The Wanderlust of.. SheIsNotLost founder Carina Otero

She is the founder of the Instagram account and platform SheIsNotLost, a community for female travelers finding their way. Her community daily inspires women who travel or want to travel the world, feeling free and adventurous. In between her busy travel schedule she found a minute to talk to us and tell her story. This is the Wanderlust of.. Carina Otero.

The greatest thing about the abundance of travel inspiration on social media is that it makes the world a smaller place. -Carina Otero

Hi Carina, for those who don’t know you, tell us a little but about yourself and what you do!
Hello! I’m Carina, the creator of @sheisnotlost, an online community for female travelers. My goal has always been to inspire others to get out there and find beauty in the world, whether it’s on the other side of the planet or even in your home town. The greatest thing about the abundance of travel inspiration on social media is that it makes the world a smaller place, and now people are dreaming of destinations they wouldn’t otherwise know about if it weren’t for Instagram. I am from California, and I freelance as a digital content specialist. I feel very fortunate to have the flexibility to travel and work and travel for work!

She is not lost
Dreamy pictures on @SheIsNotLost

Why did you start the @SheIsNotLost Instagram account, and did you ever think it was going to be so successful?
I started @sheisnotlost because I was so inspired by the beautiful photographs of far-off places that female travelers were sharing on Instagram. I made folders of screenshots (this was before Instagram had a “save” feature!) and I would keep them to myself for my own personal inspiration but thought there had to be a fun way to build a community out of the travelers and photographers and others that could also be inspired. To be honest I never expected it to grow as big as it has! But inspiring others to dream and to travel has always been a passion of mine, so curating the feed for @sheisnotlost was and is always a pleasure.

Like us, you travel the world to write about the most beautiful or unique places. What has been your favorite press trip so far?
One of my favorite press trips was to Club Med Cefalu in Sicily, Italy during Summer of 2018. It was my first time to Sicily and it was even more magical than I could have imagined. My favorite part about the property was its deep connection to the old town of Cefalu, which was just a short walk down the bluffs. It was a unique experience to visit an all-inclusive resort that still focused on the history and culture of a region. I also just saw on your website that you visited recently!! I hope you had a wonderful time, it’s such a beautiful place! Here’s a link to my blog about it.

Club Med Cafalù
Club Med Cafalu, Sicily

Oh, how we loved that place! Any bucketlist for 2019 and why?
I’m looking forward to crossing off a big bucket list item this year as I will be moving to Madrid for a few months in the Spring. It will be my first time actually living abroad (I’m from San Diego, California) instead of just passing through a place as a traveler. I’m very excited to be able to get to know the city, and also because I will be close to so many European destinations!

Cool, that’s one hell of a step! So, what kind of traveler do you consider yourself to be? 
I’d have to say I’m a mix between adventurer, glampacker, and city traveler. I’m open to experiencing anything at least once, and I love feeling connected to the area or region that I’m visiting. I like to take it all in while I travel so I tend to move a little bit more slowly rather than rushing from place to place on a tight schedule. Especially If I’m traveling and sharing the experience with the @sheisnotlost audience, I prefer to stay in smaller accommodations or family-run boutique hotels that contribute to the local economies and are more accessible to a wider audience.


Istanbul colorful houses
Carina in Istanbul

If you create content simply because you enjoy it and you love doing it, then the audience and community will come.

What is your tip for beginning female travel creators on Instagram?
My tip for female travel creators getting started on Instagram is to think about why you want to share your travels on Instagram and if it’s for the right reasons. Rather than focusing on gaining followers or getting sponsored stays or paid trips, you should ask yourself if you would still create content even if you knew you would never get any perks. If you create content simply because you enjoy it and you love doing it, then the audience and community will come. Having the right motivation and mindset will show through in your content and your audience will appreciate the honesty and integrity.

Instagram has changed a lot with people buying likes and followers nowadays, how do you feel about this and what advise do you have for those who are thinking about doing the same?
I think If someone wants to be “successful” on Instagram, the goal should never be to make money or to having a certain number of followers, but rather to inspire. I think buying followers and likes or any other shortcuts that people take will eventually come back to bite them or impact them negatively. There are so many new tools and platforms that shine light on these tactics, and businesses, brands, and audiences increasingly become more aware and disinterested in the content of someone who buys likes and followers.

What do you look for in a photo in order for it to be featured on the @SheIsNotLost account? (yes, we all wanna know! ;-))
First I look for clarity and composition- the photo has to be well-framed and in focus. I love photos with striking colors or contrast, and perfect symmetry or interesting angles. I love seeing new places or fresh perspectives of well-visited places.

AnaNewYork
Photo by @AnaNewYork  featured on SheIsNotLost

The destination I was most surprised by was Sri Lanka

As a female, which 3 countries would you advise for female solo travel?
(In no particular order) Copenhagen, Denmark was actually one of my first truly solo travel destinations, and I found it lovely and easy to navigate. The city was full of kind and welcoming people and I felt like I was able to see a lot by renting a bike and going around town. I visited Taiwan recently and absolutely loved it! There is so much to see and it feels very safe.  Taipei is pretty flat and you could cover a lot of ground walking between museums, temples, shops, and most importantly food! Public transit and the metro in Taipei were also very clean, safe, and convenient.

Taipei
Carina in Tapei

The destination I was most surprised by was Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka might be home to the friendliest people I have every come across, and when I say friendly- literally everyone greets you with a big smile. The country had a very laid-back feel to it, and I met many other solo female travelers there that were really enjoying themselves on their trips through Sri Lanka. *Read the full Wander-Lust Sri Lanka Guide here.

Sri Lanka Guide
Wander-Lust in Sri Lanka

I want to encourage and help others find that balance in their lives

What can we expect from Carina Otero in 2019?
In addition to hoping I inspire women to travel, I want to focus on inspiring people to travel in a way that is sustainable and realistic, and to maintain a healthy relationship with the content they are inspired by on Instagram. I want to show women that you don’t have to be wealthy or be a travel influencer constantly on the go in order to travel the world, but rather to empower women to find a balance in their lives that makes them happy. For me personally, I am someone who loves to travel but I also really love taking time to settle down, enjoy home, and spend time with my family and friends. Finding a happy balance has allowed me to really enjoy all the work opportunities and travel opportunities that come my way, and I want to encourage and help others find that balance in their lives too.

Marrakech souk bags
Carina in Marrakech

And finally, when are you planning to come to Amsterdam?? We would love to show you around! 
Hopefully this Spring 2019! I will be sure to reach out and would love any of your recommendations! 🙂

Check out Carina’s beautiful website  and be inspired!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Curious who else we interviewed? Check them all here!

 

 

 

The Wanderlust of.. Instagram account @PrettyLittleLondon

After a press trip to Spain, we met London based Andrea, the co-founder of London @PrettyLittleLondon and owner of @dr_difilippo. Two amazing Instagram accounts that shows you the best of London, and the world has to offer. Want to know THE prettiest spots in London and are you curious about the story behind this amazing account, read on..

Nice to catch up with you again Andrea! Tell us a little bit about who you are and what @PrettyLittleLondon is all about.
@PrettyLittleLondon was created with the intention of showcasing the most beautiful hidden gems in London, which could be an undiscovered neighbourhood, a typical British pub, a colourful café or even a pretty door. Many Londoners tend to only explore their own neighbourhood and the main tourist attractions, but London is much much more, and we want them to get out of their comfort zone and start exploring!

Ice creams at Covent Garden Market, London, England.

We were amazed on how much London had to offer.

How did you and Sara come up with @PrettyLittleLondon, and did you guys ever expected it to be such a success?
I was working in an awful office job and was completely lacking creativity, so Sara thought it would be a good idea for us to buy a camera and start exploring the city we had lived in for over a year and knew nothing about. We started going on long walks and taking pictures, and we were amazed on how much London had to offer. We were looking for inspiration on Instagram but couldn’t really find anything a part from the obvious tourist attractions, which lead us to create an account where everyone could share anything they thought was ‘pretty’ in the city. We didn’t expect the account to grow so quickly, but we knew London needed an account like ours, it’s just such a pretty city!

Whale Natural History Museum
London’s natural history museum by Andrea

So you must know London pretty well by now. What’s your all time favourite spot and why?
There are so many, which makes it really hard to choose! But I really love Hampstead because it looks and feels like a small village within such a big city, so when I am looking to have a relaxing walk and take some nice pictures, that is my go-to spot.

Hamstead London
Hampstead, London

Elke lived in London for 7 years (near Hampstead actually!), but so much has changed over the years. What area in London do you think has stayed the most traditional?
I think the Southbank is pretty much the same as when I arrived in London and is – in my opinion – one of the best areas for a summer walk, with its stunning views and lovely atmosphere.

Our followers are loving the foodie hotspots; could you tip them 3 restaurants/café’s that are totally hot right now?
Again, there are so many! If I had to choose 3 though, it would have to be Elan Café, Mr Fogg’s and Coppa Club.


The amazing Elan Café

Coppa Club
The popular Coppa Club in London

Does this place even exist or was this just a dream?

Besides London, you guys travel a lot for Pretty Little Trips, what has been your favourite place so far?
Every place we have visited is unique in its own way, but if we had to choose our favourite so far it would have to be The Maldives. It’s one of those places that when you leave you ask yourself: ‘Does this place even exist or was this just a dream?’

What can we find in your carry-on luggage that you wouldn’t leave the house without?
The simple stuff, but necessary; my camera, power bank and laptop.

Maldives
The Maldives by Sara Helen Santini (@santinisarah)

Because you and Sara are a couple, we wonder; is it difficult to mix work with your relationship?
Not really, we are very good at separating work from our relationship, which means we can still switch off at the end of the day and enjoy our personal lives.

Andrea and Sara
Andrea and his Sara

Sounds very romantic! What can we expect of Pretty Little.. over the next few years?
We have a lot of projects and ideas we are working on, so expect a lot of surprises in the next 2-3 years!

Can’t wait! And finally; what kind of traveler would you consider yourself to be?
I am the traveller that will wake up at 6am to explore, and make the most of every second. (when I am in a new destination). Staying in the hotel to relax is not an option for me!

For London inspiration and the latest hotspots follow them on Instagram, or follow their other travel account @PrettyLittleTrips

Love,

Wander-Lust

*Header photo courtesy of @yaroslava_kirichok

 

 

 

6 x the most Instagramable Sweet Foods in Amsterdam

You must have seen them. The perfect hand shot over the canals of Amsterdam, holding something that looks so yummie, you want to get it instantly. Instead of scrolling through your insta timeline, we’ve selected our favorite insta worthy sweet foods in Amsterdam.

Van Wonderen Stroopwafels
Kalverstraat 190

To get the perfect shot over the canals of Amsterdam, you must buy one of these famous Dutch Stroopwafels. There are many on sale throughout the city, but no one makes them like Van Wonderen Stroopwafels. Sprinkled with marshmallows, m&m’s or chocolade, they taste amazing!


One of the most photographed and instagrammable sweet foods in Amsterdam

Polaberry
Prinsengracht 232H

The girl behind this wonderful new store on the Prinsengracht is Instagrammer @Polabur. She moved to Amsterdam a few years ago and was born in Russia. Polina (her real name), knows how to create the perfect sweet that looks amazing on your Instagram feed. Her formula is simple; strawberries covered in chocolate. We had a little taster and the berries were sweeeet! She sells handcrafted strawberries, chocolate bars, coffee and even bouquets made out of strawberries & chocolate. 

Polaberry Amsterdam
Source: Polaberry

Ree7 Amsterdam
Reestraat

Get your freak on, because they serve THE best freakshakes at Ree7. Located in between many boutique stores and eateries, Ree7 is THE place if you have a sweet tooth. They also serve healthier stuff, but if you want to impress your followers, you need to order yourself one of their freakshakes.


Source: Ree7

Dunkin’ Donuts
Leidsestraat 45
The most famous doughnut store in Europe and not without reason. They come in different flavours and colors, and most of them are great for a quick snap with a pretty background. I say quick, because you want to eat them before they start melting!

Dunkin Donut Amsterdam

IJsmanschap
Van Spilbergenstraat 2hs
The first popsiclebar of the Netherlands and a rather special one. All their ice popsicles are handcrafted, 100% natural and sustainable. They only use real natural ingredient with no sartificial colors or flavors. Oh, and they look mega cute!

Ijsmanschap Amsterdam

I-Scream Waffle
De Hallen Amsterdam
You used to be able to find this tasty and good looking bubble waffle in De Foodhallen in Amsterdam West. But bad news, they stopped serving them sinds 2017, and we are still waiting for them to come back. 

I-Scream Waffle Amsterdam

Have a great time snappin’, eh, we mean eating! 😉

Love,

Elke

*Header photo courtesy of @Polabur

More food? Check out our LUST page!

Top 5 Travel Instagram Accounts You Should Follow This Year

Instagram. We love it. We love visually strong websites and blogs and Instagram instantly takes you to a moment. A picture really says a thousands words and these 5 Instagram accounts really prove that. We discovered some new amazing travel Instagram accounts this year that we think you will love.

1. @TARAMILKTEA
With 580K followers, this Sydney based traveler is living it up. Her pictures are truly mesmerizing and she makes our jaw drop every time. Her specialty has to be Japanese style food. Lot’s of color which reminds you of the Harajuku style. All her food photo’s are so perfectly styled and ordered and it looks like she has spent hours on it. Fascinating. Besides her foodie pics, she does a pretty good job of visiting the most amazing places. 


Perfectly organized

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts. tara-milk-tea
Source: @TaraMilkTea

2. @POLABUR
Originally from Russia, Polina calls Amsterdam her hometown now. We’ve actually met her a few times and she’s a lovely girl too! Besides traveling she posts the most incredible pictures with a slightly pink filter which makes it that extra special. From Moscow, to Austria, Australia and back to Amsterdam. This girl has been all over the world. She has a lot of Russian fans and her account grew rapidly over the last year. 

polabur

 

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts. polabur-amsterdam
At the Amsterdam Dam Square. @Polabur

3. @TRAVEL_INHERSHOES
Her name is Aggie Lal and she is one talented girl! Her Instagram account is to die for  but you should also check out her video’s that she is posting on her YouTube channel. It will make you want to pack your bags immediately. She describes herself as a Polish born, Australian educated, Los Angeles based adventure traveler, writer, blogger and photographer. Watch this girl. 

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts travel-in-her-shoes 

4. @DOYOUTRAVEL
Ok, time for some men in this list! Yes, this one is a good one and a real traveler. He’s probably one of the most re-grammed person when it comes to travel photo’s and no wonder that he’s made it to our top 5 travel Instagram accounts list. Jack Morris travels the world with his girlfriend (@gypsylust) who has a crazy beautiful Instagram account of her own. He lives on the road and visits a new country almost every week. Dream off to his photo’s and it’s OK to be jealous, we are too. 

do-you-travel

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts gypsylust
Jack’s girlfriend @gypsy_lust

5. @WEARETRAVELGIRLS
Empowering indeed. This Instagram account features the most incredible pictures of women along their adventures and travels. Be inspired and get to know the women behind the photo’s. Who knows, you might get featured one day! 

 

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts we-are-travelgirls

Love,

Wander-Lust

6 amazing locations in Amsterdam to shoot awsome photo’s

The city of Amsterdam is extremely rich with photography eye candy. From the famous canals in the city center to the people that live there, we’ve all seen the iconic images. But there are quite a few locations in Amsterdam that you might not know about that lend themselves particularly well to shoot photo’s. I’ve compiled a list that should get you started on your urban exploration through Amsterdam. Use this as a guide and you will find your own spots in no time!

NDSM Wharf
This place is hip. Berlin has Kreuzberg, Amsterdam has the NDSM wharf. What used to be the city’s industrial harbor area is now an up-and-coming artsy student neighborhood. If you want the ultimate urban-exploring experience, be sure to visit NDSM. Easiest is to take the free ferry departing from central station. 

6 amazing locations in Amsterdam to shoot the best photo's
Photo credit: @Bastiaansizoo

Leliegracht
I know, I mentioned the canals already and you might argue that you’ve seen them all already. But this one’s too beautiful to leave out. In spring, the lush greenery that fills the sides of the canal creates an almost surreal feel. It’s fairly small, but you can’t skip this one. Tip: take your tripod with you after sunset and shoot some long exposures of the canals, there’s a whole different feel to them when shooting at night.

13918464_1068683156560870_485215402_o
Photo credit: @vrijmiboot

IJdock
These buildings situated just north of Central Station are incredibly cool and one of the best photographic locations in Amsterdam, yet almost no tourists will go here. Highlight of this place is the triangular spiral staircase – a must for every Amsterdam Instagrammer.

@lucahalma
Photo credit: @lucahalma

EYE and ADAM tower
These architectural masterpieces are fairly new in Amsterdam and also easily accessible from Central Station by ferry. You can go inside the Eye building to grab drinks or watch a film, or go up the ADAM tower to get the coolest panoramic view of Amsterdam possible.

@bobsizoo
Photo credit: @Bobsizoo

Sarphatipark
Amsterdam is full of parks, the Westerpark and the Vondelpark as the most famous ones. But there’s a lot more. One of the gems I found to be particularly suitable for a photo shoot was the Sarphatipark. There aren’t a lot of people around so you can really create that sense of seclusion – in the middle of the city.

photo locations in Amsterdam
Photo credit: @bastiaansizoo

Hortus Botanicus
If you want to go for a more tropical feel while staying in Amsterdam, go the Hortus. The Hortus is a botanical garden in the Plantage district of Amsterdam, which makes it very easy to give an exotic feel to your images.


Photo credit: @florinephotography



Photo credit: @Wander-Lust

Best,

Bastiaan

*Bastiaan Sizoo is a professional Instagrammer living in Amsterdam and part of the well renowned Sizoo Brothers. He travels the world with his camera and shoots the most amazing projects for his Instagram account @bastiaansizoo. He will write for Wander-Lust on a monthly basis.

12 travel selfies that will make you jealous

Selfies. We all know them and you’ve probably done a few yourself right?
But today we’re not talking about those duckfaces, peace signs or look-how-pretty-I-am- selfies.
If you’re an Instagram user and you follow a few travel accounts, you may have come across some of the most incredible travel selfies.

Here are our favorites:


Schermopname (16)
How a friends holiday should be! Pic by @thiagomlcorrea

Schermopname (15)
Ok, how did he get there?? Shit, it’s the same dude! 

Schermopname (13)
One of the most famous (and sick) selfies ever! @lionwisperersa


and..jump! @zeroeye

Schermopname (4)
We love her! @worldwanderlust

Schermopname (2)
Cuteness overload, this dog has it’s own account @loki_the_wolfdog

Schermopname (9)
Ok, now we’re really jealous! @breezeturner

Schermopname (5)
Me and my hubby @jessedenijs at the Gliki river in Greece

Schermopname (6)
Just hanging out of a helicopter, as only @jayalvarrez can.

Schermopname (17)
Wow! Pic from @thegood_life_

Schermopname (19)
Total bliss in the mountains of Switzerland. @loucosporviagem

Schermopname (18)
She’s flying! Well, above Fethiye in Turkey at least. Credit @bihterelis

And let’s forget about the funny travel selfies:

Schermopname (8)
We’re not sure if this monkey wanted to make a travel selfie but it surly looks like it!

Schermopname (12)
I know what you’re thinking..where’s his phone?? LOL in Capri, Italy

Schermopname (11)
Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to make this travel selfie!

Pretty amazing right? Let’s see if we can challenge the above! Do you have a cool travel selfie? Send them to us!

Love,

Elke