Well, it’s been a while everyone. Sorry, but sometimes real life gets in the way of what we love. Nonetheless, I am back to write about an experience that not only change my life, and my friends life, but also an experience I hold dear to my heart.
The time I sent my best buddy Bryan to New York, with all expenses paid and some cash spending money. Some of you may know the story of how this came to be, but this is an in depth look at the experience:
In the summer (2012) I saw a listing for a television show online called Operation Dream Vacation. After reading about it, and learning that I could have the opportunity to send anyone in my life on their dream vacation, I started thinking about who would be best. I thought about my mother first, but decided that she really goes anywhere she wants for the most part anyways, so I scratched that. I thought of my sister but wasn’t sure if it would conflict with her job or her schooling, so I decided to think of more people that are deserving, I thought of my girlfriend, the one I was spending every day swooning over, and would love to give her such a gift, but decided that because of the closeness between us, the producers would probably not even look at the write up and suggest I take her on our own vacation. Then it hit me, my friend Bryan! Bryan had never been anywhere of Canada since I met him years ago. Bryan has a passion for street photography so right off the bat I thought New York City would be perfect.
So I wrote in to the show, telling them what I knew about Bryan, our relationship as friends, and why I thought he was so deserving of such a reward, and life changing event. After I sent the message, I was waiting impatiently, checking my email every day for a reply. A reply that I thought would never come. After a month I gave up and continued to live life, focus on school, and work. Then all of a sudden I get a phone call from the TV show asking if we could do a phone interview. I was ecstatic!
On the phone interview, I was asked many more questions about Bryan, some I had covered in the email, some I had not thought of until it was brought up. I was asked where I thought Bryan would like to go and I suggested New York, among other places. I was asked to contact close family and friends of Bryan’s to see if they’d be a part of this great experience. After the phone call was over, I eagerly contacted his Brother Glen, and his Sister Kelli. Then I also decided to make contact with his roommate as well, since it would be great to have someone so close to him physically be part of the experience. Everyone agreed to be part of the experience and they all had to speak to the television show representatives and give their sides of the story. This was great because most of Bryan’s history was a blur to me, and nobody knows his childhood like his close family. We were all nervous to this point, but as soon as we met the crew of Operation Vacation for our on camera interviews, those nerves instantly faded.
Everyone on set was super excited and positive. From the director to the assistant, the crew was full of great people. On Camera we had the city of Vancouver as our backdrop while we spoke about Bryan and his life. It was great telling people all about my best friend and his passion for photography. This is where things got really personal and we started speaking about more of the dark parts of Bryan’s life. Things like his father, and the death of his grandfather, and (thanks to me) the relationship he lost two years ago and is still pained by. I was, and still am, looking forward to seeing the show in action, and seeing myself and everyone else involved on television.
After these interviews, we were up and running, only a couple more weeks and we were on camera as a group being interviewed by the hosts of the television show. It was this day that we were given the chance to decide who was deserving of going on the trip with Bryan. This was a choice we ultimately decided we couldn’t make, and figured we would allow Bryan to chose on a sneaky interview set up with Scott where the Director asked Bryan who he would go on vacation with if given the choice. The best part? BRYAN HAD NO IDEA!
Soon after his decision was made we were on set to do a group interview again. The set interview is where we were given a choice of where Bryan should go on his Dream Vacation between New York City, and Dubai, we decided the Big Apple was ultimately the best choice of the two. It was a hard choice ultimately for me, as Bryan could excel with his photography anywhere in the world, I am certain of it. This was the day everyone else discovered that Scott was picked to go on the trip with Bryan. Certainly, I was disappointed, I would’ve loved to go with Bryan just to see his excitement and amazement as he landed in the Big Apple right up until him leaving. However, I was very excited for Scott as well. Scott is also a photographer so I knew he would be able to take advantage of such an opportunity as well.
The next destination was at Bryan’s bosses house where it was set up that all of Bryan’s closest friends, family, and co-workers would wait there until Bryan was brought over for the surprise. We waited impatiently, and practiced the unveil as we would only have one chance to make it perfect. We talked to each other, and did more interviews, being a more recent friend of Bryan’s, I got a chance to meet some of his older friends from Langley, where he grew up. We all chatted and had lunch together until Bryan got there. I was so nervous!
As I watched Bryan come up the steps of where we were waiting I watched his face go from excited to confused and everything in the middle. He later told me he was scared it was a photography intervention as a joke. He knew nothing until this point, but this is where it was unveiled that he was going to New York City, and he was leaving tomorrow! This is where we all shared laughs, and tears, and we were all just very proud to see everything come together so well, and to be seeing Bryan off on a new stage of his life.
Bryan and Scott were off to New York.
This is where I thought about what it means for Bryan. The fact that this is all for his photography is one thing, him getting to see a new city to make his stomping ground is another thing, but the main thing to me at this point is the coverage. Bryan Mollett photography will be seen across Canada, America, and other parts of the world. This means the most to me. I’ve been a part of, and a huge fan of Bryan’s photography and I couldn’t be more proud to share it with the world. Sure, I didn’t get a trip out of the deal, but I changed someone’s life for the better, and that is something I will die proud of. Bryan and I will always be best friends, and I’m glad to have given him the opportunity to take the next step towards the future.
Operation Vacation will be on television in Canada and America, and parts of other nations. I look forward to seeing it, and I hope you all get to see it as well. Until then, give Bryan your support by checking out his photography page and seeing his trip to the Big Apple, New York City!
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