Wanna be inspired? This is the Best Job Around the World from @Jauntaroo

Think of Jauntaroo as Match.com for your next vacation. Tell it your favorite places and budget, Jauntaroo will tell you the best vacation matches.

The site has recently launched a campaign called “The Best Job Around the World.”  One person will be selected as Chief World Explorer. They’ll travel the world for one year all expenses paid. If that wasn’t good enough, they’ll pocket $100,000 in salary.  Here’s the video launching the contest:

EDITORS NOTE: Oscar Wilde once said, “Talent borrows, genius steals.” This idea of the best job in the world isn’t new. Tourism Queensland back in 2009 launched it to promote the Job of Island Caretaker on the Great Barrier Reef. Here’s a case video of that contest. Over 2,000 job applicants submitted 60 second video applications, it generated tons of earned media and the campaign swept a ton of awards.

Why am I shamelessly plugging Jauntaroo?

My hope is that you’ll be inspired. Like I was over 10 years ago. Here’s the story:

deb gersten round the world

Debbie Gersten

Back in 2000 I moved to Amsterdam for work. Debbie Gersten and I shared a mutual friend from NYC. Debbie was living in Amsterdam already and our friend Wendy made the introduction. Debbie and I immediately clicked. We shared a love of travel, tennis, food and adult beverages.

In addition to being a investment banker, Debbie is also a naturally born organizer. Soon after we met, she and friend Dawn organized a trip to Oktoberfest in Munich. By the way, Oktoberfest is in September. Go figure. I joined in and it was awesome. [if you ever go, prepare yourself to hear the chorus of one song about 300 times]

sabbaticalGrowing up in America, I only thought the word sabbatical referred to priests and teachers. Once you live outside the USA, you realize the word has much broader adoption. In some countries such as France, its a God given right. According to French law, “If you have worked for a company for more then three years, you can ask for a year of sabbatical (année sabbatique). This is effectively unpaid leave, but you retain social security coverage and the right to return to your position or an equivalent in the company.”

Most people in America, “Live to Work.” The rest of the world (for the most part) “Work to Live.” It’s the subtle difference from “doing” to “being” in life.

Back to the story. About a year into my stay in Holland, Deb and an Australian friend started planning an “around the world” trip. Soon in 2001 they were on their way. Every couple of weeks I’d receive e-mail updates on the trip. I caught up with Deb in 2002 while I was to traveling to Australia for work. I took a day off and traveled to wine country in Victoria with Deb. We toured a vineyard and drove what is called “The Great Ocean Road.”

A seed was planted. To steal a line from Oliver Wendell Holmes and my friend Sue Weems,

One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”


Just one year later I would take a sabbatical and begin a seven-month trip Around the World in 2003. During the first leg of my trip, I fell into some good luck. Debbie was now back in the US finishing her MBA. She was on break and decided to join me for my first leg in South America. For that first month I learned from the Master as we traveled Argentina, Chile and Uruguay [highlights: Perito Moreno Glacier (see image) and fly-fishing in Bariloche]

I’d like to think I inspired others like Debbie inspired me. I know of at least one other person. I convinced my best friend Dave Ackerman to quit his job and join me for four months. Our friendship survived the trip and Dave would become the Best Man in my wedding. I also convinced my girlfriend at the time. She joined for a couple of legs beginning with S (South Africa, Seattle and Scotland). Our relationship survived the travels. Jenn and I were married a little over a year after finishing the trip.

This post though isn’t about me [though I’ll share my itinerary and favorite moments in the comments] It’s about the inspiration that is Debbie Gersten and Jauntaroo. You see, Debbie is now applying to be Chief World Explorer for Jauntaroo. My goal is that she makes it to the Top 50 in the contest. My hope is that she’ll be afforded the opportunity to stretch the minds of others.

Please click here or the image below and check out Debbie’s one-minute video. More importantly, click on LIKE button and help push Debbie towards her goal.

deb gersten jauntaroo

Thanks for your help in supporting Debbie. If you want to read more about her second trip around the world, click here for her “Round the World” blog. If you want further inspiration, I’d highly recommend you check out Stefan Sagmeister and his TED talk on the power of time away:

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Time Away is one of the 15 ways to drive engagement and reinforce culture in my book, “What’s Your Green Goldfish?” You can read the whole chapter here. A couple of the companies I cited in the book have progressive sabbatical time-off policies:



Here is a preview of the book:

5 replies
  1. Stan Phelps
    Stan Phelps says:

    Here was my itinerary by country and top moments. Yes moments, not places.

    Countries: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, UK, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, China, India, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Holland and Scotland.

    Moments: Fly fishing in Bariloche, Walking a glacier in Ushuiah, Summiting Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Watching the opening game of the World Cup of Cricket in Cape Town, Seeing lions on Safari, The view from Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, Experiencing the beauty of the Taj Mahal, Watching dawn break on the Ganges in Varanasi, Raging at the Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan, Getting dive certification in Koh Samui, Learning to surf at Belles Beach (think ‘Point Break’), Bungee jumping in Queenstown, Learning to fly a helicopter in Wanaka, Sea Kayaking on the South Island, NZ, Playing golf in Hawaii (thanks Erik Vervloet), Snowboarding at Whistler, Experiencing Jazz Fest in New Orleans and Walking the 18th hole at St. Andrews.

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  1. […] the best PR / Word of Mouth campaigns I’ve ever seen since Queensland Tourism’s, “The Greatest Job in the World.” Let’s break down the handful of […]

  2. […] the best PR / Word of Mouth campaigns I’ve ever seen since Queensland Tourism’s, “The Greatest Job in the World.” Let’s break down the handful of […]

  3. […] trip was part of my sabbatical in 2003. It was a stop on my six-month trip around the world (see related post for details and backstory).  Highlight: Learning how to surf in Torquay. Film buffs might better […]

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