This year’s Passports with Purpose fundraiser has raised over $30,000 so far to help bring clean, safe drinking water to rural villages in Haiti. I’m very excited about the dog-friendly weekend in Mendocino County that I’m giving away, but sadly, I can’t bid on it myself. For some of you who live far away, even internationally, it may not be practical to visit Northern California in the near term. But never fear! There are lots of other amazing opportunities in the contest–close to 100 in total! There are prizes for everyone regardless of home location and travel interest! Some that are very practical and location-independent and others that are I’d-never-be-able-to-afford-this, dream-come-true opportunities! Don’t miss your chance to donate! The fundraiser ends December 11!
Here are some of my personal favorites:
- Pick-Pocket Proof Pants and Shorts: Good riddance ugly, sweaty money-belts! These men’s pants are made of rip-resistant fabric and have multiple internal pockets to keep important documents and your passport hidden and zipped safely away so it doesn’t fall out when you go to get small cash out of the same pocket. I want to win these for Kevin so he can help keep us organized.
- $100 Kiva Gift Card: I love Kiva, the micro-lending organization that provides loans to hard-working individuals around the world, unable to get loans through traditional banks. I have been lending and re-lending the same $75 I put in a few years ago into nearly 30 loans to entrepreneurs around the globe. Recently, they’ve started providing loans in the US, as many community development organizations have jumped in calling attention to the great need for small loans in under-served, low-income communities here at home! I would love to win additional funds to put in to expand my efforts.
- $100 Amazon.com Gift Card: So practical… who couldn’t use this?
- $150 Chaco Gift Certificate: I have a 10 year old pair of Teva sport sandals that I take on every trip that involves water or outdoor activities. They are still in great condition and are very comfortable. The thing is, Kevin HATES them! He says they are ugly (as if he is the poster-boy for travel fashion!) But they aren’t going anywhere until I get a suitable replacement! Chaco is a similar company that offers a wide variety of sandals in varying straps arrangements, colors, and patterns – some of which are kind of cute! I’d toss my Tevas if I had the excuse to upgrade.
- TUMI Alpha pet carrier: I was very excited to see another dog-loving traveler participating in the contest! The dog travel website Dog Jaunt is giving away this luxurious leather and twill dog-carrier Tumi “pet purse”! It only fits dogs up to 13lbs, so it’s not an option for our tank-shaped Ms. Posey, but it would be a great luxury item to win if you have a smaller dog.
- Five-night Stay at Any Hotel Booked on Hipmunk.com: This is one of the more practical gifts for anyone, wherever you live and wherever you travel! This travel booking search engine lists hotels in big cities and small towns around the world, though it is valued at up to a $2,000 so you get the best value if you use it in an expensive city.
- Timber Cove Inn, Two-Night Stay, Sonoma County, CA: Like Mendocino, Sonoma is another one of our favorite Northern California weekend getaways. This coastal inn includes breakfast, a bottle of wine from a local vineyard, and two free tasting flights.
- Six-day Whitewater Rafting Trip for 2 on the Colorado River: Kevin did a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon a few summers ago and has talked of wanting to do it again ever since. They camped under the stars and woke up to amazing sunrises over the ancient rock formations. This trip goes through Southern Utah and Canyonlands National Park, looks equally breathtaking. I’d love the opportunity to do this.
- One-Week Stay in Provence, France: One week in a historic villa in St. Remy de Provence, several gift certificates for highly rated local restaurants, two one-hour massage certificates, and more! I’ve always dreamed of eating my way through this region of the South of France. My good friend, Pierre, grew up in nearby Salon de Provence, and I’ve talked for a decade about meeting up with him if we visited this area. Winning this prize would make us make this happen!
- Five-Night Stay at a Luxury Villa on the Riviera Maya, Mexico: The Riviera Maya is my favorite, relaxing beach destination in the world. It’s easy and relatively cheap to get to from the US and there’s so much culture and good food in easy reach of the tourist enclaves. This is a 5-night stay in a luxury coastal villa with private swimming pool!
- Eight-Night Peruvian Amazon River Cruise: We’ve made two trips to South America this year and didn’t make it out to the Amazon either time. This trip down the Amazon River and it’s various tributaries in Peru looks amazing! It features diverse jungle wildlife and a chance visit a local indigenous Amazon village. And in the spirit of adventurous eating that we pursue, we might just get the chance to eat piranhas! Big, toothy, and terrifying grilled piranhas!
- 26-Day(!) Silk Road Tour of Central Asia: A nearly one-month tour from Beijing through remote western China, Kyrgyzstan and ending in Tashkent, Uzbekistan! These are areas that are just opening up to foreign tourism! I never, EVER before thought about doing a trip across this route but now that this is here planned out and in front of me words can’t describe how excited I would be to win this! Here’s the full day-by-day itinerary and map.
So please help Passports with Purpose keep it’s promise to rural Haiti! Make a donation and let me know in the comments what prize(s) you are bidding on!