It’s what you’ve all been waiting for: the day we find out which talented writers are the winners of the 2016 WSGT Independence Travel Writing Award! We’ve already opened the doors on our 2017 Travel Writing Award: Finding Inspiration. Are you willing to GROW? Anything is Possible. With $700USD in cash prizes to be won, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss out on! We are currently publishing the 2016 Gratitude Travel Writing Award entries, we will announce the winners AFTER all the entries have been published!
Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their story of independence! Drum roll please…
A ROAD TRIP THROUGH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA by Josh Cook
When the fire is crackling and you have a warm burrito on a plate in your lap and a beer in your hand, you look up and see the Milky Way making its slow dance in the void. Your only responsibilities are to fill your belly and drain your beer. You are lost and hope never to be found. You want to pause that moment in the desert and call life a wrap. But still, you hope for morning just the same, so you can once again see that spectacular sunrise, and fall in love with the Utah desert all over again.
THE WONDER OF AN OPTIMISTIC CHILD IN PERU by Catherine Fancher
From Sonia I learned that I didn’t need to fit into the Spanish majors’ curriculum to be a good volunteer. I just needed to pay close attention to my opportunities, to be willing to work independently, and to appreciate the wonder of a child.
TRAVEL LIGHT AND LET GO IN PERU by Maggie Peikon
We walked around the grounds of Machu Picchu taking in all that it had to offer, the views, the history, the alpacas… Finally, we sat down to take a breath. No sooner did I land in the grass than a tiny butterfly landed right on my knee. Grandpa, was my first thought. I caught it in my hands for a moment, chin quivering, and smiled. I believed he was at peace, and for the first time in a long time, so was I.
I opened my hands, and it set it free, watching it fly away from me.
Freedom, for me, was letting go.
LIVING LIFE TO ITS FULLEST IN COLOMBIA by Julie Soares
PASSIONATE RAIN FOREST DREAMS IN BRAZIL by Daniel Egan
ADVENTURE HIKING IN THE MAJESTIC ROCKY MOUNTAINS by Thea Wingert