Alisa Messeroff, a native of Baldwin, gave up a solid, American dream-type life to pursue an even more fabulous fantasy in Australia. This week, the 2002 Baldwin High School graduate, whose last name was Fogelberg in her BHS days, is one of 25 finalists for the dream job of outback adventurer in Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs in the World contest.
Right out of the gate, the 29-year-old’s adult life followed a popular path: She got a college degree from Salisbury University, joined the business world and married Mike Messeroff, 30, from nearby Bellmore. The couple spent five years, as Alisa puts it, “sitting behind a desk,” but then shocked their friends and families by pulling up stakes and shipping out to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“As a child, I always thought I knew what I was going to do with my life. I would go to college, find a job, get married, buy a house, have children, and eventually retire,” Alisa told the Herald. And indeed, for a time, she did pursue that course, working in advertising for Titan Worldwide and then in publishing with Time Inc. for four years. Eventually, however, she and Mike, an airline executive, made the move to the Caribbean, where Alisa worked as a tour guide and helped crew a 50-foot catamaran.
“I loved going to work — it was so refreshing!” she said of her Virgin Islands experience, adding that an outdoorsy, adventurous lifestyle suited her and her husband. Eventually they decided to make another transition and moved to Australia, because the country offered a working holiday visa for visitors 30 and under. Last November the couple embarked on a backpacking trek around the country that is still under way.