World's best job winner says goodbye to Oz island paradise
Ben Southall, winner of "Best Job in the World" competition, has completed his six-month stint looking after Hamilton Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef but says the hardest part of leaving the place has been moving out of his $4 million villa.world Updated: Jan 07, 2010 22:48 IST
Ben Southall, winner of "Best Job in the World" competition, has completed his six-month stint looking after Hamilton Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef but says the hardest part of leaving the place has been moving out of his $4 million villa.
Two Indians were in the shortlist of 50 for the job, selected by the Australian government from more than 34,000 applicants, but the 34-year-old Briton finally bagged it.
Southall, who was paid a whopping USD 140,000 by the Queensland Tourist Board to look after the island, including feeding the fish, cleaning the pool, delivering the mail and watching the whales, says it has been an amazing experience.
"I think I've done more in these six months than I've done in the previous 34 years of my life," he said.
"Every day I've gone to a new island and explored what's on offer there. Then I've sat down in the evenings and usually worked quite late putting videos and photos together and writing blogs. That's the key part of it," Southall was quoted as saying by CNN.
Though he was recently stung by a deadly Irukandji jellyfish, Southall says he survived the ordeal.
"For six hours I was pretty bad," he recalled.
He says the hardest part of leaving the island has been moving out of his USD 4 million villa.
"I lived on top of a Land Rover as I drove round Africa on a charity expedition in 2008. So I went from living in a tent to living in this amazing house. Closing the door on the Blue Pearl (the villa) was probably the toughest bit."