Turning Winter Back Into Summer

Last month we gave you the chance to win £2000 of travel via the Cook Islands in our Island Giveaway competition. All we asked you to do was write 200 words on why you deserved to travel to paradise on Earth. We were inundated with entries, and we are very pleased to reveal the winning entry.

The winner is Nicole Ellis! It was a tough decision, but we loved her personal approach to the competition. Nicole wins £2000 of travel with Gapyear.com, and will be reporting back for us from the Cook Islands.

Here is her winning entry.

Growing up half Jamaican in gloomy England, I often said I hated winter so much because I have the Caribbean in my DNA; I am literally designed for sunshine. It’s been a running joke for years now, but I can’t help but think there’s some truth to it…

I look at England, with its cold weather and grey skies, and think of home. Yet when I think of travelling, lying on beautiful beaches, sailing to tropical islands, jumping off waterfalls, it feels complete; like another home. Travelling transforms me into my other half. My slightly tanned skin becomes golden brown, my straightened hair returns to natural curls, and a smile of happiness becomes a blissful beam. 

The Cook Islands define paradise for a girl like me. Not just for the constant sunshine, perfect white sands, infinitely blue seas, tropical wildlife and the unforgettable sunsets, but for the promise of experience: new places to go, people to meet, things to see and the opportunity of growth for that other half of me, dying to get out. Send me to The Cook Islands and help return an English girl, exotic by blood, back home. Help turn my winter back into summer. 

Congratulations, Nicole! We couldn't be happier to be sending you on your travels.