Isobel Ewing of Tamahere is chasing a dream – to be paid to visit 12 exotic countries in 12 months in search of her own personal paradise.
When the 21-year-old heard about an international competition looking for a new host for Paradise Hunter, a Canadian web-based travel and accommodation show, the aspiring journalist jumped at the opportunity.
“As the winner you visit 12 different destinations around the world searching for your own personal paradise,” she told the Waikato Times.
To help the girl from Tamahere beat the international competition, click here to go to the Paradise Hunter website and vote.
“As a Kiwi, I think I could bring a different perspective to the show than an American or Canadian could,” Ewing told the Waikato Times.
She said although the US$60,000 wage and the US$150,000 property she would receive in her “personal paradise” would be amazing, places and people were her main motivations for entering. “It would be such an amazing experience, such a great adventure.”
With the help of “procrastinating students” at Canterbury University, where she has just completed a degree in classics and Spanish, Miss Ewing had more than 1000 votes within two days of uploading her video entry, and found out this week she gained enough votes to make the top 40.
“Viral voting is just huge for competitions like this.”
She hoped more people would get online and support her now that she has progressed in the competition.
“I’ve been in touch with an American competitor and he tweets people every day to get them voting … I get worried that if I contact people too much they will get annoyed and just won’t vote for me.”
Despite this concern, Miss Ewing has roped in just about everyone she knows to put in a daily vote to try to get her through to the top 10. “Mum has been great. She’s emailed people to vote for for me as well.”
Miss Ewing said she was unsure whether her Kiwi accent would work for or against her in the competition; likewise, her lack of experience as a travel journalist or television show host.
“There are international models, writers and travel bloggers in the competition, and I’ve done nothing like that. They said `no experience necessary’ – I hope they meant it.”
But Ms Ewing has plenty on her resume. She is a keen tramper, skier, wake-boarder, water-skier, wind-surfer, kayaker, rock climber, soccer player and runner.
She has also travelled to several countries in the Pacific, South America and Asia, and has had overseas experiences ranging from walking the Inca Trail to helping at an underprivileged school in Fiji.
The timing of the competition was perfect for Miss Ewing because she was planning on taking a year off to work and travel before doing a post-graduate diploma in journalism.
(Photo: Donna Walsh, Waikato Times)