The term wanderlust is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a strong longing for or impulse toward wandering”. While it can be a particularly cringe-worthy phrase that’s overused by many in their Instagram bios, the desire to wander, i.e. travel, is a common feeling. When used positively, Instagram can inspire, educate and reveal hidden, beautiful corners of the world that you may not have heard of unless you happened upon a picture of a pink sand beach in Hawaii during your evening scroll. The app remains at the heart of wanderlust inspo.
With the world doing much less “wandering” under Covid-19 restrictions, our days spent meticulously planning annual leave around foreign city breaks and jam-packed overseas adventures now seem like faint lines in the sand. Although nothing will come close to the real deal, the following three travel accounts (don’t worry – there’s more than just the Lonely Planet out there) may offer some solace this coming summer.
At a first glance, these symmetrical, often overexposed pictures look as though they come from a well-travelled photographer with a distinct artistic style. But actually, all of these shots were taken from Google Street View images.
Streetview Portraits is the genius project from one agoraphobic individual who is unable to travel due to their anxiety. Instead, this artist found travelling virtually on Google Street View was therapeutic and, lucky for us, allowed them to capture wonderful, candid shots of people, places and things all over the globe. The haunting arid scenes are remarkably aesthetically pleasing and might just have you taking to Google Earth in place of a gap year.
The founder explains: “I found a surprising and unique refuge in the creative possibilities of Google Street View. I began clicking through Google Maps to navigate to faraway countries like Mongolia, Senegal and Chile. I found remote towns and dusty landscapes, vibrant architectural gems and anonymous people, all frozen in time. I was intrigued by the strange and expansive parallel universe of Street View and took screenshots to capture and preserve its hidden, magical realms”.
This digital and print magazine is a traveller’s classic. Their Instagram has some fine photos of places and views you might not have heard of or seen before, such as this multicoloured mountain range in Iceland. If you want your feed full of bright, rose-tinted and high-quality drone shots of some of the most extraordinary places in the world, give them a follow. Their captions come with a bit of info as well, so you can take your travelling research a step further. This is professional wanderlusting at its finest.
With over one million followers, this once niche account has attracted admirers by the masses. Some are fans of the eponymous director, while others are architecture enthusiasts and some just enjoy goggling at unusual buildings captured from unique angles – a feature that gives this Insta account its special charm. Users from all over the world send in their Wes Anderson-esque snaps, which range from an Olympic swimming pool in Florida to the interior of a high-speed train in Taiwan.
With each photo comes a well-researched and detailed caption with some of the most surprising facts. Although not strictly a travel account, by seeing everyday places and things in a different light, it might inspire you to find the extraordinary in ordinary life. I’ve learnt a lot from this account, so hopefully you will too.