Travelling Across the World for an Event (+ Giveaway!)

Would you ever hop on a plane for a big event, one you strongly feel you can’t miss?

I have, on two occasions.

osheaga 2014osheaga 2014

The first time was right after I’d permanently moved to France as an expat. I’d just settled in a nice flat in Clermont-Ferrand with my husband and I was busy planning weekend trips for the upcoming summer when the Osheaga Festival lineup was announced… with, of course, my favourite band — the Arctic Monkeys — as the headliner and several other performers I did not want to miss, such as Lorde, Foster the People, Haim, Outkast and Lykke Li. The only problem is the music festival takes place in my hometown of Montreal, which, as you know, I had just left for another continent. But anyone who knows me personally is well aware that I will go to great lengths, in this case quite literally, to hear Alex Turner’s smoky, husky voice serenade me. I called my Montreal-based best friend in the wee hours of the morning and excitedly told her that 1, I would be crashing at her place for a few days thankyouverymuch, and 2, we were going to an epic show together, against all odds. What a blast we had! I could not have been happier to be within hearing distance of my all-time favourite band and to have shared that special moment with her. And as you do in Montreal, we topped it all off by having late-night poutine after the festival was over. Several years later, this is still one of my favourite memories and it undoubtedly was worth every single penny.

cherry blossom seasoncherry blossom season

More recently, I travelled to Japan (literally halfway across the world from where I live, so it wasn’t a wise decision by any means at the time) just to see the famous cherry blossoms, which are only worthwhile a few days out of the whole year and can be notoriously difficult to predict. There are no guarantees as to how plentiful the cherry trees will be or even when they will actually bloom. And to add fuel to the proverbial fire, I had just signed on a very expensive mortgage the night before I received an email blast alerting me to the cheapest fares I’d ever seen for Tokyo. Nevertheless, I refused to think twice about it as I knew an opportunity such as this one wasn’t likely to present itself again anytime soon. I impulsively booked a ticket because I knew this was something I wanted to tick off my bucket list — and as you can imagine, I have zero regrets. In addition to discovering a new-to-me country that I am now obsessed with, the blossoms turned out to be rather spectacular that year.

There is a point to those two stories; i.e., you should never hesitate to travel, however imprudent or seemingly unwise it might be. Travel is a gift you should not refrain from granting yourself. If it feels right, it probably is — you just might end up having the time of your life!

Exciting Giveaway!

I’ve partnered with Rail Europe and Thalys to grant one of my readers the chance to fly to Europe for the World Ice Hockey Championships, which is happening in both Paris and Cologne in May and is men ice hockey’s highest profile annual international tournament organised by the International Ice Hockey Federation (terms and conditions below). The tournament will welcome 16 teams from all over the world including Canada, so you can probably guess which team I’ll be rooting for — these boys have already won the title 26 times since the even was first held in the 1920 Olympics so I’m not worried about them taking it away once more.

*waves Canadian flag vigorously even though I know nothing about ice hockey or any other form of hockey for that matter*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A few precisions: the giveaway includes not just two first-class train tickets between Paris and Cologne but also two flights and accommodation for six nights and, of course, two tickets to the championships. Even if you don’t win the giveaway, you can still join the fun and get $25 off your train tickets.

Terms and conditions apply:

  • Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only (excluding Quebec) and includes two roundtrip economy flights from Canada to Paris; six nights’ hotel stay at 3* hotels (three nights Paris, three nights Cologne); two first-class tickets on Thalys trains between Paris and Cologne and two tickets to the World Hockey Championships in Paris and Cologne.
  • The promo code THALYSMARIE is valid for $25 off Rail Europe bookings of Thalys tickets, with a minimum booking amount of $100 for both US and Canadian residents. It can only be used on Rail Europe’s site. The promo code is valid for applicable bookings made from March 7, 2017 through 5:00pm ET on April 6, 2017. Offer is subject to availability and subject to change or extension without notice. No adjustments can be made on prior purchases. Promotional fares are non-exchangeable and non-refundable. This promo code cannot be combined with any other promo code on Rail Europe’s website.

Good luck to all of you hockey fans and safe travels!

41 Comments on Travelling Across the World for an Event (+ Giveaway!)

  1. Sara
    March 11, 2017 at 3:05 pm (7 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Aix-en-Provence, where I wold love to go to again! Thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Laura
    March 11, 2017 at 9:10 pm (7 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Amsterdam, a place I have been dreaming about the last few years. Great post! Thanks for sharing the opportunity to win such a great prize.

  3. Sophie Nadeau
    March 12, 2017 at 2:40 pm (6 months ago)

    I’ve always wanted to see the cherry blossom season in Japan, so I can hardly blame you :P Such beautiful pictures as well!

  4. Danielle
    March 12, 2017 at 5:19 pm (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Amsterdam.

  5. Martin Reisch
    March 13, 2017 at 11:33 am (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Paris which is the other city famous for eating baguettes in the street (I like to think that Montreal is famous for that as-well) haha

  6. Vanessa
    March 13, 2017 at 4:32 pm (6 months ago)

    Paris and hockey … romance for me, excitement for him haha ❤❤❤

  7. Rob McDowell
    March 14, 2017 at 5:13 pm (6 months ago)

    I love Paris in the spring time!

  8. Cat Haynes
    March 14, 2017 at 5:20 pm (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Amsterdam

  9. Betty Moore
    March 14, 2017 at 5:24 pm (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Amsterdam among other great destinations! Great contest.

  10. Phyllis W.
    March 14, 2017 at 6:13 pm (6 months ago)

    Paris. Would love to see it!

  11. Alison
    March 14, 2017 at 7:55 pm (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels between Paris and Toulouse, a ride I took a few years ago!

  12. Lisa
    March 15, 2017 at 1:04 pm (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Cologne! I bet the train ride from Paris to Cologne would also be quite the amazing experience – there’s something amazing about traveling through Europe by train!

  13. Janelle
    March 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm (6 months ago)

    Thales travels to Amsterdam!

  14. Linda
    March 17, 2017 at 11:16 am (6 months ago)

    Thalys goes from Paris to Brussels, which means, day trips!

  15. Jeanne Samborski
    March 18, 2017 at 9:34 am (6 months ago)

    Hockey, trains, Paris and Cologne…..all my favourite things 🎉

  16. Janet Bennett
    March 18, 2017 at 1:43 pm (6 months ago)

    Family, friends, travel and hockey all in the same package. Amazing. 🎉 Thanks for the opportunity to make new memories.

  17. Colleen Bailey
    March 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm (6 months ago)

    Paris! Would love to visit again (and watch the hockey – huge fan!)

  18. B
    March 18, 2017 at 7:08 pm (6 months ago)

    Japan! Would love to see the cherry blossoms.

  19. Christine Mcleod
    March 19, 2017 at 10:19 am (6 months ago)

    Would love to see Paris and Cologne!

  20. Nila
    March 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm (6 months ago)

    Love watching hockey and travelling to new places!

  21. Daniel Reyes-Cocka
    March 20, 2017 at 3:31 pm (6 months ago)

    I would love to win and bring my husband who has never been overseas. What an amazing contest!

  22. Joseph
    March 20, 2017 at 9:32 pm (6 months ago)


  23. Mallika Sahai
    March 20, 2017 at 10:42 pm (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to the most beautiful and romantic city in the world-Paris!

  24. Kate Bray
    March 21, 2017 at 9:32 am (6 months ago)

    This is such an amazing giveaway! I would love to go!

  25. Laura Gauthier
    March 21, 2017 at 10:18 am (6 months ago)

    Love France! Have been around parts of the south before and it’s beautiful!

  26. Adrienne Lapierre
    March 21, 2017 at 11:14 am (6 months ago)

    They definitely visit Amsterdam!

  27. Julia La Rosa
    March 21, 2017 at 11:23 am (6 months ago)

    She travels to Tokyo.
    Would love to go to Paris and Cologne to watch the hockey :)

  28. Arlyse W.
    March 21, 2017 at 11:31 am (6 months ago)

    Thalys Train goes to Antwerp, Belgium

  29. Ron kane
    March 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm (6 months ago)


  30. martin gagnon
    March 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm (6 months ago)


  31. Krista Leben
    March 21, 2017 at 9:13 pm (6 months ago)


  32. Charles Bedard
    March 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Cologne

  33. Carol Roy
    March 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm (6 months ago)

    Paris, the most romantic city in the world

  34. Carol Roy
    March 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm (6 months ago)

    Cologne….a city I would love to visit

  35. Carol Roy
    March 22, 2017 at 2:51 pm (6 months ago)


  36. Carol Roy
    March 22, 2017 at 2:52 pm (6 months ago)


  37. Kevin Elder
    March 23, 2017 at 10:08 am (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Brussels

  38. Christopher Jackman
    March 23, 2017 at 6:38 pm (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Cologne.

  39. Tammy Jackman
    March 23, 2017 at 7:18 pm (6 months ago)

    Thalys travels to Paris.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *