Two of the Internet's biggest stars are the button-cute brothers Jack and Finn Harries. If you have never heard of them, there's a simple explanation: You're probably too old.
But the Harries Twins are two of the most beloved personalities on YouTube, which these days can dwarf television in viewership. Nearly every video they upload to their channel, JacksGap, earns well over 1 million views, much better than many prime-time shows, and their videos overall have nearly 3.2 million regular subscribers. The Harries Twins are so popular that they now make a full-time job of producing new videos from their London office, teaming with outside organizations that are eager to attract the eyeballs of the youth market.
Now they have turned to celebrating travel, and their new series captures the joys and troubles of one of the most fascinating destinations of all: India.
In the fall, the Harries Twins were convinced to enter the Rickshaw Run, an epic, three-week road trip across the breadth of India. Bracingly, the Rickshaw Run is undertaken in those open-air tuk-tuks, which snarl and chug like lawn mowers with steering wheels and serve as one of Asia's mid-level forms of transportation, albeit usually for short distances. This time, they're pressed into service—with decidedly spotty results—for 2,200 grueling miles.
The organizers of the Rickshaw Run ask that participants raise at least $1,650 by doing the run; it's a testament to the Harries Twins' popularity that they rounded up $177,512 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. You can also bet that the next Rickshaw Run will sell out sooner than ever now that JacksGap has made it look so cool.
Their adventure is well worth a look—a well-filmed, brisk, four-part video excursion across India in which the Twins, together with five friends, experience the tumult and joy that is India. They meet locals, tangle with monkeys, greet the Taj Mahal at dawn, brave both the insanity of Indian traffic and cataclysmic weather—all while acting very much like boys and doing things that could give their safety coordinator a heart attack.
Sometimes watching makes you glad they braved India's highways for you. Other times, you'll be jealous of the level of fascination and affection they have for a destination that so many people (unfortunately) never consider visiting. And if, by the end, you're able to tell Jack and Finn apart (hint: Finn's the slightly more taciturn one), you just may qualify as an honorary member of the YouTube Generation.
Bit of trivia: The Harries Twins, incidentally, have a travel pedigree. Their grandfather, playwright Michael Frayn (Copenhagen, Noises Off) was once a presenter of travel programs for the BBC. The Twins have already brought their fans videos from Sri Lanka, South Africa, Ibiza, and elsewhere.