My big news: I am going to visit Australia

It seems that bloggers are a well-traveled bunch. So this news may not be a big deal to you but it's so exciting to me! I have been asked to speak and present a workshop at the Australasian Talent Conference in April. Holy cow and also...whee! Hey, guess who has a new travel blow dryer!

I haven't traveled internationally in a long time. You'd think that I would, working for Microsoft. But my past real international excursions (beyond NAFTA countries) were England in 1999 and China and Thailand in 1997 and they were opportunistic personal trips. Any opportunities I have had to travel since then have come at the wrong time for me. Besides, this is my first *professional* international trip. I'm giddy! And quite flattered.

Kevin Wheeler is an industry leader that I respect and not just because he includes my blog in many of his presentations and refers to me as the most successful recruiting blogger (which is so flattering...I'm always pleasantly surprised when he mentions me). In the recruiting industry, you have some salty dogs; Kevin's one of the few that actually have something interesting to say (and that's all I'm saying about that right now but if you are a staffing leader and you know me and  think I am talking about you, then you are right :)). So when he called me about this conference, I was really excited about figuring out what I had to do to be able to say yes. Did I mention that I am excited?

So I imagine that I am going to really like Australia. Personality-wise, I think it's a good fit for me. I hear the Aussies like to have fun. Well, me too. No Crocodile Dundee jokes, I promise. But if Curtis Stone feels the need to meet me at the airport, I won't object (I kid). I ended up going to the company store to pick up a Halo 3 for a friend (I know). I don't know what the relationship is between Dorling Kindersley and Microsoft (maybe something to do with Microsoft Press?) but we always have loads of travel books at the company store. So I picked up one on Sydney. Oh man...I'm going to Australia! And it's a work trip so I'm not paying for the Business Class flight! Of course the extra hotel days will be on me but who cares?

So in all seriousness, I am going to be presenting. So I do want to mention that I am taking that part very seriously. And if there are any Aussie readers out there that want to keep me from making a fool out of myself by saying something stupid, please unload your cultural wisdom here (that was a poorly phrased sentence, but you know what I mean....don't let me say something stupid....stop me....please). I imagine that Australians are an affable bunch (or have the media gotten it all wrong...let's exclude Mel Gibson from the conversation, shall we?), so I suspect that they will forgive me if I goof, but I'd really rather not. Plus, it's the *Australasian* (a word I cannot pronounce) Talent Conference. So I get to speak to people from Asian countries as well. Would it be rude of me to ask them to imitate my Yankee accent so I know how I sound to people from other countries? I have always wanted to do that. I hear we over enunciate. This is going to be fun.

If anyone ever asks what blogging did for me, my new answer is this: it sent me to Australia!

Comments (8)

  1. nhodge says:


    One Aussie Blogger watching, and ready to help you out!


  2. G’day, and welcome to Australia Mate!



  3. Patblue says:

    Hello from London HH!

    Here are some things that I have found very useful in my INT’l travel.

    Check out this site for cultural norms:

    Also, when flying over, (I assume you will go business class) get your seat in  the upstairs portion of the 747 (rows 60-65 usually).  It is much more quite and less people.  You sleep the flight away and land refreshed.

    Enjoy!  You should be excited!

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Nick, Andrew – oh good! Glad you both are here! I’ll have questions. I’m not sure what they are yet 😉

    PatBlue – thanks for the tips! Hope you are eating lots of great food in London. They don’t get their due credit when it comes to the food. I have dreams about the Indian food.

  5. Wine-Oh says:

    Im so jealous. Love Australia. People are great, food is good, and its just a great place. Went 11 yrs ago and cant wait to go back. Are you going to Sydney? Any plans for side travel? I mean how often do you get to fly around the world. Hope you take advantage of that.

    PS-How was the HS reunion?

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yep, I’ll be in Sydney and I will plan some personal time. Seems like a good place to travel solo, so that’s good. ANy recommendations on things to see/do?

    HS reunion is a week from this Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.

  7. William Luu says:

    Great news Heather! Glad to hear you’re coming to Australia.

    As for what to see/do, perhaps look for Frank Arrigo ( and ask him. He is a former Sydney resident now living in Seattle.

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    That’s great. Thanks William!

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