Each day, when I open my business email in-box, I never know what to expect. Most days, I look at the email messages and delete 99% of them without answering – but I always read them – every single one of them, because I never know who is going to pitch me something good or a trip to somewhere wonderful!
On October 15th, I received an email from an advertising agency who works with the Costa Rican Tourism Board. The email stated they were interested in giving me a trip to Costa Rica, because of my ability to, “spark conversations across the web.”
The email went on to say:
The Costa Rica Tourism Board is not expecting anything in return. There are no posting/social media minimums, and no dictation of your content. We simply want you to experience the happiness of Costa Rica, and if you feel so inclined, to share that happiness with your followers.
No one ever contacts me and says that. There are always requirements and minimums – which I completely understand. This was a new one for me.
After jumping around the living room in sheer joy – you know I love to travel – I called and spoke to the sender of the email. Our family of four could go but the timing was tight – we had to leave on November 20th and be back by November 27th.
There are times when I wish I had a regular job that came with a regular paycheck. There are times when I wish my husband, Brad, had a regular job that came with a regular paycheck, too. This was not one of those times. Because we’re both self-employed and have flexible schedules, we jumped (literally!) at the opportunity to visit a country we’ve always wanted to see. With regular jobs, I’m not sure we would have been able to finagle time off – after all the travel we did over the summer.
Because the trip took place over the Thanksgiving break, our kids only missed 2-days of school – and they got to use their Spanish like never before.
“Mom, this sounds too good to be true.”
That’s what my very cautious 17-year-old son said when we told him the news. When I thought about this, I realized he was right. We’ve taught our kids, “If it sounds too good to be true; it probably is.” This did sound too good to be true but he also wasn’t seeing all of the pitches I regularly receive in my email in-box.
After doing some “research” (look up #GiftOfHappiness on Twitter to see all of the trips that other bloggers have taken), and verifying that the newly acquired confirmation numbers for our flights did work, we did what every person does when they hear they’re getting an all expense paid trip to a country that has gorgeous beaches and a year-round growing season – we packed our bathing suits.
Have you ever been to Costa Rica? Have you ever wanted to go there?
Go Gingham related links:
Travel packing in a little suitcase and a chart
Getting ready for a home exchange tips and house warming gift ideas
Why I love to home swap – it’s free!
Our San Francisco home exchange –Part I, Part II and
Save money on your next trip: before and during
Vacation rules from our home swap trip to Spain – yes, my teens gave me rules!
Disclosure: The Costa Rica Tourism Board provided our family with an amazing trip to Costa Rica. This is being disclosed in accordance with the FTC’s guidelines.