I like telling lies about myself to strangers at parties, eating burritos and taking pictures for my blog.

Author: Yannis Henrion, 22

My name is Yannis, I’m 22. I like telling lies about myself to strangers at parties, eating burritos and taking pictures for my blog.

Earlier  this year,  I  decided  to  take  a  gap  year,  which  gave  me  some  time  to  practice  my photography skills and travel as much as possible. It felt nice to experience so many random things in such a short period, like couch surfing for the first time in Copenhagen, celebrating my birthday in a 19th century palazzo in Istanbul, missing flights in various airports, partying with Brazilian guys in a favela, meeting a thousand new people or being a volunteer in an organic farm in Sweden.

I tried to experience more than I usually do, giving things that people thought I never would or could do a try (especially « working on a farm »), and set challenges for myself. It was not perfect all the time, I failed at some points, got bored or disappointed sometimes, but in the end, I had never made as many memories as I did in the last 7 months. I love the fact that these experiences were full of unpredictable events and awkward moments, and the awful local food I tried, the long hours spent waiting in airports and ice cold showers make for spectacular memories.

Spending time at a small farm in the middle of Sweden was one of these great moments. I decided to venture outside of my comfort zone by going there alone. The farm itself is probably the most picture perfect place I’d ever seen: a red and white house, tons of flowers, beautiful lakes just minutes away. Not to mention the fantastic Sunday breakfasts or the picnic blankets and the cute people I met there. I also want to mention the thousand mosquito bites I had on my arms, the chickens that were running after us when we forgot to feed them, and that time one tap broke and the house nearly became flooded. After all, it is all of these little details that make this place so special for me. One night, my friends and I decided to go for a midnight swim. It was freezing cold outside, the wind was blowing really hard, but we were a bit tipsy so we went for it. It felt so nice to ride my bike in the middle of a dark forest road, with some music coming from the speaker in my basket, falling off a hundred times on the way, not seeing anything and then jumping naked into the lake. We went home with our legs full of bruises and our skin covered with brown algae from the water but still, I had rarely felt so excited and happy. It always sounds cheesy when you tell a story like this but in the end, who cares? My name is Yannis, I’m 22 and I am not afraid of clichés, as long as I’m having fun.