I’ve always considered myself a responsible, independent and aware millennial, the type your mom would be grateful for when going on a trip. I make sure we are prepared, do my research and put out every fire I start. But I have also considered myself daring, spontaneous and sometimes even a little rebellious when it comes to certain things. I love to explore, ask questions and find ways to overstep how society engrained us to do and believe certain things, so when I received a text from a friend of mine that she is traveling to Thailand the end of July and wants me to join, I am skeptical but intrigued. She explains this trip to Thailand is for Instagram content abroad, and she knows one of the photographers, but we wouldn’t’ know any of the other girls or the other photographer until we arrive across the country. I want to say no because my red danger signal is going off in my head, and I can hear my mom’s reaction as if I’d gone completely nuts, “You want to travel to another country with strangers!” But then my daring and spontaneous side interrupts that this could be a very good opportunity; after all, what’s the worst that can happen when meeting up with a group of strangers in Thailand for a week?
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After we finally landed from the gruesome 24 hours of travel, I stood up to catch view of the girls I would be with for the next week. When we reached outside the airplane, the hot and humid air hit me like a cloud. It felt like I was breathing in steam, and my bedhead clung to the sides of my face with wetness. I cautiously introduced myself to a group of 8 strangers and climbed into a van to head to our villa. With A/C on full blast at 2am, this crazy group of strangers with jet lag and BO began to warm up to eachother; and by the time our van pulled into our 6 bedroom villa on the beach, we were cracking jokes and calling what room we wanted while sprinting inside to claim our beds. Throughout the trip our bonds grew stronger and stronger, and this group of strangers have turned into some very close friends.
There are times we forget that this life is to be lived, that no matter what we choose to do should ultimately make us happier, more curious and fulfilled. We hold back because of the "What if's" or because we have been taught a different way of thinking for so long, we never ponder to question it. If it weren’t for pushing boundaries and stepping outside the box, being different, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to feel the effects of building a friendship while all the way across the world in another country. If I decided to “play it safe” I wouldn’t have had the anticipation of a unforgettable memory. When making friends in an unfamiliar place, we experience new things and build trust to keep each other safe. We play jokes and adventure together. And of course, we take photos together. Enjoy this spontaneous series shot with a group of strangers in Phuket, Thailand at Sava Villas and Phi Phi Island. I encourage my fellow 20s to do something that exhilarates you, that makes you nervous but helps you GROW, and to question what society has told us in search for our own answer. It doesn’t mean to fly across the country to meet a group of people you’ve never met and trust them with your life, -but you know, push boundaries.