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! The 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.
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.