Behind the Instagrammer

The Second Instagram blogger is @backpackwithme and her personal instagarm account is @jessbackpack. Her images are beautiful and also features great travel photos from other Instagram on the back with my account. Just looking at her photos will make you want to travel.

Behind the Instagrammer Part 2

Behind The InstagrammerCan you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

My name is Jessica, and I’m a 24-year-old travel blogger and social media manager from a tiny town in New York State. I’m also the founder and manager of the Instagram and blog, @backpackwithme!


Behind The InstagrammerWhat were you doing before traveling?

I was working in insurance and hating the 9-5 life with a burning passion! I have always loved traveling, but it wasn’t until I finished college and settled for an office job that I realized I needed more in life.

Behind The InstagrammerWhat does photography mean to you?

Photography is a huge part of my life because it allows me to share my experiences with my family back home, my friends, and even other travelers from the online community. It also lets me capture moments in time so I can look back on them years down the road and remember those special moments.

Behind the Instagrammer Part 2

Behind The InstagrammerDo you use any follow and unlike software for your Instagram account?

No, I track my analytics using SocialBlade but that’s pretty much the only website/software I use.

Behind The InstagrammerCan you tell us a little bit about your decision to start traveling?

I was working a 9-5 office job making a decent income, but it was far from the life I wanted. Woke up, went to work, went to bed then repeated. Then remember thinking “there’s got to be more to life than this.” Then one day, I was watching tv after a long day at work, and I saw a Dawn soap commercial (bare with me, I promise this story is going somewhere!). In the commercial, they were cleaning up baby birds from an oil spill in the ocean, and right then and there, I thought “I want to do something like that!!” I started looking online at volunteer opportunities in other countries and realized that I could easily combine my two passions in life: traveling and animals. So I saved up money, quit my job, moved to Thailand to volunteer at an animal shelter, and haven’t stopped traveling ever since!

Behind The InstagrammerWhat has been the most exciting destination for you?

Bali. It was so full of culture, had AMAZING foods, not to mention some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. I want to go back ASAP.

Behind the Instagrammer Part 2

Behind The InstagrammerWhere have you never been that you would love to go?

The Philippines. Vietnam. Africa. Norway And India. Oh goodness, I want to go everywhere….

Behind The InstagrammerWhat have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced while traveling?

I always forget to tell my bank that I’m traveling, and so it’s no fun to find out your credit card has been declined and shut off! It also gets lonely traveling solo sometimes, so I choose to stay in hostels to socialize and make friends easier.

Behind The InstagrammerWhat have been some of the biggest challenges with Instagram?

Instagram lowers your engagement as your account grows. When I was under 30K, I would be getting the same amount of likes on photos that I am now. I guess they make the rules though, so I can’t complain!

Behind the Instagrammer Part 2

Behind The InstagrammerDo you have any training in photography or are you completely self-taught?

All self-taught. I’m still learning every day!

Behind The InstagrammerWhat are the main tips you can provide to help boost your Instagram following?

Post interesting photos with a similar style aesthetic, engage with your followers, use the right hashtags, and don’t piss on the Instagram algorithm.

Behind The InstagrammerWhat are your travel photography tips?

Put the camera down every once in a while and take time to actually look at what you’re photographing. So many people get caught up not appreciating the beauty of where they are, and instead just looking at it through a camera lens.

Behind the Instagrammer Part 2

Behind The InstagrammerHow do you get sponsorships?

Travel brands contact me after seeing @backpackwithme, and then I decide whether it’s something my followers would be interested in – sometimes I reach out to companies who I would love to collaborate with if it is something that I think would be mutually beneficial.

Behind The InstagrammerHow do you choose which brands to work with?

If it’s something I would be excited to use myself, then I will usually choose to work with the brand because my followers would also be interested in it.

Behind The InstagrammerWhat’s the most extreme thing you’ve ever done to get a photo?

Spent an unnecessary amount of money to gain access to an exclusive party on top of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. I just wanted to get a photo of the famous rooftop infinity pool., but there was some huge party going on. That party was expensive AF to get into.

Behind the Instagrammer Part 2

Behind The InstagrammerFor those Instagram travelers who want to travel like you, can you give them some tips?

Travel inexpensively – stay in hostels, eat where the locals eat, take the local transportation, and then you’ll have way more money to keep traveling (until you run out of money!)

Behind The InstagrammerWhat’s your been your favorite place that your travels have taken you to?

Southeast Asia, 100%. I have an insane love for Koh Phangan in Thailand. Where I volunteered at the animal shelter, but also fell in love with Thailand in its entirety.

Behind The InstagrammerWhat equipment do you normally carry to accomplish your photography?

Canon 6D DLSR, Canon lens, tripod, iPhone, and GoPro Hero 4 Silver

Behind the Instagrammer Part 2

Behind The InstagrammerWhat is one tip you have that has helped you boost your blog?

Cross-promoting on my social media channels has helped boost my viewers a ton!

Behind The InstagrammerHow much money have you made to your Instagram account roughly a month?

Not much – I typically don’t collaborate with brands for paid posts because I like to keep my feed organic.

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  1. What an inspirational story. I wish I had the courage to quit the 9-5 when I was 24 and go explore the world. Life would be so much different. But i am still stuck with the 9-5. Yet, inspirational stories like these give me the hope that one day the right moment will come for me too to embark on a journey similar to her

  2. Jessica seems to be a girl who follows her heart. I loved her Marina Bay sands story. Those lovely instagrammable picture sometimes costs a lot. Great inside info on successful instagrammers 🙂

  3. Such an interesting insight into growing your instagram, I have to admit as a newbie to instagram this has been very helpful. There are a few points especially the challenges like Instagram slowing down your engagement after you reach a certain level that I will have to keep an eye on.

  4. Hey great post…. I love that you answered so many questions… I’m a new traveler contemplating leaving everything behind and just being a digital nomad. How do you make money when you travel? Can you give any tips for new travelers that want to travel full time? Thank you 🙂

  5. Really enjoyed reading about the person behind the IG account, thanks for sharing. As older travel bloggers (just starting out) we learn heaps from this sort of thing about a medium that a few months ago was completely foreign to us. So thanks for the tips too

  6. Inspiring story, she has really made a success of the travelling life and promoting this on social media. Wish I’d given up my 9-5 much earlier than i did but never too late as they say. Interesting that she’s not sold out on her Instagram either to being too many paid posts! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  7. Very inspiring! It’s great to hear that she has grown her instagram organically, unlike other who you hear use bots to follow and unfollow which can be very frustrating. Just like me, I want to travel everywhere! ; )

  8. I love this post and your passion for photography especially when you paid extra bucks to get access to the Marina Bay Sands expensive party. Your pictures are super amazing! 🙂

  9. very very interesting reading. I would love to advertise some travel brands in my blog but still on the way… Right now only a hotel has contacted me after seeing my blog on facebook and as a first customer I have applied a great monthly rate… 🙂 You post gave me great tips…

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