And the #StayCayToFarAway winner is…


Wow, the StayCayToFarAway contest has been fun!  As a reminder, all four Frequent Miler team members have been competing against each other in a series of challenges: Destination Cooking, Travel Themed Life Hack, Imitation Travel, and Improv Travel.  For each challenge, the task was to create a short video and accompanying post.  Winners were determined by Youtube “likes”, and the grand champion was determined by vote.

Without further ado, here are the results…

Grand Champion

a group of men standing on a podium with a trophy and a drawing of a woman
Carrie’s avatar takes first place. Hidden behind a pug-mask, Stephen takes second place.  Greg and Nick share a tie for third place.

Between Nick and I, we came in first place in every single weekly award and every single category award.  That explains why we arrived at the award ceremonies dressed to the nines (an archaic expression meaning we were dressed nicely).  Meanwhile, not expecting to win, Stephen hid his face behind a pug mask, and Carrie sent her niece-drawn avatar in her stead (the drawing’s blue face lend two meanings to the word “Avatar”).

The Academy, though, had a surprise for us all.  Two surprises really.

Congratulations Carrie!

The Grand Champion was decided by readers (AKA “the Academy”) through a reader poll.  When we first opened the poll, Carrie jumped out to an early lead.  And Stephen was dead last.  But then Stephen published his masterpiece: The Truth Behind The Frequent Miler Team (AKA #VoteForStephen #SmearCampaign)If you haven’t watched the video embedded in that post, you really should.  It was brilliant.  And it had a huge effect on voting.  Stephen quickly jumped ahead of everyone else and was solidly in first place for several days.  On the last full day of voting, though, Carrie and her avatar appealed for votes in her post: When they go low, Carrie goes high.  And while it was close, Carrie’s appeal did the trick.  She won!

Carrie’s win was a surprise.  Don’t get me wrong: Carrie’s contest performance was very strong, but she was relatively unknown going into the contest.  She grew up on the mean streets of Amish Country Ohio never expecting to lift herself by her bootstraps (another archaic expression BTW) to achieve ultimate stardom as the 2020 Frequent Miler Far Away Champion.  Yes somehow and in some way she did just that.  Congratulations Carrie!

a screenshot of a cell phone

Good job Stephen!

While Stephen was no doubt disappointed when he failed to maintain his lead, he was consoled by the fact that he has a second-place dynasty in the making.  In last year’s 40K to Far Away Championship, Stephen came in second place.  He has now repeated the honor.  Will he three-peat with next year’s contest?  Only time will tell.

Better luck next time, other guys!

Going into the final day of voting, Nick was firmly in last place.  A last minute surge of (suspicious?) voting, though, was enough to give him a tie for third place with me.  We were consoled, however, by our many other trophies from the contest…

Weekly Winners

We reported the weekly winners before (most recently here), but for completeness here again are the final weekly winner results:

Week 1: Nick

Week 1 rankings by number of video “likes” received by the end of that week:

  1. Nick: 100
  2. Greg: 60
  3. Stephen: 57
  4. Carrie: 51

Week 1 details can be found here.

Week 2: Greg

Week 2 rankings by number of video “likes” received by the end of that week:

  • Greg: 88
  • Carrie: 85
  • Stephen: 61
  • Nick: 27

Week 2 details can be found here.

Week 3: Greg

Week 3 rankings by number of video “likes” received by the end of that week:

  1. Greg: 95
  2. Carrie: 59
  3. Nick: 37
  4. Stephen: 19

Week 3 details can be found here.

Week 4: Stephen and Nick

Week 4 rankings by number of video “likes” received by the end of that week:

  1. Stephen and Nick: 72
  2. Greg: 46
  3. Carrie: 20

Here’s how Nick summed up the results:

Interestingly, in Week 1, my Destination Cooking video ran away with first place by a large margin. Greg took Week 2 by just three votes over Carrie. Week 3 was a runaway win for Greg by a large margin. As noted above, Week 4 came down to the wire, with the tie score coming in with just nine minutes to go and Stephen denying me my bid claim two weekly wins on par with Greg’s.

Week 4 details can be found here.

Category Champions

The results are in!  I took first place in 3 of the 4 contests and Nick took first for his Cooking video.

Here are the winners of each category, based on Youtube “likes” as of noon Saturday May 23:

Destination Cooking Winner: Nick

Each contestant created a mini cooking show demonstrating how to prepare some kind of food from someplace in the world.
  1. Nick's Homemade Pasta (Video w/ 119 likes) (Post)
  2. Stephen's Full English Breakfast Donut Burger (Video w/ 73 likes) (Post)
  3. Carrie's Mochi…Nailed It! (Video w/ 68 likes) (Post)
  4. Greg's Everything Bagel! (Video w/ 52 likes) (Post)

Travel Lifehack Winner: Greg

Each contestant created a video showing off one or more life hacks that relate to travel. 
  1. Greg's Hotel Survival Hacks (Cut the Cheese) (Video w/ 117 likes) (Post)
  2. Carrie's Always prepared for an allergic reaction (Video w/ 105 likes) (Post)
  3. Nick's Travel Self-Defense (Video w/ 81 likes) (Post)
  4. Stephen’s Portable Kitchen (Video w/ 80 likes) (Post)

Imitation Travel Winner: Greg

Each contestant created a video showing off a destination, but without using real photos or videos of that location. 
  1. Greg's Return to Necker Island! (Video w/ 121 likes) (Post)
  2. Stephen's Time Travel With Barky McFly (Video w/ 81 likes) (Post)
  3. Carrie's Gator-Ade Art Project (Video w/ 59 likes) (Post)
  4. Nick's Big Island or Big Fail? (Video w/ 49 likes) (Post)

Improv Travel Winner: Greg

Each contestant received a video tour of a real destination assembled by another team member from their real travel photos and videos.  The contestant didn’t know what the footage was until they started recording with their face in front.  The goal was to create an improv tour of that destination.
  1. Greg's smoking coconuts (Video w/ 78 likes) (Post)
  2. Nick's skating through Iceland (Video w/ 47 likes) (Post)
  3. Carrie's Dream-like Wedding (Video w/ 32 likes) (Post)
  4. Stephen's Soapbox Derby (Video w/ 27 likes) (Post)
Vote tallies shown above were last updated on 5/23/20 at Noon Eastern Time.

The worst, most cringeworthy, and grossest moments

In case you missed it my earlier publication of these awards, here you go again…

Most Disgusting

Winner: Greg’s Underwear

a man taking a selfie

This one was too gross to publish as a picture here. If you want to see my underwear (who wouldn’t?) there’s only one place to go: watch my Hotel Survival Hacks video which shows (among other things) how best to protect your valuables in a hotel room.  This video is guaranteed to make you laugh (if you’re a 7 year old boy).

Runner up #1: Carrie’s Allergic Face

Carrie’s Travel Lifehack video shows a simple way to ensure that you’re always prepared for an allergic reaction.  The video also shows what happens to Carrie’s face when unprepared.  You’ve been warned.

Runner up #2: Stephen’s Heart-Attack Burger

Stephen’s Full English Breakfast Donut Burger arguably should be referred to as a heart-attack burger.  My wife thought it was gross.  I thought it looked fantastic… except for the donut bun.  Watch the video and then read the post to learn about places you can get your own donut burger if you’re into eating unhealthy, but not into cooking.

Most Gratuitous Use of Family Members

Winner: Reyes University

a collage of people with microphones

Nick’s Travel Lifehack video shows how to protect yourself when traveling. The first half of the video, though, is a mostly unrelated (but fun to watch) investigation into “Reyes University.”  Here, Nick took full advantage of his adorable family to earn a few likes.  Yes, it’s a blatant gratuitous use of family members, but it works.  Nick gets extra credit for creating a Frequent Miler branded microphone.

Runner up #1: Stephen’s Talking Dog

Truffles steals the show as “Barky McFly” in Stephen’s Imitation Travel video.

Runner up #2: Carrie’s Baking Sister

In Carrie’s Destination Cooking video, she brought her sister into the act to help her prepare three different Mochi ice cream recipes.  They nailed it.

Runner up #3: Greg’s Branson Son

In Greg’s Imitation Travel Video (Return to Necker Island!), his son was made up to look  like Richard Branson.  See if you can tell the difference.

Most Cringeworthy Moment

Winner: Stephen’s Elephant Monkey

a man and woman with a monkey on their head

Elephant.  That’s what Stephen said when he saw this monkey on Nick’s wife’s head.  Elephant.

I get it.  Improv is really hard to do.  We all make silly mistakes, especially under time pressure (as was required in the Improv Travel challenge).  But.. elephant?

Think I’m being too harsh?  Watch the video and give Stephen a thumbs up to make him feel better about his boss teasing him.

Runner up #1: Greg’s Underwear

My gross underwear in my Travel Lifehack video already won the Most Disgusting award, so I couldn’t really give myself a second win here.  But don’t doubt the moment’s cringeworthy-ness.  Oh, it’s cringeworthy for sure.

Runner up #2: Nick’s Ruined Table

Nick proves that his self-defense Travel Lifehack really works.  His nice wooden table will never attack anyone again.  Don’t tell his wife.

Parental Guidance Most Needed (PG Award)

a sandwich with beans and bacon on a plate

Winner: Stephen’s Burger

All but two of the videos in the StayCayToFarAway series are perfectly fine for kids to watch. The parental problem with Stephen’s Destination Cooking video isn’t the worry that kids might try to eat something like this (but I’d understand that concern), but rather something Stephen’s wife said in response to Stephen wondering if he’d be able to get the whole thing into his mouth.

Runner up #1: Branson’s Middle Finger

If you don’t want to have to explain the middle finger gesture to your kids, then keep them away from both my Imitation Travel video and Post.  Both show Richard Branson giving me the middle finger, and both show my son (made up to look like Richard Branson) giving me the middle finger.  What better way was there to recreate the trip of a lifetime other than to recreate that wonderful moment?

Most Underrated Video

Winner: Carrie’s Improv Travel

a large spider statue in a grassy field

For the most part, I wasn’t a fan of Improv Travel Challenge.  In my opinion, most of us did just OK.  I was hoping for funnier results.  But Carrie’s Improv Travel Video was great.  I laughed out loud many times.  Somehow, though, Carrie’s video has earned fewer “likes” than any of the other Improv Videos in this challenge (at least at the time of my writing this).  How can that be?

Help fix this grave error.  Watch the video and give it a thumbs-up.  Then go watch some of Stephen’s videos and give them thumbs-ups because he created the background that made Carrie’s video so good.

Here are the Improv Travel Tallies at the time of this writing:

Greg’s Research Notes

Last week, I re-watched all 16 videos and re-read all 16 accompanying posts and I took notes along the way.  Here’s what I thought about each and every video…

Cooking video notes

  • Greg’s Everything Bagel!
    • Video: Interesting bagel history. Video picks up about half way through when it switches from history to Greg’s palpable excitement about the nearly ready bagels.
    • Post: Mostly duplicates video. Includes useful links to recipe and history.
  • Carrie’s Mochi…Nailed It!
    • Video: Very funny. I laughed out loud when they tried to eat the finished mochi. Fun to “hang out” with Carrie and her sister.
    • Post: Good background info and cooking tips. Good pairing with the video.
  • Stephen’s Full English Breakfast Donut Burger
    • Video: I was actually salivating at how delicious the burger looked. Stephen looked very comfortable in front of the camera. Delicious and disgusting all in one!  Fun scene with Stephen eating with giant serving utensils.
    • Post: Strangely fascinating. It’s interesting to read a Britt’s view of what makes for good food.  And I really liked his bean confession!
  • Nick’s Homemade Pasta + Orange Cream Sauce
    • Video: Nick was born to make cooking shows (even if he doesn’t know how to cook). Great camera presence, interesting and informative (e.g. volcano).  Scenes with his son are priceless.
    • Post: Mostly just introduces the video.

Travel Lifehack Notes

  • Nick’s Welcome to Reyes University (Travel Self-Defense)
    • Video: Very entertaining intro about Reyes University (but not really relevant to the lifehack).  Lifehack seems pretty useful.  Entertaining video showing how to prepare it and proof that it works.
    • Post: Mostly just introduces the video.
  • Greg’s Hotel Survival Hacks (Cut the Cheese)
    • Video: Funny, entertaining, disgusting.  I’m not sure anyone will actually do any of these hacks in real life, except maybe the shower cap hacks.
    • Post: Mostly just introduces the video.
  • Carrie’s Never be unprepared for an allergic reaction again… 
    • Video: Engrossing story and great video scenes from Mexico.  Gross photo of swollen face.  Useful and easy lifehack. Surprise laugh-out-loud ending.
    • Post: Very good as add-on to video. More info about trip and allergic reaction.
  • Stephen’s Portable Kitchen
    • Video: Super cool seeing all of the collapsible dishes and pots and things. Stephen didn’t look as comfortable in front of the camera as he did in later videos
    • Post: Lots of good background info about the portable kitchen.

Imitation Travel Notes

  • Stephen’s Imitation (Time) Travel With Barky McFly
    • Video: Lots of cool then & now scenes. Super cute use of dog (Truffles). Impressive use of software to make it look like dog was talking.
    • Post: Good info about app (for making dog talk) and how the scenes were constructed.
  • Nick’s Big Island or Big Fail?
    • Video: Starts with story about school.  Honestly I don’t think that section was necessary. Nick’s luau recreation was a fail (but interesting) but lava & volcano crater recreations were quite good.
    • Post: Mostly just introduces the video.
  • Greg’s Return to Necker Island!
    • Video: This is my masterpiece.  Seriously.
    • Post: Excellent as stand alone or as accompaniment to video. Behind the scenes how were things done. Includes side by side photos.
  • Carrie’s Gator-Ade Art Project
    • Video: Very high production quality.  Cool recreated scenes of Easter Island and Lake Bled.  Good music.
    • Post: Some good background info, but not a necessary read.

Improv Travel Notes

  • Carrie’s Dream-like Wedding
    • Video: very funny!  I laughed out loud several times!  Stephen definitely created the best background video for this and Carrie had the funniest improv.
    • Post: Very informative (list of places around the US with weird roadside attractions).
  • Stephen’s Soapbox Derby
    • Video: A few fun moments, but overall it didn’t turn out too funny.
    • Post: Cool photo of Stephen with props and green screen. I liked reading about what he had prepared even if he didn’t get to use the props.
  • Nick’s skating through Iceland
    • Video: Started strong but seemed to fizzle at the end. Wife-purse thing unfortunately didn’t work out IMO.
    • Post: Very entertaining. Fun read even if you don’t watch the video.
  • Greg’s smoking coconuts
    • Video: Good use of props. Slightly funny commentary regarding coconuts.
    • Post: Most of post is meh, but behind the scenes section is a fun read.
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[…] 4 Weeks of Competition […]

[…] Final results can be found here. […]

[…] the recent StayCaytoFarAway challenge, (which I feel the need to remind you, I won), Greg hilariously attempted to describe the images I provided for his Improv Travel Challenge […]

[…] The second order was a gift for Nick’s son to bribe him to help me with the next Frequent Miler Far Away contest. […]


The people have spoken

[…] Wow, the StayCayToFarAway contest has been fun!  As a reminder, all four Frequent Miler team members have been competing against each other in a series of challenges: Destination Cooking, Travel Them… contine reading… […]


Carrie, what are you going to do to celebrate your win?

Congrats everyone! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Caroline Yoder

Haha I celebrated by calling my niece Abha to tell her that she’d helped me win. 😀 She was quite pleased.