Black Tomato are experts in creating tailor-made luxury trips of a lifetime, and I love browsing their website, imagining adventurous journeys through Jordan or a holiday spent hopping from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay and on to Angkor Wat.
When I first found out about their Tales of Two Cities travel writing competition, I thought I had nothing to offer. An account of my most memorable journey between two destinations? There was that 20 hour train journey from Beijing to Xi’an on one of the busiest days of the year but, eventful for all the wrong reasons, it is one I would rather forget.
It wasn’t until a while later, when Virginia Stuart-Taylor over at The Well-Travelled Postcard published the competition details on her blog, that an idea dawned. Entries could be as abstract or as literal as you wished; I knew which metaphorical journey was – and always will be – most memorable for me. So I put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, submitted my story, and forgot all about it.
Until this week, that is, when Black Tomato sent an email to say that my Tale of Two Cities had won the first prize! With my personal piece, ‘From Tianjin to Tokyo’, up on their website, and a luxury weekend in Paris at Le Royal Monceau to look forward to, it’s been a very good week so far for me and my suitcase stories!