My sister emailed me a link to “The Best Job in the World” website… kind of as a joke I think, but it spurred my imagination and got my wheels turning. I went to the site and read more about what the job entailed, checked out some of the videos already sent in by applicants, and I was hooked.
The Best Job in the World is a 6-month position on Hamilton Island as Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. This person is to report back to Tourism Queensland and the rest of the world through blogs, video diaries, photos, and possibly some media interviews. You must explore the islands (there are 74 of them — all part of the Whitsunday Islands) under the sea and on land by snorkling, diving, kayaking, hiking, sailing — immersing yourself in island life and reporting back with the news of the day. You may want to fly over and pick up the mail… and cleaning the pool is in the job description.
Why I’m perfect for this job
“This is the job for me!” I shouted out loud while dreaming of the pictures I’ve seen of the sparkling white sands of Whitehaven Beach. I am perfect for Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef! (And really… only a New Yorker could add just the right amount of spice, adventure, excitement, enthusiasm, and comedy to such a peaceful place… and that New York accent is a must.)
I’ve been a beach girl my entire life. My mom was the first person to show me everything there is to explore and learn about at the shore. My grandparents had a house in Sag Harbor, an old whaling town on the east end of Long Island, and my sister Lisa and I spent our summers there. Sunny days were spent at the bay and in the cove — always searching for creatures great and small. Blowfish, hermit crabs, snails, fiddler crabs, horseshoe crabs… everything we could find. We would always set everything free (except one day I did bring a scallop and crab home to my grandma’s sink). As we got older, we gravitated to the ocean. My dad brought me out in the waves one day and I was dragged under for a spin — but I loved every minute of it. I even sailed back then, and it would be thrilling to learn how to do that again. The Great Barrier Reef Islands would be the ideal spot! I would book a sailing expedition and explore Aboriginal caves. I would search for giant Humpback whales that migrate to the Whitsunday Islands to give birth in the summer. I would follow the dolphins and turtles, stingrays, sharks, and reef fish as they swim through the clear turquoise sea. I would travel to the outer Great Barrier Reef on a fishing trip to tag and release Sailfish. I would snorkel off Heron Island and pretend to be a mermaid for a while. I would explore the surrounding islands (bushwalk as they say)… film wildlife, experience the people, food, and culture, and happily share my tales about spending time in paradise.
Why I reallyreallyreally want the job
It’s the experience of a lifetime. It’s something I dream about and always have. It’s the chance to discover, explore, and go on a real journey. It’s an opportunity to use my skills in an incredible way to share and communicate with a vast number of people about something that inspires adventure and offers sheer joy! It’s also a wonderful opportunity to discover something about myself… and to share with the world how a place such as the Great Barrier Reef can touch your soul. It would also be a unique opportunity for my family. My husband’s passion is producing documentaries… so this would be the ideal situation for him (and could work out really well for Tourism Queensland, too). My son would have the remarkable opportunity to immerse himself in another culture, expand his knowledge of the world, and nurture his curiosity and sense of adventure.
My son Christopher and husband Michael would join me on this journey. Michael is an amazing man… and he makes me laugh, very important. He surfs, water and snow skis, is a talented musician and singer, can build a house from the ground up, is a great Dad, and can take anything apart and put it back together – all fixed. He’s very handy to have around… and he’s a film maker and editor. He also looks fabulous tanned and salty. Perfect partner for the Caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef Islands!
Christopher is 7 years old and a true explorer. He is happiest when wet! He loves to swim, skim board, snorkel, take baths, fish and crab (and let them go), and we usually go on long walks to find ghost crabs, horseshoe crabs, sand crabs, fish, and anything else that wiggles, crawls, or slithers. We even found a 3 1/2 foot sand shark last summer – our best find yet. He has a collection of treasures he’s found along the beach – crab claws, shark egg cases, sea glass, sunglasses, a couple of super heroes, and even false teeth!
Look for my video application for “The Best Job in the World” coming soon… I’ll link to it from my blog. And please cast your vote for me… the von nagle schmidts need to go down under!