Frustrate Me, Inspire Me, Show Me – Thanks Instagram!

Ah, Instagram. It seems like every time I check it, someone else I know (or kinda know) is off gallivanting around the world while I sit at home mentally preparing to clean out the gutters AGAIN. Why can’t I be in Machu Picchu having my mind blown or snorkeling in Bora Bora and making friends with tropical fish that like the water even more than I do? Ugh.

When I think about it more, maybe when the gutters are just about halfway done, what or who we follow on Instagram can be just as much about motivation as it is for keeping tabs on what’s what with who you know (or kinda know). The realm of social media may center on the speed in which a story is delivered or the personal connection you think you get from the friend or company you follow/like/stalk, but it’s also ripe with ideas and inspiration for what to do with ourselves in this great big world.

So here are a few of the Instagram accounts that do just that – display the world, earn my well-deserved applause, or inspire an envy that I’m happy to have.

This Wild Idea

Photographer Theron Humphrey’s greatest subject is his dog, Maddie the Coonhound. Maddie is a model subject, especially when you consider the fact that her breed is prone to follow its nose at any time no matter what. Theron has combined his talent at photography, passion for animal rescue, and thirst for travel into various projects that have taken him to all 50 states, high praise for his first published book, and a fan base of nearly half a million Instagram followers to date. If you’ve ever tried taking a picture of your dog eating a ice cream cone or riding in a shopping cart, it might have been because Theron inspired you to do so.


Is there an organization that takes travel as seriously as NASA? Nope. You won’t find better pictures of Mother Earth than the ones posted here. Or Andromeda. Or Nebula. Or dust particles. NASA’s been pretty hip lately too. They’ve piggybacked off the success of the film Gravity and the new TV eventCosmos to tie in what’s hot in pop culture with their fundamental mission of scientific discovery. When can I go to space?

National Geographic

It’s your bookshelf rows of yellow magazines updated for the age of Instagram. World-renowned for their specialized and in-depth stories, breathtaking photography, and adventurous spirit, National Geographic will put ideas in your head about travel, people, the environment, history, anthropology, and nearly anything else that you can think of about life on Earth. If you haven’t dreamed of being a National Geographic photographer at some point in your life, just wait… you will.

Poler Outdoor Stuff

It’s a company. They make camping stuff. But they also have a spirit that’s contagious – Camp Vibes. Whether they post about their much-talked-about Napsack being on sale or a new store opening, it’s crystal clear that they really, really, really want people (like you) to get out into the wilderness and see the world. Whether you’re camping in Yosemite or off the beaten-path in Chile, they love to know about it and often repost photos from their followers. Vibes are best when they’re reciprocated.


Keeping us informed since 1851, Reuters reports the world’s affairs from around the globe. As much fun as it is to arrive to a new place with no preconception for what’s going on, a great traveler is an informed traveler. Not only a great resource for knowing what’s going on, but their posts are photo journalism at its finest. That paper and pen is just as important to bring along as your camera.

International Discovery

We’re new to Instagram! Not only do we want to spotlight our amazing trips, we want you to share your photos. Filter away, friends! Follow us and be sure to tag us @WorldStrides so we can share in the delights in your adventures. Keep an eye out for upcoming photo contests, too. We know that sometimes a little prize gets those creative juices flowing with a little bit more umph.

What travel-inspiring folks do you follow in Instagram? Tell us right now! Pretty please!

Article written by Andy Pillifant

Andy Pillifant
As a copywriter, Andy is one of the voices of WorldStrides. A linguistic chameleon, he writers about, well, everything, Favorite topics are culture, human nature, and soccer (which is about culture and human nature, don't you think?). He loves camping, hats, his wife and three sons.