Alisa Messeroff, the Baldwin native who was vying for one of Tourism Australia’s “Best Jobs in the World," was knocked out of the competition on May 15 -- one step short of the final -- but she still considers herself lucky.
“I tried my best,” Messeroff, 29, said. “I was bummed that I didn’t win, but you just have to take the loss with a grain of salt and move on to the next challenge in life. Luckily, I’m already on an adventure, so it’s not ending for me just because I didn't win."
Messeroff and her husband, Mike, are currently settled in Perth, Australia between backpacking jaunts after they both left their jobs in August 2011 to travel. In April, Messeroff found out she had advanced in the “Best Jobs in the World” contest. Twenty-five people each were vying for one of six jobs -- Messeroff was in the running to be an “outback adventurer” this summer -- a six-month gig with a $100,000 salary.
Though she didn’t make it to the final round of the competition, Messeroff did parlay the experience into a way to give back to others. She had previously reached out to California travel agency Contiki to gain its support during the contest. After Contiki heard she hadn’t advanced to the final, the company decided to provide her with an 11-day outback adventure tour to give her a similar experience.
Instead of using the trip for herself, Messeroff created a contest, much like Tourism Australia’s, to “pay it forward” and make someone else’s dream of traveling come true.
“My life changed after visiting Europe [in 2001], so I wanted to do the same for someone else,” she said. “I was able to meet new people and experience traveling for the first time.”
She’s hosting the contest through her and her husband’s Facebook page. To enter, participants have to “like” the page and post a 30-second video to the page explaining why they should win the trip. After posting the video, contestants need to share it on social media and gain as much support as possible. Judging will be based on “likes,” creativity and originality.
The contest will launched Friday and is open worldwide to anyone between the ages of 18 and 35. Airfare is not included in the prize, valued at $1,735, but it will include living accommodations, meals, sightseeing and tour guides.
Contestants must submit their video by June 7 at 9 p.m. (which is June 8 at 9 a.m. on Australian Western Standard Time.) The winner will be announced on June 11 at 10 a.m. AWST (for us, that would be June 10 at 10 p.m.)
“There are people out there that really want to travel, but don’t have an opportunity to do so,” she said. “Through this contest, I hope I can help someone live their dreams.”