A Canadian filmmaker is giving away the $250,000 dream life she created in Laos as part of an international ‘pay-it-forward’ competition.

Award-winning director Isabel Dréan is handing over a thriving bookshop/café with a fair-trade gallery, a motorcycle, $10,000 USD, foreign investor resident status, and more.

“Rather than selling the business the traditional way, I wanted to show gratitude and pay-it-forward to change someone’s life,” said Ms Dréan.

“I landed in the world heritage town of Luang Prabang as a tourist planning to stay for two days and ended up staying for 10 years. It was a life-changing decision but it’s time for a new chapter, so why not give this chance to someone else.”

As part of the global competition — “The Ultimate Dream Life Abroad” — entrants will be asked to write a 200-word answer to the question: “Why me?” or if they prefer, upgrade to a 2-min video-pitch for an additional fee. Ms. Dréan wants people to tell her why they’re the ‘one’.

“It’s like playing matchmaker for an old friend,” the filmmaker said. “I’m looking to find someone who will keep the magic alive.”

“It’s not about experience but really about who they are, what’s their story, their
passion, their dream.”

The competition kicked off on March 23rd and will run over the next three months with three rounds. Competition closes on June 6th, 2017.

Three finalists (one from each round) will be chosen and flown to Luang Prabang, Laos, all-expenses-paid, to meet with Ms Dréan and her family and prepare their final plea.

“There will be fun challenges they will need to complete in front of a panel of guests judges to see how well they can adjust to the culture and surprises, which you need when you run a business in a foreign country,” she said.

“One lucky winner will then take over the two businesses and their life will change forever.”

Ms Dréan started with no money or no entrepreneurial experience and wants to give someone else the same chance she had.

“I’ve always done things differently in my life and as crazy as it sounds, this idea resonated with me,” she said.

“I know it might sound too good to be true but I’m really doing this. This is the perfect ending to my story in Laos and the beginning of someone else’s.”

Hopeful applicants can enter on the competition website “Ultimate Dream LifeAbroad”.

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