Jesse St Louis is an adventurer who documents his outdoor experiences on YouTube and Instagram as “Infamous JSL”. He travels the world creating videos of his outdoor travel experiences and describes himself as a “no frills Bear Grylls”.
In the past Jesse has mainly filmed adventures near his home in Southern California, but his future plans will be a lot more international. In particular he wants to explore India, as well as Canada and the rest of the United States.
Jesse, what made you start filming and sharing your adventures?
Originally, I was just filming stuff to share with friends and family. I eventually realised that other people might be interested in learning about the places that I’ve been because some of them are really off the beaten track. I thought that I might also be able to inspire some folks who were a little afraid to get out of their comfort zone.
How do you decide where to go?
I find inspiration for trips from many different places. It could be a picture on Instagram, a blog post or even some satellite imagery from Google maps. One thing I will always be interested in is a natural water slide, a hidden waterfall, sea caves, a beautiful creek or a narrow canyon, so I’m always on the lookout for those.
Some of your videos seem quite scary – are your adventures actually dangerous?
I think any true adventure has an element of risk and danger to it, otherwise it would just be a walk in the park. But I think most people don’t give themselves enough credit. They could probably stand to experience a little danger and adversity to help them understand what life is all about. If we look around in nature, danger is everywhere. People lull themselves into a false sense of comfort with our modern lifestyle, but it really is just an illusion. The comfort of cities and the business of the corporate rat race are really just a distraction from living a full, meaningful life. I feel that by getting out and finding adventure, people might overcome some tangible obstacles, get fit and healthier and even feel happier.
Do you have a favourite area out of all the places you have been to?
One place that stands out to me is Nepal. It is a country rich in history, culture and, of course, one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders, the Himalayas. I’ve only been there once, but I look forward to returning soon. The people of Nepal are some of the most friendly that I have ever met. Their warmth and hospitality are second to none and they love to welcome visitors to their beautiful country. The earthquakes of 2015 really devastated them, but they are slowly rebuilding and tourism definitely helps that cause.
How long do your adventures typically go for?
Well right now, my wife and I are currently travelling for the next year. We both quit our day jobs back in Southern California and are road tripping up the West Coast of the U.S., across Canada and then on to Florida. After that we are headed abroad with no concrete plans other than a 10 year multiple entry visa for India. When we were working the 9-5 jobs, we would usually go on weekend or week long adventures. Prior to living in Los Angeles, we travelled for 4 months across India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. But my belief is that anyone can find adventure wherever they are. Most people don’t even explore the areas they live in. It was certainly like that in Southern California. Thirty minutes outside the city, you can find solitude among the San Gabriel Mountains, with no one around for miles.
Where do you plan on visiting next?
Currently we are in Northern Washington State and headed to Canada in a few days. I’m excited to return to British Columbia since there is an abundance of outdoor adventures to be had there. But first, we might explore a bit of Washington’s coastline looking for some beautiful, hidden sea caves, of course.
You can follow Jesse’s adventures on his Instagram here and YouTube channels here, where he shares all the natural highlights he discovers around the world. At the moment he is looking around the coastline of Washington State, and he will soon be heading to Canada and then down to Florida. Keep an eye out for visits to India and the Himalayas as well!