Sometimes, things sound like a good idea, but when it really happens, you find the reality is slightly shady and not at all fun. When I first heard from Lynda about her free trip to Kuala Lumpur from Travelscene, I was super excited. Lynda had been picked as one of four lucky winners for Fan Trip 2. When Travelscene decided to offer another holiday to Beijing as part of Fan Trip 3, I knew I had to enter. I had actually been thinking of going to Beijing this year, so what a nice coincidence.
The first part of the competition was to explain why you wanted to go to Beijing. That was super easy. I already had an itinerary of things I wanted to do for my own trip so it just involved putting those ideas down onto paper, well digital text anyway. You can follow the link and read about dream Beijing itinerary.
Luckily I was picked as one of 10 semi finalists. I was super excited about this and ready literally jumped around in the office when it was announced. However, the next phase of the selection is what I have come to despise, mainly in regards to my own behaviour. I knew that people would vote for the winners, but I had assumed that Travelscene would open up the voting to existing fans of their Facebook Page and let them vote based on who's entry was the best. I'm not being arrogant when I say that I think my entry is very good and would definitely feature in the Top 3 responses (3 winners would be picked). Instead the voting has become a popularity contest of whoring out yourself. It doesn't look like many of the existing Travelscene fans have voted. Instead, it is up to each contestant to get their friends and families to become a fan of the Travelscene Facebook page, and then vote via the poll. The competition isn't about what your entry is, it's just about soliciting as many people as possible by whatever means to vote for you.
On day 1 of the voting (Friday), I was definitely blinded by the free holiday and acted in a way that I felt dirty about at the end of that day. I was running around asking all my friends, work mates and fellow bloggers to vote for me. I was pestering them and constantly checking if people had done it. By the end of the day, I realised how tired I was and what a dick I was being, saying anything to get people to vote. I know that I've argued that freebies are not the root of all evil previously, but it can be the root of some evils. As I wrote in that post, I am well aware that Travelscene want bang for their buck. They are a business and trying to build more exposure through social media. They're not offering the trip out of the kindness of their hearts. That's fair enough. But to make us jump through these hoops and whore ourselves out to the lowest common denominator, well, this prostitute has had enough. I don't think they will achieve the feeling of good will that they wanted from anyone except the three winners. I know that some friends have already told me they will "unlike" the Travelscene page after this competition.
For the record, I would still love to go to Beijing. But should I not win, I shall go back to plan A of exploring the cost of paying for a trip myself. I'll give the details of how you can vote for me one more time, but I will not be entering into this game of spamming the Travelscene page and getting upset that the voting doesn't seem to work by some of the other contestants. I shall not be harassing my friends anymore or spamming everyone with tweets and emails to vote for me. I can say that if any future competitions require this level of whoring, I won't be entering. I have learnt something about myself through this competition that I will treasure far more than the Beijing trip. I've learnt that it's worth far more to do something you believe in and act in a manner you are proud of rather than do something for easy gain and act in a way that you feel ashamed about.
You can vote for me following the instructions in the link. Voting closes Monday 16th.
How to vote for Thanh in the Travelscene Beijing Trip