Looking for a new adventure?
Canadian filmmaker Isabel Dréan will be giving one lucky winner the $250,000 dream life she created for herself in Laos.
The winner will get Dréan’s bookstore and café, a fair trade gallery, a motorcycle, $10,000 to get started, a team of 10 trained staff members to help with both businesses, and a paid lease on two houses and the businesses for the first year.
The winner will be able to call the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang home, where they’ll soon find themselves surrounded by cascading waterfalls, trekking trails galore, and a relaxed lifestyle where the sounds of monks hitting the gong at a nearby temple are commonplace.
Dréan came to Laos on what was supposed to be a two-day trip and ended up staying for years after noticing there were no bookshops in the area and following her dream to connect people to their love of books by opening the first licensed bookshop in the country.
“From the moment I arrived, I fell in love with the beauty of this magical place,” Dréan wrote on the competition’s website. “This was the Asia I was dreaming of since I was a child."
Though Dréan left a few years back to pursue a film career in North America, her mother has been running both the shop and the fair-trade gallery, Kopnoi. The two are now looking for someone interested in taking over the businesses and the dream lifestyle they have had in Laos.
“It is out way to say thank you to life for giving us such an incredible experience,” Dréan wrote of the competition. “We can’t wait to pass it on to someone else and welcome them to our ultimate dream life."
Participants interested in entering will need to submit either a 200-word essay or two-minute video telling Dréan why they should win, which Dréan writes isn’t as much about experience but more about describing who you are and your love of books, travel, culture, and people.
A total of 30 quarter-finalists will be chosen from the first round to complete an in-depth questionnaire before 10 semi-finalists have a 15-minute Skype interview with Dréan.
Finally, three finalists will be chosen and invited for a 10-day trip, all expenses paid, to the area to meet the owners and go through a series of challenges. Since Dréan is a filmmaker, she's also hoping to turn the competition into a documentary.
The competition runs through June 6, with submission fees starting at $50 through April 18, $75 through May 16, and $100 for entries May 17 through June 6.