I’m Spending My Next Birthday in Queensland, Australia!

koala from sxc.huWhen I read that Aussie ProBlogger Darren Rowse, a book author, full-time blogger and worldwide authority on blog monetization, partnered with Tourism Queensland to bring 10 bloggers to his home country, I naturally threw my resume into the ring. After all, three years ago I created a video to enter “The Best Job in the World” contest sponsored by Tourism Queensland (along with 35,000 other applicants). I didn’t snag that cool gig, but I am delighted (over the moon!) to announce that I am going to Australia as a Queensland Blogger Correspondent June 5 to 10.

Yep, just in time to go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef to celebrate my 43rd birthday that week. Not too shabby!

More than 700 bloggers from around the world applied to be a Queensland Blogger Correspondent; we filled out an online form with information about our blogs, our social-media reach and how we’d cover our stay in Queensland. This is a definite “working holiday,” as Darren Rowse points out. We’ll enjoy some incredible adventures in Queensland — from getting up close and personal with koalas, to sailing around a tropical island to exploring the Daintree Rainforest and marveling at the underwater world at the Great Barrier Reef. And we’ll share our experiences with our readers along the way, Tweeting live with the hashtag #QldBlog — so I hope you follow along!

While I am so looking forward to visiting the Great Barrier Reef — and eating good seafood and strolling seaside towns in Queensland — I am equally excited to hang out with the uber-knowledgeable ProBlogger Darren Rowse. The 10 winning bloggers will attend two hands-on workshops led by Darren, where we’ll not only have our blogs critiqued, but we’ll get pointers on  improving our blog’s content and learn about the greatest tools out there to optimize our blogs not only for our readers, but for our blog’s business. What an incredible, worthy experience that will be — all sponsored by the generous folks at Tourism Queensland.

tourism queensland great barrier reefSure, flying from Denver to Cairns for a 6-day stay in Australia might sound a bit ridiculous — I don’t my know flight details yet, but I’m certain it will take multiple, long flights to get from Point A to Point B, over the course of the better part of a day. I’m not great at overcoming jet lag, so I’m hoping that I’m not a total zombie the entire time I’m in Australia. (Combating jet-lag tips welcome in the comments below!)

I’m also missing my kids’ last days of school for the year, including my son’s graduation from elementary school, which makes the trip’s timing kind of crummy. Thankfully dad and grandma will be on hand for the festivities, and both children have an incredible travel-filled summer on the docket to look forward to. I’ll surely bring home a ridiculous amount of souvenirs to make up for any disappointment they may have for my being gone during a celebratory week or to combat any jealousies that this is a solo trip for mom, not a family trip to Australia. Oh, who am I kidding? Their lives won’t miss a beat while their rock-star father is the on-site parent at home for a week.

I’d like to think of my forthcoming short trip to Australia as a learning experience for them, too. Being named one of 10 Queensland Blogger Correspondents will help them see firsthand that a) you’re never too old to chase your dreams b) if you want something, go for it c) and when you believe in yourself, success will follow. When SoCalGal Jen and TwinCitiesGal Beth and I started The Vacation Gals nearly three years ago, who would have thought it would lead to my visiting Australia — with one of the best blogging minds in the business?

Stay tuned for the adventure — I do hope you’ll follow along in June. And, as always, thanks for your support of me and The Vacation Gals.

Photo credits: top sxc.hu, bottom Tourism Queensland

41 Responses to “I’m Spending My Next Birthday in Queensland, Australia!”

  1. 1

    YAY, KARA!!!! So happy for you!

    • 1.1
      ColoradoGal says:

      Heee! I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart to have your support & congrats. :-)

  2. 2
    Jennifer says:

    Wonderful, thrilling, so incredibly exciting! Kara you know I adore you and I’m just so happy about this amazing (and deserved) recognition!

    • 2.1
      ColoradoGal says:

      I CAN NOT WAIT to come back w/ all sorts of goodness for our blog — i.e. wisdom from the brilliant Darren Rowse. :-) MWAH!

    • 2.2

      I might be more jealous of the time you get to spend learning from Darren than the actual visit to Australia…ahh OK, it’s a tie. Both are equally fantastic opportunities!

  3. 3

    What great news Kara! Congratulations and I can’t wait to follow along on your adventures…

  4. 4
    Jill Browne says:

    Well done, Kara! I’m so glad you’re going. Well deserved indeed.

    Happy travels and happy birthday, in advance 😉

  5. 5
    Katie Coakley says:

    Congrats, Kara! You’ll have an amazing time. Good news: the jet leg getting over there isn’t bad at all…it’s the coming home that’s brutal! :-) Happy early birthday and I can’t wait to read about your adventures!

  6. 6
    Sandra Foyt says:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you, and thrilled to pieces that you will be part of this ground-breaking event.

  7. 7

    A fellow congratulations! I look forward to meeting you on our trip—should be a blast!

  8. 8
    Gary Arndt says:

    Qantas flies direct from DFW to Brisbane. If you are on that flight, shouldn’t have to be many hops at all.

  9. 9

    Wahooo!!! Also, loads of fruit and some black tea do wonders for my jet lag when I make that big of a time switch. Lots of water too. Can’t wait to follow your journey and hear all about your dive into the Great Barrier Reef!

  10. 10

    Awesome news!! Congratulation! So glad that you are one of the blogger to represent family travel blogger out there. :)

  11. 11
    Darren Rowse says:

    Congrats Kara – it’ll be a great few days and hopefully well worth the long flights (I know your pain on that front). We’re going to have a lot of fun!!!

  12. 12
    lara dunston says:

    Congratulations, Kara! I hope they’re going to take you to qualia resort (one of Australia’s finest luxury lodges) on Hamilton Island. We were there to cover Great Barrier Feast in December and it was heavenly. We were also in Brisbane briefly (my hubbie’s birthplace) before doing the Southern Spirit train and it has really turned into quite a lovely laidback city – highly recommend Urbane, Stokehouse and Esquire for meals if you get a chance. Though sounds like they’ll be keeping you busy. Enjoy!

  13. 13
    Vi says:

    Congratulations for winning #QldBlog competition :)

  14. 14
    Kerwin says:

    Nice going!

    To combat jetlag, ensure that you get some sleep on the plane ride over. Then once you arrive, go to bed at your normal U.S time. As much as you may wake up in the middle of the night, stay in bed and try to get back to sleep.
    Then wake up at your normal wake up time the next morning. Always resist the urge to go to sleep in the middle of the day or wake up in the middle of the night. The first day is the worst, but it gets better.

    When flying back it will be the longest day of your life :-). And going over you’ll lose a day.
    When you get back, stay up until your normal bedtime and the same rules apply re: not getting up and not oversleeping.


  15. 15
    Emiel says:

    Congratulations! What a great adventure!
    And it’s always great to discover great travel blogs out there, especially ones also focusing on family travel :)
    Have a great time with lots of fun and we are looking forward to reading about the Great Barrier Reef.

  16. 16

    Congrats, Kara! I remember meeting you on the previous Queensland competition 3 years ago! I’m glad to know that you get to go this time! Have fun!

  17. 17
    Dominique says:

    Congratulations! I know you’ll have so much fun…and learn so much at the same time.

  18. 18

    congrats, kara! i can’t wait to follow along and see what you’re learning, and doing. :)

  19. 19
    Debbie Ferm says:

    Wow, Kara! How exciting! They made a great choice in you:)

  20. 20

    Have a terrific time and make the most of this incredible opportunity

  21. 21
    Sharlene says:

    You rock Kara! I can’t wait to hear all about the trip at TBEX!!!

  22. 22

    Good on ya’ Kara. It’s great to see a fellow Colorado travel blogger hit the jackpot. You’re going to have a blast. Hopefully you won’t be too jet-lagged to attend TBEX. I look forward to seeing you there!

  23. 23

    Congrats to you Kara! I’m really looking forward to meeting you on this incredible trip! :)

  24. 24

    Congratulations, Kara. What a trip this will be!

  25. 25
    Vanessa says:

    Congratulations! I may be a tad biased because I live in Qld but I think you’ll enjoy the trip.

    Jet lag: the usual avoid tea/coffee/juice/alcohol on flights (or limit to one with the meal), drink tons of water, stay awake when you reach the destination if it’s not bed time, order a light meal on the plane (no need to be stuffed to bursting just to sit for a long trip), if you feel yourself falling asleep when you’ve arrived, go for a short walk to energise yourself.

  26. 26
    Jeremy Branham says:

    That’s awesome Kara! Congrats! What a way to spend a birthday.

  27. 27

    Congrats ~ Welcome to Oz cobber 😉

  28. 28
    Lisa says:

    Congratulations, Kara! What an amazing way to spend your birthday – can’t wait to hear all about it!!

  29. 29
    Jennifer @ Solo Travel Girl says:

    Congratulations, Kara! You’ve earned it and what an incredible birthday experience. Looking forward to following your adventures :)

  30. 30
    TwinCitiesGal says:

    Can’t WAIT for the photos and updates! What a happy, happy birthday!! Proud of you!! xo

  31. 31

    What a fantastic 43rd birthday celebration that will be. I have very fond memories of the platoons and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef.

  32. 32
    Solo Female Nomad says:

    It will be a fantastic birthday for you! I had such a great time in Cairns, Queensland that I ended up staying the whole month. The snorkelling/diving at the Great Barrier Reef is incredible – memories that will last a lifetime. Be sure to visit the rainforest too!

  33. 33
    Ashlyn WA says:

    Congratulations! You’ll love Queensland. I love your blog it’s fantastic, all your posts are full of energy and interesting, yet still relevant and informative. Your layout is perfect and so are all the images you use. I love the girlfriend getaways section, it sounds like you guys have a lot of fun. Keep the post coming, they’re all excellent! Enjoy yourself when you get to QLD. x

  34. 34
    AnitaMac says:

    How awesome! I am so insanely jealous and excited for you at the same time! Queensland is amazing – you will have such a stunning time! Jet lag will be totally forgotten as you step off the plane and into the tropical air! You won’t even have time to notice the time change! Just keep moving, sharing what you are doing and soaking it in! Coming from the East Coast (EST), I found that I was falling asleep in my dinner, and up super early in the morning. Great time for some amazing photos. I can’t wait to see your sunrise pics! Have a great time – and should you change your mind, well, you have my email!!!!

  35. 35
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