Foster Huntington's one piece of advice will change your life

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Many people claim that they're ready to leave their desk job behind and hit the road in search of an adventure, but most don't actually follow through on this whim. Foster Huntington is not like most people. Just a few short years ago, the 28-year-old was living in New York City where he was on the fast track to corporate success at Ralph Lauren. But the more he worked, the more Huntington realized that his life mission wasn't supposed to be confined to a cubicle. He made the decision to life life on his own terms.

From his journeys across the country in his camper van (which started the viral hashtag #VanLife) to the incredible treehouse home he and his friends built, Huntington is living life to the absolute fullest. So there's no surprise that he's become a beacon of inspiration for youths (or anyone with Instagram).

We tapped into Huntington's adventurer mindset and got his one piece of advice that will change your life forever. Ahead, find out what lead to Foster Huntington''s stunner 'Cinder Cone' book, the creative process that went into its construction, and some sage words of wisdom from his adventurous mind.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including more exclusive interviews with Foster Huntington, click here.

Made it home for the first day of spring 🌈

A photo posted by Foster Huntington (@fosterhunting) on

What went into the development of your "Cinder Cone" book?
As a kid, I basically grew up in the woods. I had all these books that were "American Boy's Handy Book" and woodcraft books where it would show all these different forts or rafts you could make. The stuff was always way out of my grasp as a 10 year old, but I would look at them so longingly and think "It would be so cool to have this!" So for the treehouse book, I wanted to combine a photo book with a build book to show the process and idea from conception to completion, with the hope that by looking at the photos, people will be left thinking "Okay I can do that."

What was the process like building the actual treehouse?
It was by far the most special experience of my life! A bunch of my friends were good carpenters but we had never done a project that was that ambitious. So it was a lot of figuring stuff out as we went along. It was such a fun, priceless experience. It was ultimately more fun building the treehouse than living in it. And now, whenever my friends are in the area, they now come by and hangout -- it's been a bit of a destination spot for my friend group.

Engulfed in a cloud

A photo posted by Foster Huntington (@fosterhunting) on

What was your reaction to all the media attention The Cinder Cone received?
It was a little crazy. I thought people were going to be into it when we released video and the book, but I never would have imagined that I would be in the New York Times Style section. It was really crazy and a little overwhelming. It was fun to have these things which sounds so crazy when you come up with the idea end up being so well received. When I told my friends that I was going to leave my job and move into my van, they weren't convinced about the plan. One of my best friends had a full-on intervention and was like, "You're blowing it! What are you doing leaving New York and your job? Are you having mental issues?" Even though the ideas might not always seem right at the time, it's nice when people come around to it.

What do you foresee yourself doing in the future?
I'm actually on the road right now driving down to California to film something; it's a studio film about another building at the treehouse. I really see the next thing I want to do -- and I already have been starting this -- is making videos. I just premiered this video of this sailing trip that I did and it's a bit of a documentary. This is something that I have always wanted to do, especially now that video cameras and editing is now easier than its ever been in terms of accessibility. If you get a camera now, you can't even tell the difference in quality between that and a Hollywood one. And Editing is getting better, too. There are a bunch of videos that I want to make that I don't see other people doing so, I'm super excited doing that next.


Waves on Mars?? from Foster Huntington on Vimeo.

Was there ever a moment you had in the past few years -- whether on the road or at the treehouse -- where it had validated your whole life decision?

Yeah! When we were working on the treehouse and it looked like we weren't going to pull it off in any time frame that we had originally mapped out. Our whole plan was totally out the window. But the first night we stayed in the treehouse on the platform, we thought "Everything is going to be okay." That was the moment we were like, "Yes! We can do it!"

What piece of advice would you give someone hoping to follow suit and leave their conventional life behind?
You can't be afraid of failure. In college I failed a bunch at stuff. But you just have to find the stuff that you're willing to put the time and energy in. And once you do it's a very powerful feeling. The first time in my life when I felt like I was good at something was when I was 20 years old. Up until then, I wasn't the best in class or was not the first person picked for any sports. You just have to find what you love doing and be persistent.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including more exclusive interviews with Foster Huntington, click here.

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