When 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.
Sure, 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