Sure, Kyle can get a little on the irritating side when he’s recording you stuffing pizza into your face for the fourth time in a week but hey, someone needs to record the dream summer! Especially when it comes to making everyone back home jealous on Instagram.
Keeping your patience with him while he constantly waves his selfie stick around can be tricky but you still have to love the guy being so devoted to his art form. He probably won’t realise how amazing some of the places he’s visited are until after he’s come home but at least the views will sky rocket and the likes roll in..
How To Spot Kyle?
Q: Hey Kyle, so where does your J1 summer start?
Oh, hey! Sorry, hang on I just need to get this shot of that cloud. Give me two seconds…
My J1 summer probably started on the USIT blog! I love watching people’s travel videos and seeing what places in the world are like before you go there. I found this awesome video, a guy called Séan posted of his summer in the US in 2016. It was so sick, but there were so many different angles and shots that he should’ve taken. There and then I knew I had to go and make my own, especially seeing as I have the drone as well!
I’ve sent in videos and pics to USIT before to try and get my stuff out there (they were awesome and posted this one I took in Iceland!). One online booking form and a €99 deposit later and I was able to start planning…
Q: How did you go about getting your job?
I knew I wanted to go to California, specifically Santa Monica as the beaches were made for my drone. I’d heard from past J1ers that getting jobs in California can be harder than the likes of Chicago and Boston so I went for the J1 Premium option with access to the best employers out in Cali.
Once I’d paid my deposit I got access to the job listings through my tracking account and found a sweet job at a theme park as an ‘Experience Agent’, which basically involved getting great pictures of holidaymakers on the rides and around the park. I love to make memories come alive, whether they’re mine or not so it was the perfect job.
I got hired via Skype interview but I knew about the Hiring Fairs too, so I managed to get Ross sorted out with a job beside (he wouldn’t have had a clue how to do it himself, he’s a complete liability but the funniest guy I’ve ever met!).
Q: How was your first week over in the States?
We flew direct to LA in early June. I got a little bit of sleep when we were over the Atlantic but there was no chance I’d miss getting some footage of seeing the US from 35,000ft. I hadn’t even reached the Us yet and had the opening sequence of my J1 video sorted.
I had 3 days until work began so after arriving into California we went straight to the hostel we’d booked for the week. We needed to find an apartment but once I had all my gear with me, I didn’t mind where we stayed. One of the girls (Aimee) sorted a place 15 minutes outside Santa Monica provided I helped her take the perfect beach shot for her Instagram page. She has like 6,000 followers on it, it’s crazy! She doesn’t even know anything about photography and I only have 2,000?!
Anyway, the first weekend was spent pretty much entirely outside. We went surfing too and I got some amazing footage from the end of the surfboard thank to the GoPro. Pity I had to delete all the earlier footage as I was useless to begin with.
The first week in work was cool too, we got free ice cream because of the heat and I got to meet so many US families who were having the time of their lives at the park. It was bliss, as was laughing at Ross dressed as a hot dog handing out flyers across the pier from the park!
Q: What were your highlights and lowlights of your J1?
Highlights? I’m putting the finishing touches to the video but it’s 37 minutes long! That’s after a good few hours of editing already! It just goes to show how many amazing moments we had.
My favourite was visiting the Grand Canyon and doing a skydive over it. I really enjoyed my job as well, especially when Ice Cube brought his family to the park and we all got pictures with him. That was awesome!
I nearly got in very big trouble when I flew the drone too close to the Hollywood sign in LA. The cops are very, very annoyed at me and I’m so relieved that they knew I was just trying to get some cool footage and let me off with a stern warning.
Another lowlight was when I missed a bald eagle catch it’s prey in mid air out by the Grand Canyon because I was changing the batteries on the GoPro. Disaster.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone going this summer?
Pack a lot of memory cards!
Ross was always giving out to me for bringing a camera everywhere I went but you definitely want to capture those memories that’d be unforgettable anyway. I definitely learned about keeping out of trouble with the police the hard way but make sure not to do anything that could upset the locals or anyone else!
Looking for a new canvas to create with this summer? There’s still time to get on board with a Summer J1 with our visa packages starting from €499!