessa from Entirely Kiwi. She asked some final interview questions and I think that all went well.

What happens next?
The winner is announced on http://entirelyworldfamous.com at 8pm tonight, New Zealand time.
See this time in your timezone.

Who are we up against?
We are Craig and Linda Martin; world-travelling Kiwis who run the Indie Travel Podcast and take an active role in the international travel-blogging community. We think we'd make great candidates for this position for several reasons outlined here. Other people agree. We have passion, experience and know our way around blogging, video editing and social media while on the road. We can do an excellent job.

Nicquel is studying for a Bachelors in Hotel and Tourism Management in Queensland, Australia. She says, "I'm a fun loving person, who enjoys life to the fullest and is always laughing. I'm a thrill seeker and am always up for a new adventure..."

Lindy is living in South Africa and doesn't give much background on-site. Apparently she's "Wacky, Crazy, Fun Loving, Thrill Seeking, Busy Body, Friendly, Caring. Faith, Family and Friends!!!!!"

Now we wait for the organisers' decision...I'm off for a beer with co-competitor Matty Lynch!

~ Craig

One hour and counting

There's one hour left in this competition stage. We're attempting to win a three-month blogging trip around New Zealand and we need to be in the top three "followed" blogs to have a chance. The judges will choose from those final three.


With less than an hour to go, we are in by the narrowest of margins; about 25 votes. We need to keep going and keep the momentum up until the very end in order to win.

Please follow and ask someone else to do so too; this is the last hour. We have a great chance with your help.

Two hours and counting

With less than two hours left on the clock, our hold on third place has been cut to just 25 "follows".

We are competing in a competition to win a paid, three-month blogging trip around New Zealand. While on the road we'll be recording video, taking photos and writing about our experiences both on and off the beaten track. With years of travel blogging experience -- and a Lonely Planet award -- under out belts, we feel we can do an excellent job for you our readers and Entirely Kiwi the promoter and organiser of this event.

Please hit "follow" in the sidebar and consider a tweet, email or Facebook status update to support us!

Example tweets:
Under two hours left in http://su.pr/2nrtQU competition stage. @craig_martin needs your help more than ever!

Help @craig_martin and @LindaJMartin win a 3-month NZ blog trip. Visit: http://su.pr/2nrtQU <- follow this blog

We've come so far...help us hold our top three position to get a chance at this excellent opportunity.

Current stats:
Craig and Linda 360
                   <-- cut off point
                   <-- small margin
Cat 335

By the numbers...

There is less than three hours to go in our quest to win a three-month trip travel-blogging around New Zealand with Entirely Kiwi. One of the top three bloggers -- by the numbers -- will be chosen for this excellent adventure.

This is how things stand at 9:15am NZ time (the competition element closes at 12pm NZ time).

Lindy 490
Nicquel 412
Craig and Linda 353  <-- That's us
                                   <-- This is the cut-off point
                                   <-- This is a small margin
Cat 314
Matty 254
Christina 204
Anthony 203
Lauren 182
Maria 112
Dominika 79

As you can see we need to keep a close eye on Cat and we rely on your help to keep us in the top three spots. We think we have the personality, the skills and the experience to do this job well (and judging from the Twitter comments below, you do too!). If we can stay in the top three, we have a good chance so thank you for all your support and rallying to help here. Let's stay strong for the next few hours.

Kia kaha -- Forever strong

Please click "follow" in the sidebar.

Last four hours

Sunset over Lake Waikaremoana
Over the last seven days we have been gaining "follows" on this blog to support our application for a three-month blogging trip organised by Christchurch-based travel agents Entirely Kiwi. They will be deciding on the winning candidate from the top three most-followed blogs.

We've been lucky enough to have great online support and have always stayed in the top three. With only four hours left, we need your help now more than ever. Nipping at our heels is fellow finalist Cat and we need to stay ahead of her until midday today.

Remember this round is entirely dependent on numbers, so there's no getting around this.

Please help us: click "follow" in the sidebar.