My friend Maggie Mason is a force of nature. In addition to being the creative mind behind the wildly popular Mighty Girl and Go Mighty, she's also the inspiration for me documenting my Life List a few years ago. In fact, Maggie's so passionate about encouraging people to create life lists, she founded Camp Mighty, an annual retreat in Palm Springs designed to inspire and motivate folks to take the leap and actually attempt the items on their lists, while at the same time providing each other community, encouragement and assistance in achieving their goals. Naturally, when her team invited me to speak at this year's event on October 17 - 19th, I was happy to say yes.
But it turns out I'm not going after all.
I'm not going, because Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand have partnered with Go Mighty to bring 10 bloggers to the land Down Under, to help them achieve any Australia-based Life List goals. And I'm honoured to have been included as one of the bloggers.
Needless to say, I'm really thrilled to go: I've never been to Australia before, and I've always wanted to visit. There's very little I know about the country, but as you're probably aware by now, any opportunity I can get to learn about a beautiful place and its people is one I'm always eager to have. (Full disclosure, however: I admit that the fact that "scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef" has always appeared very high on my Life List is somewhat contributing to my excitement). Also, even though the bloggers participating in this adventure will be traveling at various different times in October, I'll be traveling with my dear friend Maile, and we'll be meeting the stunningly talented Australia-based photographers Hailey Bartholomew and Rachel Devine while we're there, so it's going to be real treat.
Of course I'll be sharing stories and images of my Australia-based goals on the Go Mighty site during our trip; in addition I'm sure I'll have tons more stories and photos when we return, so stay tuned. Our adventure -- aptly named #goaustralia -- begins on October 6th and we'll be gone until the 16th; in the meantime, I'll be heavily preparing for the trip. This naturally includes (but is not limited to) poring over Bill Bryson's book In a Sunburned Country, taking a scuba diving refresher course (it's been 7 years!) and getting my nerve up to at least try vegemite while I'm there. Obviously, any travel tips you have will be gratefully received.
More soon, friends.
Huge, huge, colossal, big fat thanks to Tourism Australia, Air New Zealand and Go Mighty for making this adventure possible. If a trip Down Under is a dream you've had, please be sure to check out the Tourism Australia site for all sorts of juicy information about Australia; in addition, Tourism Australia, Air New Zealand and Go Mighty are running two additional campaigns to help make your dream come true in 2014: the first, Fill-A-Plane, where you can sign up to be one of 322 people to get a special discount on air travel for folks who take the pledge to travel to Australia next year; the second, "Win a Wild Card ticket to Australia," for a chance to win a trip to Australia, by simply becoming a member of Go Mighty and adding your wildest Australia-based dreams. You can check out all the details here.
Also, please note that Camp Mighty still has a few remaining spots -- if going to this special retreat with like-minded folks who have big dreams for themselves sounds like a good time, then by all means, you should go. Camp will be held October 17-19th in Palm Springs. The folks at Camp Mighty have also kindly extended a $50-off discount for Chookooloonks readers -- simply click here or enter discount code "chookooloonks" to register.