Part I: The Warm Up
Growing up outside
The importance of role models
Tell us a little bit about yourself as an individual: Where are you from? How do you feel your upbringing has shaped you into the person you are today?
Names Joseph, born in Arizona outside of Phoenix. Moved to Colorado when I was 8. I have to attribute a lot of who I’ve grown up to be to my mom as she’s always pushed me to chase what I love, never give up, and do my best in whatever it is I put my mind to. I’m really just an easygoing guy who rarely turns down an adventure and has a scary but respectful addiction to adrenaline.
What gets you stoked in life?
Honestly, people are one of my biggest inspirations and source of stoke in life. Yes, jumping out of airplanes and adventuring gets me stoked, but what would it all be without the company of crazy cool people to share it all with? There’s nothing like meeting someone and hours later going on an adventure you’ll never forget.
What do you enjoy about the outdoors and natural world?
For me, its always been sort of an escape from the crazy busy lives that most of us live. It’s somewhere that I can find quiet and a place to think. I also love how there is endless exploring and new places to see. You never know what you’re going to stumble upon while hiking a new trail or road tripping to a new place.
Describe your ideal day out in the wilderness. Who are you with and where?
My ideal day in the wilderness would usually be hiking somewhere far in the mountains starting before sunrise. It would be with a few close friends, some killer tunes, and my camera to capture the sun peaking over the mountains.
Can you trace your passion for the outdoors back to one particular moment or trip?
I don’t know if I could trace it back to one moment, but growing up I was always outdoors building tree houses, playing in the mud, and shooting bb guns. I was barely ever allowed to watch TV or play video games, and I think that had a huge influence on my love for the outdoors now.
From underwater with sharks to thousands of free falling feet, you seem to have quite the repertoire of action media. How did you get into your photography and videography? Any particular role models that influenced you along the way?
I started with a GoPro Hero 2 way back in the day like many creators did. I would shoot clips of cliff jumping, hiking, or really whatever would get a cool shot. Eventually I started following guys like Rory Kramer, Jay Alvarrez, Sam Kolder, and many other original adventure creators. I spent hours and hours watching YouTube tutorials to learn to edit and shoot video, and always dreamt of one day having the ability to travel the world while creating.
Where are your favorite local places to shoot?
Living in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, I of course love shooting around the Flatirons. Lookout mountain above Boulder is always a killer spot for sunset, and hiking the Flatties for sunrise could never get old.
Part II: 3, 2, 1… Base!
Fly like a bird
Hawaii + Indonesia
You seem to have a knack for finding really (really) high places to jump from, take us down memory lane into how this interest in base jumping/skydiving started? How have you seen it influence the rest of your daily life?
Growing up, if you would ask me what animal I would want to be for a day, I would always say a bird. The idea of human flight has always fascinated me, and with the rise of social media and people like Jay Alvarrez bringing wingsuiting and skydiving to the front of popular social media, I knew it was the next step for me. And, for anyone who has been skydiving, you know it is an instant addiction. 255 skydives and 62 BASE jumps later, the whole sport and the incredible friends I’ve made along the way have really made me realize how lucky I am to live this crazy life, and I strive to let my stoke rub off on everyone I’m around in hopes to positively influence them in some way.
Is there anything specific you think about or tell yourself before the final step when base jumping? Although I am VERY new to BASE jumping, I try to not take anything for granted or leave any bad energy behind when making a BASE jump because of how dangerous it is. I think that to truly enjoy a jump, you need a clear mind and in a positive mood. So, I usually say a quick prayer because my mom would always tell me that I need more guardian angels than most people, tell my friends I’m jumping with that I love them, and then its 3….2…..1….. BASE.
If you could take your art in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead? What new thing would you try?
I would sell nearly everything in my life to have nothing holding me down, then use video and photo as a platform to travel the world for as long as my body allowed it. Eventually, I want to start a video series about life, travel, extreme sports, and just putting memories and experiences out into the world to inspire others to live above average.
What pushed you to move to Hawaii? How did your time there influence you as an outdoorsman/artist?
Moving to Hawaii was really a result of a time in my life when I was partying too much, stuck in living for the weekend, and realizing I wasn’t spending time doing what I love with the people who really matter in life. I knew I needed some change, so I took a semester off at Boulder to move somewhere totally new where I knew one person on the whole island of Oahu, and it changed my whole outlook on the world, how I spend my time and energy, and my goals for the future. Living there is what really ignited my love for creating through media and helped me realize that I could really harness my creative ability and love for the outdoors to see the world.
You seem to find plenty of new places to go and experience. How was your time in Indonesia? Was it as easy to travel there as you thought?
Backpacking Indonesia was also a result of Hawaii. Living there really helped me become a spur of the moment person. I met a friend in Hawaii who was visiting for a week, we booked flights to Indonesia 3 days later with myself having next to no backpacking experience, and it turned out to be the best trip of my life. Indonesia is an incredible part of the world, rich in culture with some of the most incredible views, islands, and adventures for a price that would blow your mind compared to vacationing in the U.S. It’s incredibly easy to travel all over INDO with little to no set in stone plan but rather booking Air BNB’s the day of and taking small boats from island to island
Part III: Finale Fire Round
Where to find him
Ocean or Mountains?
Ocean, but if you can have the best of both like living in Hawaii, that’s where it gets fun!
Early bird or night owl?
Typically a night owl, unless there’s a sunrise hike or adventure involved.
Favorite camp food?
A cold beer is always the best campfire accessory, but food would have to be s’mores 100%
Favorite outdoor brand? When you go on one of your travels, what do you take with you? Why?
I’d have to say GoPro because they are really the brand and company that started it all for me, and it’s the best go-to camera for so many uses in extreme sports or just an outdoor adventure.
Where do you feel a deep desire to discover in your future travels? Are there any particular places that call to you at this point in time?
Philippines, Iceland, back to INDO, BASE jumping in Italy, always back to Hawaii. Europe has been calling for some time now as I want to go there to fulfill my dream of BASE jumping off big walls.
Where is your Goodland?
I would say that my Goodland probably changes depending on the activity I'm partaking in at the moment. I think the most important part of adventure starts with the people you surround yourself with. If I had to name a specific place, I would say Hawaii is my Goodland because it has everything I love doing within an hour drive along with the most incredible hiking, beaches, and skydiving in the world.
Where can we find more of your work?
You can follow along on this crazy journey on Instagram @josephtimothywilliams or my blog I'm starting soon JosephTimothyWilliams.com
Any final thoughts?
Thanks for creating an incredible space for creators and adventurers to share their thoughts and reflect on life to hopefully inspire others! Much love to everyone at The Goodland.