One of our first stops during EssenceFest in New Orleans was a breakfast meet and greet with Jeff Jenkins, the host of a brand new National Geographic show called Never Say Never.
Jenkins, who is the son of a DisneyWorld chef, actually didn’t step foot on a plane until he was 20 years old, but once he did, he started living by his mantra “life begins where your comfort zone ends.” His mission is to inspire those who look like him to travel without fear and push past their perceived limitations to experience everything the world has to offer. Never Say Never follows Jeff as he travels the world testing the limits of his physical abilities — from attempting to climb 70 foot mountain faces, to rafting class 5 rapids, to sailing in a windstorm at the end of the world. Throughout his global odyssey Jeff makes deep connections with locals and learns not just about the world, but also about himself.
Check out the trailer below:
Jenkins chatted it up with BOSSIP Sr. Content Director about the new show. He revealed his favorite stop on the series was Japan, a repeat destination for Jenkins who says the Eastern nation was the first country he’d ever traveled to in his previous journeys.
“The culture, the tradition, the way they present the food is just incredible,” Jenkins told BOSSIP. “Japan always had a special place in my heart and to be able to go back this time was super full circle because I was a broke college student the first time and this time having a crew and doing a TV show was mind-blowing.”
This time around the show took Jenkins to Beppu in Southern Japan. Viewers will get to watch moments from Jenkins’ experience in the second episode of Never Say Never, airing July 16. Other stops during the first season include New Zealand, Mexico, Vietnam, Iceland, Brazil and Argentina. While Jenkins says he had some input in his itinerary, he reveals that the producers did have some surprises in mind.
“I gave them my dreams,” Jenkins recalled. “I have 109 things I want to do and places I want to visit before I die so I gave them that. I did want to go to Brazil and Iceland. They just added that stuff and took my opinion on things, like, ‘Have you ever thought about doing this?’ So we approached it as a team effort.”
With so much travel on the agenda, we had to ask Jenkins some tips to making the most of travel without getting exhausted.
“I definitely get my sleep. You have to or you’ll get sick,” Jenkins advised.”I also take vitamins.”
If you’re not ready to head overseas just yet, no worries — Jenkins’ show also spends time in New Mexico and New York. And while the show will focus on the outdoor wonders of the Adirondacks, Jenkins revealed that the Big Apple is actually his favorite city in the whole world!
“I am in love with that place,” Jenkins told BOSSIP. “New York is fun, I love visiting. I can go there with no plan and end up having the time of my life. There is always somebody there, there’s always something I wasn’t expecting to do. There are quintessential New York things to do. Plus the people, I love talking to people. The buildings, I can walk around and just stare at the buildings.”
Nonstop New Zealand
Premieres July 9, 2023
Jeff Jenkins heads to New Zealand to immerse himself in Maori culture and push himself well beyond his comfort zone. With Maori cultural ambassador Jamus Webster as his guide, Jeff kicks things off with a thrilling canoe race; then plunges into a deep, dark cave; tries his hand at sheep shearing; gets roughed-up playing rugby; and ultimately braves whitewater rapids and a towering waterfall.
Sumo Wrestling in Japan
Premieres July 16, 2023
Jeff travels to the Japanese island Kyushu, a magical sanctum for Japan’s national sport: Sumo Wrestling. His adventures include studying the art of Kendo combat, training with a martial arts master, and practicing with a world renowned taiko drum group. Inspired by his adventures, Jeff takes on his biggest challenge yet and enters the ring to face Shohozan, a world sumo champion.
Swimming with Sharks in Mexico
Premieres July 23, 2023
Jeff Jenkins travels to Mexico to fulfill his dream of swimming with whale sharks. With biologist Frida Jonguitud as his guide, Jeff leaps off a cliff into a cenote and drift dives over the second largest coral reef on the planet. Jeff climbs 106 steps to the top of a pyramid in Ek Balam, and gets hands on with crocodiles in a local conservation animal sanctuary.
Man of the Mountain
Premieres July 30, 2023
Jeff Jenkins heads to New York to sharpen his woodsman skills in The Adirondack Park. With timbersports champions Mark Bouquin and Martha King as mentors, Jeff stretches outside of his comfort zone conditioning his body and mind. Battling in a fire starting competition, speed climbing and lake diving – Jeff pushes himself like never before to prepare for a monumental test: climbing a mountain.
Premieres August 6, 2023
Jeff Jenkins tours the hidden gems of Vietnam with his stylish ambassador Jessica Minh Anh; soaking in the country’s beauty, culture, and stunning landscapes. Jeff explores hidden lakes, helps farmers plough with an ox, and savors the flavors of Hanoi before confronting his biggest fear: walking on shaky planks above the clouds on the soaring Doc Moc Bridge.
Flying High in New Mexico
Premieres August 13, 2023
Jeff Jenkins travels to Albuquerque, New Mexico to test his deep fear of heights and fly in the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Thanks to the expert guidance of ballooning master Gavin Moughan, Jeff will confront danger in ways he didn’t know was possible, including defying death in a submerged kayak, rappelling from a cliff, and crushing his comfort limits with fiery chiles.
Penguin Party in Patagonia
Premieres August 20, 2023
Jeff Jenkins navigates the perilous waters and rough windy cliffs of Patagonia with the help of local guides, Micki Fischer and Vecky Bronzovich. In the heart of Tierra del Fuego, Jeff catches king crabs and connects to the indigenous culture to learn from their traditions. Inspired by the ways of the Yamana, Jeff pilots a sailboat to meet the cutest natives of the land – hundreds of penguins.
From Iceland to the Amazon
Premieres August 27, 2023
Jeff Jenkins jumps between extreme adventures in the Amazon Rainforest and Iceland. Up north, Jeff scales icy glaciers, paddles through frigid waters and hikes to beautiful blue ice caves. With help from local expert, Adhara Scanavino, Jeff gets a lesson in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, enjoys fresh-caught shrimp from the Amazon River, and overcomes his fear of riding a water buffalo. .