And the winner is...

After 250 entries, 35,287 votes & careful deliberation by our judges & team, we now have our Spontaneity Champion. Congratulations Jamie!

See what happened when we surprised him with the news.

 

The Prize

It’s time for our winner Jamie to indulge his love for living life at the last minute for a whole year with up to £50k worth of travel and experiences. Along the way he’ll help inspire us to live more spontaneously, by sharing the challenges & joys of his adventures through our social media channels.

He’ll be keeping you entertained with a diary on our blog, tweeting on the hashtag #bespontaneous and creating videos for YouTube.

Follow the adventure

Want to know what happens next? Click the social icons to hear about Jamie's latest spontaneous experience.

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"I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO SHARE SOME AMAZING ADVENTURES AND REKINDLE THE SPONTANEOUS SPARK THAT IS IN ALL OF US.”

JAMIE BEZENCENET SPONTANEITY CHAMPION 2014
Jamie2

Where I call home

Fulham, London

About me
28 year old adventure seeker who loves travelling, photography and motorbikes. Severe sufferer of the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’.

My spontaneous motto
"You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take"
Wayne Gretzky

Connect with Jamie

BE SPONTANOUS IN SHOREDITCH

As a West Londoner, much of Shoreditch was unexplored territory to me. I’d be lying if I said that on a cold December’s morning Shoreditch seemed to be anything other than impersonal and uninviting on first approach. There’s no doubt that it’s loud, it’s concrete and in many ways it lacks the subtlety and class of its more western siblings. However it soon becomes clear that this isn’t what Shoreditch is about. 

Historically a working class area, the old factories have now been gentrified and are currently home to artists, creatives and musicians. Forget the exclusivity and pomp of any borough starting with SW. There’s no ‘us and them’ here. It has a raw, Bohemian energy and this has been the catalyst that over the past decade or so has kick started some of the Capital’s most inventive creations. Everything about this borough is spontaneous. Be it a 3-day pop-up food stall serving the best pulled pork you’ve ever had, or a surreal urban mural that is undertaken even though the artist knows it is soon to be covered over by the council or another artist. People here care much less about tradition or fitting in, and much more about living the moment right in front of them in the best and most novel way possible. 

With its history of industrial workforce complicity, the new inhabitants are now better known for their disruptive start-ups. Their overalls and hard-hats now swapped for skinny jeans and brogues. It is a borough that is constantly creating and destroying but always changing, and always pushing the boundaries. As a country-boy at heart I think I would struggle to live in such a loud and progressive place, but there’s no doubt that I can appreciate the qualities and the achievements that it has to offer.


MY SPONTANEOUS STORY

A few years ago I was in Florence with a friend having a beer in a bar on our final night, and happened to be talking about my love of classic cars. A local overheard us and said he had a 1965 Fiat Cinquencto for sale. Surely we couldn’t drive home instead of catching our flight?! A wiser man may have argued that a 45 year old car that had been in a field for 5 years, and bought from a drunk Italian man was never going to be the safest bet, but a few limoncellos later and our mind was made up.

The next morning we found the car in a field outside of town. It had a flat battery and a large family of snails had moved in. A few euros later though and we were up and running. At one point we asked two octogenarians on a bench the way to Monaco and they fell about laughing. We thought it best not then to ask their thoughts on us making it to London. Despite their concern, the sun was shining, Neil Young was playing and we could not have been happier as we drove along the breathtaking coastal road. Unfortunately it wasn’t to last.

As the daylight faded, so did the strength of the tiny 500cc engine. She finally gave up in a tunnel near Genoa. 12 hours later we had been towed all the way back to Florence, sold the car back to Antonio (at a big discount) and were on our way to the airport with new tickets. Not exactly what most would have called a ‘successful endeavour’ but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world! We had one of the most ‘authentic’ experiences I’ve ever had in a foreign country, purely because we chose to forge our own path.

 

 

The Journey

We hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far, but the fun is just beginning. Here’s a look back at the stages of the competition to find our Spontaneity Champion.

 

Our judges

Simon Reeve Simon Reeve Presenter and author

Looking for a travel adventurer? Someone who loves travelling in a spontaneous way? Simon is one of the world's most adventurous travellers

@simon_reeve
Melinda Melinda Stevens Editor, Condé Nast Traveller

Melinda is head-honcho at the glamorous Condé Nast magazine – loved by independent travellers

@MelindaStevens3
Neil Neil Buchan-Grant Award-winning photographer

A UK photographer with a bulging awards cabinet, specialising in capturing travel & people

@buchangrant
Dan Daniel Robb Head of Travel, Google

The big cheese behind how the UK ‘clicks’ travel. Google him