Lessons and Highlights of 2013

Goodbye 2013, HELLO 2014!

What an unforgettable year 2013 was… it felt like so much was packed into those little 12 months. 2013 year was filled with risks and opportunities of a lifetime. Through all the experiences I had this year, nothing is more precious than the people around you who have proved that they support you 110% in life. I want to personally thank everyone who supported all my crazy life adventures in 2013. Whether you simply liked a Facebook Page, donated money to help get my to Malaysia for Miss Scuba International, sent a personal inspirational note to my inbox, or just verbally wished me luck on my ventures – I honestly couldn’t have gotten this far in life without you. Two words that sums up 2013: Thankful and Grateful.

I’d love to hear from you – please comment below: How was your 2013 year? What did you learn? What were some highlights?

LESSONS LEARNED:

I learned that taking risks has its advantages.
I learned that a good friend will always come back to you in the end.
I learned that being a vegetarian was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I learned that juicing is a delicious and an exciting new addition to my healthy/fit lifestyle.
I learned that life is short, and there’s no reason to not do something you want to do.
I learned that being confident in your own skin shines brighter than anything else.
I learned that being in a beauty pageant is exhausting work.
I learned that doing hand-stands passes the time real well.
I learned how fortunate I am to have a strong, stable, and fantastic group of individuals who have my back with any wild and crazy venture I choose to take.
I learned that there are more nice people in the world then there are bad.
I learned that the worse thing someone can say when you ask them something is ‘no’ – so don’t be afraid to ask for something you want.
I learned that finding a pair of heels you can actually walk in comfortably – is like finding a needle in a haystack!

HIGHLIGHTS:

What’s Next?

So I thought today would be a good day to update you on my crazy life. After the Australia’s Best Jobs 2 week Social Media Extravaganza, I was left looking for new employment. Luckily, my old boss (and mentor and great friend) for the past 2 years re-hired me to do my old job for the summer (Thanks Andre!). But what happens at the end of August…?

FUTURE LIFE PLANS

(c) Fashweekly.com

(c) Fashweekly.com

After the Best Jobs contest, I have been really thinking about getting involved in the Ecotourism field. Thus, my search of Masters Degrees in Ecotourism has begun! I am also looking into Masters Degrees in Marine Science/Conservation Biology as well.

To be honest, I feel that ecotourism really is my calling. Working for a hotel/ecotourism establishment would combine all the things I love: Marine Science, Education, Meeting people from all over the world, Photography, Living near the ocean, Being outside for the majority of my job, Traveling, and probably Social Media and Blogging of some sort! I do love marine biology, but I don’t want to get sucked into the research field per say. My happiness lies in educating people about our environment and how to protect it. So stay tuned to see what happens next for Chanel Hason 🙂

I also want to get my feet wet more – in terms of SCUBA Diving that is. I am FINALLY planning a trip (July 19-21) back to where I left a piece of my heart- Monterey Bay. There are so many amazing people that I haven’t seen in such a long time that I must reunite with 🙂 Not to mention the BEAUTIFUL sights that I will have to re-visit. I can already picture those 3 days to be filled with adventures including hiking, kayaking, frolicking under the waves in the kelp forests, wine tasting in Carmel Valley, behind the scenes tours at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, saluting my old college stomping grounds at CSUMB, and so much more. Don’t you worry – I will definitely document it all so you can live vicariously through these adventures. Who knows, I might even make an epic video summary of the weekend … 🙂 GET EXCITED!

FUTURE BLOG PLANS

Bear

I am going to start showcasing more photography – from both myself and other fantastic photographers. My new (and SPIFFYCanon 60D has been so fun to play with over the last couple of months. I have already gotten some freelance work photographing a restaurant for their social media/website.

If you are a photographer who wants to participate in a photography showcase on my blog please shoot me an email CAHason@gmail.com . I will give you a category – then you will have to submit to me 3 photos after a certain time period that best summarize that category to you.

My first photographer will be JOE PLATKO – his photography challenge category is “Summer” – stay tuned to see what photos he showcases within the next couple of weeks! We went to college together in Monterey, and Joe has blossomed into a fantastic nature and underwater photographer in the meanwhile. I’m so excited that he is going to be my first photographer on my blog!

I also want to start a “Fitness/Health” section of my blog. Over the past year, I have really educated myself in terms of food/fitness/health and how to change my life for the better of my body overall. I want you to be part of my journey to living a healthier life as well in one central location.

Stop by my Facebook Page (and Like it too!) : Photography + Science = Chanel
 Shoot me a Tweet : PSChanel
Check out my Pinterest : PhotoScience

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

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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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!

Australia’s Best Job In The World Contest

I WAS SO EXCITED TO HEAR ABOUT AUSTRALIA’S

Best Job in the World Contest?!

Even before this fantastic announcement, there has been this ‘itch’, so to speak, of  somehow making my way back to that beautiful country of the ‘land down under.’ I lived in Brisbane, Australia for a year in 2009 when I studied Marine Science at the University of Queensland, Saint Lucia. It was such a growing experience, in more ways that I could ever begin to describe. Let me share a couple ‘firsts’ that happened while abroad:

  • FIRST TIME GETTING MY PURSE STOLEN: Crime happens everywhere – in every country – at any moment. My moment – in a movie theater with people from my apartment complex during a social group outing. A thievery couple stole my purse from under my seat in a movie theater..luckily I had my apartment key in my pocket. They spent $500+ in 15 minutes at 4 different 7-11 stores..who knows maybe they really loved candy bars? But, I have to say the Australia Police Department really were very helpful throughout the whole situation – cheers mates!
  • FIRST TIME GOING TO AN E.R. + FIRST TIME GETTING STITCHES: Silly me I sliced my finger open with a pocket knife while trying to open the package my new vegetable knife was in (ironic much). Luckily I had a friend tag along with me for moral support (and documentation) of my time in the E.R. and getting stitches. The Aussies doctors were amazing and hilarious, but I still don’t have all the feeling in my left index finger :/
  • FIRST TIME HOLDING A KOALA / PETTING A KANGAROO: When in Rome (or in this case Australia), am I right? But to be honest, I was scared that the koala was going to pee/poop on my while I was holding it for the pictures – no joke!
  • FIRST TIME LIVING BY MYSELFI had this nice corner studio apartment unit on the 15th floor of a student housing complex in the middle of downtown Brisbane. I wouldn’t change it for the world – met some of the most amazing people/life long friends in UniLodge.
  • FIRST TIME I EMBRACED BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER: Before I moved to Australia, my mom treated me to a shiny brand new Canon camera. During my time in one of those most beautiful countries in the world, I got to experiment/enhance/and fall in love with my digital and film photography skills (how lucky was I?!).

Now back to the Best Jobs in the World contest – so basically Tourism Australia created 6 amazing jobs across Australia that compensate you $100,000 for 6 months of ‘work.’ I applied to 3 of these fantastic jobs opportunities – Wildlife Caretaker, Park Ranger, and Lifestyle Photographer! To apply, you had to submit a 30 second video of why you are the best person for the job. I had a lot of fun filming these videos – and special shout out to my film/editing partner Dominic Parisi for helping me with my videos- you rock! On April 25th they will announce the short list of the TOP 25 applicants for each position – keep your fingers crossed!!!

I have this feeling that something BIG is going to happen to me this year – not sure what it is going to be – but I can’t help but imagine this opportunity might be it. I had multiple people send me the link to sign up for these contest – which only put a big smile on my face that they thought this contest was ‘for me’ 🙂 This is the only time in my life where I can literally pack up – move across the globe – live spontaneously – and have the best 25th year of life possible! If I won, I would definitely put the money towards going back to school and getting my Masters Degree in Conservation Biology/Marine Science/Education. Hope you enjoy my final products – tell me which video you like BEST! :

WILDLIFE CARETAKER

PARK RANGER

LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER

Facebook : Photography + Science = Chanel
Twitter : PSChanel
Pinterest : PhotoScience