(being a quickly written, yet "thought about for years" proposal for what I would do if I had free airfare to somewhere).
Not where I'm going, but where I've been: Brasil.
It's been a month since I got back. It was my first bonified trip out of the country and it blew my mind. We went down there for a psychedelic trance party (I love trancers and their excuses to travel) that my friend was spinning at (see my few pictures here - sunset pictures of the beach at Ubatamirum did not come out well dammit http://www.chunk.com/brazil/ -- see stunning photos of the party here - http://www.raveon.com.br/ypypoty/english/story.htm I didn't take them, but I think I may have possibly facilitated picture-taking by helping the tree-borne, camera guy.)
The party was on a beach about 3 hours south of Rio and it was absolute paradise. Though I got significantly gnawed on by lil' sand dude, that is a small price to pay for gorgeous sunsets, warm water and kick ass trance.
We also spent some time in Rio, checking out the city a bit, and stopping by a few clubs. My non-existent portugese improved to the point where I could read menus, tell people I didn't speak portugese and figure out the road signs (sort of - TIP: driving in Rio is insane... even sticking to the interstates, it's insane. also, back roads in Brazil ... even in the more populated areas where we were driving ... are known to suddenly turn into gravel/dirt roads for miles and miles and miles).
My only regret with the entire trip is that I did not spend more time there.
Why I'd like to go where I'd like to go and where those places are:
Psychedelic trance began as a mix of what crazy ex-San Franciscan hippies were doing with acid house in goa. Goa was known as a stop for travelers, people who set out a long time ago to explore the world, and from that point, the travelers brought goa trance (which is now more widely known as psychedelic trance, psytrance or goat ranch) to all corners of the planet. Huge festivals occur at all times of the year in Australia, Japan, Thailand, Zambia, Morocco, Brazil, Mexico, all over Europe and in the bay area and NYC in the states.
Many people in this community travel full-time and there is even a sort of trance-hippy migration path around the world. When it is winter in the northern hemisphere people head to South America, South Africa, & Australia. When it is winter in the southern hemisphere, people head back up to Europe and Japan (primarily) for the festivals that occur during the European summer.
What I am most interested in is following this migration path myself. My plan for August of this year is to start in Europe (perhaps flying into Germany or Amsterdam), then making my way down to Portugal for the Boom Festival (http://www.boomfestival2000.com) and heading back to the States at the end of the month for Burning Man. I realize the timing probably isn't right for your contest, and Europe is not the most exotic place in the world, but I wanted to throw my hat in there anyway and I can guarantee that the stories I report and the information I impart will not be of normal fare. (I can't even go to parties in the Bay Area and have my stories be of normal fare - ask me about Devo & the marching band!)
I'm also interested in going to Australia for the solar eclipse (December 4, 2002). Yes, there's a trance festival happening down there during that time as well-trancers like cosmic events for their parties, plus there is also a group of people called " Solipse" that throw trance parties every year wherever the solar eclipse is visible. Last year's festival was in Zambia (http://www.solipse.com). They call it "chasing the sun."
The plan for the future (which is not at all related to your contest, but it helps me to write things down) is to quit my job, pack my things and travel for as long as I can. I can pick up jobs teaching English in Asia if I need extra money and I can really begin to understand what it means to be striding around on the surface of a gigantic piece of space dust.
And write about it on the web, of course. For that part, I've kept a homepage (http://www.chunk.com) - in the process of a redesign, archives for the domain are at (http://www.chunk.com/archives) - but I don't have everything up, not even close) in various states of disorder since 1996. I did a lot of goofy shit and gave it up for a while to focus on my development of self in the meatworld, but the urge to write personal texts of an expository nature online has not gone away.
What I will create (whether or not I win the contest) is a website that documents not only my personal travels, but random travel stories of other people I meet, the general migration paths of travelers throughout the year and ways/places to hop on the bus. During the trip, I imagine I would primarily take notes & keep some an analog travelogue (I don't have a laptop at the moment) discussing day-to-day activities, with the bulk of the site (including pictures) to be completed & uploaded after I got back.
I'm actually working on a "how to go to Brazil and not spaz out when police helicopters land on the beach OR how lsd turns brazilians into israelis and what the hell are those green things everybody is snorting?" website as we speak.
So, that is my proposal. I apologize for the lack of editing. I imagine my writing is much more fascinating when I've had time to edit, but the deadline is tomorrow and I only saw the contest a few hours ago and I have tons of stuff to do tonight and I have a paper cut on my thumb (casualties of war!) that is not allowing me to type with my usual proficiency.