Monthly Archives: June 2013
Chief Funster Challenge #3
Invite 4 people to the Socceroos World Cup Qualifying game vs. Iraq then tell the story of my guests, my interaction with them and why I invited them.
Knowing that my third challenge revolved around the Socceroos game, I started interacting with the Socceroos and ANZ Stadium twitter accounts with anticipation and excitement about the game. Both were following me by the time game day rolled around! What was even cooler than this was finding that the Socceroos are staying in the same hotel as we are! I was a little star struck when I called for the lift and when the doors opened there were these 4 tall men in gleaming gold uniforms making room for me to enter the lift chamber. We had a brief interaction where I told them I would be in attendance at the game and I wished them the best of luck. Central Defender Lucas Neill thanked me for my luck and inquired where I was from. I replied, “The US” and he looked at me and replied, “Well… yeah… but where in the US?” I keep forgetting that I’m the outsider while visiting Australia. I stick out like a sore thumb as an American. I then went on to tell the 4 [rather handsome] Socceroos how I’m from Massachusetts and they inquired about Boston and such and before I knew it, the lift ride was over and it was back to reality! But not just yet…
As I was walking outside to find a sandwich shop for lunch, I ran into Mark Bresciano who was happy and willing to take a photo with me and other Chief Funster finalist, Cameron Ernst. Thanks for the pic and smiles, Mark!
Seeing all the Socceroos mulling about the hotel definitely got me way more excited for the game than I already was! I don’t really follow soccer, but it’s hard to not get into the Socceroo spirit for such an exciting and meaningful game! I know you’re dying to know now… who did I bring?
One of my tickets was an easy choice. I decided to bring my friend Jacqui, whom I met on the plane on my way from the US to Aus. Jacqui was super nice to me during the course of our flight and helped me understand a lot of the nitty gritty things in Australia that the tour books don’t tell you. Jacqui was so sweet and gave me tips of how to not get jet lag and some sights I should see while in Aus. I sincerely appreciated Jacqui’s hospitality (on a plane that we shared, no less!) and knew I wanted to bring her along. What’s even cooler about Jacqui is that she was born and raised in the US and is now a permanent resident of Australia. She is engaged to an Australian and the reason she was flying home from the US is because she had just had her hen party in the states! Such an exciting time in her life! It was both interesting and rewarding speaking with Jacqui on the plane and learning about how she met her fiancee, her decision to move to Australia and leave her family, differences between the US and Aus, plus her life plan in general. When I told Jacqui about the Socceroos game, she gladly accepted and it was SO cool to see her again! We had arranged to meet up after the contest sometime, but it was such a cool opportunity to have her along in the contest especially because she was very curious about everything I have been doing and wanted to do whatever she could to help. When I met up with Jacqui before the game, it was like I was seeing a close friend after a few weeks apart. Jacqui and I had a lot of time to chat flying from the US to Aus and it felt so natural to see her again and hang out!
I found Jacqui’s story so powerful because of how she made the most out of her opportunities, took a leap of faith and stretched out of her comfort zone to live her best possible life. Moving to Australia was a huge step and meant leaving the life and foundation she had built for herself in the US to start all over, brand spankin new in Aus. What if she and her boyfriend (now fiancee) broke up? Would she still want to live in Australia? Imagine how her parents must’ve felt when she told them she was uprooting her life and moving the the other side of the world! Jacqui is such a sweet and inspiring person to be around. I admire her taking a leap of faith to allow her the chance of an even better, happier life. I am so happy for her and her fiancee, Chris and look forward to keeping in touch with her as she travels to and from the US and Aus. Jacqui said she will show me around her neck of the woods in Coogee once the contest wraps up. I’m excited to see where she lives and learn more about her life in Australia!
As for the other 3 tickets…
earlier in the week we met a few players from the Sydney Swans so I had invited Mike Pyke and Adam Goodes to join me at the game. Unfortunately their practice schedule didn’t allow them to be able to make it to the game but their media manager said that they would’ve really wanted to go and were disappointed they had to practice. I must say that I appreciated getting a response from the Swans’ media manager. Sometimes people say that they’ll get back to you, but they never intend on actually doing so. I was pleasantly surprised and happy that they respected my invitation and took the time to RSVP, so thank you for your kindness, Sydney Swans!
So who did I end up bringing?
My friend Kelley studied abroad [and left her heart] in Sydney a couple semesters ago and when she returned from her travels, she absolutely raved about her experience in Australia. Since I am in Sydney, I reached out to Kelley to see if she knew anyone from the university that she studied at who would be interested in coming to the game with me. She knew just the people to ask! So I ended up bringing along 3 lovely lads from Macquarie University to attend the game with me: Josh, Tom and Kristian.
All three boys are leaders at Macquarie University. Josh is president of his college and Tom is the treasurer. Kristian is an orientation leader and RA. Having just graduated from college, I enjoyed comparing stories with the guys and comparing their college life to mine in the states. It was really cool to get to meet some of Kelley’s good friends from Australia especially after hearing about all of her fabulous adventures here. The boys were very appreciative of the invite and served as wonderful hosts to me as a guest of Australia! They surprised me and bought me a Socceroos jersey to wear at the game and keep for my own Aussie memories. Part of the way through the game they had left for a little bit and came back with a meat pie for me to try! It was quite delicious and I would definitely have another! The ketchup packet was even more interesting than the meat pie! It had a slit in the middle and you squeeze the ends of the ketchup packet together so the ketchup squirts out the middle… GENIUS! and no mess! I swear it’s the little thing throughout traveling that really stick with you and make the biggest impressions when you leave.
I enjoyed my time with the boys and we all quickly became good friends. The Socceroos game was the most fun I’ve had in Australia so far. The boys and Jacqui taught me some Aussie cheers to chant during the games and explained to me how soccer works. I appreciate my new aussie friends introducing me to different parts of their culture (like trying the meat pie) and explaining how things work on their side of the world. We all had high energy throughout the course of the game and were certainly a lively crew! Tourism Australia and Destination NSW have been lovely hosts to me, but there’s nothing like having someone your age explain to you how their world works. There’s just a different connection there. I think it’s important when traveling to interact with people your own age. You learn so much from people who are similar to you on paper, but different culture wise. Now I know more about Macquarie University, Sydney, college life in Australia and Australia in general and the boys know more about Marist College, Massachusetts, New York, the US and the Best Jobs In The World contest! It’s these connections and interactions that make you want to spread the good word and share what you’ve learned from other people when you “write home”. BMAC is still Building Memories Across Continents and not stopping here!
In case you haven’t heard the news yet, the Socceroos won the World Cup qualifying game and are off to Rio!!! WAHOO! Way to go roos! When the roos finally scored, the entire stadium jumped up in excitement screaming, cheering and clapping! Josh was so pumped that he picked me up and hugged me and then continued screaming at the field in sheer thrill!
I’m so glad the boys and Jacqui were able to make it! Thanks again to Kelley for introducing me to her wonderful friends. Boys, thanks for the Socceroos jersey and the experience of eating a meat pie! Jacqui, thanks for comparing everything here to that of the US to help me better understand and appreciate everything in Australia! We had a fabulous time and it was a FABULOUS game!
Casually stroll down to Sydney Harbour and see THIS BABY waiting for us to board!
Wondering what’s so special about this vessel? Aside from the fact that Brad Pitt was on it the day before and Lady Gaga was on it a couple weeks back, this beautifully furnished yacht would cruise us around Sydney Harbour showing us a VIP view of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Luna Park and other lovely Sydney homes and establishments.
We left our shoes at the dock, climbed on board and were presented with a bit of bubbly to help us set sail through the harbour. No cloud above us that day could ruin the happiness and excitement from the exploration of Sydney Harbour. It was an invigorating experience to pass through the harbour and gaze at the different architecture of homes that lined the shore. I’ve always been a fan of mansion touring and house hunting so it was exciting to compare the homes along the harbour to those of the notable homes I’ve seen in the US.
There were a good amount of people sailing that day and it was interesting to see each vessel behaving differently in the wind. One sail boat was almost horizontal and looked as though it were about to blow over. I was frightened for the crew, but the managed to keep on their feet and get the sail back to it’s vertical position. I’ve always been interested in learning how to sail so I enjoyed seeing the Sydneysiders making the most of the day out on the water and relishing the wind passing their their hair.
After the harbour cruise, it was time to get ready for the night’s events at the Sydney Opera House! I dazzled my eyes, vamped my lips, slid into my heels and strutted on down to the Opera Bar where we met up with Ignatius Jones, one of the world’s leading major event directors, creative strategists and event script-writers. “Iggy” [as he prefers to be called] is the Creative Advisor of Vivid Sydney and Co- Creative Director of Pacha Sydney. He was also one of the Directors of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. As a fellow creative thinker, I was overjoyed to talk to Iggy. It was interesting and enlightening to see his train of thought and how he painted a picture with his words of every vision I had inquired about. We conversed about all different parts of the process of creative events from how to string the lights to making sure there was a sanitary committee for garbage and toilets. It’s the small things that can make or break an event and Iggy understands the importance of event fluidity.
After chatting with Iggy over dinner at the Opera Bar, we went behind the scenes of the Opera House to meet with Stephen Page, the Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre where we inquired about their latest performance “Blak” that we would shortly see. Having researched “Blak” and the Bangarra Dance Theatre prior to meeting with Stephen, it was intriguing speaking with Stephen and seeing his vision behind the performance and all the work that was put into it to make it possible.
Seeing “Blak” was a powerful experience. I am usually not much of a fan of contemporary dance, I generally prefer musicals, but I have to admit that from an artistic stand point, Blak was phenomenal! You could feel the struggle and the pain of the dancers. I don’t want to give away too much of the performance, but the coolest part, in my opinion, was at the end when the dancers had completed their final number and sand fell from the ceiling as they backed away in a single horizontal line across stage. Simply, breath taking!
But the night’s not over yet!
After seeing “Blak” at the Sydney Opera House, Iggy took us to the Ivy for Pacha! Pacha is known at the best club night in Sydney every Saturday night and TRUST ME you won’t want to miss out on this! The DJ was bumpin hard in the main section of Pacha, but the coolest part about this club is that it feels more like 7 different clubs all in one. When you go into different rooms of the club, there are different DJs bustin the tunes to create different club atmospheres for every type of club goer. There’s your expected techno/electronica, but then enter the next room and you’ve got Kanye tellin you to “ball so hard”. Sound like a good time? Nah. Sounds like THE BEST time! Pacha, you definitely run the night as the best club in Sydney! If you stay in one of the club rooms long enough, you’ll be greeted by the sexy Pacha girls who strut the ceilings above you and put on a brief dance routine just long enough to tease you leaving you wanting to come back to Pacha next Saturday night. If I stay in Sydney long enough, I’d try to become a Pacha girl myself! What girl wouldn’t want to glam up and work it for a lively night crowd?
While at Pacha, Iggy introduced us to James Brown, the costume designer of the Pacha girls. This week’s theme had something to do with insects so each pacha girl repped as a busty bug. I truly enjoyed meeting so many different creative thinker throughout the night. It was refreshing seeing the similarities in myself that I shared with these key industry professionals. I often feel crazy sometimes as a creative thinker when talking to a lateral thinker, but when you get a group of creatives in the same room, you never know what you’ll conjure up! Perhaps something along the lines of Vivid Sydney? I think so 😉
Not a bad welcome to Sydney, eh? The views and experience only get better from here! So tell me. Are you thinking about traveling to Australia anytime soon? 😉
I made it to Sydney, Australia! WAHOO! I had a flight from Boston to LA, an 8 hour layover in LA and then another flight from LA to Sydney. I spent a long couple of days traveling and am definitely jet lagged, but it’s so worth it! The fun has only just begun for me and the other Best Jobs finalists.
I was welcomed to Sydney by a lovely limo driver named Ross who took me and 3 other finalists from the airport to our hotel in a sweet new Audi. On our short ride from the airport to the hotel, I asked Ross who the most famous person he’s ever driven round is and he told me that he had recently escorted Rihanna around Sydney! Imagine that! Only a few weeks before, Ross was driving RIHANNA around and now he’s escorting little old me! TOO COOL! The hotel we are currently staying at is QT Sydney and let me tell you it is quite the swanky place!
Not too long after I arrived at the hotel, I met my Tourism Australia representative, Matt McInnes in the hotel lobby then me and the other 17 Best Jobs finalists headed over to the Tourism Australia office to get started for the week! We had an itinerary briefing, media training, and some technology demos. I know what you’re thinking… technology demos? Is that really necessary? Well it sure is because we were gifted brand new Nikon Coolpix AW110 cameras as well as the new Nokia Lumia 520 so we had to be instructed how to use them. So far the Nikon camera is my FAVORITE! It was a wifi and GPS feature. I LOVE it and am psyched to have it in my possession for the week and then “real life” after that!
Today started out very exciting with a media call with Virgin Australia! The 18 Best Jobs finalists paraded out of the terminal in our Best Jobs gear excited to finally be in Aus and rockin our Tourism Australia logos. We then had a special announcement in the Virgin Australia Lounge where they announced that there is a 7th Best Job In The World! Virgin Australia announced the “High Flyer” position. Yep! That’s right! There’s a 7th best job!
After the Virgin Australia media call we headed to Circular Quay where we saw Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. We ate lunch outside at the Opera Bar. It was such a beautiful day and nice to be outside. Being surrounded by the iconic Sydney landmarks this afternoon was the first time I’ve truly felt like I am finally in Australia.
There’s a TON going on and I have to admit I haven’t been as energetic as I usually am because I am still jet lagged. Hopefully I will be all rested for the morning and good to go from here on out! I am SUPER excited for tomorrow’s schedule! We are going to Taronga Zoo, which I have been looking forward to visiting since before I even knew I had made it to Top 3, PLUS we are meeting Ben Southall, the 2009 Best Job In The World winner. I am very much looking forward to meeting Ben because he was a huge inspiration to me when I first found out about the contest. I originally was going to campaign to him to convince him to endorse me in my original entry video, but then I thought if I’m going to go through all the trouble of convincing, why don’t I sell myself and convince Tourism Australia to pick me and that is the (most abbreviated version ever) story of how Send BMAC Down Under was created! I can’t wait to meet Ben in person and thank him for the inspiration!
I’m wicked tired, but we have a crazy awesome week ahead, so it’s time for me to wash up and hit the hay! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @BMACtastic for live updates from Australia as well as Instagram (BMACtastic) and my Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/Send.BMAC.Down.Under
The Chief Funster challenges start on Saturday! WOOHOO! Which reminds me…guess what? I have 4 extra tickets to the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier game of Australia vs. Iraq! Interested in going? Send me a message through my Facebook page convincing my why I should take you and you might just get a ticket! OH and if I choose to pick you, you’re also having dinner with us prior to the game. This is part of one of my challenges to prove to Destination New South Wales that they should hire me as their Chief Funster. I am judged based on who I bring to the game and the story of the person of why I picked them to attend. Holla at ya girl if you’re in Australia and think you deserve this experience!
It’s getting down to the time SBDU fans. What time am I talking about? PACKING TIME! Only 1 short day left until my departure to Australia, but what shall I wear? Normal BMAC protocol states that I want to stand out from the crowd as a unique individual and strategically differentiate myself. So let me know tell you a little story of how I am going to do just that because of a phenomenal opportunity that came my way…
After making it as a Top 3 Finalist for Chief Funster, my friend Rachel congratulated me and said she wanted to do something for me that really showed her congratulations because she was so proud of me and all of my hard work. Rachel is in my graduating class and graduated from Marist as a fashion design major. For her the best favor she can do for anyone is to make them clothing, and whenever she does, the person is always so thankful and it’s the most rewarding feeling ever, and plus it’s what she loves to do. I couldn’t believe that Rachel wanted to personally design me clothes for my trip to Australia and I jumped at the opportunity!
During finals week at the closing of our senior year of college last month, Rachel and I sat outside in the grass on a beautiful sunny day brainstorming different “looks” for me for Australia. We wanted to incorporate the themes of Australian patriotism (since the job of Chief Funster is to promote tourism to Australia) as well as my Send BMAC Down Under campaign of being a small town girl from Massachusetts and receiving my higher education in New York. We wanted to incorporate different parts of Australian and American culture, so both served as inspiration for the “BMAC In Aus” fashion designs. Here are the results!
For my “off the plane” attire, Rachel designed the “I ❤ AUS” shirt. She got the idea from our “I ❤ NY” shirts that many people who visit NYC buy. Being residents of NY for four amazing years of college, tying in the “I ❤ NY” shirt idea brings in part of our New York culture. I will also be incorporating a little more of my Massachusetts roots with a blue blazer, nantucket red shorts and boat shoes. My favorite part about this shirt is that in the heart, Rachel drew the Australian flag!
Next Rachel designed me an evening dress to wear at night for a more formal occasion. This dress was inspired by the Union Jack on the Australian flag and the color [red] was chosen because it combines the Australian flag and our Marist school color. The color has a meaning that is close to both of our hearts, and it ties both aspects of Australian patriotism and Marist school-spirit all in one dress. The most intricate part of this dress is the cuffs. Rachel hand beaded the Union Jack of the Australian flag on the cuffs of my sleeves for this dress.
When I asked Rachel what her favorite design was that she made for me, she said, “Definitely the red dress. At first I was afraid it would be too simple but the contrast of the fabrics and the little bit of glam on the cuffs made it simply elegant and I’m just in love with how it turned out!”
THANK YOU, RACHEL for designing and personally handmaking me such beautiful clothing! I am SO excited to wear them in Australia, tying both of our cultures together and killin it in Aus 😉
While Rachel’s love is fashion, it’s time I share with you one of my own personal loves and obsessions: nail polish! It was kind of a “no brainer” when it came time for me to choose what color to paint my nails for my trip to Australia on Monday. I went with “Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It” by OPI from the Australia Collection.
I’ll only be rockin “Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It” on my piggy toes though because I want to really be able to get involved in the Chief Funster challenges and not have to worry about my nails looking perfect for the evening events. My fingers will be going “au naturale” in the land down under, but it will be more than worth it!
I am super excited to show off my Aussie inspired designer fashion in Australia in only one more day! I am hoping Tourism Australia and other followers of the Best Jobs In The World contest get a kick out of my strategically designed clothes. I’ll let you know how it goes and will post pictures of me sporting the “BMAC In Aus” fashion line by Rachel Elle 🙂 Now it’s time to get packing!!!
This past Wednesday Massachusetts State Representative Jeff Roy invited me and my family to the State House for an official “send off” of me to Australia! It was quite the day! My family and I got the royal treatment once we arrived to the State House. Jeff and his assistant, Chris, met us in front of the State House at noon where we took a few pictures outside of the building. One of my favorites from the day is Me, Jeff, my mother, father and best friend Pats all holding the “SEND BMAC DOWN UNDER” sign in front of the State House! Check it out!
Next, Jeff gave us the grand tour of the State House. I felt like royalty! I got to meet everyone we walked by. I was introduced to many different state representatives and other officials in the building. Jeff had informed everyone in the state house about what I’ve been doing with Send BMAC Down Under for the Best Jobs In The World contest. It was really cool to have so many people already know what I have been up to and congratulating me on my accomplishments! I was scheduled to meet the Governor, but sadly he was not in that day. I did, however, have the privilege of being taken out onto the Governor’s balcony where you can see, as Jeff put it “the best view of Boston”
Not a bad view, huh? (And I’m not just talking about Patrick 😉 ) The house was in session on Wednesday so after this, Jeff took my family and I into the House of Representatives chamber in the state house. Once inside, I continued to meet state officials and spread the word about the Best Jobs In The World contest and my quest for Chief Funster. I was then introduced by the Speaker of the House for all of my accomplishments thus far in making it as a Top 3 finalist for Chief Funster. The chamber was buzzing with conversation and it didn’t appear as though anyone was even really listening, but when the Speaker of the House finished speaking, the chamber erupted in applause! I was overjoyed with excitement. I received a standing ovation from the House of Representatives in the Massachusetts State House! WHOA! I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so largely in my life! When we left the chamber, Jeff told my family and I that it is rare for the house to give a standing ovation. I have never felt so special in my life the way I felt when I was in that room.
Next on the agenda, Jeff, my family and I had an official photograph taken of us with the citation that Jeff presented to me on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The citation congratulates me and recognizes my achievement of making it as a Top 3 Finalist for Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs In The World contest. Now that’s an official document if I ever saw one!
It was an incredible experience being at the State House where so much important history has taken place and knowing that I am also making history. There were many rewards from this special day in my life and I’m going to tell you the two biggest ones [in my opinion]. The first happened at the conclusion of the day when my best friend Pats said that joining my family and I and watching me earn this recognition was a huge motivator and inspiration to him. I was so happy that I could serve as an inspiration to him. I’ve always believed that if you can dream it, you can do it, you just have to believe in yourself and not set any limits. You should live life and act as though there are no limits, that is when you will find success. It’s such a rewarding feeling to know that I’ve impacted more lives than just my own with the success I’ve had in becoming Chief Funster thus far.
The second most rewarding feeling was when we were in the car driving out of Boston. I was quiet and smiling at my mother gushing over the day we just had and my accomplishments. She looked at me and said, “Brittany, I don’t think you understand how incredible of an honor you just received…” My mother was surprised at my “lack of excitement”, however it wasn’t that I wasn’t excited, because believe me, I certainly was! For the first time since I found out about the contest in March, I felt satisfied and proud of myself because I have finally seen that all my hard work and sacrifice has paid off. Of course the contest isn’t over yet and I am not giving up, but it was nice to take a quick breath and be proud of myself.
The fun of the day wasn’t over yet though, kids! After dinner, my parents and I headed to my hometown’s Town Hall where I was recognized by the Franklin Town Council with a proclamation in congratulations and recognition detailing my success and achievements thus far in the Best Jobs In The World contest for Chief Funster.
It was a jam packed rewarding day full of fun! As if it was even possible, this day really built up my excitement to head down to Australia for finals week!!! Only 2 more days now until I leave! I have purchased a few necessities ( a converter, bathing suit and a couple new outfits) but now it’s time to get packing! I can’t believe this is really happening and I could not be any more excited! (I know I’ve used the word “excited” a lot in this blog post, but I just can’t contain my excitement!!!!) I am looking forward to spreading the word even further of how fantastic Australia truly is! I wish I had a dime for every person who asked if they could come with me over the course of the day. I should really just transport the entire state of Massachusetts down under! They’re all jealous of my experience and itching to get down there! See you soon, Australia!