12 Travel Stories From Amazing Instagramers

Ioana Budeanu
Mar 4, 2016 · 13 min read

This fabulous Universe gives us the perfect exaltation states every day. And sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eyes. I travel around the world and I explore what is behind the image. The invisible. The emotions. I found these amazing girls randomly on Instagram and Facebook. They are beautiful, smart, powerful, vulnerable, gracious — simply: breathtaking. And I want to share their stories with you, because they are the future.

We want to live in a better world, and all these young women are the perfect example of this new world. They follow their heart, travel, write, enjoy life, smile, work and play. They do what they love to do, no strings attached. Their power stays in their little amazing stories. One by one.

1. Maria

This picture is about that moment in which you know with all your being, that you are in the right moment, in the right place and on the right path. Even though a moment like this can come when you are in a difficult situation, it is full of power, a mystical divine power.

I was in Bali, at the middle of the Agung Volcano, a spiritual pillar in the Hindu Balinese culture, where an impressive stone Temple is waiting for the pilgrims and tourists to make an intention and a blessing for the road ahead. Climbing on Mt Agung, is a spiritual pilgrimage for the locals, the top of the volcano being considered the place where the Supreme Being is sitting. So getting there at sunrise, in a white sarong and without shoes, is a spiritual practice that many locals are going through, in sign of respect and devotion for Mother Nature and God.

For me, getting in this amazing place at sunset, with no other people besides my small Bali family, it was a moment in which I have felt that I am guided and protected by an amazing force, even though life is a little difficult sometimes. In that moment, I was struggling to make the biggest change in my life, letting everything go, and chasing a dream alone, in unknown territories. I felt how I was held by something bigger than my mind could ever understand. So I had the courage to move forward, to give up comfort, to feel the imbalance, and to evolve towards a new and better balance point. That evening for me, was like an immersion into a different reality, a magical glimpse, that I have received in order to have the courage to move.

One week after that, I left Bali to take my first solo trip, in India, where I am following my dreams and desires, my true calling, where I am learning how to let go of the past, to enjoy the present, and how to create a conscious future.

Travel the World Outside, to Discover the World Inside.

2. Crina

Soulshine. Standard picture you would see on my Instagram profile — hair in the wind, barefoot walking, wearing flowers in my hair and blatantly jumping up and down of happiness. But each picture has it’s own story behind it.

This one in particular was taken at a crossroad in my life. I took the leap, followed that itching dream to go live on an island and that made me feel happy and free… but question remained? What was I to do next?I kept on being asked by family and friends what would my next move be, what was the whole point behind me moving on the Island of Gods.

Answer was: there was no answer. I had no clue why I went for it, and where this step would take me. I should have felt guilty and irresponsible, but instead I was at peace, I knew nothing could go wrong. How could it, when everything felt so goddamn right? I felt courageos,aligned with everything my soul was made of. A deep stillness that gave me so much power that sharing with anyone else would’ve made it lose its shine. I was enough. Maybe I was too selfish? I couldn’t care less. It was MY journey. Looking back, that exact moment makes me happy and proud to be where I am today. I knew that good times were coming, that life would be better than everything I could have ever imagined, and guess what… I wasn’t far off..

3. Rachel

Rachel Jones is a travel blogger and freelance writer for Bravo TV, who has lived in Goa, India for the past 3 years. She blogs at Hippie in Heels about her travels around the world.

“This “double rainbow” was the result of absolutely perfect timing. I was in Istanbul for a conference with a few other travel bloggers and we went to these infamous stairs specifically to take a few photos… in the rain. Istanbul in February is pretty cold!

Our black hotel umbrellas were kind of ruining the colorful vibe of the photo and I just walk into a coffee shop to warm up and forget about it, a girl and her boyfriend came walking toward us, cuddled up under a rainbow umbrella. She didn’t speak English but I motioned to switch umbrellas, which she thought was funny and I got a quick picture taken. We ended up in the same coffee shop after and followed each other on Instagram.”

4. Ariana

My name is Ariana Kajic, and I was just four years old when I became a refugee. Nobody thought it could happen in Bosnia & Herzegovina, war broke out in the early 1990’s after Bosnia became the last Yugoslavian state to declare independence. My young parents, along with my 14 month old brother & I, and dad’s elderly parents fled Bosnia with very little belongings, and got Asylum in Denmark for two years.

Fast forward to some twenty or so years, having the chance to grow up in Australia was amazing. It gave us opportunities we thought we would never have again. But I had this desire and curiosity to explore who I was and where I came from. In July 2013, my mother and I went back “home” for the first time since we left. It was a mix of emotions of closure, discovery and acceptance. Since then I had gone back four times, and have plans to go again very soon for a longer time.

A year ago I started blogging as a fun way to bring a new light to my birth country. Many of the older folks remember Bosnia from what they saw on TV during the war, and a lot of the younger generation couldn’t even place it on a map. From what started as my discovery has led me to show others the beauty Bosnia & Herzegovina has to offer. Through my travel blog and Instagram, I showcase the beauty of the land, the generosity of the people and the soul of each city.

On the bright side, I have two homes, speak two languages, have two very different lifestyles and cultures and I proudly call myself a Bosnian Aussie. Even though I love Australia and am very grateful to have called it home for most of my life, I do however have plans to one day return back to my motherland, to raise my future children in a country I should have grown up in. There is no truer saying than “there is no place like home”.

5. Bianca

Hello people! I’m Bianca and I love my creative travel life. I chose a photo from Barcelona, my soul city. When you get there, you will see, it will become yours too.

I wish we could have stayed longer… This was the first thing I said when I got there. This city was on my wish list for so long. That’s why I enjoyed every second and I spent wonderful moments there. Generally, I’m looking for adventure and that’s what Barcelona gave me. Beautiful places, full of charm, so many colors and welcoming people, it inspired me so much! The variety of artistic treasures of Gaudi had forever changed the city.

The most important thing was that it exceeded expectations. I left with an idea and got back home richer than I thought.

I’m sure Barcelona was expect me to give me a beautiful experience.

6. Anna

I chose my photo from the complex of Coba ruins near Tulum. When I was exploring the ruins I saw this weirdly looking tree on the way to the main pyramid. As an aerial acrobat I thought it would be a nice idea to climb it, so I did. Funnily enough it ended up being the coolest photo from Coba, not the one on the top of the tallest pyramid :)

7. Miriam

I love traveling solo. And even though I have a gorgeous husband at home, I often go on adventures alone to challenge myself. I was in the Balkans recently, which is where this photo is taken. Along the way, I met some beautiful souls, got a taste for Croatian food, spent a night in a former Yugoslavian prison (now a hostel), and it made me feel alive. That’s what I love about traveling.

8. Arzo

Hey, I am Arzo and I have been in love with traveling since my first trip. Though I can’t remember where and when it went on my first trip I knew that I want to travel the world and eventually I will :) My bucket list is so long and I think there isn’t any place I wouldn’t want to visit. One of my favourite quotes is “I am in love with places I have never been to”. This is so true for me. Why?

I think traveling is about seeing beautiful places, and adventures. But it is also about meeting new people, broaden your horizon and be open-minded. I have hardly met travelers being narrow-minded, as a traveler you don’t think about boarders or stuff like that. You don’t think that a country is yours, just because you were born in it. I like this attitude, and especially now, with all the problems in Germany and the “refugee crisis” it is more important than ever to stay open-minded.

Before I started with my blog in June 2015 I was posting pictures of my travels on Instagram. Instagram is such a great tool and my most favorite social media channel. I love to follow travel accounts and the pictures inspire me to travel even more. Even when I am not traveling, I get the feeling I see the world. I don’t think I will ever give up Instagram :)

9. Nicola

The most incredible travel experience I’ve had was trekked up to a tiny little remote village in Nepal to experience life like a local. Oversized packs balancing on our backs, we winded through paddy fields and waded through rivers until we reached our home for the next week.

By day, we were surrounded by rugged mountains and lush green paddy fields. We spent our time braving the single village squatty potty, watching our food being killed before our eyes and bathing, fishing and playing in the crystal clear waters of the river.

Dusk fell, and as the sky would turn into a pastel watercolour painting, we would sit around, exchanging stories with the locals through broken English and sign language. All of a sudden, the sky would transform into a blanket of twinkly stars, and we were up having dance parties with the children of the village.
At night-time, we slept on the floor of a storage closet, packed in like sardines, spiders and rats crawling over our faces. Yet we all remained unfazed, too engulfed in the incredible experience we were having to notice the less-than-ideal living conditions.

The most important thing I learnt during my time in the village was the value of living in a tight-knit community. Watching how the people of the village shared everything with one another and the nature in which they welcomed us in with open arms taught me so much. These people may be considered ‘poor’ by Western standards, but they were so rich in the things that are important in life.

“Contentment is natural wealth; luxury is artificial poverty.” — Socrates

10. Arnette

This photo is one of my favorites from my round the world trip. I can recall this day so well, since it was my last day in Bali and I attended the cremation ceremony of my local friend’s grandfather. This photo was taken at the beach, when the family was spreading their loved one’s ashes into the ocean. This photo is representative of my time in Bali. I had spent some time learning how to surf while I was there and the death of my husband was what prompted me to go on my round the world trip. In the foreground of this photo, you have the grieving family members spreading ashes of their loved one. In the background, you have surfers trying to catch waves.

In 2009, my life was forever changed when my 31-year-old husband passed away suddenly. After losing interest in my job and all social interaction, I thought a vacation would do me some good. Originally I wanted to take a month-long holiday, but then I became obsessed with taking an extended trip after stumbling upon round the world trip blogs. After giving up our rental, quitting my job, selling our belongings and minimizing, and putting the rest of my things in storage, I embarked on my trip around the world. I started in New Zealand, went to Australia, and traveled throughout Southeast Asia.

After six months and in between continents I came home for a short break to visit my parents and do my taxes. When I came home I discovered that my mother was dying of pancreatic cancer. She hadn’t told me so that I wouldn’t quit my round the world trip. She felt that I was making progress with my grief and did not want me to stop traveling. Two weeks after I came home, my mother died. I came home just in time to say goodbye.

What originally started out as a 10-month trip became a 19-month adventure through 19 countries. Travel had became my source of therapy after such devastating losses. Some may look at it as running away from problems, but I never ran away from my grief. If anything, I faced my grief head on, but I did so my own way.

11. Jen

The moment the sunshine hit my face, I knew I was going to have a great day. I had no responsibilities or worries, just the determination to spend as much time as I could swimming and paddling around the crystal clear waters of the Grand Cul-de-Sac in St. Barthélemy.

As soon as I paddled out, time was a thing of the past. Everything was so simple in the middle of the ocean; it was pure bliss with just the sun, the sea, and me. I was amazed how I could have nothing at all but feel as though I had all I ever needed.

As I stared at the shoreline from my spot on the water, I could not help but be eternally grateful for this moment in time and selfishly wish it would never end. I knew I was so lucky to have the ocean, a place where I thrive. While this beautiful moment inevitably did come to an end, I was left with a memory I can hold onto forever. A moment I may have never had if I did not book a flight.

12. Andra

Is Camino de Santiago A Spiritual Journey? Some people say it is…(I also believed it before hitting the road). Some even have revelations during this journey…(I certainly didn’t have any). Some are mesmerized by this experience…during the journey and after, whenever you see them talking about it…(I still don’t get the WOW of it). Some come back home with a certain light in their eyes…it looks like they have found their inner peace and their purpose in life…(I wasn’t that lucky).

Well…I haven’t experienced any of these…not during my 6-days walking trip this past August, not during my extra week roaming around Galicia and Northern Portugal and surely not during the post-trip days back home when I had plenty of time to review my ‘spiritual’ experience.

Don’t get me wrong! It wasn’t a bad experience or a disappointment. Most of the times I enjoyed it, but there were some moments when I hated it and wondered ‘why the heck am I doing this’. Overall, it didn’t feel spiritual. It felt so mundane…and maybe there lies the beauty of it.

Everyone has a story, you know this! Somewhere in you, there is a story waiting to be told. We have the will and the power to change the world. Nobody is invisible anymore.

More travel stories here. Thank you!

Originally published at www.buzzfeed.com.

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