After working for over a year at my freelance writing gig, completing all of my assignments through research done online or speaking over the phone to tourism and convention bureau representatives, all my hard work has finally paid off. Next weekened, I am actually being sent on a travel writing assignment to Edmonton, Canada!
Not only do I get to visit a new destination and experience everything that Edmonton has to offer, but I get to do it the way a real travel writer does: Free of charge. That's right, my trip is being completely covered by the Edmonton Tourism group, all expenses paid. That means flight, hotel, food and activities. The only thing I need to pay for is any souvenirs or personal purchases I make along the way.
I was just sent my full weekend itinerary today, and I cannot wait to go on this trip. The great thing about these kind of promotional events is that they schedule a lot of exclusive activities for you that probably would not have been an option on a regular vacation. For instance, I get to see the musical Wicked during my stay, which originally might have been too expensive for me to buy. Also, I get to see the Edmonton Indy, one of the few race car competitions in Canada--something I would have never done otherwise. It's exciting, and now I am counting the days until I hop on that plane and head up to visit our neighbors to the North.
Finally, I get a glimpse at my potential future as a professional travel writer. And hopefully I can make some connections along the way to help further my career. It may only be one trip, but it's getting me one step close to my dream.