May 14 2009.
Okay, one last Best Job-related blog post.
This is my first person article about being involved in The Best Job In The World for SEE Magazine‘s Thursday, May 14 edition, appropriately titled ‘My 15 Minutes of Fame.’
(NOTE: There is a line that makes no sense because they edited out the end of the sentence, which would have said ‘it would have been legen – wait for it – dary.’)
My 15 Minutes Of Fame
Linda Hoang lost the race for the best Job in the world, but it was a good ride while it lasted. Published May 14, 2009 by Linda Hoang in First Person
So I didn’t get The Best Job in the World.
No, I’m not trying to extend my short-lived 15 minutes of fame. It’s just, even a month later, people are still coming up to me, tilting their heads to the side, slightly pouting their lips, and nodding as they say, “So you didn’t get it, eh?”
To which I respond, in a fairly cheerful tone but with a clear hint of sadness, “No I didn’t get it.”
But I did make it far.
This 19-year-old underdog from Edmonton beat out nearly 35,000 candidates worldwide to make it into the Top 50 list of Tourism Queensland’s finalists to be their official Islands Caretaker.
That’s something to talk about.
I was that close to being flown Down Under, to be given the keys to a beautiful house, a house that actually has its own name — “The Blue Pearl” — and being paid $100,000 CAD to live on the beautiful islands of the Great Barrier Reef and blog about it.
But so what if I didn’t make it to the next round, and ultimately get the dream job? The past four months have been life-changing. I went from being the girl studying to be a journalist to the girl all the journalists wanted to talk to. I appeared in practically every newspaper in the city, on every news show in the city, and even in papers and TV broadcasts across Canada and even in Vietnam.
A family friend who was down in Melbourne, Australia, for a few weeks even saw posters of me (and the other Top 50 candidates) around the city. I’ve never set foot in Australia, but because of this competition and how far I got in it, people Down Under knew who I was.
And that’s not just exclusive to people Down Under. I had support from all over the world — and it blew my mind. Emails, comments, and tweets of support were sent to me daily during my campaign. Customers at my parents’ restaurant, the majority of whom I’ve only ever spoken to in order to get their food order, were congratulating me left and right, pledging to vote for me every day. A Grade 11 class from Brampton, Ont., even chose me as the Canadian candidate they’d put all of their votes and support behind. Strangers. Absolute strangers who were just out-of-this-world kind and thought I should be the Island Caretaker.
Speaking of the Canadian candidates, there were seven of us in the Top 50, the most candidates from any one country involved in the competition. Media called us “The Lucky Seven” and while we all wanted the same job, we also shared another sentiment — that Canadians are awesome.
Yes, I’m disappointed that I didn’t make it further in the competition. I’m disappointed that my efforts to promote Australia, spread the word about the competition, garner votes and more, weren’t enough for the judging panel. And I’m disappointed that I was rejected via e-mail. Ouch.
I personally think I’m an excellent blogger and had I gone onto the next round and be chosen for the job. (* this is where the ‘legendary’ portion of the sentence should have been).
But a lot of good came from my involvement in all of this. I learned how kind complete strangers could be. I saw how supportive my family and friends and the world was and I met so many great people.
But I think the biggest “good” that came out of this was that it made me realize just how much I want to travel. It made me realize I’d love to go to a country I’ve never been to before and blog about it, freelance write and photograph there. It made me really want to get out and live life.
And it made my normally super-strict parents OK with the idea of their youngest child leaving to travel the world.
Oh, by the way, they picked the winner. He’s from England and seems really nice and qualified. Congratulations and good luck to him — but I won’t lie. I still wish it could have been me.