Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Chennault.
Hi Courtney, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Travel has always been my favorite hobby. One thing I love about it is the novelty of exploring an unfamiliar place. When I explore new places, I interact with people of different backgrounds, navigate a distinct environment, try activities and cuisines that are unique to the area, and more. Everything is new and demands more of my focus than when I’m simply going through the motions of my routine. I must slow down and live in the moment, often discovering new interests and making new friends.
When everything shut down in early 2020, I was living in California, the first state to issue a shelter-in-place order. Like many others, I felt I was living each day on repeat: working from home for 8 hours, standing in line for an eternity at the grocery store; walking around the block; and starting over again the next day. After multiple extensions of the stay-at-home mandate, I realized that since my daily schedule wasn’t going to change anytime soon, I needed to change my surroundings to escape the state of autopilot that I had slipped into. So, I gave up my apartment, sold my furniture, packed some N95s, and hit the road.
For the next nearly 2 years, I lived out of a suitcase, traveling solo across the country. During my nomadic adventures, I had several unforgettable experiences, like celebrating my birthday on Bourbon Street, camping (for the first time!) in Joshua Tree National Park, witnessing first-hand the iniquities facing Native Americans in the Sonoran desert, and stumbling across our nation’s first freedmen’s town on Hilton Head Island. Many of my adventures are published on my YouTube channel: Exploring with Courtney.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
More than a typical travel channel, “Exploring with Courtney” is an exploration channel that introduces viewers to unfamiliar places and cool activities. The goal is to inspire them to have their own adventures, whether by booking a trip to another country or simply trying a new restaurant in their hometown.
From new passions to new friends, you never know what you’ll discover on the other side of a new experience, and my recent trip to Kansas City is a perfect example of that. I visited KC for the first time while on a road trip to Colorado. By the end of my week-long stay, I had not only made a friend who introduced me to the city through a local’s eyes, but I had also enjoyed the best barbecue of my life at Joe’s KC BBQ and had learned more about my Black American history at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
It feels great when people tell me they decided to do an activity or visit somewhere new after seeing a video I made about it. That is what my channel is all about.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
To effectively reach and inspire my audience, I try to produce videos that are not only compelling from a content perspective but also a cinematic perspective. Having no background in film or editing means I have to teach myself how to do this through YouTube tutorials and trial-and-error. This learning curve is a continual challenge.
What changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
What’s next for my channel: I look forward to investing in new camera equipment over the next year to help deliver more cinematic videos. I’m also excited to embark on a lifelong dream of taking a solo trip around the world to get closer to my ultimate goal of visiting every country (yes, all 195 of them!).
- Subscribing to my channel: FREE 🙂
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/exploring_with_courtney/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ExploringwithCourtney