Fayettechill Takes on Costa Rica: Part I

Editor's Note: As I write this, part of the Fayettechill media team is in Costa Rica fulfilling a giveaway experience that we made available to the public in late January, 2017. Keep a close eye on our blog to follow their journey abroad! To kick things off, here's a bit about how the giveaway came to be, how our winner was chosen (1/8,000 entries!), and who she is.

The Idea is Born:

One day in January this year, while attending Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City, we had a wild idea. What if we could create a unique kind of marketing campaign, one that was less about pushing out stories, media, and promoting apparel products, and more about bringing in a random member of our digital tribe? What if we could randomly find a way to bring one of the thousands of Fayettechill supporters along to our next adventure?

I still remember dialing in the details of our Costa Rica giveaway during a snowstorm in Salt Lake City. I had sat there, smiling, typing as fast as I could with the limited time I had to program the promotion. I reveled in the fact that my icy surroundings would soon turn into a trip to Costa Rica, not just for myself, but for one lucky individual out there who at that point in time had no idea that he or she will be heading way down south with us.

The Giveaway Goes Live:

Soon, the giveaway was live. The grand prize winner was to join us for Blissed Yoga Retreat's Earth-Centered Yoga and Meditation Retreat. The intention for this trip was for our marketing team + the giveaway winner to dive deeper into their bodies and minds through yoga and meditation. And through the sense of peace and alignment they offered, we hope that we would all leave more chill stewards of the Earth.

It was important to us that there would be no purchase necessary to enter. Rather, to enter, we gave the public a wide array of ways to interact with our culture. A simple sign up gained one entry, but if you watched our video on mindful manufacturing or subscribed to our Youtube channel, or did any number of other culture-network type action, you got extra entries. Those most interested in Fayettechill’s culture had the best chance of winning.

Months went by and the giveaway gathered just under 8000 entries. We were stoked, not just because we were able to have a relevant story to share with the public, but because those 8000 entries each represented a double take of attention into our culture. We do not produce “viral ready” media. Quite the opposite. We offer still, tranquil messaging that aims to be a break from the hustle 'n bustle of modern media. We look to offer peaceful windows into the beauty of nature. So yeah, those 8000 entries meant something to us.


Selecting a Winner:

Our winner was selected during the last week of March. We had plans to quickly pick a winner, let them know that they had won the $2,000 trip in the yoga retreat, but they needed to make moves - quick! - to be able to join. But as we all know man plans and god laughs. It wasn’t that simple, and it wasn’t until our fourth grand prize winner was selected that we found our travel companion for our Central America scramble.

The first winner didn’t have a passport. The second winner had a college final exam he could not miss. The third winner was in a wedding smack dab in the middle of the retreat. With each, despite their honest wishings, it simply wasn’t possible. I thanked them for paying the experience forward to an eventual individual that could make it happen. That winner was Audrey Barba.

It is important to note that we wanted to find a winner that would embrace our “drop everything and just jump” attitude toward life. Telling most people that they won a spot to an international yoga retreat in Costa Rica is equal parts exciting and paralyzing.

Most people want months, if not a full year, to plan a trip like the one we were going on. But we wanted to find someone who would jump into the unknown with us, quickly and with an open heart toward new experiences. We found that in Audrey, who after a couple correspondences, was in. It was quickly apparent to me that "adventurous" was in her DNA. We had found our winner and with her help, we could share a story of the awe-inspiring life that follows a deep dive into nature, the mind, and the body. We had successfully flirted with the chaotic side of Fate and She had returned our inquiry with a wonderful individual in Audrey Barba. The rest was up to Time to unfold.


Getting to Know our Winner:

We met up with Audrey in the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica at Gate 12 before departing on our NatureAir “puddle jumper” flight to Uvita, the small town that is closest to the site of the our retreat. Before hitting the skies, I began to get to know Audrey:

FC: Tell us a bit about yourself--

My name is Audrey Barba and I am 29 year old living in Wichita, KS. I have a hard time confining myself to labels because you see, I am a ​"jack of all trades, master of none​" type of gal. I don’t know if this is a good thing​,​ but it​ is who I have become. I  just love learning and experiencing all types of things… rock-climbing, juggling festivals, sky-diving, couchsurfing, comicons, spelunking, slacklining, snowboarding, kite-flying, geocaching, wind-surfing, cliff jumping, and more! I guess if I had to pick my top two current passions, it would be rock-climbing and juggling. :)

Since one must work to live… my everyday life consists of being a single mom of an amazing ten-year-old boy, working in the operating room as a nurse at a local hospital, and going to school to further my career.

FC: What was your initial reaction when you found out you had won? What steps did you have to take to ensure you could make it happen?

My initial reaction to winning was that of utter pure shock. I happened to be on a break at work when I received the e-mail and I just couldn't believe it. Since I'm fairly new to my job, I figured the first thing I needed to do was ask my boss if this was something that I was going to be able to make happen or if I was going to have to pass along the winning prize to some other lucky bloke. Luckily, she was just as enthralled as I was to have won it and she assured me that she would work with me on getting the dates off to travel. (Have I mentioned how much I love my job and the people I work with? Well, I do!)

After some e-mail/phone correspondence between myself and Fayettechill (plus confirming that this wasn't some elaborate April Fool's Day joke) the main steps I had to take to make this trip happen (besides rearranging my work schedule) was to coordinate care for my son and pet shiba inu, arrange the flights/hotels, and get my finances in order to make a trip happen in less than three weeks.

FC: How do you feel now that the trip is right in front of you?

I'm feeling very excited! I can't wait to step out of my comfort zone in a new foreign country and embark on a new adventure! I'll admit, I'm also a little nervous, but that's just because I'm last minute packer and I have been frantically going over my luggage/itinerary and making sure that I have everything I'll need for the next 11 days out there!

Stay tuned to see how this adventure unfolds. We have tons of Earth-centered activities in store and we cannot wait to share them with you all!

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