“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”…Luke 12:48

On December 1, 2010 when Quark Expeditions announced that it was looking for a blogger to follow its 20th anniversary expedition to the North Pole, my entry was the very first one submitted.

Submitted mostly out of disbelief that a statement I made to myself during my teenage years in Nigeria could potentially come true. Reason aside. Logic aside. This was my childhood dream and immediately, years of emotions came flooding to the surface.

And so I entered in faith and started asking for support – fair and honest votes – without gimmicks. It wasn’t until just two weeks into the competition did I begin to fully realize just how involved , risky, and taxing this was going to be, and even up until the very last minute, I stayed true to running a clean campaign to reach this childhood dream.

The competition ended today…and I missed the Top 5 by only 3 votes.

While my inner child is disappointed, my adult self is sincerely grateful. Truly, utterly, and humbly grateful for the massive generosity that came flooding in throughout this campaign up until the very last second, and for an amazing network of family, friends, colleagues, and hundreds of strangers who I now consider friends.

To all [ 2,521 ] people who took the time to vote, thank you so much.

Every single one of your votes was and will remain important to me.

Besides vowing never to put everyone through such an arduous process again, the three key lessons learned so far are these:

• Sometimes leaping out in absolute faith regardless of outcome is the answer; trusting that every risk taken is a natural selection process; unveiling true friends and those who are willing to go that extra mile on your behalf. And for every single one of you, I will be forever grateful.

• Hardwork will only get you so far and we truly can’t reach where we want to go in life without others. We need their support and love to carry us through those last few steps. We need to let go and be truly vulnerable.

• Follow your heart. While you may not be able to successfully communicate its importance (to you) to others sometimes, that doesn’t make it any less real or important to you.

Thank You so much! E se é pupô! Tack så mycket!

In addition to all 2,521 of you, I would specially like to thank the following people. Note, I will be adding to the lists below (including links to various websites). Wanted to get this out now…

[ First and Foremost ]

God and my savior, Jesus Christ – My hope, faith, and life.
Urban – My husband, love, and heart.
My parents & family – Your support and pride give me strength.
My siblings – The craziest lot on earth who also keep me grounded. Love you guys.

[ Special Shout-Outs ]

Good Naija Girl – For your generous Monday campaigns on behalf of a stranger who is now honored to call you friend.

Bunmie Zoë Radioo – For your tireless Facebook campaigns. I am so grateful to have reconnected with you.

Skychi_Travels – For your daily Twitter campaigns. Thank you so much.

Matador Network Team – To my fellow team members and friends, you guys are the absolute best and I’m honored to be a part of the tribe.

To the entire Travel Blogging Community that rallied during the last few hours, you exemplify what it means to have each others’ backs and I am so grateful.

[ Bloggers/Media Who Wrote About It ]

Adrianne George – Black Women In Europe
Adrianne George – Stockholm Expat
Africans in Sweden – Website
Black Atlas – American Airlines
Chika Uwazie – Nigerian Eagle
Ehi Binitie – ViewNaija
Erik Kambel – Afro-Europe International Blog
Ernest White III – Fly Brother
Gbenga Adeniji – Punch Nigeria
Gbenga Awomodu – Gbenga’s Notebook
Greg Gross – I’m Black N I Travel (OUT There)
Jarrod Beckstrom – USA Rugby
Jenny O’ Grady – UMBC Alumni Retriever NET
Joanne Griffith – VocalGlobe.com
Joshua Johnson – Travel Media Ninja
Kesha Bruce – Black Travels
Kiratiana Freelon – Kiratiana Travels
ktravula –
Liz Lewis – Write to Travel
Matador Network – Radar
Monica L. Williams – Black Broad Abroad
Myne Whitman – Myne Whitman Writes
NATJA – North American Travel Journalists Association
Nigerians Abroad Magazine – Link
Ola’s World – Link
Skychi Travels – The SkyChi Travel Guide
Surviving Life in Sweden – Link
Tracey Friley – OneBrownGirl.com
Uche Eze – Bella Naija
Vera – Verastically Living
Vonda H. Blackburn – International Freelance Photographers Organization (IFPO)
Woolpert – Working at Woolpert

[ Those Who Tweeted And Facebooked And Tweeted And… ]

2morrow Knight – Twitter
Abbie Mood – Website
Abby Tegnelia – The Neon Jungle Princess
Abhimanyu Sabnis – Shutterfeet
Abi John Balogun – 9jabook
Adam Rothstein – UMBC Grad Students on Facebook
Ade Doyin Meleki
Adrienne Abiodun – Adrienne-is
Akila & Patrick McConnell – The Road Forks
Amanda Kendle Augustin – Not A Ballerina
Andrea Martins – ExpatWomen
Andrew Evans – National Geographic
Angela Corrias – Website
Ann Bolcavage
Anna Brones – Under Solen
April Thompson – Absolute Travel Addict
Audrey Scott & Daniel Noll – Uncornered Market
Babatunde Rosanwo – Twitter
Babs Okubote – Twitter
Belinda Otas – Website
Brian Peters – No Debt World Travel
Bryan Dickerson – Woolpert
Candice Walsh – Candice Does The World
Carielle Doe
Carolyn Vines – Black and (A)broad
Charyn Pfeuffer – The Global Citizen Project
Chika Uwazie – Twitter
Christine Garvin – Living Holistically…
Christine Gilbert – Almost Fearless
Craig & Linda Martin – Indie Podcast Travel
Daniel Nahabedian – Canvas of Light
Daniel Wienhold (UMBC)
Dayana Prada
Dominique King – Midwest Guest
Ebere Irrechukwu
Eileen Smith – Bearshapedshere
Erik Trinidad – The Global Trip
Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe – Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition
Femi Fani-Kayode
Folasade Ojo Boyd
Adam Fowler – FowlerAds
Friends from Immaneul Kyrkan
Fúnmiláyò Akinòsì – Twitter
Funwa Akinmade –
Gabrielle Yetter – Southeast Asia Women’s Communicators Group
Gary Ardnt – Everything Everywhere
Germaine Thomas
Gypsy Traveller
Ian Mackenzie – Website
Janice T. Robinson – Skychi_Travels
Jenny Buccos – Project Explorer
JoAnna Haugen – Kaleidoscopic Wandering
John Falchetto – Twitter
Jools Stone – Trains on the Brain
Jules Riedel
Julie Galante – This non-American Life
Julie Schwietert Collazo – Collazo Projects
Kanyana Ajonye
Kara Williams – The Vacation Gals
Karen Bryan – Europe A La Carte
Kate Sedgwick – YesThereIsSuchAThingAsAStupidQuestion
Kemi Famugbode
Kendra Lee – Heart & Soul Magazine
Kerry Dexter
Kesha Bruce – Artist
Kitty Pope – International Association of Black Travel Writers (IABTW)
Lanora Schoeny Mueller – Website
Lara Dunston & Terence Carter – Grantourismo Travels
Olov Forsgren – Website
Laura Bernhein & David Miller – Operating on Stoke
Laura Kammermeier – Website
Leigh Shulman – The Future Is Red
Leke Obadimu – Twitter
Leshell H.
Lindi Horton – MetalChic
Lisa Brush Frentzel
Live Unchained (Kathryn Buford) – Website
Michaela Lola Abrera – Website
Margo Millure – TravelBelles
Marie Craig Vanasse
Marilyn Terrell – Intelligent Travel – National Geographic Traveler
Maureen Jenkins – Website
Melissa Hedge
Meredith Purvis – Website
Micheal Lynch – Ryukyu Mike’s Gallery
Michelle Schusterman – MusicTravelWrite
Monique White Rubin – Mo Travels
Nancy Boettcher Clark
Nancy Harder – Website
Nellie Huang – Wild Junket
Nick Rowlands – Delicious Chaos
Nikki Laoye –
Nneka Ofulue
Olivia, Olov, & Lars Forsgren – Website
Oluwaseyi Oguntubo
Pam Mandel – Nerds Eye View
Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik – Afrobella
Paul Sullivan – Website
Peggy Llewellyn – Professional Motorsports Racer
Renee King – A View to A Thrill
Rick Hammond – Woolpert
Ricky Ristic
Rolake Akinola – Vox Perfect
Ross Borden – Matador Network
Ruthie Unaegbu – Website
Scott Carmichael – Gadling
Sherry Antoine
Shutter Sisters – Website
Sokari – BlackLooks
Soultravelers3 – Website
Stanyell Bruce – UMBC Alumni Association
Steveo – Asian Ramblings
Susana Cabaço & Catia Oliveira
Theressa Dowell Blackinton & Jeff Blackinton – Lives of Wander
Thorgny Arwidson – Website
Tolu Lawson – PANS
T. Ritse Erumi – Ritse Online
Tosin Ola-Weissmann
Trans-Americas Journey – Website
Trineka Greer – National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)
Trisha Miller – Travel Writers Exchange
Will Nesbitt – Website
Yisa Akinbolaji – Website
Yvonne – Just Travelous

[ Those Who Left Words of Encouragement (691 Comments) ]

Abadom Rapheal
Abena Osei
Abi Baiyewu
Abimbola Alawaye-Sarumi
Abimbola Tanimowo
Abiola Fasina
Abiola Ogunyemi
Adam Karkosz
Adanna Oji
Ade Adewole
Ade Doyin Meleki
Adebola Adelaja
Adedayo Salawu
Adedotun Ayo
Adefola Siyanbade
Adekunle Fadoju
Adenike Boboye
Adenike Fadoju
Adeniyi Oluwo
Adeola Chukwumah
Adetayo Martins
Adetomiwa Oguntade Egbewumi
Adetutu Ademefun
Adewale Oluwole
Adewumi Adebayo
Adeyomola Oluwaseyi Adebayo
Adrianne George
Adrienne Abiodun
Adrienne Barnes
Adrijani Lim
Afolasade Ayonuwe
Ahmed Olaniyi
Ajah Paul
Aju Atta
Akan Nweke
Akin Akingbola
Akin Carons
Akinola Bennie
Akinwumi Ilori
Akinwumi Iyanda
Akiode Oluwatosin
Al Matsuyama
Alan Mcconnell
Aleta Leigh
Alex Correia
Alex Uher
Alex Umole
Alexis Oluponmile
Ali Adam
Alina Rădulescu
Allen Torres
Allison Randolph
Alpha Bennett
Alpha Bennett
Aly Amaut (Mother Earth Tours)
Ama Bassey-Fynch
Amadou M. Sall
Amy Lawson
Anders S
Andi Perullo
Andrea Castellano
Andréa Mcdonald
Andreas Nilsson
Andreas Nilsson
Andrew Evans
Andy Collins
Aneto Okakpu
Angela Corrias
Angela Nkama
Angela Nkama
Angela Shaw
Angie Cao
Ann Arthur Andrew
Ann Purcell
Anne Gbadamosi
Anne-Sophie Redisch
Annie Wheat (IFPO)
Annika Pettersson
Antoinette Poindexter
April Joali
Arinoso Olugbolahan
Arthur Sample
Astrid Sundgren
Augustine Obi
Ayandipe Oluseyi
Ayo Akinfe
Ayodeji Déjàvü
Ayokunle Ajayi
Ayun Halliday
Az Adeg’
Az’Ure Ps
Babatunde Onibode
Babs Oh
Banky Banjo
Barbara Akinmade
Barbara Funa-Karoliussen
Beatrice Thomas-Bailey
Bede Ndokwu
Beeci Oluyede
Benedict Onyesom
Bernard Shields
Bernice Grossman
Bhatupe Mhango
Bill Boston
Bilqees Adeokin
Biri Ekhaguere
Bisola Awosika
Biyi Simoyan
Bobmanuel Effiong
Bola Adegbile
Bonnie Tribbett Key
Bosede Akeredolu
Brenda Popillion
Bright Omokaro
Britt-Marie Norberg
Buki Ademefun
Bunmi Adesioye
Bunmi Akinmade
Bunmi Akinmade
C I Nwanze
C I Nwanze
Calyx Mezie
Candace Rardon
Candice Walsh
Carl Juborg
Carl Phillips (Ifpo)
Caroline Zombie-Amebo
Casey James
Catarina Redisch
Cathie Blue
Cathy Brown
Catia Oliveira
Cecily Ferguson
Charles Chima
Charyn Pfeuffer
Chiara Fatarella
Chibuzor Achike
Chiekwu Uzoagbala
Chika Okakpu-Oduka
Chika Okoh
Chika Oyinlade
Chika Uzoigwe
Chike Madueke
Chinonso Okenwa
Chosen Nnaemeka
Clara Taiwo Osobu-Ogunsemi
Clifton J Carr
Colleen Carney-Pilsbury
Craig Martin
Cynthia Ajuwa
Cynthia Scarborough
Dali Edwards
Dalla Isaac Martin Matlock
Damilola Mofikoya
Damola Ogundele
Damola Ogundele
Dan Ahlstedt
Dan Mcgrady
Daniel Nahabedian
Danny Jha
Dave White (Ifpo)
David Braimoh
David Cogswell
David Dembishack (IFPO)
David Ruby (IFPO)
Dean Tatooles
Deborah Cole
Debra Corbeil
Dedan Ji Jaga
Dee Deedee
Deji Arije
Dele Adelaja
Dennis Ewing (IFPO)
Deolu Adeniyi
De-Oye Odu-Banjo
Dian Winiarti
Diane Ikpeze
Diekolola Akinmade Vanderpuye
Dolla Olalojule
Doug Lofland
Doyin Ogun
Dr. Samson Omotosho
Dylan Thomas
Dzela Vote
Ebele Mogo
Ed Cabral (Ifpo)
Edgar Orellana
Edikan Bassey
Edward Richard
Eileen Smith
Ekong Fynch
Eleanor Matthews
Elisabeth Demir
Elizabeth Hansen
Emmanuel O
Enilolobo Solomon
Eric Hrnicek
Ericka Abrams
Erik Kambel
Esse Oghene
Esther Mwakitalu
Eva Mossberg
Eva Sandoval
Evan Wilder
Evelyn Hannon
Felicia Onuh
Felix Akinola
Felix Ikwuemesibe
Femi Akinmade
Femi Fani-Kayode
Ferdinand Enebe
Festus Ebeh
Frances Obonna
Frank Anderson
Frank Summers (IFPO)
Frank White (IFPO)
Franklin Adama Magnate
Funke Owolabi
Fúnlólá Àdùnní
‘Fúnmiláyò Akinòsì
Funmilayo Ayokunle May-Ernest
Funsho Falowo
Gabrielle Kennedy
Gail Mooney
Gana Peter
Gbemi Preview
Gbenga Adeniji
Gbenga Awomodu
Gbenga Olodude
Gbenga Oso
Gerald Dantic
Germaine Thomas
Gero Schomaker
Gina Hall
Ginny Gunn
Glenn Johnson
Glenn Stockard (IFPO)
Globe Trekker
Godson Ogheneochuko
Godwin Ovbude Ohiomoba
Grace Wang
Greg Gross
Greg Gross
Greg Hubbs
Greg Roux
Gregoria Correia
Gsu Tiger2
Hammed Lasisi
Hansson Bjorn
Harold Shackelford
Heather Carreiro
Heidi Riffle
Helena Wahlman
Henrik Ek
Henrik Sjöberg
Henry Chigbo
Henry Oluwarotimi Adenigba
Hermenegildo, Jr Rapanan
Hieu Truong
Hyke Bekeh
Ibironke Omolayo
Idowu Akinde
Idowu Eko
Ifeanyi Okpor
Ifeoma Donna Onyekwena
Ify Ofulue
Ingrid Morales
Irina Norgren
Iweka Kingsley
Jack Beasley (IFPO)
Jack Norell
Jackie Börjeson
Jacques Goyard (IFPO)
James Fynch
James Harrington
James Nokes
James Orji
James Shelton (Ifpo)
Jan-Erik Berggren
Jan-Erik Berggren
Janice Robinson
Jason Collins
Jason Henry
Jay Jordan
Jay Nwachu
Jay Reese
Jeevan Baretto
Jeff Liechty
Jeff Miller
Jeff Sheldon (Ifpo)
Jennifer Biondi Neibel (IFPO)
Jennifer Effah
Jennifer Gidman
Jennifer Miner
Jennifer Oshodi
Jerry Luoma (Ifpo)
Jerry Toftum (Ifpo)
Jes Trejo
Jessica Goto
Jessie Voigts
Jimmy Abioro
Jinger Guerrette
Joan Mckniff
Joe Castillon
Johanna Reimers
John Libby
John Lyon
John Middlehurst
John Wheatley
Johny Smith
Jools Stone
Joseph Don
Joseph Onuche Manuels
Joshua Johnson
Joshua Johnson
Joy Kachim
Joyce Fynch
Judy Effiong
Julia Browne
Julian,Jr. Taban (Ifpo)
Julie Galante
Julie Ried
Julie Ried
Jumoke Lawuyi
Kamal Giwa
Karen Cattran
Karen Gundersen
Karen Resurreccion
Karina Esbjörnsson
Kate Kolett
Katherine Kennerly
Kathie Berens
Kay Akinmade
Kayode Otegbeye
Kayode Toyosi
Kehinde Talabi
Keke Bbt
Kelly Loe
Kemmie Victoria Amole
Kendra Mason
Kenneth Asiegbu
Kennisblegad Olaotan
Kevin Douglas
Kiah Coleman
Kimberly Morrison
Kimberly Wastler
Kiratiana Freelon
Kirk Mcclurkin
Kiru Taye
Kitty Pope
Kristin Conard
Kristin Lohse
Kristy Harris
Kun Lito
Kwaku Effah
Lade Salami
Lande Alabi
Lanre Oyedotun
Lara Akinmade
Lara Dunston
Lara Ward
Larry Carli
Laura Lee
Lekan Lawal
Lekan Olaosebikan
Leke Obadimu
Lena Le
Leshell H
Leticia Ollennu
Linda Golden
Linus Björkestedt
Lisa Perry
Lito Bagaporo (IFPO)
Lola Abolade
Lola Banjo
Lola Oshuns
Lorna Macmillan
Lorraine Bowes Fay
Louis Ubebe
Lynda Effiong
Mabel Okiro
Magnus Norgren
Magnus Nyström
Malin Jorsell
Manuel Ribeiro (IFPO)
Marcus Benigno
Margaret Goodlin
Margaret Sharrow
Maria Ribeiro
Maria Rueger
Maria Santos
Marianne Broddesson
Mariano Pallottini
Marie Vanasse
Marilyn Terrell
Mario Correia
Markos Abraham (Track24 Solo)
Markus G
Martin Eriksson
Martin Ollennu
Mary Adeniyi
Mary Haley
Mary Jones
Mary Shorun
Maryam Mosanya
Maryanne Oxendale
Mats Olsson
Mattias Eriksson
Mattie Winrow
Mauie Hernando
Maureen Jenkins
Mayen Moyo
Mayowa Fasona
Melissa Adams
Melissa Hedge
Melissa Jordan
Meshileya Timothy
Mfon Ekpo
Michael Etim
Michael Kueppers-Adebisi
Michael Lynch
Michael Riggs (Ifpo)
Miguel Simões
Miguel Vidigueira
Mike Bahooski
Mike Collins
Mike Rounding
Mitesh Joshi
Modupe Okusami Famakinwa
Mohammad Khursheed (IFPO)
Monica Maith
Monica Williams
Morenike Akerele
Mosaku Michael
Mosein Ade
Ms Israel Benedicta Osagie
Nahom Gebre
Namita Waikar
Nancy Aiello
Nancy Clark
Nancy Harder
Nanny Meena
Naomi Kamara
Natalie Greaves
Natasha Hartley
Naza Zaini
Ndudi Familusi
Neha Puntambekar
Nick Rowlands
Nicky Ogunkunle
Nicole O’Connor
Nicu Caucos
Nikki Graham
Nikki Lao
Nina Bergström
Niyi Bankz
Niyi Falade
Niyi Popoola
Nkiru Nwichi
Nnamdi Chinasa Opara
Nnamdi Nwogwugwu
Noblefather Gabriel
Nora Dunn
Obi Igwe
Obiora Obidike
Octávio Bento
Ogun Toyosi
Oguns Clinton
Ojikutu Moriam
Ola Akinmade
Ola Oluwa Tomi
Oladimeji Gabisi
Olafia Olafsdottir
Olaniran Ajayi
Olaperi Onipede
Olatunde Aremu
Olatunde Ogunkunle
Olatunji Ade
Olivia Mingus
Olu Oru
Olubukola Ogunsiakan
Olukunle Oladapo
Olumide Odesina
Olumide Olusanya
Olusegun Adebo
Olusegun Asabi
Olusegun Olatunde
Olusola Lapite
Olutayo Akinrinde
Oluwadare Oyedipe
Oluwafemi Okunnu
Oluwakemi Adetula
Oluwakemi Adetula
Oluwaseyi Oguntubo
Oluyomi Ogunniyi
Omolayo Ajanaku-Egbetola
Omonye Ukpoma
Onebrown Girl
Oni Phemmy
Orlawoome Ahdeydahyour
Osi Ifeanyichukwu
Otondo Blogger
Oyenike Ogundipe
Oyesile Dupe
Ozzy-Munda Heygeday
Pam Letexier
Pamela Ambe
Patrick Andrew
Patrick O’Keefe (Ifpo)
Paula Rindborg
Pauline Karakat
Peggy John
Peggy Llewellyn
Peju Adenusi
Peju Jinadu
Peju Ugboma
Peter Cole
Phil Mogavero
Philip Pettersson
Preeti Yadav
Prince Akin-Ola Saheed
Prosper Onogberie
Rachel Griffith
Randy Giesbrecht (IFPO)
Randy Kalp
Ranti Okunoren
Rasheed Ademuyiwa
Rashidat Akinyemi
Ratna Kaneria
Raymond Wilcox
Regina Smith
Rekia Afegbua
Remi Akinmade
Remi Akinmade
Renata Martins
Renee King
Renelda M
Renelda Merzius
Rhonda Rice
Richard Crasta
Richard Lynn
Ridwan Olayemi
Ridwan Olayemi
Rita George-Adefisan
Ritse Erumi
Robert Börjesson
Roberta Okereke
Roddy Macleod
Ron Sexton (Ifpo)
Ronald Butcher
Ronald Cowie
Ronke Adegbile
Ronke Kayode
Rosalind Reese
Rosemary Neave‏
Rukayat Salami
Ruth Akinoso
Ruth Onaghinon
Ruth Yusuf
Sabrina Tuco
Sade Fawehinmi
Saheed Quadri
Sahle Mehari
Saina Osifade
Sammy Anderson
Samuel Asare (Ifpo)
Sandra Kennedy
Sandrine Tehi
Sandy Allen
Sara Ojasoo
Sara Schüldt
Sarah Sakaan
Scarlet Vikarby
Scott Skinner
Segun Demuren
Segun Fakuyi
Segun Oladapo
Segun Olumide
Sele Akinbolaji
Seun Adebanjo
Seun Ewegbemi
Seun Ladeinde
Seyi Adewole
Seyi Akinnubi
Seyi Olusanya
Shakirudeen Odunuga
Shalom Shobande
Shannon Lane
Shannon O’Donnell
Sharon Barnes
Shaw Adedeji
Shegun Olusanya
Sheila Broughton (IFPO)
Shoneils Afolabi
Sifo Ijewere
Sike Aremu
Simi Bamgbala
Skye Amajoh
Sonal Vaz
Stacy Schnieber
Stefanieandtracy Foster
Stephanie Barter
Stephanie Prisell Von Ohain
Stephen Adebayo
Steve Alley
Steve Clemenson (IFPO)
Suki Lim
Suniel Parihar
Susan Munroe
Susan Shyllon
Susana Cabaço
Susanne Ellingsworth
Sylvia Otu
Synolve Craft
Tai Olalojule
Tam Mayor
Tamer Nazmy
Tamunoibifiri Mobolaji-Kamson
Tanko Ahmed
Tayo Alabi
Tchoia Brown
Teddy Phillips
Temiloluwa Adebayo
Temitope De-Medeiros
Temitope Magbagbeola
Temitope Ogundipe
Terry Bailey (IFPO)
Tesly Adesanya Yusuf
Tethbaa ッ
Theresa Blackinton
Tiffany Karabaich
Tim Frentz
Tim Hill
Tim Patterson
Tina Antai
Tina Gail Evans (Ifpo)
Tisch Cistrunk-Parmelee
Titilayo Omotosho
Titilope Omidiran
Tiwa Nwogu
Tlu Vr
Tolu Lawrence
Tolu Ogunlesi
Tolu Olumide
Tom Kelsey
Tomas Gertonsson
Tomas Petterson
Tommy Schönstedt
Tony Brooker
Tope Akinmade
Tope Fajingbesi
Tope Popoola (Favouredgirl Writes)
Toyosi Olukoya
Tracy Duong
Tsola Emiko
Tunde Adebanjo
Tunde Agoro
Tunde Ifafore
Tunde Ojewola
Tunde Oni
‘Tunji Sarumi
Ty Taiwo
Tyne Gipson
Uday Shirodkar
Ulf Fahlén
Ulrika Nuldén
Unus Sed Leona
Uyi Iredia
Uzo Agu
Victor Akoma-Philips
Victor David
Victor Enaholo
Victor Olade
Vipin Villgran
Visnja Novosel
Vivat Arvidsson
Voralak Suwanvanichkij
Walter Rowand (IFPO)
Wendy Perrin
Wole Samuel
Yane Kumbin
Yinka Aj
Yisa Akinbolaji
Yngve Måhlberg
Yvonne Victor-Olomu
Zainab Imam
Zaph Rahman
Zemaye O.
Zino Agbaza

Thank You so much! E se é pupô! Tack så mycket!

Disclaimer – Your support was overwhelming. If I missed you, I apologize. Know that my heart is in the right place.

  • I like this weblog its a master peace ! Glad I discovered this on google .

  • I was just thinking about the few of you who were so active and supportive on our website for so long and decided to check around to see how you were doing. I am saddened that you did not make it to the top 5 as you put in so much time and effort to promote this wonderful contest and they would have been lucky to have you there in the top 5.

    I wish you all of the luck in the world and I am truly inspired by the number of people who supported you throughout your campaign.

  • Just found out about this post from your BN interview. Your dreams have not been cut off. I’ll def be looking out for your pictures and articles of the North Pole. All the best!

  • toyin

    Only 3 votes…. i’m pained! but truly amazed at your grateful heart…God bless you and please don’t give up…try again if you ever come across another opportunity! I will vote again!

  • WOW Lola! Just catching up after taking a much-needed break and read this! I’m so sorry you didn’t get the trip- it is so evident from this incredibly beautiful post of gratitude that you are worthy of that and more. Clear to see how with your graciousness and talent you’ve earned such a loyal group of supporters. Definitely includes me now and I’m honored that you would take the time to thank me. Thanks for showing us how it’s done! 🙂

  • Lola, you simply blew my mind with this!!!

    This portrays so much energy despite a not-so-palatable situation. I felt the ‘loss’ personally, not to even think it was just a slip of 3 votes. Nevertheless, I am persuaded that far greater things will be yours in the near future. Thanks for putting this ‘world-record’ post up. Thank you for inspiring me and many more people greatly! 🙂

  • Det var så lite!!

  • Oluwaseyi Oguntubo

    Lola, i was so disappointed i couldnt get in touch for days. I never thought for a day you wouldnt make it to the top 5. I believe you did your best, and you will still get to the North Pole someday, with or without Quark competition. Your thank you message was mind blowing, gosh, you’re so sweet. Watch out for more stuff coming your way this season, you sure got a lot of publicity. Pls feel free to call on everyone again once you need the votes, we’ll be there to help. And your Mum is such an inspiration, no wonder you are Lola!!! Keep winning.


  • @Michelle – Thank you so much!

    @Mo Travels – I had to say thank you to everyone. And thanks again for your support. Hope to see you again!

    @Bunmie – Yours and Seyi’s support were extremely crucial to getting me this far.

    @Vera – Thanks for the writeup. Every bit helped. Really!

    @Neha – Amen to that!

    @Camels & Chocolate – I know. Major bummer, but that’s life. Thanks again for your votes.

    @Abimbola – No need to look back. Of course, it was disappointing since it was only 3 votes, but one thing I’ve learnt in life is to quickly get back up, dust off, and keep moving on.

    @Good Naija Girl – Haha! You and me both. Your Monday campaigns were absolutely priceless and I can’t thank you enough.

    @Joan McKniff – Really appreciate that.

    @Adrienne – Me too. The 3 votes were quite shocking, but thank you for all you did behind the scenes in terms of rallying more people to get on board.

    @Giovanni – Thanks! This was gracious of you. You fought a tough race till the very end. Wishing you the best of luck.

    @Aunty Barbara – Yes, it definitely was, but I have faith and if it’s meant to be, it will be.

    @Candice – The support network alone is humbling.

    @Angela – Me too. Thanks again!

    @Kristin – Tack så mycket beautiful! I sincerely hope whoever wins truly savors it. Not for the sake of attention getting gimicks.

    @Eileen – Thank you Lady E! Means a lot to me.

    @gsutiger2 – Amen to that.

    @Renee – Thank you. Knowing that you’ve got my back means a lot and know that I’ve got yours too.

    @Remi – Mom, please don’t make me cry in front of all my friends 🙂 I love you. You’re such a blessing.

    @Andi – Thanks!

    @Ian – Thanks for tweeting and facebooking. Every bit helped!

    @Abbie – I feel blessed, that’s for sure.

    @bweiss – Travel is definitely not for the rich only. Here are ways you can explore the world for free – http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/how-to/how-to-travel-for-free/

    @Jeevan – Thanks!

    @Rolake – Thank you for your support and contacts. That’s all we can keep doing – being ourselves and living our authentic lives. Can’t wait to see you again lady!

    @joshywashington – You’re the baddest-funniest-coolest ninja I know and I can’t wait to meet you in person!

  • Dear bweiss
    You commented ‘I have a dream to travel to different countries but that is only for the rich” Having a dream is not only for the rich’ Rich or poor, we must have dreams. Joel2v28c testified that you old men shall dream dreams and your young shall see vision and Ecclesiastes 5 v 39 says’ For dreams cometh through the multiple of business.’

    If you ask most rich people they all have humble beginnings. In my case as a child things were so though but an adage says two generations can not be poor and this formed the basis for my dream to fight poverty, I’m not saying it easy fighting poverty but with God and hard work, you will overcome

    Opportunities abound on the internet such as the Quark Expedition, FUNDSFORNGOS.ORG etc. In my charity work youth capacity building training include; Who am I?, What is my dream? etc.

    Don’t be around dream killers. You can still travel to different countries (with God all things are possible). I just returned from Bangkok, Thailand; nominated by a stakeholder and trip to the conference was fully supported by Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA)/WHO. On my own, I could not have afforded this but my charity work in rural Lagos State was recognized.

  • I was eating breakfast with DM when he told me, in a break-the-shitty-news tone, that you had been ousted by a scant three votes. After the initial disappointment (a loss by 300 would have been…better?) I began to formulate a process of appeals, surely you are the Al Gore circa 2000 elections and there are a few dimpled chads that need to be addressed?!

    but there is something elegant about the margin of 3, it can teach us something about what separates what is and might have been, and you are the kind of soul who can see those lessons from a mile off, I can just tell.

    I am still on Team Lola, come what may!!

  • Although I’m so sorely dissappointed for you, I know that every door that closes has just opened another 🙂 Keep doing what you do best, being yourself! You’re still an inspiration, and I believe that the very best is still yet to come!


  • Jeevan Baretto

    I am soooo sorry to hear that you lost the chance only by 3 votes!! But now at least you know that there are so many well wishers, you’re not alone any more 🙂 Keep writing..


  • I have a dream to travel to different countries but that is only for the rich

  • I’m so sorry you didn’t get it, Lola – but this post overwhelms me a bit, too – look how loved you are 🙂

  • ian

    i tweeted and facebooked it! 😉 sorry to see you didn’t win though… always a next time.

  • Agree with the person who commented before me, a HUGE door will open!!! XOXO

  • Lola – you were raised to love God and be upright in all your dealings, which you exhibited throughout the Quark Expedition contest.

    You served diligently in a corporate world as GIS expert in the USA for close to twelve years, before you bowed to your God given talent to bring mankind close to nature and those whose voices are low to bring harmony to the world before Jesus comes.

    I remember when you and Urban took us to the Artic circle, in amazement and surprise I asked; Is this the Artic Circle? as you rightly presented. As astonished as I was so shall God surprise you in HIS timing.

    As God’s chosen care-giver of you, it is important that I give you all the support you deserve in life except excesses because I would give account someday. Just call on me anytime when you need my support as I have always being there for you and your sisters and the disadvantaged I serve; I would be there for you through God’s Grace.

    To all those who voted for Lola all over the world, I’m so amazed by your kind words and with the zeal with which you truely wanted Lola’s dream to come true. I never knew our daughter has made so much friends all over the world. Thats Lola’s true nature; infectious!!!.

    Joseph’s dream didn’t come true immediately, it came at the appointed time. Lola’s dream will surely come true at God’s perfect timing.

    Thank you all and best wishes.

    Remi Akinmade(Lola’s Mom)

  • Lola,
    I believe that you will be rewarded with something much greater because you have such a lovely and graceful spirit. While most would huff and puff about the loss, you are humbled by those who tried to get you across the finish line. You can always count on me to support and help you in any future endeavors because you are so deserving.

  • gsutiger2

    A HUGE door will open. Just wait and see.

  • Lola, I’m so disappointed on your behalf! And humbled by your graciousness. Looking forward to future endeavors, prize winning, beautiful prose and photography from wherever in this world you happen to be.

  • Kristin Lohse

    Such spirit, you continue to inspire Aralola! Someone got lucky and this time it wasn’t you, I hope that person savours it as much as you would have. I was always convinced that your essay would have won among the top five. If nothing else, I think that says a lot about your ability to move people at the core.
    Love and courage!

    – Kristin

  • For God’s sake, I was 100% sure you would have made it. I’m as disappointed as if I was running the contest!
    There will be another opportunity, and I can’t wait to cast my vote 😉

  • I can’t think of anyone who deserves that trip more than you…but damn, isn’t it amazing when you realize the support network you have?! WOW. People really do care. 🙂

  • Barbara Akinmade

    Lola, my dear, soo soo sorry, and just three votes short. It is just soo disappointing that you were not up there in the top five. I truly believe that if that was the case it was not meant to be for you. Will you ever get there?. I would bet anything in the world you will get there one day and when you do you will know that the timing was right. I truly believe that if it was God’s time for you to go you would have, but he will get that little girl in Mr Kayodes class there one of these days soon. You are living a life most people only dream about, your travels uplift the rest of us, stuck in a humdrum type of job, so Lola keep dreaming, traveling and blogging. Love U Auntie B

  • Giovanni Savaglio

    Hi Lola, I’m Giovanni Savaglio one of your fellow contestants in the Quark Blog Your Way To The North Pole Contest.
    I am deeply saddened and surprized not to find you in the top 5. We have shadowed each other everyday for the past 2 months on the website http://www.getonlinevotes.com . I know the effort you have put into this contest because I’ve seen your footprints on that web site along mine.
    Yesterday I placed a comment on my contest vote page where by I paid you a compliment. It was heart felt, because only you and I know the time and effort that we have put in to that contest. I feel your disappointment and it is justified.
    Although I am pleased with my standing, I had always expected to be there with you in the top 5.
    Although I’ve not met you, I have come to feel as though I know you. To me you are a hardworking, kind, classy person. I wish you well in all things you do. Take care Lola.
    Giovanni Savaglio

  • I really wanted to see you in the top 5. I wish I had done more or had the day off of work to rally up more support. All that time at the top and the last grueling 24 hours it all gets sucked away by three votes. :/

    Beautiful thank you note, Lola. I too know there are bigger dreams waiting to be realized for you dear.


  • joan mckniff

    What a gracious, lovely thank you posting. Sure it doesn’t seem like this now, but your heart and spirit are worth more than the prize.

  • I just want to give you a big hug and ask Quark to extend the contenders to the top SIX people because God knows you’re a worthy rival and would have won in the end. I am sorry that you’re disappointed but I appreciate the message and encouragement that you’re able to share despite that.

    We will keep our eyes open and I hope you will give your online family the honour of encouraging and supporting you in future endeavours in any way we can!

  • Abimbola Tanimowo

    Lola, I am proud of you. Anyone in your shoes right now would be sulking but your head is still held high. Thank you for teaching us the true meaning of Tenancity. Wish I had done more, but I know the best is yet to come. By the way you are a winner no matter what!

  • BUMMER. I voted for you every time I saw the link, and I’m so bummed you just missed out. I think they should let you go with them anyway!

  • Aww! You are so AMAZING Lola. Forget the three votes, good things will happen for you either way.

  • Aaaaahhhhhh!

    It’s not that you missed it that hurts and angers me right now, it’s that you were so close to winning it [or at least being in the top 5]. I am so sorry, Lola. But you have been one brave girl. You had the courage and tenacity to compete against God knows how many people, and you let it be known publicly. God will renew your strength. Although it’s hard [maybe even impossible] to see past the disappointment right now, I am confident that something better is on its way. It always does.

    Chin up, girl.

    Oh, and this is one heck of a thank-you post. You’re welcome. I’m so, so glad to have helped. Although, I confess, I now feel like I did not do enough. What if I had pushed one more time? *sigh*

  • I’m so teary right now and speechless. Lola you do know how to amaze us. How did you compile those list alphabetically? Anything to make someone’s dreams come true, and I should say thanks to you for letting me a part. I wish I could do more but I’ve learnt so much from all contestants write ups & yours especially. You’re a blessing & the bigger thanks goes to my sis – Seyi who brought your competition to my notice. You gave your best for this and whatever the result is, you can be sure we’ll be here to say “You gave your best Lola, congrats”

  • One door closes another opens. Something even better is waiting around the corner. You have such a warm and gracious spirit I have no doubt great things, and journeys, await you. It was so thoughtful of you to take the time out to personally acknowledge and thank all of those who voted for you. To us you are a winner.

  • What a beautiful post! Lola, I’m so so so sorry you missed this, but I really believe another opportunity will come!