The Flame.

it's a sign

Thank you Nicole for sending this to me – too perfect.

I had written out a blog post yesterday, but I decided to delete it all and start fresh. My thoughts have completely changed. It’s amazing what a group of motivated & supportive people can do to your mind, body, and soul.

I didn’t make the Top 3 cut for the Best Jobs in the World Contest for Wildlife Caretaker. Unfortunately, that means that the WIN A FREE TRIP TO AUSTRALIA contest is no longer valid – I appreciate all those who entered though. Needless to say, I was devastated, confused and upset when I didn’t see my name on the list. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so diligently and hard in my life as I did on my campaign for Wildlife Caretaker. Sleep and food came second while I put my WHOLE SELF into being the best candidate for Wildlife Caretaker. My friends, family members, and even strangers, all stepped up to the plate and helped me achieve GREAT things. The day after I found out I wasn’t in the contest, I deemed it to be my sole day of ‘sulking’ and took a break from social media/interaction. Yes, I did my fair share of crying, but I also produced a number of smiles from comments/messages/texts my friends were delivering to me. Life has an incredible way of balancing everything out 😦 / 🙂

Throughout the past 3 weeks of campaigning, I have received numerous messages from people I haven’t talked to in years. Their kind and sincere words of appreciation/love/inspiration/hope hit me hard. Being flooded with messages like that changes a person : in the best way imaginable. Not only do YOU know that YOU can do what you put your heart into, but then you find out there’s a whole ARMY of people behind you supporting you?! It only helps fuel my flame to achieve amazing things in this life of mine.

I can’t even begin to describe everything I accomplished over the past 2 weeks. From feeding sea turtles behind the scenes at Sea World wearing my CocoRoo kangaroo costume, to volunteering with kids at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day, to cleaning Compton Creek with Heal the Bay, to touring the Australian Consulate in Los Angeles, to getting a behind the scenes tour of the Wildlife sector of the Pasadena Humane Society…gosh this list could go on forever!!! Even though I didn’t win my dream job, I wouldn’t change this experience for the world.

This contest has allowed me immensely grow as a person, and has helped me understand what I am truly passionate about in this life. Various family members and close friends relayed to me that it was great seeing me in this contest, because my passions became so much more apparent to them. I am not meant to sit behind a desk 8 hours a day doing a job I’m not invested in – I am ready to take the reins and find something out there in this world that would benefit from my talents and passions. How I will find that job? Not entirely sure yet, but if you ever come across something that might be a good fit/connection PLEASE comment on my blog and let me know.

One of my fellow Shortlisted 150 Finalists created a Facebook Group to connect us all together today – Thanks Emily! Even though at times during the contest I felt some of the other Wildlife Caretaker finalists were my archnemesis (thanks to my competitve gene), they are actually amazing individuals whom I have no doubt we will become very close. Thank you Tourism Australia for connected 150 passionate individuals from across the globe, who share the same love of travel and adventure! A couple other Finalists and I are hoping to plan a trip to Vegas soon (and my blow-up kangaroo will definitely be packed in my suitcase)!

THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!

I can’t move forward without giving recognition to these individuals who helped make this campaign phenomenally amazing: My Mother, My Aunt Brenda, and my Aunt Linda. These three women worked day in and day out, just as hard as I did, to try and make this dream of mine come true. I don’t know how I will ever thank you enough for everything you selflessly donated for this cause. I already had ‘tokens’ of appreciation picked out for each one of you that I could have purchased with the prize money if I had won. You all mean the world to me, and I am so grateful to have such fantastic female role models in my life. I appreciate you.

I want to express my gratitude of thanks to the 1,000’s of friends/family members who helped out on this campaign as well. For each person who shared my contest Facebook page, highlighted my journey on your blog, donated your talents (music/drawing/etc) towards the campaign, Tweeted/ReTweeted me, gave me a shout out on Instagram, took a picture with one of my posters, wrote a letter of support, sent me encouraging words, and I could go on and on… I AM ETERNALLY GRATEFUL! You never really know who has your back until you need their help. My heart grew 100x bigger with the overwhelming amount of love I received from each and every one of you. Even during the campaign some of your messages would bring me to tears of happiness. I honestly am surrounded by the most wonderful people on the planet – thank you for believing in me.

After the Top 3 were announced, my inbox filled with messages from my companions. Everyone alludes that even though I didn’t win, they know I would only amount to great things in the future. They see the passion, the dedication, and the strong will to succeed. For people to have faith in me to achieve amazing things in this life is a remarkable feeling. If you are one of those people who sent me a message of hope, please know that I am so humbled and honored to have you in my life. 

In conclusion (if you’ve made it this far thank you for continuing to read this beast of a post), many people are asking me “WHAT’S NEXT?! WHAT GREAT ADVENTURE DO YOU HAVE PLANNED NOW?!” To be honest, this contest helped ignite the flame inside me that’s been dormant for quite some time. This flame represents the determination to pursue my passions in life. But, sometimes life creates what you call ‘roadblocks’ – placing your dreams just out of reach for the time being. Well, I am ready to demolish those roadblocks. I’m in the drivers seat of a hover craft (I know very high-tech), and I’m ready to fly over those roadblocks in pursuit of my dreams while I explore new opportunities just waiting to be discovered! Stay tuned…because the journey I’m about to take will definitely be something you won’t want to miss out on. 

Hoping For The Best

KoalaFood

G’Day Mates! We are starting the final 24 hours before Australia’s Best Job in the World Top 3 Finalists for each job are announced (AHHH!). Needless to say, I am filled with a multitude of different emotions. This process has been so amazing thus far, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I will go more into all those emotions and experiences in the next post, so be on the look out for that! I wanted to update all you bloggers out there with my latest video blogs seen below:

When I completed the second phase of the contest last week, I turned in a presentation summing up my Referee (supporters/social media) campaign. I accumulated a large number of support letters during this phase of the contest that I turned into the judges as well. I am so humbled to have received kind letters from law enforcement officers, wildlife trainers, CEO’s/Presidents of large companies, and even important high-profile media individuals. I want to personally THANK each person who submitted a letter in support of my dream job – it meant the WORLD to me 🙂 

Also included in my presentation was the video as seen below. Here, I filmed a heart-to-heart to allow the judges to view me in a more personal light. My life is dedicated to educating others about conservation and environmental sustainability of our planet. I don’t see this position as just a 6-month job, I see it as a stepping stone towards living out my passions in life. 

SUPPORT CHANEL FOR WILDLIFE CARETAKER:

FACEBOOK – Like / Share / Comment

TWITTER @PSChanel #ChanelWC #BestJobs @Australia – Tweet/RT Why I Australia Should Pick Me!

INSTAGRAM @ChanelWildlifeCaretaker – Like and #ChanelWC

CONTEST PAGE

My Visit to the Australian Consulate

AustConsulate

Today, I started off my morning sitting in LA traffic – but that didn’t phase me one bit! I had an appointment at the Los Angeles Australian Consulate in Beverly Hills. There are only 7 Australian Consulates and Trade Commissions in the United States, and luckily I have one right here in Los Angeles! When I walked into their offices, I was surrounded by beautiful Aboriginal Art pieces on the wall which made me feel instantly at home. I studying Aboriginal Art at UQ in Brisbane, so understanding the background and history of these great paintings make them so much more unique.

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Ann Lanyon, the Australian Consul-General. Karen was eager to hop on Twitter and start following me on my campaign for Best Jobs 🙂 . She was thrilled to hear about my Wildlife Caretaker campaign and wished me the best of luck! She made it clear that I should keep the Consulate in the loop this week if I should make it to the Top 3. 

I also had the honor of interviewing with Deborah Bowman, the Deputy Consul-General. She just moved to Los Angeles 6 weeks ago, so she is ‘fresh off the plane’ from Australia as they say.

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Deborah feels like SHE has the Best Job in the World! Not everyone can say that about their profession, so it pleases me that Deborah really enjoys working for the Australian Consulate and is passionate about her job (‘love your job, and you never work a day in your life‘). The Deputy Consul General was very eager to hear more about my journey to win my dream job of being South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker!

We connected INSTANTANEOUSLY when I mentioned I had previously lived in Brisbane for a year studying at the University of Queensland, Saint Lucia. She used to live and work in Brisbane as well! We chatted about our favorite places to visit in the city: the amazing farmers market they had on Sundays in front of the casino, taking the City Cat up and down the river, and enjoying the botanical gardens.

Her husband is an environmentalist, so she is already quite knowledgable about the Australian ecosystems and native wildlife. Deborah shared with me some great home stories about Australian wild animals which they sort of ‘adopted’ at their home in Canberra. We truly had some great conversations!

I came prepared with a couple hard-hitting questions for Mrs. Bowman to answer – check out our great interview below:

1- How many Australians live in California?

There are about 10,000 Aussies that live in California at the moment. 

2- What is your favorite Australian activity?

Bush-Walking! My husband is an environmentalist so we love going in the outback and exploring nature. 

3- Do you have a desired Australian cuisine?

Well, let me just say that I love cooking. It’s one of my favorite things to entertain and have people over to cook for them. I have tried all of the Australian ‘specialties’ : crocodile, shark, kangaroo, etc… I’d rather host some friends over and my own dishes though 🙂

4- What’s your #1 activity to do in South Australia?

My grandfather used to live in South Australia, and now my cousins live there. I’ve always loved going to the beaches in South Australia, they are beautiful. We also love to bush-walk down there as well. 

5- Favorite Australian native creature?

The Wombat – my grandfather’s house in South Australia was surrounded by stunted gum trees, which made for beautiful silhouettes in the evening time. And once the sun went down, a wombat would come waddling up to the house from on the gum trees to investigate my grandpa’s trash haha. 

6- Best advice to give a soon-to-be Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia?

Be yourself and keep up the great campaign!

Win A FREE Trip To Australia!

~ CONTEST NO LONGER VALID ~ 

chanel

ARE YOU CHANEL’S BIGGEST FAN?

DO YOU WANT TO EXPLORE  AUSTRALIA?

Chanel is already a natural spokesperson for promoting ocean conservation, environmental sustainability, and exploration/travel to everyone she meets. To become a Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia would not only be a dream come true, but it could lead to some AMAZING opportunities to help pursue and utilize her passions in life. She’s made it to the Top 25 Finalists out of over 45,000 entries – the world is Chanel’s ‘South Australian Oyster‘ 🙂 !

Her love for Australia has been evident ever since she learned about the Great Barrier Reef when she was a young aspiring marine biologist. The intrigue only grew when she traveled to Queensland, Australia for a year-long student exchange program in college. The culture, the people, the places, the wildlife, the scenery, the history, the beauty; all these elements sparked her Australian infatuation even more. The photographs she captured during her year abroad are some of her prized possessions (some gaining recognition in photography competitions).

The compensation for this job ($100,000) is not why she’s interested in the position of Wildlife Caretaker – it’s about a journey of a lifetime. It’s about exploring exciting and unique locations/activities in South Australia, and sharing those stories with the world! It’s about assisting with conservation and research efforts spanning from the coastline to the Outback. It’s about walking up to strangers and sparking conversations which result in long-lasting friendships. It’s about preserving Australia’s natural ecosystems and wildlife. Chanel’s life has lead up to this moment for reason; this is her destiny.

Chanel wants YOU to experience South Australia for yourself. The outpour of support on this quest to win her dream job has been HUGE – so Chanel thought the least she could do would be to repay the favor and award one of her lucky followers a chance of a lifetime. Australia is country that should be seen and explored by all!

If Chanel is the last one standing and is announced South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker, she will randomly select one of you lucky participants, to win 1 ROUND TRIP AIRLINE TICKET to visit her Down Under as Chanel’s Biggest Fan (see contest rules and regulations for complete details)! 

Complete ALL The Steps Below to ENTER:
It’s so EASY! 

1) Follow PhotoScienceChanel.com using your email to register (find and click the “Follow Me” button on the righthand side of the blog)

2) Comment on this blog post answering all the following bullet points:

  • Give your reasoning why Australia should pick Chanel for Wildlife Caretaker (Feel free to Tweet @Australia and tell them your reasoning to pick @PSChanel #BestJobs #ChanelWC too!)
  • Name one activity/location you want to visit in Australia and WHY

  • List your NAME / CITY / STATE / COUNTRY

  • Post your personal/business blog URL (if applicable)

You are still eligible if you were previously a email/follower of Chanel’s blog before 8pm (PST) on May 4, 2013 – remember to just please state so in the comment. GOOD LUCK supporters! Reminder: the giveaway will only occur if Chanel Hason is announced the winner of Australia’s Best Jobs on June 21st, 2013. If awarded Wildlife Caretaker, Chanel will announce a winner on July 1st, 2013. So be sure to LIKE/SHARE her Facebook Page and Follow/Tweet her @PSChanel to increase her chances of winning!  To see the full list of rules & regulations for the giveaway, click here or find the tab at the top of the blog.

The Final Puzzle Piece

Yesterday, I had a phone interview with the South Australia Tourism representative regarding being a Finalist in the Best Job in the World contest. We had an amazing conversation; it actually felt more like a chat with a close friend than an interview for my dream job – in a good way!

After our conversation, I was filled with excitement! The position of Wildlife Caretaker, REALLY IS MADE FOR ME. I am everything passionate about animals/environment, ecotourism, traveling, blogging, photography, video editing, being in front of the camera, conducting research, talking with strangers, and exploring new places. All of the qualifications and characteristics they are looking for, I possess. I feel like the final piece of a 1,000 piece-puzzle (that makes up a map of South Australia of course), ready to placed in its unique spot to complete the masterpiece.

LoseSightOfTheShore
This week really FLEW by! Let me tell you, throwing a huge social media blitz for a job opportunity of a lifetime is a 24/7 job. Time is of the essence, and I am utilizing every second of the day.

Throughout this campaign, I have had the pleasure of connecting with some amazing people. Even if the cards aren’t in my favor for this competition (but I hope I’m dealt a FULL HOUSE), I will be pleased to leave with a new group friends from around the globe. I am convinced I am on this journey of a lifetime for a reason (or two, or three). Surrounding yourself with inspiring, supportive, and positive people will only lead to great things 🙂

I HAVE A THEME SONG! A well-known band based out of Orange County, the Saints in Rehab, got creative and wrote a quick little theme song to support my dream job of becoming a Wildlife Caretaker. I met these guys one year ago when I went on a cruise to Mexico for my birthday, and we’ve remained good ever since friends. It’s amazing to look back and count the number of blossoming friendships I’ve created by just starting a conversation with a stranger on my travels! Needless to say, they are a great group of talented guys! THANKS SO MUCH 😀 Hope you can come visit me Down Under and play a ‘real’ didgeridoo.

We’ve accumulated over 1200 likes on my Contest Facebook Page – if you haven’t liked it yet and want to support me – please click the link above/below and like/share with your friends! It only takes 2 seconds I swear, but your actions could make a 20 year dream become a reality.

SUPPORT CHANEL FOR WILDLIFE CARETAKER:

FACEBOOK – Like / Share / Comment

TWITTER @PSChanel #ChanelWC #BestJobs @Australia – Tweet/RT Why I Australia Should Pick Me!

INSTAGRAM @ChanelWildlifeCaretaker – Like and #ChanelWC

CONTEST PAGE

RE-BLOGGED: Day (439) – If It Was Your Dream

I am so honored and grateful to have this particular person in my life. Evan Sanders is not only a very talented and well-known blogger, he is also a man with a huge heart, published author, motivational/inspirational speaker, and very close friend of mine. Earlier today, he wrote this incredibly moving blog post (seen below) in support of my dream job to be South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker. Trust me, it brought tears to more eyes than just mine. Thank you Evan for everything! Please take a second to read this great piece of writing.

The Better Man Project ™

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I always knew she loved the beach, but as I walked up the long staircase to the main floor of her apartment, I was taken aback…we were 45 minutes away from the ocean, but somehow she had found a way to bring it to her. I was now walking in an aquarium. Pictures, posters, trinkets, stuffed animals – if she could house a group of penguins she would – but she had to settle for the octopus salt and pepper shakers. Turn on “Sounds of Nature” and close your eyes…you could be in the wild smack in the middle of Los Angeles.

And when you sit down and talk to the creator of this Sea World-esque masterpiece, you quickly realize that she’s a little bit different from many of us – she has salt water running through her veins. Every once in a while, you will be going throughout your…

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Life Could Be A Dream, Sweetheart

This contest has opened my eyes so much.

The amount of love & support from not only my family and good friends, but from acquaintances, and even people I don’t even know is OVERWHELMINGLY TREMENDOUS (for all the right reasons). The outpour of acknowledgments of my passion/life dedication for wildlife and environmental education and conservation, only makes my heart fill with joy. To be completely honest, I have found myself bursting into tears reading some of the supporting comments from my peers across all my social media platforms. I wish I could hug each and every person right now who has shared/liked my FB page, even though I wish there was something more I could give them as well.

Volunteering at my local YMCA Healthy Kids Day as CocoRoo!

Volunteering at my local YMCA Healthy Kids Day as CocoRoo!

My Contest Facebook Page is reaching 900 likes in just 4 short days, and over half the likes are from people I’m not even friends with on Facebook (which is AWESOME – I’m going viral)! That means, people are genuinely supporting a campaign just to help a person win their dream job. I’m a strong believer that there’s more right than wrong in the world 😀

If you want to help out - one way is to print this image and take pictures of it with other friends (human or animal :) ) who support Chanel's campaign and post it on the FB Contest Page or on here!

If you want to help out – one way is to print this image and take pictures of it with other friends (human or animal 🙂 ) who support Chanel’s campaign and post it on the FB Contest Page or on here!

I have a lot of fun adventures, trips, and visits planned at some pretty unbelievable locations coming up this week that you should all be excited about! I’m honestly putting 20000% + more into this social media push to win my Dream Job, because you can’t expect anything just to fall into your lap. Hard work, passion, determination, respect, creativity, open-mindedness, and a positive attitude are all some of the key qualities to portray in the pursuit of your dreams. 

Have you ever gotten the feeling that opportunities reveal themselves to you for a reason? The Australia Tourism Board saw something in my submission video that made it stand out compared to the other 45,000 applicants. There’s not doubt that my passion for conservation awareness of our precious wildlife and environment is what drives me each and everyday to make the world a better place. I could show you a slide show of my entire life, and the majority of the photos will show me volunteering with animals, going to wildlife camps, pursuing my passion of Marine Biology, and traveling the world.

I will admit, I’ve got a very competitive side, and I won’t give up even when the going gets rough. After 4 days of launching this campaign, I’m not going to lie, I  am exhausted mentally and physically. It’s draining when you have 85 million ideas and tasks to accomplish all at once in short 24 hour day. But, that doesn’t mean it is holding me back. I woke myself up at 6:15am this morning rearing to start this incredible week!

As I’ve said before, I’m learning a lot in this process and I’m so happy to be in this position. Thank you Tourism Australia for allowing me to compete for my Dream Job in a country I hold so close to my heart.

I started a daily video blog on my journey through this process. Take a peek at what I’ve got so far:

SUPPORT CHANEL FOR WILDLIFE CARETAKER:

FACEBOOK – Like / Share / Comment

TWITTER @PSChanel #ChanelWC #BestJobs @Australia – Tweet/RT Why I Australia Should Pick Me!

INSTAGRAM @ChanelWildlifeCaretaker – Like and #ChanelWC

CONTEST PAGE

I Made It – Best Jobs TOP 25 !

Wow, I can’t even begin to explain how non-stop the past 36 hours have been.

AN INSANE WHIRLWIND OF EMOTIONS, NO SLEEP, PASSION, EXCITEMENT, AND UTTER DETERMINATION!

I posted a couple weeks ago my submission videos for Australia’s Best Job in the World contest. And yesterday was the big announcement forwhich applicants made the Top 25 qualifiers for each of the 6 available jobs. I had received and email the week prior from the Best Jobs people asking if they could use my Wildlife Caretaker video for media purposes, and I screamed when I read the email and quickly replied YES! They made sure to point out that this doesn’t mean I’ve made it to the next round, but I sure as heck felt like I did!

They announcement was to be posted on the Best Jobs website at 2pm PST – so I was anxiously awaiting on my computer when I arrived at work at 1pm. I refreshed my email on my phone at 1:36pm and saw an email from the Best Jobs starting with “Congratulations…” and I squealed and ran outside on the sidewalk and screamed and started crying all in one sort of huge fluid emotion haha. It must have been a sight to see for all the people that drove past me. I had officially made it the TOP 25 out of 600,000 applications from over 122 countries to become a Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia.

WOW. IS THIS REAL LIFE? CAN THIS BE HAPPENING? AHHHH?! 

BJITW Photo

Now for the next 2 weeks, I have to throw the biggest social media campaign of my life. Sleepless nights – attached to my computer – bursting with ideas – setting up meetings – writing letters – it will be a week of non-stop PUSH PUSH PUSH!

Luckily I have a strong group of family and friends that helping me get the word out across the globe. After less than 30 hours of creating my Contest Facebook Page – I am already at around 400 likes! I AM OVER THE MOON!

What can you do to help my chances of winning you ask?? REBLOG this post would be a great one to start 🙂 and these as well:

1) Like / Share / Comment on my FACEBOOK PAGE
2) ReTweet me or Tweet @Australia and @TourismAus to pick me for Wildlife Caretaker – @PSChanel and hashtag #BestJobs and #ChanelWC
3) Follow me on Instagram – @ChanelWildlifeCaretaker and add #ChanelWC tags to your pics of support
4) If you have any connections with Media, Celebrities, people who work in the Wildlife Profession – please email me CAHason@gmail.com
5) Write a letter of support addressed to the address below stating why you are supporting me on the journey to win my Dream Job! And then email me the letter so I can turn it in as one big package on May 7th.
Tourism Australia 
GPO Box 2721,
Sydney NSW 1006
Tel: +61 2 9360 1111

The overflowing support, kind words, positivity, messages from people I don’t know, and just all the LOVE I’m feeling right now is keeping this engine running strong. If I make it to the Top 3 Finalists – announced on May 15 – I will be flown to Australia for a week in June to interview in person with the Tourism Australia staff. I’m SO CLOSE I CAN TASTE IT!