The Best Job In the World (Mine?)

The competition for the Best Job in the World is sweeping the internet. Send in your 60-second video showing why you should be the caretaker of a tropical island off the Great Barrier Reef, and win a six-month stint that pays a whopping US$103K, plus some serious perks, including round-trip airfare; housing in a three-bedroom villa with swimming pool; and all the outdoor activities you could possibly imagine. The ‘work’? Twelve hours a week of blogging, shooting images and video of your fun and fabulous life. Tourism Queensland is genius. Frankly this is the most brilliant PR idea I’ve ever heard of. Demand is so intense that their servers keep crashing. Even an Amazing Race Winner is applying. I’m thinking about it. I’m qualified too. Right?
That’s me on that camel in the Sahara, a couple weeks ago. I’ve a serious case of culture shock. Australian film director (and kick-ass song-writer) Tony Jackson took the picture. I shot the following video clip in Marrakech in the olive souk (Arabian covered market). Donkeys are ubiquitous in Morocco, and the only effective means of goods-transport. Vehicles can’t navigate the thousand-year-old, winding alleyways of the medinas (old cities). Sometimes a donkey meets another donkey and freaks out, as happened here. Marrakech is stressful. I much prefer Fez. Next month I’m off to Madagascar, the furthest place on the globe from California.
Back home, the Bay Area weather is shockingly spring-like. Skiing is off my radar till rains blow in coastside and dump fresh snow in the Sierra. Until then, if you’re looking for someplace to travel near home, I’d suggest an overnight in Monterey County—they’re desperate to fill beds. You can score some killer deals, from Carmel Valley to Big Sur.
I’m so out of touch with where the hell I am—season, latitude, hemisphere—and in five weeks’ time I’ll be crossing the Mountains of Madagascar during the summer rains. Before then, London. I’ll do my best to post now and then, but until April I’m on a wild ride. Stay tuned.

Snow Day: Play Hooky at Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe
It’s time to play hooky. The huge storms that drenched the Bay Area brought eight feet of snow to Tahoe—and it’s not Sierra cement, but bona fide feather-light powder, a rarity in Northern California. Don’t hesitate. In the words of Horace, “Seize the day! lest the years imprison us.” Blow off work on Thursday, when the forecast calls for fair skies and temps in the 40s. But if you’re a serious off-piste skier, skip out on Wednesday, the last chance for squeaky-dry snow until the next big Alaskan storms blow—which may not happen again this season. Go now.
For extensive reviews and insight into the resorts, read my North Lake Tahoe ski guide; and South Lake Tahoe ski guide. If you’re a snow snob, review current ski conditions. And check road conditions before setting out. (While driving, call 800-GAS-ROAD for highway information.)
As for the much-hyped best job in the world, I’ve determined that it’s not, actually. A close read of the terms and conditions reveals that Tourism Queensland will own all the winner’s intellectual property for the entire six-month stint. That means, were I to win the post, I couldn’t write a book about the experience. Paradise must always have a dark side, or else it wouldn’t be paradisical. Why go through heaven and hell, only to tell half the story? Besides, I dare say, I’ve already the best job in the world. Off to London tomorrow. More news soon.