Each year GoAbroad.com, STA Travel, and several other sponsors offer travelers a chance to Win the World! This fall, in conjunction with STA Travel (and Air New Zealand), GoEco, Stray New Zealand, Loka, and Homestay.com, we offered our community the chance to win a once in a lifetime adventure to Australia and New Zealand. We’re incredibly excited to announce that we have confirmed the winner of this year’s contest — Nicole Teague!
Hi Nicole! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello! I’m Nicole. I’m from Arizona. I enjoy reading, writing, and traveling. I want to go to grad school, have a successful travel blog, write a wildly popular book series, live in a society with free higher education, gun control, and autonomy over my own body… you know the typical dreams of a 20-something.
I lived abroad when I was younger and that left me with an itch to explore and see the world. I did some international travel in high school. I majored in Global Studies at Arizona State University (ASU), studied abroad twice, taught ESL for a bit, and travelled for fun when I could.
Turns out the itch was more of an open wound. I like to think I’ve done my best to continuously irritate it.
How did you hear about the contest and why did you enter?
I’ve been signed up for GoAbroad’s mailing list for years. I love traveling; Australia and New Zealand have always struck me as places of adventure, so when I saw the contest, entering was a given.
What was your reaction when you learned that you were the winner of the Win the World: Australia & New Zealand Contest?
I felt a bit stunned. I reread the announcement that I’d won about 7 times to make sure I really was reading it correctly. I don’t think anyone genuinely expects to check their email in the morning and find out they’ve won the world. I feel inordinately lucky to have won this contest.
Which country are you most excited about visiting (Australia or New Zealand) and why?
That’s a difficult question to answer. New Zealand looks beautiful, if the sweeping landscape shots in the Lord of the Rings movies are anything to go by, but I am more excited to go to Australia. I know a few Australians so I’ve heard more about it. Its exciting to think I’ll get to have experiences that up until now had been wistful dreams.
Have you volunteered before? What are you looking forward to most about volunteering in Australia?
I honestly haven’t done much volunteering, so this will be a new experience for me. I’m really looking forward to getting to interact with animals that I’ve only had the chance to see at a distance in the zoo.
Why is traveling internationally important to you?
While I am the sort of person who wants to leave a mark on the world, I think its more important for it to leave a mark on me. International travel is fun and exciting, but it also has helped me mature in a way I would not have otherwise. You face challenges abroad that demand solutions. You can end up facing one of your worst fears and fulfilling a lifelong dream in the same day. Exposure to other countries has blessed me the with the opportunity to make great friends.
What would you like to say to other travelers and users of GoAbroad.com?
Not to sound cliché, but take chances. Pursue the things you love. If you are going to Australia and/or New Zealand hit me up.
Help Nicole raise funds for related travel expenses on Fund My Travel!