Remember Ben Southall -- the lucky guy who beat out more than 30,000 other applicants three years ago and won "The Best Job in the World?" contest? Well, the dream job is over, but Southall tells the BBC that he had an incredible adventure that included an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and a painful encounter with a jellyfish.
Southall was one of 16 finalists (including Dallas resident Cali Lewis) in a competition sponsored by the tourism department in Queensland, Australia, to be a caretaker for Hamilton Island, nestled among the Great Barrier Reef. Southall, who was described as a "bungee jumping, ostrich-riding charity worker," ultimately was chosen to promote the virtues of the reef islands (and Queensland) for six months.
Now 37, Southall spent six months blogging, snorkeling and walking on quite a few white-sand beaches. He got to live for free in a multimillion-dollar, three-bedroom beach home that came equipped with a swimming pool and golf cart.
So, how did it go?
"I put in a lot of work, it should have been entitled 'the busiest job in the world,'" he told the BBC. "Every day was a different experience: jet skiing, staying in five-star resorts, diving -- and then writing about it."
Southall's relationship with his then-girlfriend didn't last, but he eventually found a new love -- and a new job as a "tourism ambassador" for the state of Queensland.