Unlike most protagonists (think Harry Potter, Batman, Brax from Home and Away), Emily didn’t have to go through any drawn out ordeals to get her happy ending. In fact, she had rather a fun time going about it. Emily spent over $100 on her Virgin Money Visa credit card and that was it. She was in the draw for what would be her first overseas trip, ever.
As one of two lucky Virgin Money Visa Credit Card customers to win, Emily scored two tickets to the big game, as well as five nights’ accommodation and flights, just by using her credit card as she normally would. It’s all quite fitting really, considering Emily originally signed up with us to take advantage of the travel rewards benefits that come with our Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer cards.
This trip was the third best thing to happen to Emily, so you could say it was her Tim Cahill (arguably the third best footballer in the world, scraping in just after Messi and Christiano, of course). It took third place right after her first and second best things in her life – partner Darren and her son. Therefore when it came time to decide who would be her ‘plus one’, Darren didn’t give her a whole lot of choice, but we think Emily secretly didn’t mind too much.
As lucky Emily from the Lucky Country had never left our shores before, the thing she was most excited about for the trip was experiencing a new culture. When she got back, she shared her story with us, and as it turns out, she got even more than she bargained for on this unbelievable adventure.
Cue montage of highlights:
The scene opens with Emily and Darren organising their visas, passports, time off work, buying up travel accessories, setting up a babysitter for her son then another babysitter for the dog. Amidst the hectic lead-up to the trip the pair also gets their vaccinations, at which point Emily promptly faints.
In true Aussie style, Emily says the game itself is “all time”, including the momentous moment when “we were even winning for like 2 minutes!”. And how best to see all of this heart-stopping action? From a fully catered corporate box, of course.
Emily encounters a sombre moment in Port Alegre, calling the spot an “eye opener” as even though the city has had a lot of attention prior to the FIFA World Cup™, she says “the poverty and quality of the infrastructure was far worse than I had expected. For someone who had never travelled before it was a humbling experience to know how lucky we really are.”
To make the most of the journey, Emily and Darren extend their trip to venture out of Port Alegre, Brazil, heading to Santiago in Chile. Here, they find themselves in the middle of a 20,000-person strong crowd during the Chile vs Brazil match when the game goes into a penalty shoot out. Emily later says “the crowd was just amazing, words cannot describe how intense it was!”
With Santiago as a base, the pair spend time both on the sunny beaches of Chile and the snowy pistes of the Andes. In a fairy-tale ending that seems too good to be true, Darren takes a moment during a serene gondola ride over the mountains to pop the question.
Probably a good thing she chose him to partake in the trip really.
Our story ends with Emily and Darren, newly engaged, newly cultured, grinning from ear to ear, and sporting tans unnatural for an Aussie winter, walking back through the arrivals gate. We like to imagine it happened at sunset.
How would you have spent your time if you had won the trip?