As you walk through life, you will undoubtedly be influenced by what you do, where you are, and who you hang around with. When we’re young we’re like sponges; just soaking up media and information. We find ourselves in the midst of fandoms, obsessions, and are passionate about many things. In many people, this intense passion fades with life's responsibilities. I don’t think we should ever want to lose that feeling of intense love; it can be mitigated by reason, but should never be disposed or hidden away. Having a zest for life is what makes being on this earth interesting. If you aren’t being inspired, then you’re not surrounding yourself with the right things.
In high school, I discovered YouTube and found it to be a great source of happiness and inspiration. I really admire the people I subscribe to and I’m encouraged by how out-of-the-box they are. Check them out and see if they can be one of your sources of inspiration as well.
1. Fun For Louis (Louis Cole)
Louis is the first YouTuber I subscribed to on this list. (I found him via Jacksgap). Louis has been a digital nomad for a long time now. He started his channel way back in 2012. In his vlogs, he shows his adventures around the world. His outro is “Peace Out, Enjoy Life, and Live the Adventure, Boom!” This pretty much sums up his personality. Pretty laid back, chill, loving life, and trying to make the world a better place. This is someone who isn’t afraid to be himself. It’s nice to be subscribed to someone who just so passionate about life. Louis has spearheaded a number of projects involving road trips with buses and recently flew around the world in a small plane (operated by his friend JP Schultz). His company, LTA (Live The Adventure) has hosted several summits and is currently running an influencer trip in Cape Town, South Africa.
2. Vagabrothers (Marko & Alex Ayling)
I became a vagabuddy (what they call their subscribers) back in October 2013. Marko and Alex are a pair of American-New Zealand brothers. They have a wide array of collective travel experience from teaching English in Spain to creating content for a six-month bucket list travel tv show (BBBTV). Now they live in California when they’re not abroad filming their travel show, which they host on their YouTube channel. Their channel is one of few I’ve seen that is in a tv show format. They do an incredible job; their videos are super high quality. They’re really good at blending facts with humour and are generally just very entertaining. Also if you’re a foodie, this is the channel for you as many episodes feature top-notch cuisine. I highly recommend checking them out.
3. Hey Nadine (Nadine Sykora)
In my eyes, Nadine is the how-to queen of travel. I found her through a collab she did with the Vagabrothers 3 years ago. She’s a fellow Canadian from BC! She has so many tips due to many many years of travel. She’s been doing the travel vlogger thing since she graduated university when she decided to get a working visa and move to New Zealand. Hey Nadine has been on YouTube for 11 years, although she’s been a travel vlogger specifically for roughly 7. I would say that her content is generally a mix of travel Q&A, advice/how-to guides, and vlogs of her adventures abroad. She comes across as an experienced world traveler who's coaching you on how to make your travel dreams come true. Every newbie traveler needs to check out her channel; it’s like Travel 101. If you want to get into the vlogging game, Nadine and Kristen (from Hopscotch the Globe) create a vlogging course with the help of Nomadic Matt. I haven’t personally taken this course, but these guys have a wealth of industry experience behind them; so if I were to take a course, I would take this one. (Let me know your thoughts if any of you have taken the course). Basically, she’s the travel community’s professor; the fun helpful kind.
4. Hopscotch the Globe (Kristen Sarah)
Kristen runs a YouTube channel called Hopscotch the Globe with her husband Sia. I found out about their channel through a collab with Hey Nadine and Raya Was Here roughly two years ago. These guys are also Canadian (from Ontario). Sia went to school for media production and visual effects while Kristen went to school for broadcasting in TV and film. They are well suited for careers as travel YouTubers. Right now they live in a renovated 1976 vintage airstream called Luna with their new puppy, Atlas. Their branding is very hippie and minimalist. What I mean by this, is that they’re very into natural remedies/products, living freely, and environmental sustainability. Their way of life is very different. They stand out due to being married travellers, who live in an airstream. This allows them to take different trips than other travellers. They are leading a group of members from the HTG Tribe to Guatemala in May to work on a humanitarian project. They also launched a giveaway on March 8th to win a trip to join Sia in Jamaica for Carnival. If your interested in those opportunities, check out their YouTube channel and website.
5. Mr. Ben Brown (Ben Brown)
Ben is a British YouTuber who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. I found Ben through Jacksgap when they were doing the Rickshaw Run in India back in September 2013. Ben is a photographer and videographer by trade. I’ve seen him shoot many ads for companies on his channel. Ben is well known for his Visual Vibes, videos that take composition and aesthetics to the next level. Definitely, go check out his Instagram. Not too long ago Ben did a road trip from Cape Town, South Africa to Nairobi, Kenya. A lot of his vlogs take place in Cape Town, but he goes abroad fairly regularly as well. Ben used to be a professional kayaker and recently opened up a company that does kayak tours. Ben is pretty down to earth. He’s realistic and speaks his mind. His outro is: “Reminder to work hard, be nice to people, and try not to get lost or killed.” Words to live by in my book. He's currently about to join his friend Jeremy Loops on his world tour, who is an amazing musician. Go follow Ben to watch their shenanigans.
6. Raya Was Here (Raya Encheva)
Raya is the human embodiment of sunshine. She has such a positive aura that you can’t help but feel better after watching one of her videos. Raya is a nomadic Bulgarian YouTuber. She left New York, which she moved to after going to Uni in London, back in 2014 to join Fun For Louis on the road. Raya’s videos are mostly travel vlogs with some sit-down Q&A style videos. She also appears in most of Louis videos now. Raya is all about connecting with people and spreading sunshine. She and Louis are currently living in Cape Town. They’ve both been living out of their backpacks for years and it’s entertaining to see them get excited about everyday things, like having a blender. If you want to watch something that makes you smile, I seriously recommend checking out her channel. She exudes almost childlike wonder. Watching her vlogs is definitely a refreshing experience.
7. Sam Evans
Sam Evans is an Australian filmmaker and photographer who lives in Sydney. He started his channel back in September 2015. His first videos were more focused on aesthetics and were centred around his romp through Europe. After hanging out with Louis for a bit, he started doing some daily vlogs. (I discovered his channel and subscribed to him during this period). His style is now a mesh of vlogging and cinematography. You should definitely check out his Instagram. He’s killing the game. He is an ambassador for GoPro Australia so sometimes his videos are about his work with them. Sam radiates fun and confidence. He works hard and plays hard.
8. Kombi Life (Ben, Leah, and Alaska)
This is probably the most unique channel on this list. They have set it up like a travel TV show with episodes and seasons. This channel is in a different style than most travel YouTube content. Their approach to content creation is 100% authenticity. They use the donations to their Patreon account to get the necessary funding to run their channel. They have turned down offers from producers because they wanted to stay true to the Kombi Life mission. They do everything themselves from start to finish. I found them through a collab with Hey Nadine back in July 2015. A few years ago, Ben set off on a daring mission of driving in a VW Kombi from Chile to Alaska. Leah joined him on the road as did Alaska (their fluffy four-legged Peruvian explorer). The Hasta Alaska project took them several years to complete. They have now finished this journey and are going to set off on another adventure soon. They said that the post-production for their latest project will start in May at the earliest; so we should anticipate the YouTube videos to come out sometime this summer. I’m stoked to see what they come up with. I want to undertake a project like this so I find their channel really inspirational.
I encourage you all to go check out some of these creators. We all could use more inspiration. It’s great that we have video evidence of awesome people doing awesome things. It’s sometimes hard to believe such a thing exists these days. Remember to use these channels to find your own passion projects. Have fun browsing!
P.S. This is an incomplete list of the YouTube channels I subscribe to. Everyone on this list has travel as the (or one of the) main focus(es) of their channel. They are also people that I’ve subscribed to for a decent amount of time.
P.P.S. If you guys have any YouTube channel suggestions for me, let me know in the comments!