Our exclusive interview with JJ Yosh who brings his curious cat Simon on hikes, jogs, camping trips, kayaking runs, and adventures through the snow. Recently People.com and Buzzfeed did profiles on the duo, highlighting their shared travel adventures in the 17 months since JJ adopted Simon as a kitten from his neighbor.
Hi JJ please tell us a little about you?
I am an adventure filmmaker, travel blogger, backcountry chef, outdoor enthusiast and recently a cat trainer creating media to inspire people to explore their backyards.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Adventurous, unpredictable, buffet lover
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
My biggest influence in my life has been my older cousin, Melanie. She is a huge nature lover and she taught me early on how to connect to the earth.
Also my late uncle Doug took me on some of my first nature hikes which set me on my course now.
What’s your background?
My ethic background is half Japanese and half Irish. I received my B.S. in Chemical Engineering at UCSB with an emphasis in environmental safety. I believe chemical engineers are at the heart of industrial infrastructure, so if we want to create massive change in our complex than we need to target the origin of it all.
Who is your biggest supporter?
My biggest supporter would be my parents and my fans online.
When did you start into this adventurist life of travel and film/photography?
My outdoors lifestyle all began in college when I started an outdoors club called Excursion Club. I learned right then that my calling in life was to take people out into the backcountry with me, physically or virtually.
When and why did you decided to also feature your cat Simon?
My cat Simon is a huge part of my life and when I got him he started joining my adventures. Since my life is all about the outdoors, naturally Simon would be along when I took my photos, so it just happened. Little did I know that he would soon be more popular than me.
How often do you travel?
I typically backpack or camp locally every week and travel internationally once a month.
Which country or places are still on your bucket list?
Countries still on my bucket list are Iceland, New Zealand, Fiji, Faroe Islands, and Venezuela.
Simon is a celebrity too, how he handles that?
I am pretty sure Simon loves the attention that all this media has brought to him. He is unusually an extremely social cat. When I have a party, he loves to be right in the middle of all the action.
What travel tips you can share with us for 2018?
My travel tips for 2018 are create a bucket list of where you want to go by looking at travel magazines and online travel pictures, select one location on that list that you can achieve for 2018, set a time and make it happen.
What did you learn from your biggest failure? (if any)
I have had many failures or learning lessons as I now like to call them.
The biggest things I’ve taken away from my failures is to pursue smaller goals that can lead to bigger goals.
Early on I would tackle mountains that were way bigger than I could handle. My new philosophy is working inch by inch to get to the top of my goal.
What is your own definition of happiness?
My definition of happiness is feeling fulfillment with where you are in life and being able to embrace the moment no matter what.
Who was your role model as a child?
My role model as a child was my younger brother Brett because he was really gifted at sports. He made me push harder to excel in my own hobbies.
What is your favorite healthy food?
My favorite healthy food are avocados.
And your favorite cheat food?
My favorite cheat food is going to buffets. Boulder Colorado has many delicious buffets. When I’ve done good with something, I reward myself with a buffet.
In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?
In five years I see myself heavily involved in creating larger TV and Movie programs that empower people to get outdoors.
I also see myself more involved in public speaking – speaking with folks of all walks of life of about the importance of doing what you love to be happy.
What music do you like?
I love listening to the original scores from movies.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Deal breakers for first date, not liking cats, not liking to cook, and not liking the outdoors.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Bear Grylls because his career is very inspiring to me. He has accomplished many career objectives I would like to someday reach.
Do you support any charity?
Yes I support the charity Nature Conservancy.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
My smart phone, my wallet, and my keys are the three things that go with me everywhere.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
My perfect Sunday would be trail running in the morning, eating a delicious seafood buffet, discovering a new outdoor location with a beautiful hot spring, cliff diving spot, cave, or other geological feature, and being surrounded by my close friends.
What do you think of Social Media?
I love social media because it allows me to connect to many more people than I would be able to normally associate in my day to day life.
Where we can follow you?
Favorite food: I love Shrimp and Chocolate Chip cookies. If I was stuck on a deserted island these would be my two must have items!
Song: My favorite song is Moby Porcelain. The song always transports me to a beautiful deserted island.
Travel destination: My favorite travel destination is Havasu Canyon. This place has some of the most stunning waterfalls in the world.
Celebrity Crush: Evangeline Lily. Ever since the TV show Lost, I have had my eyes set on Kate from Lost.
Restaurant: My go to restaurants are the Chinese buffet, Tsing Tao and the Indian buffet, Taj – both located in Boulder Colorado.
Actor/Actress: My favorite actress is Jodie Foster.
Quote: My quote: “Go Explore, Get Inspired, Take Action, and Live Sustainably”
Sports Team: My favorite sports team are watching climbing competitions.
Book: My favorite book is Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
Movie: My favorite movie is Jurassic Park.
Drink: My favorite drink is sparkling water. If its alcohol an Old Fashioned.