As the envy of many, myself included, Ben Southall has become one of Australia’s best-known tourism advocates since winning the inaugural ‘Best Job in the World’ competition. He triumphed over 35,000 entrants in 2009 for the six-month $150,000 caretaker role on Hamilton Island… a.k.a the dream job!
Don’t you wish you’d entered now? Ben shares his journey to ‘The Best Job in the World’ in his new book, which mentions his passion for travel and adventure had actually begun years prior, while he was running his own website, blogging daily and posting YouTube videos regularly while living and travelling in Africa.
He says he was forwarded the entry link from friends and the mention that anyone could apply made him think ‘maybe I’ll give it a go’, but he never thought in his wildest dreams that he would carry through to the top 50, let alone be announced as the winner.
“I wanted people to see through my eyes what it would be like to stay on an island, enough so they’d want to do it themselves and that was the whole concept; making people a little bit jealous!”
“While I’m talking about most of my adventures, people don’t recognize that they can have a like life this and that’s exactly what the book wants to do - give people the confidence to go out and explore the planet,” he says. Ben says travelling has been the best classroom he’s ever studied in and he thinks if you have a passion for something you need to chase it.
“I’ve always got to have the next adventure planned whether it be in six months or six years down the line. My first trip to Africa took me three years to save for working in a job I despised, but at the end of that I knew I’d be getting life experiences and adventures.
Ben’s book addresses how anyone can make their dreams a reality too, with ideas to help transform your interests and passions into a flexible, long-term career, with motivation and bravery needed for the first step. He says you have to avoid the humdrum of the 9 to 5 jobs and bite the bullet to do something you love.
“You need the motivation to be able to step out of your comfort zone and say ‘Yeah, I’m going to do it. It will be alright’. That’s definitely the first step and the hardest step, getting out there and finding the best life you can find. The book gives people the ability to plan that first step,” Ben says.
Ben ended our chat by mentioning his catapult into public life has allowed him to have more and more adventures thanks to his sponsors and public following.
“The Best Job In The World was an amazing experience and now instead of saving all of my own funds, I can now go out and work with documentary producers and have these adventures and broadcast them to an online audience and to the TV networks and again, in line with the book I show you how to attract sponsors to support your adventure, how to use social media in your day-to-day life and how you can inspire others to follow you, so you can get out there and live like me,” he says.
Ben Southall’s ‘The Best Job in the World’ will be available for $27.95 in Australian bookstores from November 1, 2014.