Jet Set Zero: Thailand

  • A CHIANG MAI STATE OF MIND


    Here’s what happened when took a leap of faith, bought a one-way ticket to Thailand, and left the country with only $500 in my pocket.
    Click play to watch the trailer for the online adventure travel series Jet Set Zero: Thailand.

SUMMARY


Jet Set Zero asks four lucky cast members to “prove that you can make travel your life.” Those cast are charged with picking a country, finding a job, a place to live, integrating into the culture, and documenting their experiences online – all while being filmed for the official YouTube web series.

Myself and fellow cast members Evita Robinson, Jean-Pierre Cherry, and Jeremiah Ortner were chosen from thousands of applicants for the 8th and final season to ditch our day jobs and make a life abroad for 3 months. During that time we collectively faced being broke, confronting personality clashes, and dengue fever. But we also saw ourselves in deeply profound new ways, as travel allowed us to be open to new experiences, from mending old wounds to watching thousands of paper lanterns fill the sky. In short, The Land of Smiles did not disappoint.

BACKSTORY


When I applied to Jet Set Zero I was looking for something new. I originally applied to be their field producer, but once the producers saw my other travel blogs they asked if I would like to be a cast member instead. Still reeling from a house fire experience right after the 2008 recession hit which left me essentially homeless, I was anchorless and ready for anything. And this – this just felt right.

So I saved up as much as I could – about USD $500 – bought a ticket, and within a couple months I was in Bangkok with 3 new travel buddies and two cameramen. The experience was more than “something new”; it was transformative. And I documented it every chance I got.

RESULT


Following my tenure in Thailand, a bit of a detour arose. A discount airline ticket I was promised could no longer be promised and I had to take the money I had to get as far west as possible. This started what I termed “The Long Way Home”, a journey that would take from from Thailand to India, Turkey (right), Germany, New York, and Washington DC, before finally arriving back in Los Angeles 11 months and 11 days later.

The journey was documented on my blog “Lessons from a Vagabond” and on YouTube where I took the experiences I had – the good, bad, and the ugly – and transferred them onto the web into exactly what I deemed them: lessons in life, love, and awareness to last a lifetime.

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