Jonathan Faye on Free Falling into a Free-Spirited Life
“People always say, ‘Ohh man that’s crazy, I could never do that.’ But for me, I never thought about it like that, I always thought I want to do that. I need to do that.” – Jonathan Faye
From the get-go, Jonathan Faye has been practicing tricks and flips on trampolines, he started skiing at age 3, riding roller coasters at age 7, hitting jumps and rails while freestyle skiing at age 12, and the list goes on. Eventually, this childhood curiosity turned into a life full of cliff jumping, paragliding, skydiving, and other extreme sports. Jonathan doesn’t let the boundaries of “normal life” or fear define his decisions. This quote from him explains his outlook perfectly, “People always say, ‘Ohh man that’s crazy, I could never do that.’ But for me, I never thought about it like that, I always thought I want to do that. I need to do that.”
Jonathan spent a lot of time in Vermont in his young adult years. He worked at a trampoline facility where he was able to practice many different flips, turns, and tricks. While jumping off a few cliffs at the quarries close by, he noticed that the hang time when jumping off a cliff was very similar to that of the airtime on a trampoline. From here, Jonathan started working on flips and other formations while jumping off cliffs; cliffs which most people would be too terrified to even consider jumping off of in the first place. His daredevil attitude toward cliff jumping and life, in general, is very refreshing. When explaining cliff jumping, Jonathan simply says, “You just drive to the location and yeet yourself off a cliff.”
“You just drive to the location and yeet yourself off a cliff.” – Jonathan Faye
At the age of 22, Jonathan took a leap of faith and left Vermont to backpack for a year. While traveling Latin America and posting up at a skydiving drop zone in Mexico, he realized that he really did not need many material belongings to continue living the adventurous life that he craved. Jonathan discovered and fell in love with the culture that existed behind living freely and traveling around the world. This also gave him fuel to continue to pursue this passion for “flying”. He explains how there are many drop zones that allow people to work at the facility and in return offer a discount on skydiving. With the combination of being resourceful and passionate, Jonathan knew he could live anywhere and anyway he wanted. Following his fascination with flying, he realized that if he could live out of a backpack for a year, then living out a car, to allow for him more freedom to travel, would feel like a luxury. Jonathan explains his approach to choosing to live differently on the road. He says, “It really comes down to how hard you’re willing to work at the time you’re working, and how you live and how you allocate your resources.” Jonathan’s perspective on life is encouraging and reassuring. It shows that if you want to live a certain way or work towards a certain goal, it’s more attainable than some may think. He says a person just has to get up, leave, and make it happen.
“It really comes down to how hard you’re willing to work at the time you’re working, and how you live and how you allocate your resources” – Jonathan Faye
Since Jonathan dedicates most of his time to chasing his dreams, he works different seasonal jobs every year to sustain an income. He currently lives in a Toyota Tacoma truck with just enough room for a bed and storage underneath. With his time on the road, Jonathan has had many different seasonal jobs such as being an indoor skydiving instructor, an employee at a roofing company, as well as a garden worker. He also had some passive forms of income like investing in stocks and occasionally getting offers to make money from his Instagram content or brand partnerships. Jonathan shared that he really only needs around $12,000-$15,000 a year to get by. This frugal lifestyle that Jonathan has chosen is not always the most comfortable, but he loves the freedom within the grind of it. There is nothing tying him down which gives him the flexibility to pick up and leave when he isn’t excited about living in a certain place anymore. He always emphasizes that this free-spirited life allows him to focus on the bigger things in life, rather than getting caught up in the small stuff that does not always matter in the long term.
“If I could have one superpower, it would be flight. I love interacting with the world around me… I see a waterfall, where some people think, ‘Oh that’s beautiful to look at,’ I think, ‘I want to fall with that water, I want to jump off it.” – Jonathan Faye
Along with having the option to travel on command, Jonathan loves his lifestyle because he gets to spend his time experiencing so many different things, especially different forms of flying. As a paraglider, cliff jumper and skydiver, Jonathan gets the opportunity to be in the air quite a bit. He says, “If I could have one superpower, it would be flight. I love interacting with the world around me… I see a waterfall, where some people think, ‘Oh that’s beautiful to look at,’ I think, ‘I want to fall with that water, I want to jump off it.” There is no denying Jonathan’s obsession with flying. It is such an invigorating experience for him that he would never want to give up. Soon, he is hoping to spend more time learning how to paraglide. He wants to begin cross country paragliding, where a person can travel over 100 miles at a time. In addition, he also wants to begin BASE jumping, which he explains as “cliff jumping on steroids.” Jonathan’s excitement to try new things and willingness to push himself to seek more in the world seems endless. It was very inspiring to witness in our conversation. He explains this drive as, “I’m obsessed with experiencing things. Sometimes people can get in their own way. People often chase after comfort, thinking they’ll find happiness, but after a while, they have obligations that are holding them back from going out and doing what they really want to do.”
“I’m obsessed with experiencing things. Sometimes people get in their own way. People often chase after comfort, thinking they’ll find happiness, but after a while, they have obligations that are holding them back from going out and doing what they really want to do.”
Going forward, Jonathan had a few last pieces of advice that he wanted to share with everyone. He says:
“There comes a certain point when you kind of just have to take a leap and see what happens.”
“With every experience, know what you really want to get out of it.”
“Figure out where you want to go and just go for it.”
Thank you for sharing your inspirational advice and free-spirited story Jonathan! If you want to follow Jonathan’s many adventures around the land and through the skies, check out his Instagram linked below.
Written by: Anna Rice & Jason Crowe
Interview by: Jason Crowe