Less than one week ago I posted my video entry for a global travel competition and the response I received has been overwhelming and extremely humbling. Random strangers have been sending me messages of congratulations and coming up to me in public, telling me about their favourite part in the video or that they passed it on to friends. I even got 'recognized' by a someone as 'the white girl from that video about sea horses'! I went into this not really knowing what to expect (that's a lie - I expected a few pity votes from my Mum and a few friends) but the response has really made me re assessed what I want from this. I actually felt slightly embarrassed when strangers spoke to me about it (even though they were being positive). Why should a random stranger care about a girl (who's already traveled extensively) wanting to win a trip around the world? It felt pretty selfish and I couldn't really justify my desire to win. It's made me re-think what it is that I really want to gain from this competition. Why not use this opportunity to do something more? I've decided to pledge US$5,000 (10% of my winnings) to the Diabetes Association of Barbados if I win the Biggest, Baddest Bucket list competition. Diabetes is something close to my heart and I'm hoping this will prove that this isn't just about me, or winning this trip, but that it's about harnessing all of this positive energy and support from an incredible community of people to raise awareness about something that deeply affects Barbados on a whole. I'm so grateful for the camaraderie people have displayed by voting and showing their support - it's really, really appreciated. I'm against a tonne of amazing videos by people I'd like to meet one day - they seem like so much fun! But I feel like I've got a great head start and can't wait to push it in the last two weeks of the competition.
If I win this amazing opportunity I'll be waving my Bajan flag high and proud around the world, knowing that it was because of an incredible community of people that I'm able to do so.