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

Hostile Hostel Roommates: How to Deal

Yes, I know. I don’t normally post twice a week but I have been receiving lots of e-mails from you adventurers out there wanting advice. Looks like cheap travel is in the air and we’ve got a lot of adventurers preparing to embark on their first hostel experience. Whoohoo!

And I get it; there’s a lot of fear to be had about sharing space with strangers. “What if I get crappy roommates?” “Will it be like the movie? I don’t want to die!” “I’m traveling alone. What am I going to need?”

So by popular demand I am releasing this blog early (I can’t leave my homies hanging). No worries mate; just read so you can breathe easy about your upcoming adventure. =)

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The Boys of Brisbane

I scribbled in my spiral notebook on the YHA Drifters‘ patio, taking notes on my day’s adventures. My foot was propped up on an empty chair with a small bag of ice on it. I looked at it and smiled. What had been such a crippling injury in Cairns was almost insignificant now. But I still was staying on the safe side and icing whenever I had the chance.

Tonight was poker night, apparently a weekly tradition at this YHA. And while I had planned on showing all these gents how to really play a game, I had arrived back too late from my day out at The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. I felt my heart beaming from the memory of holding a koala. Well worth it, I thought.

A shaggy man in a baseball cap strode out to the patio. He lit a cigarette and walked around examining the couples sharing drinks. I didn’t pay much attention to him until he gestured toward me with his cigarette and said, “You sure know how to take up a table.” Continue reading

That One Time I Toured an A380…

Emma led me behind the red partition and into the galley. “Hey guys, this is Hilary. She’s a travel blogger from the States. She’s going to be the next Bear Grylls and she’s going to write all sorts of cool things about us.”

I gave a meek smile to the gaggle of flight attendants. We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. God help me if there’s a test on their names, I thought.

“The next Bear Grylls, eh?” One of the guys asked in between bites of his dinner. “That’s pretty cool.”

I blushed at the thought. “That’s quite the compliment, thanks.” And while I certainly didn’t think myself deserving of the accolade, my mind took off and ran with the thought. Could I be the next great adventurer? What would my reality show be called? Who would want to watch that? Would I finally get to fulfill my lifelong dream and play harmonicas with Craig Ferguson on his Late Late Show?

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane… No really, it’s a plane.

So I finally had time to catch-up on writing my Qantas adventure over to Australia. Whoohoo!

Yes, I know I am obscenely late in posting this. I was kind of hoping the cuddly koalas would distract you from realizing I completely glossed over that section of my trip. But don’t worry; the post is extra witty so hopefully you will find that reason enough to forgive me. And if it’s not, remember all the kangaroo cuteness. Studies show that looking at fuzzy animals makes you happier. So if you’re still angry after you finish reading, just go back a post. Psychology says you’ll feel better. =)


Holy. Crap.

I had never seen a vehicle so massive. Continue reading

A Guide to Feeding Kangaroos

So as much as I loved cuddling the koalas, I think I preferred interacting with their bouncy marsupial pals.


While you only have a limited amount time with the koalas (I think they belong to a union), the kangaroos roam the reserve freely. You could literally spend all day feeding the hoppers. To spend time with the koalas you have to pay for a photo. But you can walk into the kangaroo reserve at no additional cost. They do charge for food but kangaroo pellets are inexpensive.

Most importantly, there are HUNDREDS of kangas. So if one seems snobby, aggressive, or flips you off, you can walk five feet and meet a new one. Continue reading