The End of One Adventure and the Beginning of Many More

600,000 impressions. 196 countries. Over 40,000 application videos. 7 jobs awarded. The “Best Jobs in the World” Contest has come to an end. After years of brainstorming, planning, implementing and finally executing, the 7 “Best Jobs” winners have landed their $100,000 contracts and will be heading back to Australia between August and December 2013 to start their “dream jobs.”

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The announcement ended in dreams being made for some, and dreams being crushed for others. For those individuals who unfortunately received the bad news; good news was delivered at the Wrap Party that two new amazing job opportunities were available. One position was offered by STA Travel Australia in their social media and content production team. The second position was offered through Tourism Tasmania and is essentially the 9th “Best Job.” In addition to the original 6 “Best Jobs,” the Virgin Australia “High Flyer” and the Social Media Job in the Tourism Australia Sydney office – Tasmania has taken the 9th spot and jumped on the bandwagon. The Tasmania job would be doing similar content production, social media and digital marketing to the other 6 “Best Jobs,” but in Tasmania. Targeting a very different demographic than the other jobs – Tasmania is a very exciting opportunity that one of the finalists will retrieve and call home soon enough. These are two very exciting additions to the “Best Jobs” contest, and many of the disappointed finalists have invested quite a lot of time in researching and applying for these positions over the last couple days post their “Best Jobs” disappointment.

As I mentioned before, the “Best Jobs” contest came to an end on Friday June 21st in the morning, and the winners spent the remainder of the day in various media appearances, interviews or hitting the shops. I accompanied Greg (Wildlife Caretaker), Andrew (Chief Funster) and Allan (Outback Adventurer) on a post winning shopping spree in downtown Sydney.

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Good spirited winners and “losers.”20130621_160841

Allan (the lucky leprechaun) and I with our cupcakes! 

With the Wrap Party happening that evening, everyone wanted to be looking his or her absolute “best.” The remaining finalists were treated to a spa day at the QT hotel, prior to the Wrap Party. The Wrap Party was a perfect way to tie this amazing experience to an end, and good times were had by all.

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Cheers! – Oyster… YUCK!20130621_204611

Whale Sharkin’ It with Julian (Germany)20130621_205947

Graham (USA) and I

Saturday June 22nd –Day 1 Post “Best Jobs”

The morning following the Wrap Party was spent recovering, enjoying a game of water volleyball on the 31st floor of the hotel and beginning a pub-crawl arranged by your new Chief Funster, Andrew Smith (USA). Due to Andrew’s love for craft beer, he spontaneously created a 4 bar, pub-crawl for the “Best Jobs” crew to complete. I think we were all impressed by his ability to gather a group together in such a short period of time, and really find the “fun. “At 2.00pm we met in the lobby and headed to the first stop on the crawl, Lord Nelson’s in The Rocks. The group chose between a selection of different styles of beer, and we found ourselves a comfortable spot to sit and enjoy.

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Amazing photobomb… 

The next and last stop (because we were having too much fun) was at Hart’s Pub. At Hart’s Pub, a few of us grabbed a “paddle” and enjoyed a sample of 4 different styles of beer for only 10$. It was a perfect way for someone who doesn’t know much/or anything at all about beer to see what he or she prefers.

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It was evident that everyone was having an amazing time, and it was the perfect way to get everyone together after a long couple weeks leading up to the end of “Best Jobs.” I have no doubt that Andrew will be an amazing Chief Funster, and will find and create the “fun” all over New South Wales.

The evening concluded with a few of the finalists and myself heading out to an Italian restaurant near our hotel called Alfredo’s for dinner. It was an early night for many of us as the exhaustion from post “Best Jobs” had really begun to set in.

Sunday June 23rd – Day 2 Post “Best Jobs”

Today was my last day in Sydney before heading to Melbourne for two days. It was really starting to hit me that my “Best Jobs” journey was coming to an end, and how sad it would be to say goodbye to everyone I had met along the way. It is crazy to think about how close you get to some people in such a short period of time – I understand the feeling better when I realize that experiences like this don’t happen very often, and when you are around people who have invested so much of their time, energy and a huge portion of their lives into a common goal, you are inevitably going to have a strong connection. I ensured that today was spent out and about, and with people the entire time. Following another amazing breakfast at the Intercontinental Hotel, myself and a few finalists headed out shopping for the remainder of the morning.

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I had to pick up a few souvenirs and presents, and some of the finalists needed to shop. It was really the only time they had for themselves over the last two weeks!

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Following shopping, the entire “Best Jobs” crew headed out to dinner at Wagamama, a Japanese restaurant for a final dinner before Cameron Ernst (Virgin Australia’s High Flyer) and myself left. CC made little goodbye gifts for everyone. They were dollar coins in a red envelope and they symbolized a fresh start and good luck for the future. It almost brought me to tears when she gave it to me – thank you CC, you will definitely be missed.

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An after party was held in Elisa’s (Park Ranger) room to complete an amazing night. Andrew, Cameron and I trekked to the only bottle shop in Sydney (so it seemed) that was open, and purchased some beer and wine to split amongst the group. We kept partying for all hours of the night – with CC (Taiwan) being the biggest form of entertainment for sure.

Monday June 24th – Day 3 Post “Best Jobs” – Leaving Sydney

This was it! Today I officially exited the “Best Jobs” world, and was heading down to Melbourne for a couple days before flying home to Canada. I woke up bright and early (around 7am) this morning and definitely wasn’t feeling myself. I had a hard time getting out of bed, and didn’t really want to do anything. When I did get myself out of bed, I dreaded packing my bag, and left it to the last possible minute before I left. I headed down to meet the crew at breakfast and could hardly eat. I wasn’t hungry at all, but I forced myself to put something in my stomach. It was nice to have a chance to see everyone one last time at breakfast before I left however it was extremely sad. We all come from different places all over the world from, Canada to the USA, to Afghanistan, Ireland, Taiwan, Scotland, France, Hong Kong and plenty more. It is very unlikely we would ever all be together in the same place ever again.

It was also very difficult saying goodbye to Alison from Tourism Australia. I can’t put into words how appreciative I am for everything she has done for me. She has been like an older sister this entire trip, constantly going above and beyond what I expected of her to make sure I was on track with my itinerary and I knew exactly what time and where I had to be. I was never left hanging anywhere, no matter if I was in Sydney, Cairns or in South Australia. I was looked after better that I thought I would have been and it made for an amazing trip that I will never ever forget. Thank you Alison – I will see you soon!

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The only picture we had together 😦 Unfortunately Alison’s eyes are shut. 

So with my last final goodbyes, I grabbed a taxi and headed to the Sydney Airport for my 11am flight to Melbourne. It was definitely an all around emotional day – a lot of very sad goodbyes, some people I never actually got the chance to say goodbye too (which was even harder) as well as the excitement of seeing Sara in Melbourne. My mood was all over the place, and I think with leaving a place you have grown to love, it is inevitable.

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The last couple days in Sydney were a perfect ending to the entire “Best Jobs” experience. It gave the finalists and myself a chance to kick back and relax and really get to know each other on a personal level, without the stress of the competition on their minds. I couldn’t have imagined a better trip in my life. Thank you Tourism Australia, South Australia Tourism Commission, all the conveners of the experiences I participated in and finally my friends and family for supporting me throughout this entire process – you all ROCK!

Stay tuned for my final days in Melbourne, Australia.

Sam Clarke

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