Well, I didn’t end up winning the ‘Best Job in the World’. The position of ‘Wildlife Caretaker’ went to Canadian Greg Snell, and congratulations and well done to him- he will do a fantastic job. Yes, I was disappointed, but still, it was an INCREDIBLE experience, and I was EXTREMELY fortunate to be a part of it all. Not only did I have an amazing time (I mean, come on- a 2-week, all-expenses-paid-and-THEN-some trip to Australia, with awesome adventures and life-long memories to boot?), but I also learned so much throughout the process- along with being an intense job interview, it was an EDUCATION, that is for sure.
I experienced first-hand the absolute craziness and boundless potential of social media, and learned how to use those platforms as 24/7 networking tools. I learned how to be comfortable in front of a camera, how to be the best version of myself with media members, journalists, and during live interviews. I was introduced to innovative and creative ways to market and promote ideas and content- all invaluable skills in this crazy life I live.
The 2 weeks I spent in Australia were SPECTACULAR. Seeing old friends and returning to the spot where I fell in love with Australia to begin with; running around Taronga Zoo and going up against the Sydney Swans at the SCG; standing on the point at Remarkable Rocks, swimming with sea lions at Port Lincoln, and watching the sunset at Seal Bay; a helicopter ride over Kangaroo Island, seeing echidnas and koalas in the wild, and being doubled-over laughing watching CC chase sheep through a paddock; climbing the Harbour Bridge, listening to Cameron, Rich, and Holly play ‘Underneath This Sky’, and having a few pints in the best pub in the world- WOW. Just thinking about it now- I’m still amazed at how much was crammed into those 2 weeks…
But, as always, it’s not necessarily about the experiences you have when you’re traveling as much as it is about those you share the experiences with. I met some really amazing people while I was in Australia- all of the other Finalists, people from Tourism Australia and the SATC, numerous guides, tour operators, and park rangers, even professional athletes- people that are passionate about what they do, and dedicated to being great. It is inspiring to see that kind of dedication and drive in people, and when you’re surrounded by it for 2 weeks straight, it is impossible to ignore. It makes you want to get out there and do something great yourself, which, in the end, is really what life is all about- discovering and pursuing your own personal version of ‘greatness’, however public or private that might be.
If I have any regrets, it’s that I didn’t get to connect with the other Finalists as much as I would’ve liked. Our non-stop itineraries had us busy from sunrise to late in the evenings, with hardly any free time to spare. Add to that the constant pressure to be blogging, tweeting, and posting on social media forums, and any ‘free time’ was instantly re-classified as ‘WORK’. In hindsight, I wish I would’ve spent more time talking to everyone and getting to know them better, and less time focusing on the ‘competition’ aspect of things. The #BestCREW really was an extraordinary group, filled with remarkable talents, interests, personalities, stories, and passions. It’s a shame we had such a short time together, and that the competition ended with 7 individual jobs- it would’ve been interesting to see what we could’ve accomplished as a group. Still, I am very fortunate to have met everyone, despite the briefness, and know that we all will remain bonded by that crazy ‘BestJobs’ experience for the rest of our lives, regardless of where our personal and professional lives take us. That thought makes me smile.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, despite not winning the ‘Best Job in the World’, I came away from the whole experience in Australia with a sense of validation- a confirmation that wherever I’m headed, wherever this endeavor takes me, I’m on the right track. Making it to the Final Round of such a competitive job interview process confirmed that the way I share my interests and passions resonates- it strikes a chord in people. It catches their attention. Above everything else, that is probably the most valuable thing that I learned throughout the ‘Best Jobs’ process- that as long as I continue to pursue my passions and chase my dreams, somehow, I’ll end up with my own version of ‘The Best Job in the World’.
I just can’t wait to find out what that is…
A MASSIVE ‘CHEERS!!!!’ to Tourism Australia, the South Australian Tourism Commission, Nicole, Marc, Greg, CC, and the rest of the #BestCREW- it was an INCREDIBLE adventure!
To learn how YOU can plan your own EPIC adventure through Australia, click HERE.