Like many other young Millennials, I have always wanted to do something different and take a path that leads to being a part of something that matters. Being young and naive has led me astray in many different ways, but it has also been the fuel that encourages me to always be curious and never stop asking questions.
In college, I spent many hours working on projects and business plans for various ideas ranging from assisted living consulting to silent discos. These ideas yielded high grades and a sense of accomplishment, but too often they were just the result of a conversation with a friend or an article found online.
After spending almost 6 months living in Thailand, I have realized that it is nearly impossible to create something that matters without being at the crossroads of need and passion. TOMs Shoes, one of the best examples, was created when the founder took a trip to Argentina and saw the hardships that children faced without shoes. Whether it was fate or divine intervention, he was at the exact point where need and passion intersected.
Dreaming about doing something that matters is important, but getting out there, meeting the people, and experiencing your passions first hand trumps all. This idea for a business that works directly with local farming families and gives a percentage of profits to help fund service trips would never have been created without my presence in Thailand. Taking a leap of faith and trying something new might not always result in a business that combines need and passion, but I can guarantee that you will meet some amazing people and create some epic stories along the way.
Moving to Thailand was definitely not the easiest transition, but moving somewhere new was the spark that ignited the idea for Kao Jai Coffee. I will forever be grateful for the terrifying taxi rides, confused stares, and overwhelming shopping trips that have made this experience as authentic as it gets.