They call it a “social media residency program,” but really, it’s a free trip across the country on incredibly scenic train routes.
Amtrak is looking to give a few travelers round-trip train tickets on long-distance routes for free, as well as $1,000 of pocket cash, as part of its #AmtrakTakeMeThere social media residency program. Applicants need solid writing, photo, video, and social media skills to document and share their journeys with their online communities, but Amtrak is clear: They want real people (creatives, introverts, families, survivors, retirees, etc.), not glitzy influencers, so we all have a chance.
The program is intended to create a relatable view of train travel — not one curated by professional travel bloggers. In a statement, Amtrak CEO Tim Griffin said, “Some of the best travel stories occur on our long-distance trains, and we are looking for travelers to share their real experiences.”
The specific routes have not yet been announced, but there are a variety of potential options, including journeys along the scenic Pacific coast, across the Rockies, and through the Sierra Nevada.
The opportunity is open to people of any background as long as they’re at least 18 years old and reside in the US. Applications will be accepted now through midnight on January 31. Winners will be selected by early spring.