The Holy Grail of Selfies
They suggest never to work with children or animals if you want an easy time of it, but I can honestly say that there hasn’t been one unenjoyable moment during the last couple of days.
The last mission on this Asia-Pacific leg of this spontaneity-filled #outofoffice required a visit to Rottnest Island, some 18km (11 miles) off the coast of Fremantle, near Perth in Western Australia.
Why? Because it is the home of a marsupial known as the happiest animal in the world. Should this be news to you, let me introduce the cuteness that is a Quokka.
Yep, that’s right, that’s a smile.
Couple a genetically beaming face with a sense of curiosity and an apparent (and sometimes misguided) trust of humans and you have the makings of an Internet sensation.
#Quokkaselfies have been all the rage for a couple of years, and it just takes a quick Google to fall in love with these cat-size marsupials.
But there’s a downside to the Quokka’s genial self assurance, they’re prime targets for bullying. A french tourist was convicted (and then fined only $AUS4000) of setting fire to a Quokka earlier this year, and in the 1990s there was a term for another unruly habit, Quokka Soccer. Do you really need an explanation?
Thankfully, although you can walk through the Thomson Bay settlement at dusk and see scores of Quokkas feeding, abuse is rare. To further their protection, legislation is being drawn up to ensure $AUS300,000 fines for anyone hurting a Quokka in future.
When I launched SayYesMore in 2012 a social media call for the ideal animal mascot ensured that I would regularly receive links to Quokka pictures or news, so I couldn’t leave Australia without getting my very own Quokka Selfie.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of opportunity.
I highly recommend a visit to Rottnest Island if you get the chance. It's a unique destination with daily ferries running from the mainland, and snorkelling, cycling, sightseeing plane, helicopter and boat trips all compliment the island’s obvious main attraction.
Just don't forget to pack your selfie stick.
Make life memorable. Say yes more.