What Happens When Dreams Don’t Come True

Well, it’s finally happened; Tourism Australia’s ‘Best Jobs in the World Contest‘ finalists have been announced!

Hilary w:cub excited copyThey have whittled the top twenty-five in each category down to three. After 14 days, 3,000 new Facebook fans, 998 miles, 350 new Twitter followers, 200 blog comments, 13 endorsements, 8 parks, 8 interviews, and 1 academy award winner… Continue reading

Ranger Training with Flipper

G’Day, adventurers!

As an enthusiastic Park Ranger in Training, I’ve been busy learning as much as I can about working with wildlife from local Las Vegas habitats.

Dolphin fins happy

And as suggested by previous Best Jobs in the World winner, Ben Southall, I’ve been doing as much research as possible about Australian animals. Continue reading

Stargazing with Shirley Jones

G’Day, adventurers! Hilary here, your Park Ranger in Training!

Holy cow, has this been an adventurous two weeks.

Hilary and cow

I’ve traveled almost a thousand miles gathering endorsements, visiting parks, conducting “Park Ranger in Training” interviews, meeting experts, and immersing myself in all things Aussie. Continue reading

Aussie Slang Lessons from Thunder From Down Under

G’Day, fellow adventurers! Hilary, your favorite “Park Ranger in Training”, here…

Working hard laptop copy

In my quest to become a knowledgeable and prepared Park Ranger, I’ve been doing A LOT research. On my mission to learn how to best ‘blend in’ with the locals, I received a little help from a very cool group of guys. They happen to have a headlining show here in Las Vegas. It’s no big deal. ;) Continue reading

Making Jewelry Out of Coconuts

After waiting for hours in a hammock, staring intently in the direction of Napoleon’s village, I  successfully willed him back to The Beachouse.

Vertical Hammock

Okay, so he really just woke up from his nap and decided to wander back. But I’d LIKE to pretend that it was my sheer concentration and my focus alone that swayed him to teach me how to make jewelry out of coconuts. Continue reading

Fiji Time Explained

Fun. blared over the restaurant stereo. Motivated surfers paddled out to the reef break to catch morning waves. Other backpackers yawned over their morning coffee, hiding their hangovers behind their sunglasses.

The Beachouse 1

As for me, I was on a mission.

I’d finally said goodbye to my Fijian family and made my way down the Coral Coast. I set up camp at a beachfront hostel appropriately (but none too creatively) called The Beachouse.

Continue reading

When The Villagers Went Missing

The boat engine revved, pushing us with great difficulty over the waves and choppy current. D’Tui sat in Ro Mereani’s lap. Sala and I squealed, huddled together on the floor as we hit each wave with a loud thwack. Water poured over the metal siding, filling the bottom of the boat with a thin layer of water.

Fiji Ocean Water

Mereani wouldn’t let us sit on the bench and gave us a tarp to share. “You’ll bounce right out of the boat if you sit up there,” she cautioned. Continue reading

That Time I Bombed at The Fijian School

Mereani looked up from her paper as I walked through the front door. “Well? How did it go?”

Fijian SchoolChildren

I plopped down on the couch. “I’m not quite sure,” I said hesitantly.

She handed me a cup of coffee. “Tell me about it.”

I sighed, thinking back to the morning’s events. Continue reading