Theatre grad showcases the best of Ottawa for a chance to win the trip of a lifetime

Kajahni Tharmarajan | Fulcrum Staff

Photo courtesy of Alison Almeida

A RECENT GRADUATE of the University of Ottawa’s theatre department has entered a new travel contest where entrants describe their “bucket list” for a chance to win a six-month all-expenses-paid trip around the world to check off a good chunk of that list.

Alison Almeida first stumbled upon the travel opportunity while looking online for acting opportunities. The Biggest Baddest Bucket List worldwide contest—hosted by travel website My Destination—offers the chance for one lucky winner to experiences new places all around the world without having to pay a penny.

Contestants are asked to create a three-minute video showcasing a particular destination while highlighting the iconic landmarks, the hidden gems, and some local tips and insights.

Almeida, who is originally from Toronto, shared her love of Ottawa, the city she’s lived in for more than four years now. Her video features Parliament Hill, the Glebe (including popular nightclubs Barrymore’s and Babylon), the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery of Canada, and the ByWard Market. She highlights the Samuel de Champlain statue near the Alexandra Bridge as her favourite lookout spot in the city.

Contestants are also asked to form a list of places they’d like to visit in their lifetime. The winner will be given the chance to visit a number of those destinations and strike a good amount of lines off his or her bucket list.

Almeida explains why the contest struck such a chord with her.

“After university, I took a year off and I travelled around the world,” she says. “I spent nine months in India, I did two months in the U.K., and two months in the Middle East, so I got addicted.”

When she found out about the travel contest, she saw it as the perfect way to fuse her two biggest passions: travelling and acting. Almeida’s video features her giving the camera a colourful commentary on what gives Ottawa its charm.

“Never before was I able to combine the two, which was really exciting,” she says.

The five applicants with the most votes as well as the five judges’ picks will be flown to London, England to partake in further competition, before finally, one contestant will be chosen at the end of May to start the adventure of a lifetime by visiting six destinations of their choice. The cherry on top is that after the winner returns from the trip, My Destination will give him or her a $50,000 prize.

“It makes no sense,” Almeida says with a laugh. “It’s pretty much like a job—they give you a salary when you get back.”

Almeida’s list of desired destinations revolves around her love for swimming and diving, like fishing for piranhas in the Amazon River and exploring the sunken ruins of Queen Cleopatra’s castle in Egypt.

“The competition is intense, but it’s exciting because you get to view everyone’s videos,” she says. “I’m learning so much  about all these places that I would never even think to add to my bucket list.”