“Do you want to go on an adventure with me?”
If you’ve heard these words before on TikTok, you probably saw Ben Kielesinski, who has been dragging viewers digitally along on his Vancouver adventures since August 2020.
Ben has 1.6 million followers on TikTok, and his posts routinely receive millions of views. He posts videos of himself taking the viewer on adventures around the city from the North Shore mountains to his cool ocean swims.
Daily Hive sat down with Ben to tik-snak about the social media platform and his all-time favorite adventure in Vancouver.
So who is @benkielesinski?
I’m known for taking people on adventures through TikTok. It started about a year ago. August 30th was the first content I actually posted on TikTok, but before that I had the app. I downloaded it in January 2020.
Then COVID hit and I was fired from my job, just like a lot of people did.
I worked in an event company, so it was pretty much gone right away.
And my friend sent me a message saying, “Hey, I know you’re fired right now. There’s this company doing auditions. They want a video adventure, so just go out and film yourself on an adventure and send it as your application. ”
And so I filmed it and uploaded it to TikTok, and it was a bit of the first adventure video I made.
I got a lot of comments from people who just said, ‘Hey, I’m in the UK,’ or ‘I’m in Toronto, and we’re in lockdown, we can’ t even go outside, I’m really appreciating you taking us out… thank you for taking me out into nature. ”
And I thought that was really cool, so I just kept doing it.
Favorite Vancouver adventure?
I love using the beach embankment. I love cycling around town and I like to visit our local breweries.
What is the perfect Vancouver adventure to date?
I think you should cycle to the art gallery, exhibit the art gallery, and then I would walk into the Main Street area and I would walk up Main Street and shop there, with all the little small businesses there. I think that’s really funny.
Maybe grab a snack and go to the brewery and hop around there. And if it happens to be sunshine, head to Habitat Island in the Olympic Village.
Then take the water taxi under the Granville Bridge with the chandelier, and when it lights up, you can surprise your date when it lights up and starts spinning.
And then I’m a big fan of going to the cinema. So I would probably make a movie on Fifth Avenue. I like small cinemas and they have beer there.
Favorite Canadian TikTokers?
- @kallmekris “RDiscovering how creative, driven and hard-working she is motivates me so much. ”
- @notmymango “Those videos are very peaceful. “
Any TikTok post tips?
I think video is so interesting as opposed to pictures. You are able to release a lot more of yourself with the videos and be a lot more creative.
If you have an idea, TikTok lets you showcase your idea, whether it’s doing something, or a dance or comedy, it’s somehow accepted in one place.
Find something you really like, something you really enjoy, and find out how you are able to film it. Even if it’s just a time-lapse where you do something, or a video where you do a step of something and do a voiceover on it.
You do not have to have a huge amount of edits. You do not have to spend a lot of time on it, but I just think you have to put something out.
What makes TikTok unique?
One big thing with TikTok is – just as much as it is the content creators who post media, the comment section is such a wonderful place.
People contribute to videos through comments. There are times when I want to watch a video that I think is really funny, and then go to the comments, just to see how people react to it.
People can respond to videos and I think you can have a very good community on TikTok and you can add that.
I think that’s why it’s so valuable and why people have become so famous so quickly because of this app. One video can tell so much about a creator and you may decide to follow that person because of one video; you get so much more out of it.
What if my videos don’t get any views? ☹️
It does not have to be too serious. Trying not to worry about views is a big deal.
If you post something and people do not see it – it is not necessarily that it is bad. Just because something got a low number of views, does not mean that it should not deter people from continuing to make videos.
Forgive me for asking, is there a story behind your mustache?
It was just a bit like a joke at first. I keep it until I’m ready for it to be gone. I certainly do not want to just be “you’re the guy with the mustache” forever.
As soon as people get really familiar with it, I might get rid of it.
How do you plan your adventures?
It really depends on how I feel about the day. I try not to plan things too much. I do not want to have to worry about making this special content when it is really important to me that I am out there to experience nature and enjoy it.
Many of the places I go to are just parks. So you know there will be parking, there will be a set of trails, so you do not have to worry too much about it, it will generally be safe.
If it’s a hike, I’ll look up the hiking details on a hiking website, just to see the time and the elevation gain, there’s a water source, all that sort of thing. If anyone knows there is snow, you can look up the latest reviews that people have made.
What do you hope people get out of going on virtual adventures with you?
I also want people to know that there are beautiful things in the parks here, they are big parks.
Just on the North Shore there are parks with acres and acres of trees that you can walk through and look at Moss. There are like real animals there and you know you can all be from 20 minutes away from the parking lot. You do not have to sweat to do that.
That’s what we’re very lucky to have here, so I want people to use it more. I want people to spend time in our parks because the more people in our parks, the more support the parks get.
You can follow Ben Kielesinski on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
This interview has been edited and compressed for clarity.