As mentioned on other blogs (such as Corbin Fraser’s I Backpack Canada), Gap Adventures is inviting travellers to let their imaginations run free for its most recent foray into online competitions—dubbed ‘Create Your Own Adventure’. The adventure travel outfitter has chosen to celebrate its 20th anniversary by allowing users from all walks of life to submit a ‘dream’ itinerary.
Other users can vote to determine its overall quality compared with other submissions. Using an online itinerary builder, contestants can select up to three countries for a trip and include activities and excursions, explaining why their selections were made. The grand prize winning entry—determined through public online polling and input from a panel of judges —will be featured in the Gap Adventures worldwide brochure in 2011. The winner will be announced May 25, 2010.
We’re pleased to let you know that Two Go Round-the-World has entered a dream itinerary in Gap’s ‘Create Your Own Adventure’ contest! As mentioned above, the competition’s winner will be decided by online voting. You can get involved by going online, visiting our entry, voting for us and providing your feedback! Please click here to vote!
So, with no further delay—here follows our entry!
Channel Your Inner Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was a legend in his own lifetime. In a real sense, a legend of his own making. He worked hard at being an amalgam of all the masculine attributes he gave to the heroes that inhabited the pages of his novels—a voracious drinker, big-game hunter, fearless traveler, a bare-knuckle boxer and aficionado of bullfighting.
It’s no surprise, then, that Hemingway was considered by many to be the ultimate adventurer and truly a “man’s man”. He once wrote that a boy must do four things in his life to demonstrate his manhood: fight a bull, plant a tree, write a novel and father a son. Of course, many people argue that these four tasks are just metaphors for doing something of the like. This trip, then, is meant to challenge you to create lasting memories, whether it provides the seeds for a novel or the inspiration to replant a forest!
You’ll begin your adventure in Spain, where you’ll run—if not fight—with the bulls. From there, you’ll visit some of Hemingway’s haunts in Paris, where he conceived of some of his greatest novels—as well as his son. How closely you retrace Hemingway’s footsteps in Paris is up to you! Go for it! From France, you’ll move on to the Great St Bernard Pass in the Italian Alps, where you’ll help plant mountain pines. “There are only three sports” wrote Hemingway “bullfighting, horse racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games”. So it is no mistake that our three destinations have at their heart Hemingway’s three greatest passions. Stop playing “games” and join Ernest “Papa” Hemingway in a selection of cathartic adventures that celebrate manhood! Choose passion—not distraction!
Run with the bulls in Pamplona.
In a letter, Hemingway once called Spain “the last good country left”. His Spain, as it exists in guidebooks and his novels, is still a wonderfully enchanting place. Upon your arrival, you’ll head to Pamplona, the home of San Fermin and out onto the streets to soak up some of the unique festive atmosphere. Get ready for your first night on the town and join the colourful revelry. Don’t expect to get much sleep before running with the bulls! The week-long celebration is held in honor of Saint Fermin, the co-patron of Navarra. Its events inspired and were central to the plot of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, which brought the festival to the attention of the world. It has since become the most internationally renowned festival in Spain—over 1,000,000 people come to watch it annually.
Race through Hemingway’s Paris.
From Spain, you’ll move on to Paris to discover the areas that Hemingway and his fellow expatriates once roamed, from the Left Bank to the Louvre. Visit major Parisian landmarks as well as to out-of-the-way cafes, hotels and residences immortalized by Hemingway in his book A Moveable Feast, which provided a glimpse of what Paris was like in the 1920s when writers, painters, musicians and composers went to Paris to work and make names for themselves. Get inspired and conceive of a novel—if not a son—of your own! In 1950, Hemingway told a friend, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Hemingway’s hangouts were mostly around the neighbourhoods of Quartier Latin, St-Germain-des-Prés and Montparnasse. As Hemingway had a keen interest in horse racing, your walking tour will include a visit to the Hippodrome de Longchamp and Hippodrome Auteuil, two tracks that he went to fairly regularly.
You’ve run with the bulls, and you’ve taken in the ponies. Nothing left to do but climb a mountain!
Hike The Great St Bernard Pass.
From France you’ll head into Italy, a country of central importance to Hemingway’s life and work during World War I and into the 1920s, when he emerged as a promising young writer.
Here you’ll visit the natural splendour of the Great St Bernard Pass, which served as the setting in the final chapters of a Farewell to Arms. In his letters, Hemingway wrote that the area’s ubiquitous mountain pines reminded him of aisles in a cathedral.
It’s no coincidence, then, that you’ll plant trees here as part of a UN environmental initiative called the “Billion Tree Campaign”, a worldwide tree planting program that encourages the planting of indigenous trees appropriate to the local environment.
One would do well to remember that Hemingway was at times neither a gentleman, not a good father, and not in any way a model of manhood. He was, in many ways deeply flawed. However, regardless of his flaws, he has come to represent an aspect of masculinity. His life was chock full of amazing adventures that continue to inspire the dreams of boys and grown men alike.
Congratulations! You have walked in the steps of Ernest Hemingway. Now start giving back to the world in which you live. Do something, anything, to give back to the city or town in which you live. Create a legacy that will outlast your life and remind others of your dedication and hard work!
Remember the competition’s winner will be decided by online voting. Click here to vote!
Category: Dan's Blog