My favorite small talk opener is, “What is the craziest job you’ve ever had?” The question always prompts hilarious and eye opening responses, turning the talk dial from ‘small’ to at least ‘medium’.
My answer occurred one year ago, when I checked a big item off of my lifetime todo list: become a freelance underwear model in Indonesia. Before you get on my case, this was a real gig. Though, only slightly more legitamate than the two of us furthering American stereotypes, by running around a foreign country in our skivvies.
We cold emailed ExOfficio (a top notch outdoor gear company), after discovering that we owned matching pairs of underwear. Our persuasion: “Your models are fake and your pictures are posed. We are on the ground in Indonesia, wearing only your products. Hire us for a month and we will provide gems to your marketing team.” They laughed, and, surprisingly, obliged. With the faint tempting carrot of free gear, we completed a month-long photo shoot. The package we sent was outstanding, including a priceless blurb:
Sam Worth and Sam Woolf, engineers turned explorers from California, reunited after a childhood handshake and a promise to travel together when they were older. Sam reached out to us after Worth’s mom bought them each a pair of ExOfficio underwear to travel to Australia and Indonesia in. ‘The Sam’s’ wanted to know if they’re really as good as they’ve been told and read about: “We decided that we would be unofficial ExOfficio underwear testers while traveling for two months— in the same pair,” says Sam Worth, “and let you know how it goes.”
From diving with manta rays to ceremonies with royalty, hiking active volcanos to countless close calls with a motorcycle named Sammy Jr and a tarp named Taco…60 something days later…
“Your design engineers are seriously talented! Your underwear rocks and weathered anything and everything from road rash to volcanic ash. They’re all we’ll wear now.”
We secured our own spread in ExOfficio’s Summer 2015 catalog (p6-7). Not too shabby for a months work.
Header photo © Sam Woolf 2015
Body photo © Exofficio.com