Taiwan’s contest seeks ideas for dream trip

As a pioneer of innovative youth travel in Taiwan, the Youth Trekkers Wanted Campaign now seeks your help in creating the next truly memorable Taiwan trek. Sponsored by the Ministry of Education’s Youth Development Administration and its predecessor the National Youth Commission, the Campaign assists international young travelers in making their Taiwan travels truly unique. Now, the 6th Campaign is seeking creative ideas for an island trek lasting at least 10 days. Twenty winners will be eligible for cash prizes of US$2,000 or $3,000 to offset their travel expenses. Submissions will be accepted until July 14, 2013 and eligibility is open to all international participants 18 to 30 years of age.

The Youth Trek Wanted Campaign enjoys a strong fan base among international travelers. Over the past 5 years, nearly 80 winners from around the world have used the awards to explore Taiwan. All have put their own creativity and interests to excellent use – designing customized travel itineraries that have deepened their ties with Taiwan and its people.

As someone committed to nature and environmental protection, former participants such as Spanish architect Eduardo Giménez-Cassina found true pleasure in the traditional homes on Orchid Island and the environmentally friendly designs of Taiwan’s temples. And from landlocked Switzerland, the sea’s beauty and diversity inspired Ornella Weideli in her study of sharks. Ornella’s Taiwan itinerary took her to many of the island’s fishing ports to learn about Taiwan’s rich ocean culture and marine ecology. In meeting Taiwan’s leading shark specialists and sharing insights on these ocean predators, she hopes to incorporate her experience in her work and research back home.

American Erica Schlaikjer designed her itinerary to focus on Taiwan’s graffiti and street art scene. She sees this art form as a powerful cohesive force capable of not only enlivening stagnant urban spaces, but also creating dialogue between city dwellers, especially youths. Kenya’s Shelmith Wangechi Gitahi was the first Youth Trekkers Wanted Campaign winner from Africa. She considers Taiwan as an island of mystery, hidden away from the world. It was “love at first bite” for Shelmith, who pursued a passion for Taiwan’s diverse culinary temptations. Expressing a particular fondness for Taiwan’s seafood, she confessed to enjoying a night market staple of charcoal grilled squid. From start to finish, Shelmith couldn’t say enough about the warm, friendly reception she received from all the Taiwanese people she met along the way.

The Youth Trekkers Wanted Campaign sets no boundaries, so travelers can design their trip the way they want and create a unique journey that they can remember in the years to come. The 6th Campaign welcomes young backpackers from around the world to put their talents and interests to good use by creating experiences that will unlock their own potential and deepen their bonds with Taiwan.

Please submit your itinerary and completed application by the July 14due date for the chance to be one of this year’s Youth Trekkers Wanted Campaign winners! Visit the official activity website at: http://youthtravel.tw/youthtrekker for all the details and application information.

The winners of this year’s trek will be announced on July 31, with travel expected to take place from August 1 and November 20, 2013. This is a wonderful chance for young, outgoing adventurers to explore Taiwan’s natural, social and cultural wealth on someone else’s dime.



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