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World Nomads Ambassador Trip

Somewhere around 2009, a new thing was born. It was called the “Best Job in the World”, and it was a job that was marketed (and competed for) around the world. The gig was for a blogger to live on a paradise island all expenses paid off the cost of Australia and do paradise-like things while also receiving a cushy salary, all in exchange for blogging about the experience.

This wasn’t that.

The World Nomads Ambassador Trip came before the Best Job in the World was ever unveiled, and if I were to connect dots, I’d say it was a precursor – a test run, if you will – to the Best Job program.

It involved receiving a gaudy campervan decorated with a flurry of sponsor logos (including Traveller’s Autobarn, Lonely Planet, Nokia, and others), to take wherever I wanted for 6 weeks. In exchange for the campervan and some extra accoutrements like a loaner phone and an LP guidebook, I was to write a certain number of posts for publication on both my site as well as their website. (Thus, you’ll see that some of the articles below link to the “full version” on another site).

The World Nomads Ambassador Trip existed as a program for about a year (every 6 weeks another unsuspecting blogger taking to the wheel) before being shut down. Although it was great in concept, it was far from refined, and the writing requirements far outweighed the in-kind compensation.

But, this was back in the day when blogging wasn’t something people monetized, so the World Nomads Ambassador Trip can be forgiven for their transgressions. I hope, similarly, you’ll forgive me for my own transgressions in this series, as I was still carving out my own writing style…..which when I look back at these posts – was pretty horrific.

Our World Nomads Ambassador Trip Legacy

Having come through sub-tropical rainforests, learned to drive on the other side of the road, squished squeaky sand between our toes at beach towns, slept in the chilly high-altitude tablelands, fossicked for treasure in opal mining towns, driven through the great outback, and hiked through yet more national parks, before … Read More

Royal Flying Doctors to the Rescue!

While a title like Royal Flying Doctors might evoke images of yet another hospital trip for Kelly (as happened in Thailand and Hawaii), this story has a much happier ending. This post was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. No, instead, this … Read More

Outback Adventures

When people told us about the colours of the outback – the stark contrast between the red of the dirt with the blue of the sky, and the silvery green of the eucalyptus trees that dot the landscape – we were somewhat blasé about it. We knew it would be … Read More

Lightning Ridge: Catching Opal Fever

“When I close my eyes, I see opals,” said Kelly, shaking his head.It seems he has a touch of opal fever. This post was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. Lightning Ridge and the surrounding areas are famous for its abundance … Read More

Caravan Culture in Australia

Caravans (meaning trailers in Australian) and caravan parks are everywhere in Oz. Caravan culture is a whole thing, and something entirely new to my Canadian sensibilities. Trailer Parks. Tornado Bait. Trailer Trash. Drunks on welfare raising families of six kids born from three different fathers (or mothers). Lots of stained … Read More

Australian Differences

I’m always on the prowl for little differences and idiosyncrasies that add character to a place. And Australia is home to many such charming qualities. I remember reading a book that described Australia as being “almost home” (the author was American). They speak the same language, but with a smaller inset … Read More

Kayaking Evans River, Australia

(This post about kayaking along Evans River in Australia was originally published in 2008. It has been updated for accuracy of links) “Be careful of the crocs,” Sergio says as we steer our kayaks up a small creek deep in the mangroves. “Really? There are crocs here? Cool!” I say, … Read More

Arts and (ahem) Culture in Nimbin

Here’s how Lonely Planet primed us for the town of Nimbin: Landing in Nimbin can be like entering a social experiment, particularly at noon, when Byron day-trippers arrive en masse and find themselves hectored by dreadlocked, tie-dyed pot dealers on the main street. This is the stereotype, of course (not … Read More

Springbrook National Park

This post about Springbrook National Park was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. While walking through a dense sub-tropical rainforest in Springbrook National Park: Nora: I wonder how many snakes are in this park. Kelly: Don’t be silly. It’s winter. They’re … Read More