Alisa Messeroff just got one step closer to landing one of the “Best Jobs in the World.”
The Baldwin native, currently between backpacking jaunts and settled in Perth, Australia, is in the running of the Tourism Australia-sponsored contest, which will award six winners with a six-month job in Australia for a $100,000 salary.
In mid-April, Messeroff, 29, was selected as one of 25 finalists for the job of “outback adventurer.” To be considered for the next round of selections, Messeroff needed to obtain an endorsement from a celebrity or high-profile personality by Wednesday. So she reached out to Bindi Irwin, the 14-year-old daughter of late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin.
Messeroff had a brief run-in with Irwin and her family in the past. They were climbing Australia’s Cradle Mountain at the same time last February. As Messeroff was nearing the top, Irwin offered some helpful encouragement -- even though at the time Messeroff didn’t know who she was.
Messeroff was not sure the young celebrity would help with the contest. In a letter she sent to Irwin weeks ago, she wrote, "I've learned that you only live once, so go big or go home, right? As your father once said, ‘One crowded hour of glorious life is worth more than an age without a name.’”
A day before the deadline, Messeroff received a tweet from Irwin: “I wish to congratulate @alisamesseroff for entering ‘The Best Jobs In The World’ competition. Follow your dreams and always believe."
That same day, Gary Arndt, an American travel blogger and photographer, endorsed Messeroff through Twitter, as well.
“I remember reaching the top of the mountain and realizing it was Steve Irwin's daughter,” Messeroff said of the February climb. “We were shocked, and bummed that we realized it [that Bindi Irwin could help with the contest] so late. We really needed her support, so to hear from her and get her support was a miracle.”
Based on video submissions and supporting references, judges on May 15 will select the 18 strongest candidates, three for each of six jobs. They will be invited to a final assessment in Australia in mid-June, with the six winners announced June 21.
Follow Messeroff via her Facebook page, Alisa The Outback Adventurer, and on Twitter @alisamesseroff. Check out her contest video submission and the blog she writes with her husband, The Carpe Diem Couple.