Interview with Jesse St Louis (AKA Infamous JSL)

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Interview with Jesse St Louis (AKA Infamous JSL)

Hello Jesse, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I‘m an actor, adventurer and nature lover with a passion for off the beaten path destinations.  Others have called me a thrill seeker or adrenaline junkie, but I simply prefer the term adventurer, because it doesn’t have as many negative connotations.

What are your focus areas and why?

I focus on hidden waterfalls, natural water slides, slot canyons and sea caves mainly because those are the things that I enjoy the most, but I’m always eager to try something new.  In the past year, I got certified as a canyoneering guide, went whitewater kayaking for the first time and swam in a few volcano lagoons.  I also have recently gotten into exploring abandoned places, which I try to do as often as possible.

Where did your passion for adventure come from?

I would say that it comes as a reaction to a time in my life when I was in a dark place, doing what I thought I was supposed to do and where I thought, “Is this all there is to life?”  My adventures have grown out of a need to keep fully experiencing all that life and our beautiful planet have to offer.

When did you begin making adventure videos?

Well I posted my first video in 2010, but it was just to show friends and family the waterfall in Costa Rica that my now wife and I had jumped off of.  But it wasn’t until starting in March 2016 with a trip to Death Valley, that I actually tried to make consistent video uploads.  I was feeling some post trip depression after an epic journey to Nepal and I began watching some Nepal videos on YouTube.  I came across two channels in particular that inspired me to start making videos and that was The Life of Jord and Gabriel Traveler.  I’ve actually spoken with both of them online and they have been very helpful and supportive on my journey.

What has been your craziest adventure?

It’s funny that you asked that because that is a question I get asked a lot!  I actually made a video about that very thing:

What are some of your favorite places to visit?

Asia, India, Spain and Costa Rica have all been tremendous.

Tell us about some of your recent achievements. I hear you recently won Merrell and Outside TV’s “Beat Monday” contest.

Yes, I was honored to win the “Beat Monday” contest for a crazy adventure video I made in the San Bernardino Mountains and be awarded a huge prize from Merrell.  Because I’m pretty set on adventure gear, I used most of that prize to give away 15 pairs of hiking boots to people that needed them.  I also licensed some of my great natural water slide footage for a recent Advil commercial and a few of my recent adventures have been featured on the nationally syndicated TV show “Right This Minute.”

What makes for the perfect video?

For me, the perfect video is a balance of storytelling, location, education and humor.  If I can hit all of those in a single video, I call it a success.

What do you do when you’re not making videos?

When I’m not making videos, I’m still doing what I do in my videos, lol.  I’ve really fallen in love with the sport of canyoneering and still love to explore even when I’m not filming.  I also love a good vegan donut, so I’ll usually indulge a bit.

Any travel tips you would like to share?

The most important travel tip is to keep an open mind with no expectations.  Experience everything you can, while you can, because one day you won’t be able to.