Greetings readers! I'm way behind on new posts lately but I have some good stuff coming soon. Until then, maybe you could cast a vote to help my Canadian friend (and fellow Jamaica fanatic), Kristi Keller, in her quest to become the Tobago Island Connoisseur this summer! Voting is super easy, and she needs your help!
What's this Tobago Island Connoisseur thing all about?
Tobago’s Division of Tourism & Transportation is hosting a competition for one lucky Canadian to become the next "Tobago Island Connoisseur." This person will showcase the best of Tobago’s hotels, restaurants, natural beauty, culture and friendly people through social media.
The Tobago Island Connoisseur will spend 60 days, from July 2, 2014 to August 30, 2014, getting to know everything humanly possible about the island of Tobago and will use social media to tell us about it. Yes, the promotion is geared toward encouraging more Canadians to visit Tobago, but getting more worldwide travelers to experience the beauty of the greater Caribbean can’t be a bad thing, right?
The competition started in January with more than 200 applicants. It's now down to the final 10 contestants, and Kristi Keller is one of them. The Tobago Island Connoisseur will be chosen soon, and voting ends on May 16, so it's important to get your votes in now.
Where the heck is Tobago?
Do you see it there on the map just below Barbados and Grenada and north of Trinidad? (Click the map to enlarge it.) Officially known as the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the twin-island country lies just off the northern edge of South America.
Tobago is small - about 25 miles long and 6 miles wide. It's lined with picture-postcard beaches, palm tree-lined golf courses, beautiful coral reefs and also has dense rainforest and steep hills. It's particularly known for its extremely warm people and its two-speed lifestyle - slow and slower! The Tobago Island Connoisseur will get to explore and enjoy all that Tobago has to offer... lucky dog.
The island is unspoiled and non-commercialized, earning it several prestigious eco awards, including the World Travel Awards "Best Eco Destination in the World" and the Caribbean Travel Awards Committee "#1 Eco-Destination in the Caribbean". In fact, the Tobago Forest Reserve is the oldest legally protected forest reserve geared specifically towards a conservation purpose (established in 1776).
So, who is Kristi Keller?
Those of you who know and love Jamaica may already be familiar with Kristi Keller who is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is an award-winning Jamaica blogger and writer, owner of JamaicaMyWay.com, and a travel agent. She has spent a lot of time in Jamaica (and lived there for some time), and you'll enjoy the many unique Jamaican adventures she's written about over the years!
Why would Kristi make the ideal Tobago Island Connoisseur?
I know Kristi personally and can tell you that she:
- is loaded with a warm, easygoing personality and great sense of adventure
- bubbles over with infectious enthusiasm
- has a great sense of humor and loves to have fun
- loves to absorb the culture, customs and traditions of the places she visits
- loves to tell stories
- has the utmost respect for everyday people and their daily life challenges
- thinks she MUST have been Caribbean in a previous life
- is one of the most social media savvy bloggers I know!
I would say those are the best traits any person could have for a Tobago Island Connoisseur. Kristi can definitely make us eager to discover the island for ourselves.
How do I vote in the #60Days in Paradise campaign?
Voting for the Tobago Island Connoisseur could not be easier. Click the photo below and you'll land directly on the voting page. Scroll down until you see Kristi's name and video. Click vote. Now click your browser's "back" button and vote again. That's it! You don't have to register, create an account, give your name, email address or anything else. Simply cast your two votes and you're done. There's a maximum of two votes allowed from any IP address, so feel free to cast more votes from your smartphone, iPad or laptop. Remember, voting ends May 16, 2014.
I sincerely hope Kristi wins because I know that everything she posts will make us want to visit Tobago, whether or not we're Canadian. In fact, I already have a request for her to investigate and report back. I'm intrigued by the "mystery tombstone" of Betty Stiven, who died in Tobago in 1783 at 23 years old. There's lots of speculation about Betty's story, and the baffling epitaph in the village of Plymouth reads:
Beneath these walls are deposited the body of Mrs. Betty Stiven and her child. She was the beloved wife of Alex B Stiven. To the end of his days will deplore her death, which happened upon the 25th November 1783 in the 23rd year of her age. What was remarkable of her, she was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it except by her kind indulgence to him.
I've already cast my maximum votes. Now it's your turn. Please go now and vote for Kristi Keller to become the Tobago Island Connoisseur!
If you're considering a trip to Jamaica, please visit us at KeepItJiggy.com for lots of information about where to stay and what to see, do and eat while you're there.