Kylor Melton’s goal in life is to inspire people to explore and discover. Raised in the mountains of Idaho, the photographer and founder of the travel website www.kylor.co never fails to takes viewers on an incredible adventure with his beautiful images. On display in his gallery of photographs are some of the most scenic backdrops from around the world – anything from the sunrise in the Himalayas to the volcanoes in Mount Rinjani. Through all these experiences, he has come to find one ultimate truth: “beauty is a concept that needs no introduction.”
1. What was your first ever travel experience?
That’s not fair! My parents are really adventurous and they worked in the travel industry when I was born, so my first time out of the country was when I was 5 months old. I don’t remember the trip, but we went to China, Australia, Fiji, Tahiti…so many different spots that I can’t really recount. But the first travel experience that I can remember was when I was maybe in the 3rd grade. I was in a history class and we had to choose a country in South America that we were really interested in. I ended up with Peru and so that day, I came home and I’m like “Hey mom, I’m doing a class on Peru and it’s gonna be really cool.” And she’s like, “that’s awesome sweetie.” Then two weeks later, I come home and she tells me that we’re going to Peru tomorrow. So as a little 12-year-old, or whatever I was, we get on a plane and go to Peru for 3 weeks. We went to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca – everything you can imagine. And that to this day, that class remains the only A I’ve ever gotten in History.
2. Was that when you first knew you loved to travel?
Yeah. My parents are super keen on exploring and my dad loves adventure to the utmost, but that was the moment I was super stoked on one place – just fascinated by it.
3. What did you do there as a third grader?
Well, my mom created an itinerary and we were just on adventures 24/7. We did the four-day trek up Machu Picchu; we went to indigenous villages and hung out. We did some crazy, insane hiking in the mountains. We went to this really cool lake that had villages of straw living on it. Just exploring.
4. Can you explain how your interest in photography began and what motivated you to share your experiences through your website?
My interest in photography really came from the lack of ability to communicate and explain the epic-ness of the world around me. I was trying to express that to my friends and family to get them stoked on it. I can see all these epic spots but when I try to tell you about it, it sounds really lame. But with photos, I felt like I could capture the essence of something and share it.
5. Did you ever have professional training? Or did you pick it up on your own?
It was a mix of the two. In high school, I did some audio/visual classes that taught me the basics, but basically it’s all on my own. At this point, I’m looking to take it one step further and l’m really likely going to be going to film school this year. I’m trying to get a full ride scholarship to the Philippines and L.A.
6. You’re a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie. How can you describe that rush to someone?
I can’t. That’s the problem. That’s what videography and photography is for. The words that come out of my mouth will never, ever give it enough hype. When I was born, my dad would fly me into the air as high as he could and so that sense of adventure has been in me since I was a baby. If I had to explain it to someone, I would be at a lack of words because it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever felt or imagined.
7. So I guess the best way to describe it is…indescribable?
Haha, yeah…that might be the best way.
8. This next question might be a little tough then…to date, what has been your most life changing experience?
THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! It really depends on the people you’re with and the adventures you’re having. But okay, if I had to choose…one really epic moment in my life, was 6am in Nepal. I was out in the Himalayas and I was with my mom and we were travelling. This was like two years ago. It was really early in the morning, in the dead of winter. I think it was New Year’s Day too. My mom had just fallen and hit her head on stairs on the ice, but it was crazy because it was the most beautiful morning I have ever experienced. We were in the middle of a 4-day trek into the Himalayas and as I’m sitting there with my mom, it’s literally the most beautiful site my eyes have ever seen – just these insane rustic reds and these greens, so many insane colors. But that moment was pretty epic even though she was kind of struggling.
9. What about your photography class?
My goal was just to teach people how to take photos and take them on an epic adventure. So I was living in Bali and Lombok at the time and I created a Facebook account and started a business out of it. I did 3 separate trips: one beach trip, one mountain and one rice patty field trip.
10. What do you do when no one’s watching?
I’m usually on missions. I’ve been back in the states for the summer and I’ve been working, but generally when no one is watching, I’m generally building sh*t or finding adventures to go on. You’ll find me jumping off of stuff and kayaking. I learned how to do 5 flips this summer.
11. What’s something you always forget to pack?
I forget a lot to be honest. I always forget to pack stuff I need, but I always have my camera. It’s different every time.
12. What do you see?
It’s a map of the world – like a mirrored map of the world! I see Spain and Italy. That’s what it is huh?
Hmm…I don’t know about that.
NO IT IS! Look I can see Spain; I can see Sweden; I can see Norway! That’s definitely what it is.
13. Scenario: You’re on a 16-hour international flight:
- Must watch movie during? Watching it on repeat? I like adventure movies. But if I had to take one movie with me…I guess it would be Point Break. It’s about bank robbers, who are surfers and skydivers – so it’s just a bunch of adventures happening. I don’t know if I would want to watch it on repeat, but that’s one of my favorite movies.
- Two worst people to sit in between? You probably can’t say this in the interview, but a basic b*tch…the girl who is super fratty, who is just sitting there and talking about a bunch of stuff. Other than that, there are the old smelly people, but I’ve never really had bad experiences on planes.
- What about two basic b*tches? One on your left and the other on the right? OH MAN! THAT WOULD BE HORRIBLE. That’s never happened to me but I can’t imagine how that would be like.
- Would you rather have no neck pillow or be forced to share an armrest for the entire flight?
Share an armrest because I don’t really use it that much. I can sleep everywhere too; it’s a skill.
- The kid sitting behind you won’t stop kicking your seat, you ______________. I could probably sleep through it to be honest. Whenever I’m in the car for longer than 20 minutes, I’m asleep. So planes are pretty similar.
14. And finally, ClapwayTV focuses on the theme of adventure. In your own words, how do you define adventure?
Getting out there and getting stoked. Finding things that make your heart beat fast. Not thinking about it and just winging it.
Thanks Kylor, although the correct answer to the inkblot question is once again, a praying mantis head.
Photo Courtesy of kylor.co