The winner of the December 2009 travelBIGO Punzabo Award (and $100) is Jennifer Stacewicz! Her essay entitled Berlin, Germany takes the reader through a detailed description of the varied historical landmarks and attractions of the city that was once torn apart by the Cold War.
When Jennifer was informed about her win, she was rather excited and offered to share a little about herself, life and travels with the rest of the travelBIGO community. She wrote:
“My name is Jennifer and I’m 17 years old. I was born in Hamilton Square, NJ, and I’ve lived there my whole life. Hamilton is a suburb located about 15 minutes away from Princeton University. There isn’t a lot to do right in Hamilton, but we are pretty centrally located. A fifty-minute train or car ride will get you to New York City, or Philadelphia, or the Jersey shore!
This year I’m a senior in high school, so I’m keeping pretty busy filling out and submitting college applications. I plan to major in World Languages in college. In high school I’ve been studying French, Italian, German and Spanish, and hope to add Mandarin Chinese and Russian in college. My dream job would be working as a translator for a publishing company.
My love of languages has come from my enthusiastic teachers, and from the many trips my family has taken to Europe. My father was transferred to Geneva, Switzerland, for 9 months when I was 13 years old, and then back again for two years when I was 15. My mother and I didn’t move, so we visited my Dad during my school breaks. Besides frequent visits to Geneva, I’ve been to Paris, France (twice), Rome, Milan, Pisa, and Florence, Italy, as well as Berlin, Germany, in April 2009.
I’ve been lucky enough to have stood on the bank of Lake Geneva, viewed Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, walked through the ruins of Rome, spent an Easter Sunday at the Vatican, tossed coins in the Trevi Fountain, taken a crazy picture trying to look like I was holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, viewed the art of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, and shopped the Ponte Vecchio. All of these cities and famous landmarks have made an impression on me, but none as much as Berlin – the topic of my article.
When we travel, I always try to write down my thoughts and feelings about what I see, but I usually do it just for myself. Winning a Punzabo award for my article on Berlin means that I may have introduced my favorite city to someone who will never be lucky enough to see it, or maybe I’ve helped urge someone who has been thinking about Berlin decide that it is definitely worth the visit. I’m also proud that something I’ve written has been published on a travel website!”
Help pick next month’s Punzabo winner (PunzaboAward rules for Travel Journals) by rating all the stories you read on travel BIGO. And remember, you can be next!
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