The Strangers Project

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Several months ago, I became fascinated by The Strangers Project. If you enjoy Humans of New York, it is likely you will enjoy this project. Brandon Doman, who runs the site, has traveled the globe collecting over 7000+ true stories written spontaneously by strangers. He posts the letters on his page. If you have not yet come across his site, definitely check it out!

Because his project is right up my alley, I thought it might be fun to build off this idea and work on a similar project online, using Omegle. I figured that outlet would be best, since the people I speak to will be completely anonymous. Nevertheless, because I wanted a diverse range of responses, I decided to type eight different countries that popped into my head into the “find strangers with common interests box” (The United States, England, Australia, India, Italy, Russia, New Zealand, and Canada).

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While listing the country of  interest does not necessarily mean the stranger is from one of those places, I divided up my respondents by the country of interest we were matched up by. Of course, multiple strangers disconnected on me before I could continue my spiel, but I told myself that for now, I would stop once I found five respondents.

Rather than asking the strangers to write letters, I took a slightly different approach and asked them to respond to three questions. Here is how I started most of my messages:

Hey, have you ever heard of the Stranger’s Project? (Wait for response, then explain project).

I’m working on something similar was wondering if you want to help out by answering these three things?

1). What is your biggest regret?

2). What do you think your best accomplishment in life has been so far?

3). What is something you still want to achieve in life/cross off your bucket list?

I kept all of the language in everyone’s answer, but edited some of the punctuation to make the answers easier to read. Without further ado, here were peoples’ answers:

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India

Person #1

1). Hmm, my biggest regret is not working hard enough to get into a good college.

2). Biggest achievement is my gf.

3). And I wanna be a great businessman.

New Zealand

Person #2

1). Dropping out of school.

2). Skateboarding.

3). Become a personal trainer.

Russia

Person #3

1). Biggest regret is being less confident and not so honest to people.

2). I think best accomplishment is getting in the top team of soccer in my city, and of course, graduating high school, as I’m only 18.

3). I think my biggest dream is climbing Mount Everest.

Person #4

1). Well, so far I don’t really have any regrets. I mean I’m only a teenager. My life has just started and there are many various possibilities that could happen to me. The world is mine and it’s only a matter of time of just taking and implementing what I want to do.

2). My biggest accomplishment I guess is being good in my academics. I have always studied and worked hard. I’m off to college soon. Also, I am involved in many research projects in which I try to help out my community. Also, I volunteer every week. I think overall, the biggest accomplishment I can give is helping out my community. The thing that is in it for me is the smile on peoples’ faces and that I caused it to happen.

3). To make it short and simple: SKYDIVING

Person #5

1). Biggest regret, I was pretty young, maybe like 8 or 9. My cousin who’s a year older than me always had family issues with the rest of the family, but this day, we were hanging out and she got mad and started yelling stuff at my mom and the dumb kid I was, I joined along, so I yelled at my mom. Minutes later, she was in bedroom and said she had to talk with me. When I entered, her eyes were in tears and her heart was broken, so we talked and she said how disappointed she was with me, so we made up. From that day on, I told myself I’ll never make my mom cry ever again and, so far, I’ve kept my promise.

2). Biggest accomplishment, well it was getting into college with an ACT score of 18. I never been the type to ever take school seriously, even as a child, I was always daydreaming haha, still am today, but back November/December I was the most stressed I’ve been and had borderline depression. I’m normally a layback/chill type of person, so this was all new for me and at this point, I was seriously considering not going to college. But it must’ve been a miracle that I got in. The only person I would’ve cheated by not going to college would’ve been my dad. My dad is one of those immigrant rags to riches stories.

3). My dad has built in his “empire” that will be handed down to me, which is worth a couple million. My goal is to double what he has made and provide for my parents to live the life they always wanted, but were always working. So right now, I’m constantly thinking of these so called “million dollar ideas.” So first thing when I get a lot of money is buy a Porsche 911 Carrera for my dad. It’s a German car and when he was living there super poor, it was one of those cars that you get happy to see, but never get that chance to buy. He has the money now to get one, but he won’t. He wants to save more money in my future so it’s the least I can do for him. And for my mom, a really big house she’ll love to call home and soon all the vacations around the world they want! Now for myself, well, I’m a big car enthusiast, so there’s a couple cars I want that are over 200k, such as the McLaren 650S and the Ferrari 599. And I’ve given myself a 10-20 year deadline to make all of this happen. But I’m aiming for 10-15 right now!

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What do you guys think? Do you share some of these regrets, accomplishments, or dreams? Have you ever pursued a similar project? I’d love to hear from you!

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11 Responses to The Strangers Project

  1. Humor_Me_Now says:

    1. Becoming a passive people pleaser–for 74 years.

    2. Being born again at age 30!

    3. Celebrate 60 years of marriage in 2015.

  2. glattheranch says:

    I like this and find this interesting, but I’m curious what the goal is because I know nothing about the previous projects that inspired it. Can you help me with that???

  3. This is so cool!!! I absolutely love this 🙂
    -Kaitlyn

  4. arranbhansal says:

    Just to let you know that I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award, I love reading your posts!!
    http://arranbhansal.com/2014/04/16/liebster-award-my-answers-and-nominations/
    Enjoy!
    Arran

  5. andiilong says:

    LOVE IT. Thanks for doing this!!!

  6. Cat says:

    Love!! Thanks so much for the follow. Looking forward to your checking out your other posts!

  7. That was fun! We all have dreams, things we wish might not have come to be, and goals we can achieve but it is great to hear of them from other parts of the world, too!

  8. hi christine…. thanks for following my blog and leading me here. I think i will ride with u on your journeys and see what i can cross off my bucket list. my biggest regret….having two left feet.I can’t dance ….too shy for that may be!! Still want to achieve….I want to publish a book someday.
    And my biggest achievement is my 11yr old daughter who I feel is a very decent and compassionate person and i like to believe that i have done a pretty good job in raising her.

    • You’re very welcome! And aw I’m glad to hear that 🙂 Haha, I too have two left feet – I am an AWFUL dancer! And publishing a book would be incredible. I think your best accomplishment is a great one.

  9. bettemae says:

    Hi! I love this project/blog. I find it so interesting to listen to the perspectives of people as many and varied as the number of people. to ad: Greatest regret…not Being my authentic self through too too many years. Now authentic self may be over baked. But inside there’s a self , a centering point, home base so to speak. Too often losing ttrack of myself, of who and how I want to be, putting too much or too little thought into thing, doing, worrying about those things which need not have been the stresses they became, having treated people with less understanding than they deserved at times, and not believing in myself enough, being uncomfortable because lack of confidence in myself. I hate when people have no regrets as it seems to me that just means they have not learned anything from their journey, have chosen to not grow..
    Best accomplishment is tricky… inclined to think of the three kids I was so fortunate enough to have been my children who have become amazing adults and people (when what I hoped was that they became just really good people- they own that and more). But that is more than my accomplishment- it is and has been about who and how they are and sure my efforts helped but it took a planet and their own special selves to make them who they are. SO can’t claim that.Was proud of being a registered nurse (miss it terribly) and was pleased to have worked in it as long as I did given health issues until it was no longer a possibility. I guess I feel the mudane are the big accomplishments in my life. Taking what chances I have to extend kindness and forgiveness, being open and loving,seeing life with more clarity as the years go on but with less bitterness =and not letting the world’s ills taint me or my spirit. Is that an accomplishment or simply who I have wanted to be? Not sure.living out animal rescue and learning from each beloved animal I have adopted. Perhaps learning the lesson in life that it isn’t about holding onto anything or anyone too tightly- just lovingly for the time I am graced with their presence, their being.Maybe in the lives I made a difference in the care I gave them. I don’t really know. Hopefully it is yet to be- the next accomplishment.
    A goal? Hmm tough one as I never know hour to hour what my body will function like. ( ina progressive form of ms now0. I still believe in the dream of challenging my body into doing something huge- Like walking across country for a cause- or biking in a modified bike…or in doing a downscaled tough mudder(yes I know crazy),a marathon? Being able to care for, ride, rescue horses and provide others with that ability to help them with core strength and balance. But I guess even more important to me is to live with those whose lives I could make a difference, who I could uplift and help them in their needs- be it worldwide or in this country. Always wanted to be able to volunteer in places where people feel part of the forgotten- turns out that is more of a across the board issue…not just third world- everyday children and people. To become better person and to live out loud the life I am blessed with living.

    • Aw thank you so much :)! And I love your response about regrets. In a lot of my communication classes, we focus on the ways we can reach your authentic self (it’s called the shadow, which is all the parts of us that have been repressed during our childhood, society, etc) & we’re taught to embrace this shadow part of ourselves (not in destructive ways, but for instance, if we were taught not to speak up, maybe trying to speak up more every once in a while, etc). I think you have some wonderful accomplishments too! And I like how you look forward to the next ones. Wow, what amazing goals! I love them. You seem like an awesome person and thank you for such an insightful comment!

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