Authentic cow girl barrel racing, adobe architecture (not the software), road trips, Hollywood stars and all things uber Amerciana is how Zoe Ellerman, Virgin Australia 1 Million Points Winner 2017, has been using her points.
It’s not every day you win a crazy amount of Virgin Australia points the likes of one million. But Zoe, her family and grandma too, have been enjoying the once in a lifetime opportunity to catch up with family they haven’t seen for 10 years, a nephew who they met for the first time at 8 years of age and an unforgettable trip to the United States.
But that’s just the beginning.
Constantly pinching herself at her good luck and with her oversized novelty cheque presented by the Brisbane Corporate Traveller team proudly displayed on her work desk, Zoe still has a few other places on her list of travel destinations.
From the Hollywood Hills to a New Mexico rodeo
So far a trip to the star spangled United States of America saw Zoe and her family take in the iconic sights of Los Angeles including, Universal Studios Hollywood, The Getty and Santa Monica Pier. This was followed by a holiday highlight - a road trip of all road trips across the desert to New Mexico where the unique Santa Fe adobe architecture and the interesting cowboy meets artists type of community left a lasting impression. Not to forget, a memorable visit to the Sante Fe rodeo where a classic American cowgirl hat was a mandatory souvenir. A quick flight over to New York found them on the road again to visit friends.
Working at Cape York Partnership, an organisation located in Cairns that helps close the gap on indigenous disadvantages, and with herself based in Brisbane, Zoe travels regularly for work. The organisation sees employees travelling to every corner of Australia and not just major cities. They work with a network of indigenous regions around the country from north, south, east and west, both remote and urban. With a great deal of work carried out in The Kimberly, APY Lands and the Central Desert area right through to the inner-city Sydney community of Redfern.
Travelling to remote places comes with a degree of unpredictability and uncertainty with flights often delayed or cancelled with little notice. Zoe is the first to admit in these instances having the team at Corporate Traveller at the other end working through the options when crisis like these arise has been fantastic. This was even more highlighted when she visited a remote community where her flight was cancelled. With an early flight booked for Europe the next day it was thanks to the efforts of the Corporate Traveller team Zoe was able to make that international flight.
Still reeling from that life changing phone call (which resulted in a champagne cork flying, a flurry of celebratory phone calls and a series of trips planned) and the lucky business flight from Cairns to Brisbane that saw her win the 1 Million Virgin Australia points, Zoe still has close to 800,000 points left to use.
Next stop, baguettes and Bordeux
Next trip planned is a family trip to Europe with a stay in France a high priority. Zoe’s thinking about renting a house and living like French locals and absorbing everything there is to about French culture. She may even splurge a little more this time round and use a few more points. Perhaps travel business class? The options are endless.
It is not without an enormous amount of gratitude that Zoe appreciates this amazing opportunity that has allowed her to enjoy possibilities that wouldn’t otherwise have happened. If you’re thinking of entering into any competitions like this Zoe is super quick to say, yes, do it! “This has made me feel just so lucky about everything, it’s been life changing not just for me but my family also,” says Zoe.