Travel Classics Writers Contests
Writers Contest Winner
Best Travel Story Ireland
for "Pretty Red On The Emerald Isle"
"...I spent my teens rubbing lemon onto my tresses to lighten them up, and in an attempt to
obliterate my freckles, I slathered 'Fade Out' cream on my face, hoping the dots, and the
attention to them, would obey. Dating was hell, especially in Los Angeles where blondes were
bombshells, brunettes were sultry, and redheads had 'great personalities,' the kiss of death in
As a kid, my mom or grandmother tended to my wounds, braiding my hair with ribbons and soothing me
with verbal band-aids like 'special' and 'unique.'
As I got older, however, it was my grandfather's advice that got me through. 'Pretty Red,' he said
during one of our yearly visits. 'Pay no attention to those boys. They're color blind.'
The first time I went to Ireland I was in my early forties and once there, I wished I had visited
decades earlier. Though still a minority, redheads are found in more concentration on the British
Isles than anywhere else in the world, and I read recently that an estimated 10 percent of the
population of Ireland has red hair. At social events back home, I often felt like a zebra at the
horse farm, but in Ireland there were always three or more members of my homogeneous herd roaming
Being a redhead anywhere is a bit like being in a club whose secret handshake blazes atop our heads.
In a hotel, at a restaurant, on the street, whenever I cross paths with another redhead there is an
unspoken connection; an eye lock that I perceive to mean, 'Yeah, I know what it's like too.' In
Ireland, at times, the bond was a little stronger."
The full essay will appear in an upcoming issue of American Way Magazine.
About the Author:
Kimberley Lovato has written about travel and food for publications and websites such as
National Geographic Traveler, American Way, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet, Travel & Leisure, Virgin
Australia, and more. Her culinary travel book, "Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves", was the 2012
Lowell Thomas Award winner, and her personal essays have appeared in "Best Women's Travel
Vela Magazine, AOL Travel and others. She speaks fluent French and can drink her weight in
The contest prize
is provided by Adams & Butler,
specializing in unusual accommodation offerings and private visits, including luxury castles,
safari camps and lodges, hotels and spas, and country estates and villas.
Best Travel Story on Alberta
Deadline: March 17, 2014.
Find out more.
Best Travel Story Ireland 2013
Luxury 18-day vacation for two in Ireland offered
by Adams and Butler Tours. Deadline: November 1, 2013.
Find out more.
Best Travel Story Arizona 2012
3-night vacation for two at the new
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe.
Best Travel Story Wales 2012
4-night trip for two in Wales
sponsored by Visit Wles, American Airlines and Welsh Rarebits.
Best Travel Story Vancouver 2011
5-day vacation in Kelowna, BC
sponsored by Tourism Kelowna.