Meet the three kids representing Stanford in the Red Bull Challenge, Cayman Simpson, Ariela Safira and Natasha Patel. We had the opportunity to learn about this crazy adventure these three friends want to embark on. They want to travel across Europe with no money, no technology and 24 cans of Red Bull:
Name: Ariela Safira
Major: MCS (Minor in Studio Art)
Year: Senior, sometimes a Junior
Name: Cayman Simpson
Major: MCS (Minor in Sociology)
Name: Natasha Patel
Major: Philosophy (Honours in Education)
PULSE: Tell us a little bit about yourselves:
Cayman Simpson: Yella [Ariela] is the bomb -- she does her own thing on her own time. I usually try to describe her, but no matter how hard I try, I somehow always fall short. I dunno. She’s the kind of person that you want to always be around because one day she’ll probably save humanity.
Ariela Safira: Natasha is wonderful. She’s passionate about everything she does, she’s incredibly intentional, and she always makes me feel supported. She’s the friend you can email to say “let’s go to Morocco this weekend,” and she’ll be down. I love being around her. She makes the world a better place.
Natasha Patel: Cayman is absurd. He's an incredibly humble soul -- he's adventured around the world, spends a significant amount of time working on mental health efforts, has a brain to die for, and is an exceptionally supportive friend. I love him.
What is the Red Bull challenge?
C: Basically we get airdropped into a country and have to get to another country in 7 days...
A: ...without food, cell phones, tech or money.
N: We get 24 Red Bulls though!
P: How did you meet?
C: We actually all met our freshman year, kicking it in Arroyo.
A: But we really hit it off last year when we bumped into one another at CoHo. I think we started laughing about how ridiculous “kale mojitos” are?
N: Yea, and then we spent the entire night talking about taking time off, adventures and happiness. That was our start.
P: Why did you take time off from Stanford?
A: To do something different! I wanted to bike across the country and thought the fall was the best time to do it. I initially took only fall quarter off, but mid-way through my ride, I realized how much I love the freedom of doing my own thing, and that there was so much more I wanted to explore, so I extended my leave of absence to the entire year.
N: To push my boundaries! Learn more! Love more! I spent my time in Peru, where I was kindly offered a position with a massive school network, Innova Schools. While there, I learned to hug every teacher I met, and felt the warmth of the amazing, super-hero principals who shepherded their school communities.
P: what have you done this year?
A: Everything. Cayman texted me a few days before Thanksgiving break to say he found a cheap flight to Turkey and was booking it. He ended up in Istanbul and Bulgaria. What a nut! I love him.
N: Just last weekend, Ariela and I drove all the way down to Santa Barbara -- unfortunately it was Valentine’s weekend and every spot to sleep in the city seemed to be reserved. A car is basically a motel room, right?
C: We’ve done a bunch of spur-of-the-moment trips on the West Coast to LA, Yosemite… Palm Springs... and a bunch of mountains in California. Since Fall Quarter alone Yella’s been to Denmark, New Zealand, Philly, Australia and New York.
We’re also thinking about a Central America trans-country road trip right now. It’s in the pipeline.
P: Best memories?
C: Definitely clowning with these goons.
A: Forgetting Natasha on the freeway as we were driving down to LA.
N: Watching Cayman eat bugs!!!!!!!
P: How are you planning on doing the challenge?
N: Camping outdoors, mooching off of costco-style free food samples, hitch-hiking... We’ve all backpacked and traveled on our own, so we’re pretty confident we can make it across Europe when the 3 of us are together.
C: I’ve been broke in Vietnam, Bulgaria and Myanmar. I got two rules: (1) hostels don’t check if you actually stay there to get free breakfast and (2) drunk people buy you drunk-people things.
A: I’ve spent a few weeks in Amsterdam and Prague broke, and used my racial ambiguity to make friends and secure housing and food. If we can survive broke in Europe and Asia without Red Bull’s wings, we can definitely handle the Can You Make It challenge.
P: What motivated you to join this particular challenge?
A: This email chain… Let me find it...
Why should people vote for you?
C: Why not?