Benjamin Jenks

01 February of 2012 by

If you are part of a social network, you have probably seen the fantastic video above as it was shared thousands of times already since it was published 4 months ago.

  • Soundtrack of the report
  • Kids
  • MGMT

There was something special in this video. While there are dozens of great viral timelapses on the Internet these days, this one had a special appeal to us. For once, it wasn’t about beautiful landscapes or cities at nightfall. It was about people. All the people that Benjamin Jenks met during an entire year of hitchhiking across the USA.

Everyone has seen and loved the STA Travel videos EAT, MOVE, LEARN. If you ask me, Jenks’ video is far more impressive and has a real meaning. It is a beautiful ode to the amazing people that you will meet on your trips, a statement that everyone should travel the world and make new friends. The STA videos are just an artistic performance serving a commercial purpose. We want to travel slowly and meet people, not do 11 countries in 44 days to shoot a commercial, not matter how beautiful it is.

Recently, Benjamin Jenks has started a new website called Adventuresauce.com to share his new videos and inspire people to go on the kind of adventures he went. You should definitely check his youtube channel to see more of his inspiring work. He also started a class to help people make their video be more popular on social networks.

But more importantly, he made a timelapse of where The Goonies was filmed! How could we not love this guy?

Benjamin Jenks

 

1. What inspired you to become a traveler?

My Nana. She lived near NYC so I would visit her when I was growing up. Then when I was in 6th grade I went with her to Portugal for 2 weeks. It was her dream to take each of her grandkids on a trip overseas and I just happened to be the first.

Despite the trip being a senior citizen only trip, it was lots of fun. Cool seeing pictures of myself with a retainer, fanny pack, and spikey hair cut too.

2. What part of travel is appealing to you? What do you get from it?

I love meeting people in different places. Seeing the similarities we all share, yet also noticing the differences. It really doesn’t matter much about the place. It is all about the people for me. Give me a solid crew of people and I’m set.

3. What is your favourite memory of travel? One that you usually keep to yourself?

My favorite memory is of New Orleans, Halloween 2009. I just fell in love with the city… which is surprising because I just said the place doesn’t matter, but New Orleans draws a certain type of person that I love.Colorful, friendly, fun-loving, and socially conscious. I met a lot of people in my week there were very inspiring and had traveling from around the world to participate in the community there.

I keep a lot of road romance stories to myself, but they are all special to me. Maybe you’d hear a few if you bought me a beer in a pub somewhere. :)

4 . Do you have any tips on how to get easily get a ride when you hitchhike?

My personal tip is to point at the car. Keep it in a casual and friendly manner that say something like, “Hey friend, where have you been? I’ve been waiting quite a while.” Add a smile in too.

Benjamin Jenks

5. Do you manage to actually keep in touch with the hundreds of friends you met on your journey? How do you keep track of people?

It is tough. I send out short messages when I think of someone or when I notice it is their birthday. I couldn’t do it without Facebook.

6. What was one of the craziest encounters on your journey?

I got invited back to a trailer in the middle of the boonies of Alabama at night. I was up for an adventure so I went along, but I texted my friend the address on the mailbox, so people would know where to look for my body.

The trailer was so interesting. The woman who lived there collected unicorns and they were everywhere around the place. They were all covered in dust and cobwebs, but when I mentioned them… she lit up. It was like she forgot about this thing that she loved.

7. In which part of the U.S. did you enjoy the food the most?

I can eat most anything. I ate a lot of gas station hot dogs and those can be found most anywhere. My girlfriend, Angela has been helping me eat better.

8. Do you think the camera helped meeting people? Was everyone confortable with it?

It did help meeting some people. It was a good conversation started, but some people were not happy with it. We avoided each other I guess.

Benjamin Jenks

9. How did you stay so serious on the photos with all the agitation around?

It was tough. I would tell everyone what to do and then try to keep a straight face. Maybe I was contemplating taxes or something else that was boring.

10. Are there any cultural practices you’ve learned on your travels you’ve adapted to your own life?

Great question, but I can’t think of any right now.

11. Tell us about your new adventure. What is going to be different from the first one that you shot?

So I’m shooting a sequel and I want to make the best travel video that has ever been 60 minutes long. There have been some great ones recently, so the bar is high.

I can’t give away all the details, but I do want more people, better music, and what if it was backwards…?

Bonus: Which song would be the best for a soundtrack of your trip?

Kids by MGMT will make my day anytime I hear it.

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