One of the greatest things about social media is that you get to e-meet people that you probably would've never met in "real" life. There are a lot of authentic people out there leading fascinating and interesting lives. For me, one of those people happen to be Kent or @M0ner0 (with zeros, not "o") on Instagram. If you're not following him please go and do so right this moment. Kenny is always on the go - he's never just "home, chilling". He has gone to the deepest corners of the world (far, far off the beaten path and miles away from tourists) to capture some of the most stunning, surreal, beautiful, mystical - I could go on - views I have ever seen.
What makes his photos so intriguing is that he often hikes (sometimes 7 hours or more), sometimes risking his life on these dangerous paths to capture these incredible moments.
I've been following him for a few years now and I've always told him that he needs to write a book one day. This man is FULL of stories (as I'm sure you can imagine) which is why I decided to reach out to him for an interview right quick.
You seem to be a very mysterious man - Where were you born and raised?
I was born In Passaic, New Jersey from immigrant parents. My parents split up when I was a toddler. Mother moved us to Worcester, MA, where I was raised.
I've been following you on Instagram for quite some time. You once mentioned being incarcerated and having found a deeper appreciation for freedom and life. If you don't mind sharing, what led to your incarceration and how much time did you have to do?
I was incarcerated for almost two years for drug trafficking. It was my first (and hopefully last) time I've ever been in any serious trouble.
You're the true definition of a modern-day nomad. What made you decide to go on the road and explore the world on your terms?
Frankly, I became tired of the short vacations that yielded nothing but "good" times. I wanted adventure and deep experiences. A fellow I met in Berlin, Germany convinced me of the backpacking route and so I took the plunge.
I MUST ask this: Being that you spend a lot of time in the wilderness among the mountaintops, how do you maintain cell phone service?
Almost all of my posts are later grams. Either a day or even a week after the event. I have a Peruvian cell chip. It's really cheap to buy internet data here.
Also, it seems that you do a lot of bartering with the people you meet along your journey but how do you get by without a solid job (income)?
I've had the privilege of guiding people around places for cash. Occasionally I'll do some odd jobs for a few sols (Peruvian currency). Couchsurfing and Woofing are great ways to stretch your savings.
Are you ever afraid? What keeps you going?
I have shed any fear I had years ago. I've been robbed a few times. I almost got shot for mistaken identity once. I find that things happen, especially on long term journeys. It is inevitable. It is how you approach it and how you deal with any issues that arise. Staying positive is key.
The love of adventure keeps me going. The love for photography and my passion to share with others the beauty found on planet Earth keeps me going.
Many, many thanks to Kenny (@M0ner0) for sharing! If you're looking to see the unseen part of a country's culture you've got the right guy.
Would you ever consider backpacking?