Tripified contest winner revealed...via travel smackdown
We have a winner!
Last week this space launched a contest giving Tripified readers a chance to win a $100 travel voucher from Transat Holidays by describing their dream sun-and-sand vacations. Eight of you answered the call, with the responses running the gamut from experiential (swimming with dolphins near Cancun) to historic (visiting Pearl Harbor in Hawaii) to genealogical (exploring family roots in San Andres, Colombia).
Now comes the hard part (for me, at least): determining a winner. Last week I wrote that the victor would be chosen "randomly"...but how? With eight contestants, the stage is set for a three-round "elimination smackdown" (to use the modern vernacular) using various travel-related determinants:
Foreign coin flip: Belize vs. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Smash your piggy bank, and you're bound to find a few foreign coins you didn't manage to spend at the duty-free. These can be pleasant reminders of great vacations, but for our purposes the Hong Kong $2 piece I found in my change jar will be used to determine the first Round 1 winner. "Heads" (or in this case, the number 2), Belize wins. "Tails" (or more specifically, a rendering of the Hong Kong Orchid Tree), Cabo takes it.
The winner: Belize (as shown above).
It should come as no surprise that the daydreamer pastime of spinning a globe and stopping it with your index finger, ostensibly to determine your next stop as a superspy, superhero or billionaire, has made the leap to cyberspace. Visit spintheglobe.net (pictured at left), and the site will randomly display a city or town in one of the world's 196 (or so) countries.
So, for the purposes of our smackdown, the winner will be the country that's closest to the location picked by spintheglobe.net, which was Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.
Cancun is 16493.05 kilometres from Sigiriya
Costa Rica is 17317.84 kilometres from Sigiriya
The winner: Cancun
It's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with a country's customs before you visit. Take the age-old decision-maker rock-paper-scissors -- in Germany, the game apparently adds two elements: "brunnen" (well or fountain) and "streichholz" (match). This five-way version of the game, played versus my wife, Angela, soon produced a Round 1 winner, with Angela representing Hawaii and me, Peru. The official results:
Throw 1: streichholz (Adam) beats brunnen (Angela)
Throw 2: stein (Angela) beats schere (Adam)
Throw 3: brunnen (Angela) beats schere (Adam)
The winner: Angela (as usual), and hence, Hawaii
Turns out this is the national sport of Molvania. (OK, I admit it: I made that up, along with this game.) Take two passports -- in this case, Canadian and British -- hold them together in one hand, and throw them against a wall (it's all in the wrist, BTW). The Canuck document represents San Andres and the British one St. Martin. Whichever comes closest to the wall moves on.
The winner: San Andres
Travel scrabble best score: Belize vs. Cancun
Before the invention of the passport toss, the travel edition of Scrabble helped me kill innumerable hours in airport lounges and immigration detention centres. So the winner here will be worth the most points in Scrabble.
Belize: 17 points
Cancun: 10 points
The winner: Belize
Google trends: Hawaii vs. San Andres, Colombia
Because Google controls so much of my life, it's appropriate that the search engine's "trends" tool decides which destination goes to the final. When you compare "Hawaii" and "Colombia" on google.com/trends over the past 12 months, it turns out searches for the latter far exceed those for the Aloha State, topping out at around 100 million in early September. It seems odd, I know, but I dare not question the all-knowing Google...
The winner: San Andres, Colombia
Zufall: Belize vs. San Andres, Colombia
I've written about Zufall Adventures before -- the German game sounds like a randomly sensible way to make decisions while travelling. It uses an eight-sided green dice to determine direction and a six-sided blue one for distance (city blocks, kilometres, minutes walking, it’s up to the roller). Simply find a flat surface, roll the bones, and then go where they tell you to go. (There's also a $1.99 smartphone app.)
The Zufall website lists a bunch of ways the dice can be used, like simply rolling the blue one to choose between two restaurants, archeological sites or, as applies here, countries.
So for our final, Belize gets the odd numbers and San Andres gets the even ones.
What will the dice reveal? ...(insert drum roll)...we have a 5!
The winner: Belize!
Congratulations to "Brocksteady," who has nabbed the $100 gift certificate. Look for more Tripified-only contests and special offers in upcoming installments of the Deals of the Week (which I'll post tomorrow, if I can somehow shake this mild addiction to the passport toss).
-- Adam Bisby
Read all of Adam’s Tripified posts here.