I know this isn't for everyone, but one of the things on my bucket list is to take a scenic train ride across the country. I can just imagine taking in the varying landscapes as I sit back and let the time pass.
Alright, back to reality. It would be a long train ride that would require taking some serious time off. And not to mention, those trips aren't cheap.
But what if you could take a free cross-country train ride for free? One where you'd even get some spending money. It could happen, but it'll depend on your social media skills.
A cross-country ride that's free of charge
If you want a free scenic train ride, you've got to have some serious social media skills. And I don't just mean having the ability to constantly update your status. That's not a skill. This is about the quality of your posts, and having a nice number of followers doesn't hurt either.
Amtrak is looking for people to take part in its #AmtrakTakeMeThere social media residency program. Amtrak says it's a program to showcase the diversity of its passengers and their unique travel experiences on a train.
What's interesting is that Amtrak says it's not looking for a blogger or influencer, but other social media leaders that can share individual stories of their riders. The company wants people who already connect with their followers "at a deeper level." Amtrak's words, not mine.
How to throw your name in the hat
If you think you've got what it takes to be selected, fill out a short application on Amtrak's website. Click or tap here to check it out. You'll be sharing your social media account info and answering Amtrak's questions about your social media experiences and goals.
Once that's filled out, a panel of judges will evaluate the applications on skills of social media engagement, online personality, along with writing, photography and videography. Because in this role, you would be representing Amtrak even though you won't actually be employed by them. Now keep in mind you have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. resident.
If you're selected, you'll get a free round-trip on one of their long-distance train routes, plus $1,000 for travel costs. But you had better hurry, applications are only being accepted until midnight eastern on January 31st.
The future of travel looks like something out of a sci-fi flick
Plans are probably already underway for that family roadtrip, but being cooped up in a car four hours can be uncomfortable and annoying. But what if there was another way?