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Meet the BuzzFeed Mates

Eight young travellers and aspiring content creators from the UK, Germany, Italy and France will be flown to Australia for a three-month road trip to discover and report on some of the most unique, eye-opening and breathtaking experiences across the country for both Tourism Australia and BuzzFeed.com social channels.


Known as the BuzzFeed Mates, they will head off-the-beaten-track to discover some of Australia’s very best local culture, festivals, surf breaks, food and wine offerings. They will be given a bespoke itinerary filled with things that appeal to the young traveller, like swinging on the world’s fastest Minjin jungle swing in Cairns, enjoying world class music acts at one of Australia’s many summer festivals or discovering ancient watering holes in Kakadu National Park.

The first four Mates arrived Down Under for the launch of Aussie New Today on Friday 6 October 2017. 

Follow their journey at www.Facebook.com/BuzzFeedMates.

 

Meet the first four Mates 

https://www.facebook.com/BuzzFeedMates/videos/141145546504083/

AURORE DUPONT SAGORIN - France

What was your reaction when you found out you were selected to be a Mate?

My heart stopped, for 15 seconds maybe. I thought I may probably die from the shock. Then I laughed, and cried, and ran and cried again. 

What do your friends and family think about you travelling half way around to world to work in Australia?

I wish they would have jumped and cried as I did but they are quite used to me going to crazy places and being a traveler addict so most of them were like "oh ok, nothing surprising, enjoy your time you globetrotter b****" But when I showed them what I had been chosen for, I'd say they were quite impressed. I had a few "This is THE perfect job for you", and "OMG it's a combination of what you love the most", that is traveling, filming, meeting, sharing, discovering, editing... and Australia! I can say they were quite proud of me being chosen among hundreds of cool people around the globe.

What's the one thing you most want to see / do / try / taste while you're in Australia?

I want to discover parts I didn't have time to do the first time I came. I want to see/feel/taste/smell/hear everything.

What's the one thing you know to be true about Australia? 

Australia is a-ma-zing.

Tell us why your contemporaries from France should follow your Mates journey? 

They should follow me because this is gonna be so cool! In a nutshell, this is going to be an amazing, beautiful and highly exciting adventure! Through me, they will get the opportunity to test some of the best things that can be done and seen in Australia! It is going to be mind-blowing and dazzling. 

 

LARA FAYMONVILLE - Germany

What was your reaction when you found out you were selected to be a Mate?

When reading the mail which said that I was selected to be a Mate, at first I couldn't believe it. I read it over and over again, pinching myself and running through the whole house saying "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh". I had imagined what this moment would be like since first reading the job description and still the feeling I had was better than I could have ever expected. It was a feeling between happy, excited and wanting to cry.

What do your friends and family think about you travelling half way around to world to work in Australia?

My friends and family were very excited and happy for me, too. Some even asked whether it was a joke and were also a little bit jealous, because getting the chance to work in Australia is a once in a lifetime experience. Especially my parents and grandparents were a little worried, too, because it is much further away than I have ever travelled. 

What's the one thing you most want to see / do / try / taste while you're in Australia?

I hope to see a lot of different landscapes (especially rainforests, reefs and national parks) and animals (I would love to get a picture with a quokka) that I don't know from my home country and make a lot of new experiences that I would not get the chance to do if it had not been for the Mates program. There are so many things to discover in Australia and I would love to see as much of this beautiful country as possible.

What's the one thing you know to be true about Australia? 

I know and have already experienced it in the first few days we have been here that 

Australians are very friendly and open minded. This stereotype I have heard of before really turned out to be true. Also, Australia is supposed to be the land of deadly creatures, which I luckily have not had the chance to confirm yet - and hopefully will never have to.

Tell us why your contemporaries from Germany should follow your Mates journey? 

I will be doing some very exciting things and see parts of Australia that not everybody might think of instantly when planning their journey. By following me around everybody will see that Australia definitely is a must visit country and inspire them to book a flight immediately or at least put it on their bucket list. It will definitely boost their wanderlust.

 

ANNA MAZZILLI - Italy

What was your reaction when you found out you were selected to be a Mate?

I had a massive freak out, I was so excited! I even cried a little bit. I let my parents know right away! I’ve wanted to visit Australia for a while, but if it wasn’t for this project I don’t think it would have happened for another 10 years or so, and it definitely wouldn’t have included all of the amazing trips and experiences that BuzzFeed and Tourism Australia planned for me! I think this will definitely be a life changing event, both in my private and professional life.

What do your friends and family think about you travelling half way around to world to work in Australia?

They were all very supportive and genuinely excited for me. My dad lives in Shanghai, so I’ve visited him in the past, and I also participated in a year-long exchange program in Hong Kong during high school, so my whole family and all my friends are pretty used to the idea of me traveling far away on my own. My dad’s boyfriend and his Australian stepmom were especially enthusiastic: he went to high school in Melbourne, so I grew up with their tales about the wonders Australia has to offer. Finally, I get to experience them myself!

What's the one thing you most want to see / do / try / taste while you're in Australia?

I definitely wanna see the Great Barrier Reef, maybe hang out with kangaroos and hold a koala! But honestly the list is endless. In terms of food, I’d love to have a taste of fairy bread and Anzac biscuits (yes, I totally have a sweet tooth).

What's the one thing you know to be true about Australia? 

People are really chill and friendly here! I feel like they don’t take themselves too seriously, which definitely agrees with me.

And, of course, it’s a beach-lover's paradise!

Tell us why your contemporaries from Italy should follow your Mates journey? 

Most Italians my age don’t often choose Australia as a travel destination, probably because of how far it is. Following our journey would give them a chance to see how much this country has to offer, regardless of the long flight: I believe it would be an amazing destination for a longer break or a gap year, with its breathtaking sights, fun road trips and laid-back yet impressively rich culture.

 

NICK ARNOLD - UK

What was your reaction when you found out you were selected to be a Mate? 

I had to make up a word to succinctly describe how I felt: "Disbelorry". It's a combination of disbelief and worry! 

The disbelief came first; I had just sat down in my (old!) office having made a cup of tea when I got an email through from Nicola at BuzzFeed. When I read that I had been selected, I had one of those rare moments in life where you just sit back, take a sip of your tea, feel the sun on your face, and wonder how something so awesome could have happened to you.

The worry came after, when it dawned on me that I would be packing up my life, leaving everything that is comfortable and everyone I love, and moving to literally the opposite side of the world! The first worry was: how the hell am I going to cope with the spiders?! But the worry totally disappears every time I pinch myself to remind myself that this is actually happening...which is still every day!

What do your friends and family think about you travelling half way around to world to work in Australia?

I don't think anyone was that surprised! I had been rumbling on for a while about how I could feel an adventure inside me, I was definitely starting to get itchy feet in London. 

Obviously, they are all totally happy for me and behind me all the way, (and excited that they now have an excuse for a holiday to Australia)! But my Mum's first reaction was definitely: "Oh, I'm going to miss you so much!" Thank God for Skype...!

What's the one thing you most want to see / do / try / taste while you're in Australia?

That's such a hard question! I've seen the first two weeks of our itinerary, and there are so many things on there I never even allowed myself to imagine that we might be doing...it's literally the itinerary of dreams and it's only the first two weeks!

If I get to drink a beer while watching the sunset on a beautiful beach, having just surfed my biggest ever wave, I think I'll be happy.

I only recently got into surfing, but I can't get enough of it. I think if my future self has gotten over the fear enough to go surfing, and survived it (!), then surely that's worth a beer to celebrate, right?!

What's the one thing you know to be true about Australia? 

Australian people seem to just want to enjoy life!

I'm convinced that there's just an entirely different ethos that Australian people live by, that just doesn't exist in the UK. Every single Australian person I've ever met has this thing that I've come to call  'zest for life'! They all just want to have a good time, not sweat the small stuff, and laugh.

That's something us Londoners could do with a bit more of...

Tell us why your contemporaries from the UK should follow your Mates journey? 

A few weeks ago, I was like so many other people in the UK: overworked, doing long hours sat at a desk, struggling to maintain a good work-life balance, dreaming of all the other places I would like to see and things I would like to do.

Now, I'm off doing some of those things! I want to show that it's that easy to make a change, and start living the lives we actually want to! 

If that's not enough, I'm going to be doing some insanely cool things, so if you just want a little dose of wanderlust inspiration, then follow me to come along for the journey with me!