P.O. Box 98199
Washington, DC 20090-8199
Video courtesy of Tourism Australia
Zackary and I have loved watching the amazing videos and reading the blogs. When Ben’s essay was finally mailed off with his photo, I never imagined that this would be the result! It is way more than just a “free trip to Australia” –way more!! Thank you to everyone who made this experience outstanding for my son and all of his wonderful new friends!
PS Hey, we finally got to see Josh and Wendy!!
My husband and daughter will be home in a few hours and I will hear their own words and see their photos and videos. I have enjoyed reading and watching the daily blogs and will remain amazed at what you all experienced. My thanks to all the staff and sponsors who made it all happen. Thanks to all the kids and parents who became “family” over the expedition.
I hope for all of you the adventures continue.
This trip sounds like it has been the adventure of a lifetime! I learned so much about Australia through your blogs, pictures, and videos, and I bet you guys learned so much more while you were actually there experiencing it! I wish the best of luck to all of you on your trip home and hopefully you will keep up the blog to tell us a little bit more about your experience. I hope you will post more pictures, too!
From Grace’s Mom–we got home at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday Massachusetts time. Does anyone know what day and time it is? I am going back to sleep (what a surprise!). Tracy would NOT be proud of me. I feel even more tired now that I have seen the videos–I know I was tired while we were there, but now I need a nap after watching just SOME of the things we did!
From Grace–Hi everybody!! I’m so sorry that I didn’t get to hug all of you goodbye- as soon as mom and I got off the plane, we ran to the baggage claim, spun through customs, and raced to our gate-all in 40 minutes! We got there with time to spare. We knew we could do it! However, Qantas didn’t think so. They had already cancelled our flight! So then we had to wait another 2 hours- and we couldn’t go and see you guys ’cause we all had different terminals. So, GOOODBYE! I miss you all so much-can’t wait until an explorer reunion!!
Grace and her mom who are no longer “Down Under” but “Up”!
“Just” Tracy signing in to say hi. I missed you guys this last week, but it has been great to follow the blogs for Tassie and see what a fantastic and fun time you had there. Looks like you did some exciting things. Keep lots of special memories close to your heart and enjoy everything that comes your way. And don’t forget that song…..!! With a big whistle to sign off. T
As a participating parent of one of the kids selected to go on the trip, I had little time to read much of this blog, or see many of the videos. We were living the life! I do know the Hands-On Explorers kids as well as members of the Nat Geo staff and Tourism Australia would often be working late into the evening to prepare this site. It is a top notch site, just as the whole trip has been. Our best to all of our wonderful explorer friends, we miss you all. What a great blog and super videos. Thanks to you all.
Abbie & Mary Ann
Kat and I arrived home on Monday afternoon, already missing the home of the gum trees and our large, extended family from Australia. National Geographic, Tourism Australia, the Makers of Purell, Nikon, and—especially—our wonderful traveling companions need to be thanked one more time for making possible this extraordinary adventure.
The hands-on explorer challenge provides an opportunity to identify talented young people at a key time in their development when opportunities such as our trip to Australia can be not only very rewarding, but also truly life changing. I will always be grateful to National Geographic and to the sponsors of this contest in ways that they can never fully know.
Although I clearly expected our kids to bond together, I did not realize heading into this trip what a wonderful group of parents and staff would be joining us on this journey. I think I am as excited about contemplating a reunion of our group as the kids are at this point!
Mark (Kat’s dad)
Hey Hands-On Explorer Winners!
Are you guys going to keep working on the blog? I know you finished your expedition but I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we would love to learn a little bit more about your adventure.
Hopefully, you will post some more pictures, too!
I’m glad all of you (winners, parents, Nat Geo staff, many others) had an amazing time in Australia. I already entered the 2009 Hands-On Explorer Challenge Contest to hopefully win a trip to Peru. It would be so cool to win and experience a trip of a lifetime exploring Peru. If you 15 won why not I win, right? This is my first time entering. Wish me luck! Remember your experience forever. Keep exploring. I really want to win this trip to Peru! I hope I can! I really, Really, REALLY hope I win this trip to Peru! I love you all!
I just watched all the videos and read all the blogs over again for the (maybe) fifth time! The whole time I was just smiling at what a wonderful experience you all had! I really hope I will be able to win the Hands-On Explorer Challenge and win a trip of a lifetime too! Wish me luck! Keep exploring everyone!
cool i went there and it was so fun
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