I was cleaning my home office this past Sunday evening and committed to “dealing with” anything that had been lying around on my desk, floor, my closet and anywhere in between. I came across a clipping from the American Way magazine (this is the magazine that is in all the seat back pockets on American Airlines planes and yes, I read it). Whatever this is, I thought, I’m going to read it, do it, research it, buy it or just deal with it. Well, little did I know I would be spending two hours entering the 11th annual American Way Road Warrior Contest.
There were four parts to the entry process and the first creative writing challenge, which I will be sharing with you momentarily, was this: Write an essay describing why you should win this year’s Road Warrior Contest. And here’s the rub. You need to include 10 idioms throughout your story if you know what’s good for you. Limit of 600 words or 3,000 characters.
If you are thinking what I was thinking, whew! I am not the only one around here who didn’t know what an idiom was. The definition of idiom doesn’t make any sense to me but the examples of them do: “the devil is in the detail” or “he kicked the bucket” or “the early bird gets the worm.” Now that we have that clarified, check out the first creative writing challenge I submitted and let me know what you think. Oh and if I do win, I get a tidy 500,000 American Airlines miles plus a bunch of other cool stuff. Finalists will be notified in October and there is a voting process from there (which you will ALL be involved in if I do make it)…say a prayer for me!
Dear American Airlines,
They say there is no place like home and I would beg to differ. And so, I am excited to get off to a flying start and share why I should win this year’s Road Warrior Contest. Typically bad news travels fast, but this time, I bring you good news of Ann Ueno’s travel adventures!
Traveling is actually a piece of cake for me given I am in the hotel business and based in Chicago where @AmericanAir flights from ORD are a dime a dozen and Terminal 3 is my second home. Reason #1 I should win: I took a job in the travel industry knowing it would allow me to travel more. And let me just say as a Platinum member, if American doesn’t fly there, I don’t go there. Reason #2 I should win: my travel plans, for business and pleasure, are literally dictated on AA’s flight schedules and destinations where AA flies.
While I am usually flying a mile a minute – oh, I mean, running a mile a minute – during my 9-5 hotel marketing gig, I take time to smell the roses (actually, most recently in Portland at the Rose Garden) and travel for pleasure like there is no tomorrow. From Paris, having found a great boutique off the beaten path, to Istanbul, having stepped on two continents within one day, to Rio where life truly was a beach…I was born to travel. Reason #3 I should win: I still have two continents left to visit in my spare time.
And because life isn’t always roses and I do have to pay my bills, I have also explored the under-rated beauty of secondary and tertiary cities like Queens, NY, home to LGA, while traveling for business. (Ahem, as you don’t know me personally I’d like to highlight that the aforementioned sentence was meant to be a bit sarcastic.) Reason #4 I should win: Even when traveling for work, I allocate 2-3 hours to explore the area, even at the risk of getting fired. Okay, kidding…sort of.
Yes, my life is often lived out of a Tumi suitcase (oh and special thanks to the Container Store as I now am an expert packer). Reason #5 I should win: I help increase profits at all travel-related stores. Yes, I’m sometimes running on fumes after taking a red-eye across the pond. Yes, I have eaten Panda Express for breakfast at an airport once or twice (please don’t tell anyone that). But it’s worth the small “suitcase closet”, the bags under my eyes and the few extra pounds I may gain along the way.
Let me leave you with a few closing remarks. I travel at the drop of a hat. Heck, I’d even bend over backwards to go to Des Moines, Iowa. Why? To explore, to be challenged, to learn, to teach. To capture a piece of culture or a moment or a meal on camera. Travel allows me to see the world through a different lens, to change and be changed, one mile at a time. I appreciate my college degree, but my true education starts and ends on an airplane.
Where will I jet-set to next, you ask? It’s a toss-up. Cabo in the fall, perhaps out East to NYC or across the globe to New Zealand (though that will cost an arm and a leg). Actually, because I am going to win this road warrior challenge with flying colors, I might as well start packing for all three! Reason #, um, well I lost count: You get the point.
*photo credit from the American Way Road Warrior Contest Website