Not too long ago, vacation photos ended up as slideshows for the neighbors, a carousel of the best, worst, and most tedious moments of the family's tourisy sojourn to Europe or week near the Great Lakes.
These days, Instagram makes it easier and — dare we say — more appealing to follow along as friends, family, and even strangers traverse the world. (Thank you, filters Valencia and Amaro!) Sometimes social media causes Insta-envy, but most of the time it inspires more travel planning.
For the first time ever, we're announcing our heavily researched list of the 24 Best Travelers on Instagram, a 21st-century crew of explorers who will take you from the wilds of Alaska to the secretive streets of North Korea.
As we always do with Fathom's 24 Best series, we spent hours researching, scrolling, arguing, and judging accounts both popular and obscure to finalize the crop of excellent travelers on Instagram who have never before been featured on Fathom. We hope you like what you see and want to follow along.
What we love: Like a crisp autumn day, Boman's shots of Swedish life are cast in a dark and moody light. And with a handpicked song to match each photograph, it's easy to feel like you're right there alongside him.
Peter travels for the opportunity to nourish both body and soul.
What we love: A mélange of pinks, blues, and whites dot this dreamlike feed. Take a visual trip to the Greek island of Kefalonia, where the graphic designer spends her free time floating in the crystal blue sea and picking plums straight from the tree.
What we love: From the icy spray of Niagara Falls to the warm waves splashing beneath Santa Monica Pier, these two Canadian pals are on the move with a full tank of gas and a North American road map to lead the way.
Last seen: picking blueberries in the Finger Lakes.
What we love: Take a virtual stroll through the leafy streets of Paris with a stop (or two) at one of its many cafes and patisseries. The expat photographer has a knack for capturing the city's finest creations, including pastel macarons, classic Chanel flats, and lazy days on the lawn at Jardins du Palais Royal.
What we love: Ngooi's feed takes on a more personal note as he hangs around London with his fiancée. (He also took some amazing Iceland photos recently.) He has a great eye for angles, color, and detail. And is able to find beauty in the most mundane places or subjects.
Ben travels for the food, the photos, and the happiness.
What we love: The Norwegian photographer lives in a 200-year-old thatched cottage in Dorset, England, and takes museum-like still life photos in the kitchen and charming outdoor shots of the English countryside.
Last seen: Ordering "un cafe s'il vous plait" at 4 a.m. in France.
What we love: It's a voyueristic look into the daily lives of Italians via street scenes in cities like Milan and Rome. How fitting, then, that Giannini's high-contrast pictures are reminiscent of the chiaroscuro paintings of the Renaissance.
What we love: Originally from Australia, Yisrael has been living in Amsterdam for a decade. It feels like we're following his daily bike route through the city streets: the local street portraits, the canal shots, and all the bicycles. Every photo is accompanied by a celebrity inspiration and quote.
What we love: JuWon loves natural lighting, and it shows — bright, airy photos flood her feed. Though based in Seoul, South Korea, she recently made her way from India to Beijing, documenting plenty of architectural details and good-looking Asian desserts.
What we love: Russ has been on the road for the last two years and is currenly hiking up and around around Alaska's mountain ranges. Through iPhone-only photos, he gives us a glimpse of mellow camp life and jaw-dropping natural vistas.
What we love: Based on Sumba Island in Indonesia, Eflin's feed is gushing with stunning seascapes, tree silhouettes at sunset, and rice paddy fields. He also shows us the unique terrain around the Indonesian islands and the occasional snap of locals living their daily lives amidst these incredible backdrops.
What we love: The Los Angeles-based photographer wears an epic beard and rides motorcycles. His awesome Instagram feed catalogs that which is associated with the two: leather, tattoos, coffee, boots, diner breakfasts, girls, lots of pavement, and the Great Open Road.
Last seen: driving around Arizona, Los Angeles, and Northern Mexico.
What we love: There's a lot of sky happening in Marta's portfolio, as if the Barcelona-based Instagrammer spends her days lying in wildflower fields in remote corners of Spain. Often with adorable cats. We envy her.
Marta travels because there is nothing more fascinating than discovering other cultures or ways of life.
What we love: It's a pilot's overhead vantage point from thousands of feet up in the air. Shots are serene — from tidy NYC grids to the heaving valleys of Montana's Glacier National Park. And, of course, a few money shots of the pilot seat.
What we love: Besides obligatory moody shots of the Golden Gate Bridge in his hometown of San Francisco, Tom shoots and tags waterfalls, winding rivers, snowy bridges, and friends teetering oh-so-very-close to the edge of craggy cliffs in far corners of the world.
Dan travel for the experience of learning something new — through a conversation, a hole-in-the-wall meal, or a discovery off the beaten path.
What we love: Along with food and tablescape highlights for the pages of glossy magazines, the NYC/Tel Aviv-based photographer captures the energy of cities around the world — mostly through their cafes, kitchens, lunchrooms, big buildings, and side streets.
Sivan travels for the new perspective, for the adventure, and for capturing special moments with her camera.
What we love: The Mexican industrial designer and nonstop wanderer splits her time between LA and Mexico City. Her Instagram pics are the essence of West Coast: beachy, breezy, sunshiney, dotted with palm trees, and very laid-back.
Andrea travels for the excitement of discovering new places that fill her soul with beauty and energy.
What we love: He called it quits on his London office job, then hit the road. His iPhone-only feed captures the beauty of cities and countrysides in spare, crisp images, often with solo figures in the distance.
Last seen: Snapping away in Copenhagen, Berlin, Puglia, Elba, and Brighton.