Amanda Brown for Island Connoisseur (Tobago 2014)

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About a month ago, my fiancé emailed me about a contest called 60 Days in Paradise. I happen to have notoriously bad luck with contests so I decided to just ignore it. He called me later and asked me what I thought and I told him I didn’t need another reason to get excited about something I had no chance of winning. He urged me to actually READ about the contest so I understood what it was offering, so I did. 60 days traveling around the picturesque island of Tobago, soaking up the sun while exploring all aspects of the island: hotels, fine dining, water sports, the culture, local wildlife, etc. All FREE of charge and with an additional pay check of $30’000 CAD. So I thought the same thing you might be thinking – that’s a scam. There is NO way that there would actually be a contest that would send someone on a two month vacation, all expenses paid and then pay them a full year’s salary just to talk about their experience via social media. So what did I do? I ignored it.

This went on for a while, but always nagging in the back of my mind was, what if? What if I did win? What if I could go to this beautiful place for free? What if I could actually share everything I loved about my vacation and people would be interested?

Then a couple weeks later, I was at a friend’s house when I saw a commercial for the contest come up. Then I thought, wow, if there is a commercial for it, then it must be legitimate right? So I researched a bit, read everything that was required and everything that was expected of the applicant.

1) Must Love Water


Well as a kid growing up in Alberta, all I ever dreamed of was living near the ocean. I loved learning about marine mammals and deep sea exploration, and the assumption was that I would eventually become a Marine Biologist and spend my days on the beach.


While I never became a Marine Biologist, I did graduate from the University of Alberta with a Biology degree (next best thing in the prairies). I had an itch to travel and soon found myself devising an elaborate journey halfway around the world to pursue underwater videography. Over the 2 months I spent on the island of Koh Tao, Thailand I became one with the sea and spent every waking moment in the ocean scuba diving.


On days when I wasn’t scuba diving, I would hit the beach anyway, snorkelling near shallow reefs. So, do I love the water? Yes, I think I do.

2) Must Live for Adventure


What is the point of traveling if you are not going on an adventure? I am of the personal belief that if you don’t have a ton of amazing memories involving unforgettable experiences, then it’s not worth going.


I love finding unique and exciting opportunities to pursue adventurous activities!


A lot of my adventures have taken place right here in Canada. In fact, most of the traveling I have done has been in my home country, and why not? We are so fortunate to live in such a diverse and beautiful country! I have been hiking, cycling, swimming, kayaking, snowboarding, surfing, fossil prospecting, etc. But I save the big stuff for my travels!


Going on safari, scuba diving, cave exploring, scootering, riding horses, riding ostriches, river rafting, snorkelling, exploring ruins – these are all activities I HAVE done. Imagine the infinite possibilities that await me on future trips! Of course I live for adventure!

3) Must Enjoy ‘Chilling’


I assume we all appreciate some down time. I don’t like to feel burnt out when traveling from going on too many adventures, and when I have down time I definitely take advantage.


Whether it be laying on a beach, or golfing with my in-laws, I look forward to rest and relaxation when it presents itself.


Some destinations require you to slow down from time to time in order to appreciate the subtleties. I am never one to pass up an opportunity to laze around!

4) Must Love Food


I LOVE food. Period. Although, I often lack the necessary patience it takes to stop long enough to photograph it before I eat it. I also don’t get as many opportunities to eat at fancy establishments as I would like, but if I had unlimited resources, i would DEFINITELY eat like a queen. Winning this contest would be a remedy for both…

5) Must be Social Online and Offline


Being social offline has never been an issue for me, I am a people pleaser, a chatty cathy, a social butterfly at times and as a result I have no problem getting to know people. I am definitely a performer (no literally, I have a theatre degree from the University of Winnipeg) and I love to get to know people. My online persona is a working progress. Having been exposed to the internet during the days of “NEVER put your real name online!” it took me a while to lovingly embrace social media, and I am still learning to open up a bit. Not everyone online is a serial killer after all.

I have been expanding since we returned from our big trip to Africa and Thailand when our family and friends urged us to share all of the juicy details of our adventure. Hence the creation of this blog. You can find me pretty much everywhere online now!

Facebook :

Pinterest :

WordPress :

Twitter :

Instagram :

6) Must Capture Everything


Well this is a no brainer. I take photos. That’s just what I do. If you see photos of me, majority of them include me holding a camera (if you don’t see the camera in the photo, chances are good that it’s just out of frame). Most of the photos I have in my biography here are OF me and thus not taken by me (mostly taken by my man) but I have hundreds of thousands of photos documenting everything I do. Ever.


You can feel free to check out my portfolio on my photography site :

Landscape Collage Animal Collage


I am also an avid videographer, although I haven’t really uploaded much of my work online (yet). I took enough filmmaking courses at the University of Winnipeg to get a degree actually, and as previously mentioned, I went to Thailand for the sole purpose of becoming an underwater videographer (PS. I am a BSAC certified Underwater Videographer) pretty cool right? You can see some of my videos from Thailand on my Youtube channel, like this one:

So I guess, after all of my contemplation over whether I should really enter this contest my response was obviously WHY WOULDN’T I?! In fact, I owe it to myself and Tobago to become an Island Connoisseur. Would you vote for me?


Check out my 60 Days in Paradise contest video submission:

  And of course, after a Canadian winter, i think we all deserve a tropical vacation…



4 thoughts on “Amanda Brown for Island Connoisseur (Tobago 2014)

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