ROAM : TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS PROJECT, WHERE DID YOU GO AND WHAT WERE YOU AFTER?
Nicole: We had done a Prana trip to the middle east all together the year before but got really skunked on waves while in Israel so we wanted to pick a place we could all surf as much as possible while also trying to give back. Indonesia intrigued us not only because of the endless lefts but we all wanted to learn more about the plastic issues the country is facing and what people can do to help. Indonesia is the second largest plastic contributor in the world and most people have probably seen those terrible images of surfers getting barreled by trash. However, despite the problem we were interested in learning from the many hard working people and NGO’s in Bali coming up with different solutions. We had heard about Melati and Isabel from Bye Bye Plastic Bags and were inspired by not only how young they were but impressed by the work they had already done. So we started our trip in Bali surfing and meeting with different environmental groups, businesses, and individuals to learn about their efforts. From there we made our way west to Java and ended the trip surfing a wave Anna had been dreaming of visiting for years.
ROAM : WAS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME TRAVELING TO INDONESIA?
Meg: Yes, and for all the travel I do for work it was by far the farthest away from home I have ever been. From two flights to a ferry to another flight and a 10 hour jungle drive, we were out there!
Nicole: My first time as well.
ROAM : WHERE DID THE NAME ‘INDO DREAM DRIFT COME FROM’?
Nicole: We wanted to play on the word dream because that’s what it felt like. Drifting back and forth between a dream and real life. We were on this crazy fun adventure surrounded by our friends, learning and surfing, and this was considered work… it was too good it didn’t really make sense.
ROAM : YOU LADIES HAVE BEEN UP TO SOME REALLY AMAZING PROJECTS OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, HOW DID THE ‘TRIBE WITHOUT BORDERS’ TEAM COME TOGETHER?
Nicole: I knew Lisa and Meg from mutual friends in LA and surfing and they were looking for a female filmmaker to join them on a surf trip to the middle east. That trip we all clicked and basically have tried to do as many trips together as we can. Its been really magical to keep the crew super small and our rule is we have to fit in one car. Basically everyone wears multiple hats…. Lisa produces and models, Anna surfs, models and shoots amazing 35 mm, Meg will shoot stills and be in front of the camera, I’ll do video and help with all of the above, and we try and work with local women and incorporate their story. That allows us to have an authentic and fun experience where we can explore and follow our curiosities which we think only helps get better photos and videos to share.
ROAM : WHO’S THE BEST SURFER IN THE SQUAD AND WHO WAS THE ‘LEAST GOOD’?
Meg: It’s a tie between Flora and Anna for the best. And worst, probably me haha. New England is a tough place to learn to surf growing up!
Nicole: Meg’s being humble.
ROAM : ANNA LISA AND FLORA ALL SEEM LIKE INCREDIBLE SURFERS WHAT IS IT LIKE CHASING THEM AROUND THE OCEAN DOCUMENTING EVERYTHING?
Meg: These women are my favorite humans to shoot, they have such a zest for life and a thirst to see the world together. It’s truly refreshing to work alongside such inspiring athletes.
ROAM : OFTEN TIMES IN THESE KINDS OF PROJECTS, IT CAN SEEM LIKE THE ATHLETES ARE JUST OUT ON THEIR OWN, WE RARELY MEET THE PRODUCTION CREW. I THINK AN AMAZING ELEMENT OF THIS FILM IS THAT BOTH OF YOU ARE FEATURED IN IT AND NICOLE ACTUALLY NARRATES THE STORY. WAS THAT A CONSCIOUS DECISION?
Meg: In order to create what we did and have a small crew, we knew that everyone had to wear multiple hats. Lisa was a talent AND producer, Flora was a surfer + guide, Nicole and I switched between in front of the camera and behind, and Anna surfed + took film photos. THe beauty of our crew is that we all work so seamlessly together, and aren’t afraid of long, hard hours on the road. It’s teamwork and our sisterhood that really shine through.
Nicole: We like documenting the truth of the trip. And to be honest having an all women small crew is a different vibe then having surfers + a separate production crew. Not bad or better, just different. These trips feel like we are there together sharing these experiences just as equally so it felt right to feature everyone.
ROAM : FLORA SEEMED LIKE A JUST AWESOME PERSON. MAYBE MY FAVORITE MOMENTS IN THE FILM CAME AROUND REALLY SHOWING YOU HER SIDE OF INDONESIA. HOW DID YOU ALL MEET?
Nicole: We slid into her DM’s.
ROAM : HOW DID YOU GUYS COME TO CONNECT WITH THE GIRLS AT BYE BYE PLASTIC BAGS?
Nicole: Actually, this was ALL Greg Long who pointed us in the right direction. He told us we have to meet these amazing women and the rest is history.
ROAM : OCEAN HEALTH IS OBVIOUSLY SUPER IMPORTANT TO YOU, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE LOOKING TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION?
Meg: Don’t be afraid to be imperfect. The environmental movement needs more acceptance of one another, our flaws and all. It’s not about being the best, it’s about making that first step and forging community with your fellow ocean lovers. We’re all in this together!
Nicole: This trip in particular I realized just how important it is for everyone of us to act. Which seems obvious but it will really be normal everyday people and concerned citizens that will fix this. We can’t expect our governments or businesses to act unless we demand them to. Like meg said you don’t have to be perfect and your solution doesn’t have to be the best or you don’t have to be the first… you just have to do it. Sometimes it seems like NGO’s and others have it all figured and it can be intimidating to follow your own idea. Or it may feel like your idea isn’t as important or you alone can’t make a difference but Melati and Isabel started BBPB at 10 and 12. They had no idea what they would become or how much work was going to be involved but they just had an idea and did it. We met lots of people like that while in Bali actually. People that saw a problem and had their own version of the solution and pursued it. That to me is how the plastic problem is going to be solved is if we tackle it like any other problem, we come up with solutions and see them through. Its not going to be one thing or one person that fixes it. It’s going to have to be everyone.
ROAM : WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ‘ROAM’ FOR YOU GUYS?
Meg: To explore the world and tread lightly on our planet with an open heart & open mind.
Nicole: To authentically connect with people and places while trying to make the world a better place.
ROAM : ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
Meg: I know it’s a bit long, but I want to share my favorite quote of all time:
“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
— Edward Abbey
Nicole: can’t really argue with Abbey
For more on topics like this check out How to Be a Local Eco-Activist and Why Aren’t There More Women on Everest?