Have blog, will travel

January 21, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Skyline grad is finalist for dream world explorer job

Annie Cheng, of Issaquah, meets a scaly friend on a trip to Vietnam. Photos Contributed

Annie Cheng, of Issaquah, meets a scaly friend on a trip to Vietnam. Photos Contributed

Issaquah native Annie Cheng is one step closer to securing what is being described as the “best job around the world.”

Cheng is one of five finalists for Jauntaroo.com’s chief world explorer, earning a chance to travel around the world and blog about the adventure for the website.

She moved past two initial rounds of voting, after her videos showing her spirit of adventure received the most likes by site visitors.

“Within the first 24 hours of posting my video, I had more than 1,000 likes,” Cheng wrote in an email. “I was at my brother’s wedding, busting a move on the dance floor, when my cousin came running up to me waving her phone in the air to show me that we had passed the 1,000 mark.”

She will now join the other four finalists in a visit to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at the end of the month, where Jauntaroo will interview them for the job.

Cheng, a 2003 Skyline High School graduate who now lives in Sammamish, moved to the Issaquah area when she was just 3 years old.

In her second-round candidate video, she was asked to feature her hometown, so she visited the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and went paragliding off of Poo Poo Point.

“It was such a fun day of adventures and I loved exploring my town with fresh eyes like a tourist,” she said.

Cheng graduated from the University of Washington in 2007, and has since been looking for her dream job, combining elements of travel, food, media and business, she said.

She did not think that job existed, until the Jauntaroo position became available.

“When I saw the website for Jauntaroo’s chief world explorer, my jaw dropped and my heart was fluttering like I’d never felt it before,” she said. “I’m thrilled with this opportunity and I can’t believe that my dreams are within reach.”

The chief world explorer is expected to visit as many as 50 destinations over the course of the year, Cheng said. The final interview process will begin Jan. 24, when the finalists depart for Abu Dhabi.

“The most bizarre part of this job application has been knowing exactly who my competition is,” she said. “These folks all seem like talented, smart, good-hearted individuals, and I’m happy to be considered a part of such great company, but it also makes me nervous.”

Jauntaroo will announce its successful applicant in New York City on Jan. 30.

The chief world explorer will spend 2014 traveling the globe, participating in voluntourism activities and sharing his or her experiences with Jauntaroo users via jauntaroo.com, social media and webisodes. This dream job brings with it a $100,000 salary.

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One Response to “Have blog, will travel”

  1. John on January 24th, 2014 10:22 am

    Annie is a class-act gal who deserves a job like this! I was one of her competitors in the previous round… she beat me out and somehow still got me to cheer her on! Go get ’em, Ms. Cheng!

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