BIG NEWS! Hint: Marco. Polo.

Whoa, do I have some BIG NEWS to share!

Those of you who know and follow me are aware of my thirst for adventure and exploration. A couple months ago I entered a storytelling/writing contest. Of course I had no expectations of winning.  A week ago, I learned that I was a finalist. I didn’t really think much of it and deleted the email. Yesterday however, I received another email, this one letting me know that I actually won!  Hangzhou Global Storyteller winner Mike ShubicThe enormity of it all is still sinking in. The prize you ask? Oh, it’s a trip around the world…following the route of the Silk Road.

The promotion I entered is called, Hangzhou China Global Tour 2015, and is being sponsored the ancient city of Hangzhou Tourism Commission. Hangzhou is known for being the happiest city in all of China and is also known as the epicenter, or the beginning of, the Silk Road.

Extending more than 4,000 miles, the Silk Road derives its name from the Chinese trade route that carried the precious silk along its length. The trade route was developed over 2200 years ago, during the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). The Central Asian sections of the route was expanded around 112 BC. While the Silk Road had been in use for more than a millennium, we can thank famed explorer Marco Polo, for being the first to document the route and its arduous journey.  Marco Polo met Kublai Khan (the ruler at the time and grandson to the Great Khan, aka Genghis Khan), in 1269. The Chinese took great interest in the safety of their trade products and extended the Great Wall of China to ensure the protection of the trade route.

My epic month-long journey will be shared by three other winners of this contest. A Chinese family and an individual storyteller, as well as an American family. We will all meet in Hangzhou around the 24th of July.  The adventure will start in Hangzhou where we’ll see first hand what makes this city the happiest in all of China.

 Hangzhou China
Photo by: Soory

After visiting our host city of Hangzhou, we’ll fly to Dunhuang, China, here we will ride camels up sand dunes. We’ll also view the Aegean Sea while sipping tea aboard a Costa cruise ship en route to the island of Mykonos, Greece. Then, we’ll sail to Santorinior, and on to Dubrovnik, Croatia. A flight will take us to our next destination…Venice, Italy, home of Marco Polo, where we’ll craft an exquisite Venetian Mask for a mini-masquerade party. It will then be on to Geneva, Switzerland, then to the sister city of Hangzhou, Boston, Massachusetts. We’ll end in the world’s greatest melting pot and massive trading center…New York City.

I feel so honored and humbled to have been chosen for this extraordinary experience. I will be documenting as many moments as possible and sharing them with all of you. I want to extend a gracious “thank you” to the Hangzhou Global Tour committee for selecting me. And, to the most loving and supportive partner I am so blessed to have in my life, Terri Campbell.

And, of course, to all of you who read and watch my adventures…I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.


  1. This is amazing Mike!! Congratulations!! Goes to show you that you can’t win it if you aren’t in it 🙂 Have a fantastic time in China!

    1. Thanks so much Arienne! So true. I hardly ever enter these things because I think the chance of winning is so remote that it is not worth my time. You’re right, goes to show that you don’t even have a chance unless you put yourself out there. 🙂 Thanks so much, this will be my first time to China. You?

  2. Huge Congrats Mike! Sounds like an awesome opportunity! Can’t wait to follow your adventures! Cheers and Safe Travels 🙂

    1. Hey Gary…thanks so much! Appreciate it. The story directive was to describe a happy and unexpected travel experience. I wrote about this botanical garden I visited in Chattanooga called, “Rock City.” I didn’t even know it was a botanical garden…and it’s not really, but that is the best way to describe it. It’s a really, really cool place. I saw all these signs saying “See Rock City.” So, I went and saw it…wrote about it, and won a trip around the world. Amazing!

  3. Hi Mike….
    Hey blue eyes, congrats on your fabulous writing! How delighted I am for you to go to the happiest place in China, “Hangz” and I cannot wait to follow your journey. Terri and I will be following you as you absorb everything you can for all to see. Enjoy the cuisine, it’s one of my favorites and you know it is very good for you! 🙂 HUGS, Arlene

    1. Hey Arlene! You’re such a sweetheart…thank you! It’s going to be exciting, but also very exhausting with all the travel. I will be taking it all in though. 🙂

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