Just like Grindr (that dirty little app every gay guy has played around with) forced me to care more about my appearance, Instagram has forced me to care more about my photography. But it’s so much more than just a place for photos. Instagram has become my obsession. It’s my go-to app for, well, everything.
While I still use Twitter as a fun and friendly tool to connect with new people (and, uh, Grindr, too lol), Instagram does the same, but it’s as if I’m tripping on something psychedelic while doing so. I could sit and watch my Instagram feed all day. The picslips and sneak peeks into other people’s lives. The pretty photos and all the #gayselfies, the shoes and the nails and the YouTubers and the models. It’s all there, all the time. I love it.
Instagram is my escape. I use it as much to share my own photos, my selfies, my adventures as I do to explore what others are doing or have done. When in a new city for the first time, I search Instagram for travel tips. I look for recommendations on where to go and what to do. And I always make sure to interact with local users on their feeds. Don’t be afraid to say hi to an Insta-stranger.
Instagram pro tip
Search hashtags related to where you’re going. Sometimes #loveCITY (for example, #loveBerlin) is a good tag to search for. Find someone who’s got the photos of things you like (be it boys, lattes, parks or t-shirts) and check their full feeds to find more of the same. The Instagram blog is also a good way to find locals for wherever you’re traveling.
Check it: blog.instagram.com
A more passive way to meet Insta-strangers would be to just make sure to tag your photos to a place (ie, “check in”) when you upload them. Then click on the place name to see photos from other users who uploaded to the same geotagged location. Interact with those photos and users to find more cool places, suggestions or locals worth meeting.
Instagram gets me OUTSIDE
The thing about Instagram, though, is that it’s not only made me more social online, but more active offline. I know I wrote recently about how my blog has too often driven me to do more than I wanted, but Instagram has done something similar and I actually like it for it. Nowadays I make a special point to go for a walk through a new neighborhood, or to explore a new place just to be able to take a photo and to ‘gram it. I know that this can be a bad thing—there’s this “fear of missing out” that I’m probably exacerbating. But I don’t care. I like doing new things and Instagram gives me a little push to make sure I do it often enough. There are only so many bedroom selfies that I can take (until I buy new clothes….or get those abs in better shape!).
Instagram is one of those social mediums that offers way more than what you might first imagine. It’s not all silly selfies and photos. Once you get past all that, there’s a specialness to the app, and a community, that make it not just fun, but also useful, friendly and interesting for any type of traveler. You just might discover new places, new street art and even new people. It’s a great way to discover a city or to rediscover your home. It’s actually quite amazing the types of photos people share on Instagram. And so much more than just a photo app.
And just for fun… I thought I’d share a few of my favorite travel Instagrammers you might not already know. They’ve all got a unique way of showing off their world that I can’t help but watch from afar.
Guys Who Travel – A Few Instagram Favorites
Who I’ve been following around on their adventures and why you should be too.
The editor of my favorite gay lifestyle mag (Hello Mr.), this gay bro seems to have mastered the internet. His photos from his travels (often exploring story ideas for his indie magazine) are fun to follow in real-time. And offer an incredible insight into the modern gay lifestyle.
Mr. David Duran. This man! He travels in total and absolute luxury. His travels are to pretty much everywhere, and his Instagram photos are an awesome insight into luxury hotels, decadent meals and the jetsetting life.
Australian photographer and designer, Dale’s got a great view of the world…and a great body. And somehow always finds himself surrounded by topless guys in exotic places around the world. So yeah, there’s that.
Freddy moved to Berlin from NYC over the summer and hasn’t sat still since—he’s always on the move and always finding a new way of seeing a place, plus he’s got a kick-ass male fashion blog.
A filmmaker and photographer, Matt Lambert has created more than a few contemporary projects based around sexuality & desire. His Instagram (which pushes the boundaries of SFW) is a nice reflection of that art and offers a peek into his travels & work around the world (mostly LA, London and Berlin).
Not so much #GuysWhoTravel, these are #GuysWhoEat. A lot. And often. Based in London, their Instagram is full of foodie tips for one of the most delicious cities. And then they blog about it, too!
I don’t know if he’s a professional or something, but this Instagrammer shares the most amazing videos and photos of hula hooping. I just can’t get enough.
The only travel blogger I’m going to include here, I’m obsessed with Jaime’s view of the world. He’s currently on his second round-the-world trip and has this incredible attitude toward life full of positivity and kindness, his love for the world is infectious! And easy-to-see in his amazing Instagrams.
If you use Instagram as a way to share your unique experiences, share your username below so I can check out your feed. Follow me if you want, but no biggie: @travelsofadam