Have you ever came across a picture on your Instagram feed—perhaps one of the crystal clear waters of the Maldives or of a sunrise on Mount Batur— and thought about how badly you wanted to go there?
Well imagine sitting at a desk where it was your job to go through hundreds of travel pictures, to interview people about their amazing, life-changing adventures.
That was part of my job description for a little bit when I wrote for Business Insider and got to interview expats to see how their lives turned out after quitting their corporate jobs to travel the world. And from those who I’ve interviewed, none of them seemed to mind or hate their new job. Like at all.
After writing those stories, I found myself still stuck on their Instagram accounts, visiting their websites, and really looking for accounts that give me the same inspiration to travel. It also turned my views about travel: It isn’t a luxury. You just have to know the right places, find the right people, and be inspired enough to get your butt to do it. And I did.
As part of my countdown to my month-long journey, I’m going to share with you 9 Instagram accounts that inspired me to embark on this journey and that made me fall in love with traveling.
Nat Geo is the IG account where I draw the most inspiration for traveling as well as for my career. As a journalist, I have the utmost respect for the photographers behind these photos. Not only are the pictures always on point, but they always give us context behind the photos.
Photo by @JohnStanmeyer • Api/Fire ~ In whirling majesty, cloaked in shadowless light of the moon, Mount Merapi, in grand display, a power that takes but also gives, dominating the Central Java landscape, the most active, mystical volcano in Indonesia. • The Archive • Continuing my love affair with a nation I once called home for many years, moved deeply still today by the story, #VolcanoGods, I proposed and photographed for @natgeo, Gunung Merapi resonated so profoundly, I ended up calling my daughter after this awe-inspiring stratovolcano — Francesca Merapi. • Also, Please follow my latest project, @bridging.stories, here on Instagram. • All my best, @JohnStanmeyer • @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #indonesia #centraljava #merapi #mountmerapi #gunungmerapi #eruptingvolcano #erupt #eruption #volcaniceruption #eruptingvolcano #volcaniceruption #stratovolcano #fire #lava #lavaflow #smoke #stars #moonlight #mysticism • #followme on @Instagram for more of two decades of photography from Indonesia ~ @johnstanmeyer
Photo by @randyolson Wood River Nebraska – This was the last night of the last trip for an @natgeo assignment on the Ogallala Aquifer. I had bedded down in the blind when the cranes started to land for the night just outside… then the storm rolled in. Sand Hill Cranes are the grassland birds of the great plains. They migrate from Siberia to northern Mexico. Brice Krohn of @cranetrustnvc told me they counted 413,000 Sandhill Cranes on this evening… more than they’ve ever counted before. These conservation groups are working like crazy to keep 20 miles of the Platte River braided and perfect habitat for the cranes that come through their area. @thephotosociety @natgeocreative
Photo by @FransLanting “Elephant Reflections” At a water hole in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, a majestic bull elephant towers above his reflection with a herd of thirsty kudus on the horizon. I spent time at the water’s edge in the darkness before dawn, with elephants moving around me like shadowy shapes, waiting for an opportunity to capture this classic scene of wild Africa. I share this image in honor of World Elephant Day and I salute the organizations and individuals who are standing up to stop the slaughter of elephants worldwide. Follow me @FransLanting to see more images of elephants and other wildlife from around the world. @natgeotravel @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #savetheelephants #Elephants #Tanzania #Okavango #Dawn #WildAid #wild_net #WorldElephantDay
Ever since I started planning for this trip to Asia, I’ve been looking for must-see destinations and travel tips from fellow IG users. This account in particular added to my Bali obsession with all the photos in so many bright, happy colors! Call me a sucker for good photos, I don’t even care.
#tegalalangriceterrace #ubud #bali w/ @sassychris1 @ellchintya 💚 ° ° ° #achmadsholeh #bali #balicili #balidaily #explorebali #liburanbali #letsgosomewhere #kerengan #melalidibali #exploreindonesia #indonesiaindah #luxurytravel #travellingindonesia #thebalibible #balilife #indonesia #holiday #resorts #thebestdestinations #beautifuldestinations #wonderful_places #bestvacations #awesomeearth #wonderfulindonesia #awesome_photographers #theluxurylifestylemagazine
Let me be there already!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it doesn’t get any truer than with this IG account. These beautiful re-grams of shoes+floors gave me a different perspective of beauty and travel because even a simple tile on the ground can have a great meaning behind it.
One of the coolest things about traveling is seeing how a city is built. I mean that in a literal sense. I love seeing photos of cool architecture, and it always makes me want to go out there and see the buildings for myself and to see if I can recapture them from different angles and this IG is one of those that makes you wanna do just that.
Fashion bloggers lives are so cool. They get to travel to exotic places, eat awesome food, and ultimately make everyone jealous with their awesome pics. Though there are many of those Instagram accounts out there, LilleHoang is on my top list because she actually takes us on adventure rather than just show us her outfit for that adventure.
I am quite fond of this IG account because the Sydney native currently lives in Bali, and I am obsessed with her life. Not only are her photos super cool, but she’s also really nice because she was one of the IG-ers who were willing to help me create an itinerary! She’s also really pretty.
7. Beautiful Destinations
I recently started following this IG, and I am obsessed. This IG is basically a compilation of some beautiful and cool shots of places and some people. It’s basically hipster Nat Geo.
Once again, an IG account of re-grammed photos. The pictures on this account are surreal and some might actually be fake. But, that doesn’t take away from this account because they are still great photos with really good Photoshop.
I don’t mind some of the exaggerated photos much because it really takes a lot of creativity to make something like that. But, if you’re not into surreal photos then you probably shouldn’t follow this one.
I love hotel Instagram accounts, and the W Hotel’s account especially. Such a good marketing tactic with these photos but they make me feel SO happy! IT always looks like a party!
All it takes to get your mind off this cold weather is as simple as searching a hashtag on Instagram. You’ll be transported to #paradise in no time. But beware, you’re going to feel wanderlust as f**.
Take a seat, this is going to be one helluva joyride!