My favorite social media platform has to be YouTube. I often find the most inspiration when I learn something through detailed videos of people sharing their experiences rather than just edited shots of touristic landmarks or tropical destinations. This isn't a list of purely vlog and lifestyle YouTubers, but rather a personal list including photographers and more educational channels that motivates me to learn more about different places.
1. Damon and Jo
Damon Dominique and Jo Franco took a big risk when they decided to travel full-time instead of drowning themselves in student loans. They have a natural talent for budget-friendly traveling, learning new languages and have a wonderful sense of humor and friendship.
The duo also started a popular travel blog "Shut Up and Go" where other travelers share their foreign experiences to motivate people to live their dreams instead of waiting for the right time. I find them very relatable and great role models for their subscribers.
Brothers, Marko and Alex Ayling are YouTubers based in Venice Beach, California. Unlike other travel vloggers, their channel has a higher production quality with aerial shots and smooth transitions between segments. They are both college graduates and emphasize the culture and history of the places they visit. Their channel is the perfect combination of educational, lifestyle, and technical videos. Marko and Alex have a very interesting story and highly suggest that you look into them.
3. Sorelle Amore
Sorelle is a photographer that travels. She uses her YouTube channel as a platform to teach people how to take their own self-portraits called "Advanced Selfies." She is a resourceful and talented YouTuber who spreads confidence to her subscribers.
4. The Bucket List Family
This wonderful family of five call themselves family travel journalists and they live the dream life untied by mortgages and the idea of settling down once they have children. Garrett and Jess Gee travel around the world with their three young children, Dorothy, and Manilla, and Cali, teaching them to appreciate the beauty and natural wonders the world has to offer.
Tourism goes into the surface of a country's inner workings like politics and culture. Broadly is a channel full of short documentaries that go into sometimes controversial cultural practices centered on women all around the world. They encourage a healthy debate without being judgmental of the people they interview.
6. Vox Borders Series
Vox is an explanatory news company and Borders is a side series created and reported by Johnny Harris, who has his own separate channel explaining his production process. He gives insight on international relations and politics by using statistics or first-hand observations and expert opinions whether he asks the locals or a professional. His research helps travelers understand the country in depth through the policies shape their country and culture.
7. National Geographic
National Geographic's short film series is cinematically beautiful and tell a story without having an Americanized point of view towards another culture. They capture the people and places as they are. Their stories share people's stories from isolated corners of the world.
8. Erik Conover
I first started watching Erik when he was traveling and continued following him when he returned to NYC. He shares his travels and through his "Living in New York City" series helping domestic and foreign travelers understand his home city in a local's perspective. He lives my dream life and find his experiences abroad or simply finding apartments very helpful.
9. Flying the Nest
Based in Australia, Stephen and Jess are a traveling couple with a very lighthearted and happy vibe. My favorite video of theirs is the one where they volunteered at a South African school. Their videos will always put a smile on your face and stirs up a little more wanderlust.
10. Lost LeBlanc
In September 2018, Youtuber Christain LeBlanc is revamping his travel videos. Instead of typical vlogs with expensive, luxury trips, he wants to focus on raw storytelling from a backpacker's budget and point of view. He also gives insight on the production side of creating videos for Youtube like the gear and software he uses and brings along.
11. Geography Now
Host "Barby" is going through the UN's list of countries in depth with political and physical geography, demographics, and relations with other countries. As his channel grew, so did his team and personal travels. His channel is definitely more educational, but he shares his travels whenever he can.
One of the biggest priorities in my life is my career. I admire those who take an untraditional route to share their story. They keep me motivated and inspired to search for opportunities and find my own method to share my life and other people's experiences.