We’ve been granting travel wishes all year long in celebration of our 50th anniversary as part of EF Education First, and this month brings us another lucky winner! Meet Katherine, an avid photographer whose photo of an ice cave in Iceland cemented her winning status for August. Read on to see how she got the shot and where she’s headed next with her free tour.
“I was very surprised,” Katherine said when asked about her winning phone call. “It just wasn’t really sinking in. Finally I went, ‘Wow, this is a really big deal, isn’t it?'”
Katherine traveled with Go Ahead after hearing about the company from her sister and brother-in-law. She’s a fan of entering contests, so she decided to give this one a shot after returning from tour. “I enjoy entering contests just for the fun of it. This is the first time I’ve ever really won anything, so it’s very exciting.”
Katherine’s winning photo was taken on a recent trip to Iceland, where she went with a group of photographers she met through an online group. “Some of us went to Yellowstone a couple years ago, which is where I met another lady who travels all over and has been to Iceland a few times. I told her how much I liked her photos and she said, ‘Last time I went to Iceland, I was with all younger men. I’m thinking a ladies group would be fun!’ It ended up being about seven of us women who went to Iceland on this trip.”
The winning photo came about when Katherine and her group took a different route to get to the ice cave and happened to be paired with the person in Katherine’s picture. “We had to take a different van to get to the ice cave. It was the seven of us women, and this young man from Thailand was traveling by himself and got stuck with us,” she said, laughing. “That’s him in the picture. We were under a glacier; it was just as blue as it looks. This cave was almost like a little igloo—I wandered back there and he was there too and I just asked if I could take his picture, so that’s how that came about.”
Katherine only recently started to travel more, and her trip to Iceland was her second big trip of the year. “My husband and I farm, and for 30 years we had milk cows so we never went anywhere. Now I feel like I’m making up for lost time!”
Although Katherine’s husband isn’t much into travel, they’ve gone on a few domestic trips together. However, her cousins are avid travelers and have gotten her to be a little more adventurous. “A year ago, one of my cousins called me and said, ‘I know what trip we should take this year!'” she said. “I asked where we were going and he said ‘Southeast Asia!’ So last December I went to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam for two weeks. I feel very lucky getting to do that and Iceland.”
As a photographer, Katherine especially enjoys being able to experience travel through the lens of her camera. “I enjoy seeing the beauty of what God gave us and experiencing different things,” she said. “I’m in my 60s now, so I want to do what I can while I can. There’s a lot of stuff to see out there and a lot of interesting people to meet.”
Although she’s undecided on where she’d like to go with her free tour, Katherine and her cousin are thinking about Europe. “My cousin asked, ‘How about Croatia?’ and I told him I’d have to see a map because I know nothing about it. But he said, ‘Why don’t we go somewhere we know nothing about?’ I’m also leaning towards going on the tour to Switzerland, Austria and Germany—I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland since seeing the Heidi movie as a kid.”
Congratulations, Katherine! If you’d like your own chance to win a free tour, we’re giving away one tour each month for the rest of 2015—see how you can win here.
Have you ever been to Croatia and have any tips or suggestions for Katherine? Leave them in the comments below!