Why I Gave up Being an Instagram Travel Influencer!

If you had asked me over the last few years what I wanted to do with my life, I would have told you I wanted to be an Instagram travel influencer. The dream of taking stunning photos in cute dresses in locations all around the world was all I wanted to do. I loved the idea of earning money to work with brands that I adored, getting sent products to promote to my audience, and eventually, working on some pretty impressive travel brand collaborations.
I wanted to be a travel influencer and I wanted to thrive as one of those people who looked like they travelled for a living.

The start of my year looked like this:

I grew my Instagram to 12K
I perfected my brand pitches
I landed some pretty cool collaborations
I landed an awesome blogging trip that allowed me to travel to Uluru, see outback Australia, and explore the Great Barrier Reef.
I landed more collaborations
I landed an incredible writing opportunity that paid really well
I landed even more collaborations
I worked and studied full time while doing all of this
I broke up with my partner of 4 years and moved houses
All within the first six months.
I quit being an Instagram travel influencer because the lifestyle wasn't healthy. Instagram and working as a content creator, influencer, or on Social Media was ruining my life. Instead, I quit, to focus on being a travel blogger. And it was the best decision I ever made! #travelinfluencer #instagraminfluencer #socialmedia

As the year progressed, I began to realise that I actually kind of resented the process of being an Instagram travel influencer. The idea of posing for photos every single day, being picky about the clothing I wore, and constantly engaging on Instagram, wasn’t what I wanted to be doing.

I burnt out. Majorly.

Like, if I was a comet floating through space I would have fallen so hard to earth I would have protruded out the other side. I didn’t even realise that I was doing it at the time, but I wore myself so thin I could barely find the motivation to finish my second last semester of Uni. It’s no surprise then, that I began to resent everything I was doing. I completely stopped posting on Instagram, almost sabotaging an awesome brand collaboration that was in the works. I couldn’t stand to look at my blog, let alone write for it. And I convinced myself I didn’t want to be a freelance writer (which has been my dream job for a few years now).

I stopped everything, and I did nothing.

Nada.

Ziltch.

Around three months passed where I barely touched a thing. The drive, motivation, and passion had left me and in its place was emptiness. The idea of posting on Instagram or engaging with people made me want to throw my phone into a river. Logging onto oneworldwanderer.net made me want to delete the website altogether. And I’d be lying if dreams of laying under a mountain somewhere away from phone service didn’t cross my mind once or twice.

This burnout, despite being from pushing myself way too hard, I put down to four things, which I am going to go into detail about in a second.

But first, I just want to say that being a travel influencer, travel blogger, entrepreneur, and freelance writer is hard work. It’s exhausting, time-consuming, and often you will hustle and have nothing to show for it. But, it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, and despite not wanting to forge a career in the social media influencer world, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

1. I Really Wasn’t Doing What I Wanted To Do.

My dream has always been to write. I grew up with a creative flair and a passion for writing. What? I hadn’t (and still haven’t) decided. But it was the written word that I always adored more than anything in the world. Although Instagram and my blog allowed me the ability to do some writing and be creative, I was pushing my writing aside. My in-the-work novel was put on a backpedal. My university subjects suffered. I barely wrote anything because I was too focused on Instagram and pitching brands to work with.

I knew something had to give in order to make me write again.

I quit being an Instagram travel influencer because the lifestyle wasn't healthy. Instagram and working as a content creator, influencer, or on Social Media was ruining my life. Instead, I quit, to focus on being a travel blogger. And it was the best decision I ever made! #travelinfluencer #instagraminfluencer #socialmedia

2.  I Wasn’t Making Enough Money as an Instagram Travel Influencer For it to be Worthwhile.

Although I did make money on Instagram, most of the collaborations I did were product-for-post collaborations where I got sent products and in return had to promote them via photos and Instagram stories. Don’t get me wrong, some of these were pretty awesome, but free products don’t exactly pay the bills.

The couple of ‘experience’ partnerships I had were what really kept me going. These were the things that were totally worth the hours and hours I was putting into my blog and Instagram because I got to do what I wanted to do: travel the world and document it.

Working as an Instagram travel influencer is not all about the money, but when you work and work and work your butt off, it’s nice to be earning some money for it. It takes A LOT of time, energy, and frankly, your own money, to make it in the business. And if it isn’t where your passions lie, there’s a good chance it won’t be where you find success. Nor will it be where you want to spend your days for the rest of your life.

Working online has never looked better. Why I gave up being a travel influencer to follow my dreams. Travel blogger in her element adventuring around AUstralia.

3. I Wasn’t Taking Care of Myself.

I’m a sucker for punishment. I always have been. Some would call it a workaholic, an addiction to stress, allergy to boredom… the list goes on. And while it may be true, the older I get the more I realise I need to take care of myself- mentally and physically. I need to binge Netflix, go to the beach and read a book, and not constantly be thinking about my massive to-do list. I need to put down the laptop, the phone, and chill.

As an influencer, I wasn’t doing any of these things. I was working full time in my normal job, trying to maintain my uni workload, write a tonne for my blog, and work full time on my Instagram.

Eating healthy and exercising had been put aside for so long throughout this phase in my life, and these are two things I really need in my day to day life go keep sane. When I was super busy, I didn’t allow myself any time to do anything that wasn’t essential. If it wasn’t Uni, I was blogging, pitching, and engaging on Instagram. Things that honestly made me so unhappy. I was living my life by a clock, justifying things like how fast I can get to the grocery store and how long I can spend there before it becomes a waste of my time.

It took me a while, but I’ve since realised that is not how I want to live my life.

I quit being an Instagram travel influencer because the lifestyle wasn't healthy. Instagram and working as a content creator, influencer, or on Social Media was ruining my life. Instead, I quit, to focus on being a travel blogger. And it was the best decision I ever made! #travelinfluencer #instagraminfluencer #socialmedia

4. I was Letting the ‘Instagram Influencer’ Life Destroy my Confidence.

We’ve all heard the conversations about Instagram ruining self-confidence and being a platform where judgment runs rampant. For me, it wasn’t necessarily about comparing myself to others. Instead, I was being brought down by fake users and negative users. Even the wanderlust that came from looking at other incredible travel bloggers made me hate the platform because I wasn’t out there exploring the world, I was at my desk studying or trying to land the next collaboration.

Instagram made me restless. It made me think I actually sucked at what I was doing. But looking back, I can see that I was actually kicking ass. Sure I wasn’t rich or getting collabs with the Mariot Hotel or Singapore Airlines, but I was getting collabs, and I was seeing results.

The negative feelings I got from logging onto Instagram and constantly checking my comments, insights, and likes, was one of the main reasons I decided to quit the Instagram game and focus on my blog, my freelance writing, and my health.

No platform is worth feeling like shit.

And you want to know something else? Success does not always equal happiness. 

I quit being an Instagram travel influencer because the lifestyle wasn't healthy. Instagram and working as a content creator, influencer, or on Social Media was ruining my life. Instead, I quit, to focus on being a travel blogger. And it was the best decision I ever made! #travelinfluencer #instagraminfluencer #socialmedia

The Influencer Life

I hope you know this post isn’t about telling you about how much being an influencer sucked. I gave up being an Instagram travel influencer because it really wasn’t aligned with my personal career goals. I found a lot of successes, happiness, and fun while doing it. I had the pleasure of growing as a person and business owner. My blog thrived. I met incredible people I now call good friends. I travelled a lot.
 
With everything, there are positives and negatives, and I only aim to give you the real, cold, raw truth about my experiences in the industry as it wasn’t healthy. If you want to join the influencer life, I applaud you! Go ahead! Just be mindful of all the downsides that can come from it, and don’t get hung up on the workload and negativity.

How to Become a Travel Influencer

If you have ever asked yourself how to start a travel Instagram? How to travel the world as a Social Media Influencer? Or how to become an Instagram travel influencer, then I’m going to give you some advice.

Do Christina Galbato’s Influencer Course. I don’t get any money from promoting this. It isn’t a sponsored post. I genuinely think her courses, free advice, and information is the best you’ll find. She has experience as a travel influencer, working with large brands, and teaching others her ways. If you are considering joining the world of influencers, learning from the best is the only way to do it!

If you’re simply looking for ways to make money online, I recommend checking out the 17 ways to make an income online which offer an in-depth list of things you can do (that are a lot faster than influencer life too!).

Alternatively, travel blogging could be an amazing way to pair your travel influencer business and create a viable income! You can read more about that in this post.

My Journey Now

My break in blogging, writing, and Instagram has allowed me the clarity I needed to realise that writing is my goal. It always was and it always will be.

I’d love to create a life where I earn passive income from both my blog and my freelance writing, as well as with my social media VA and management business which focuses on providing affordable services to business owners and other bloggers and entrepreneurs who need assistance with their social media, time restraints, writing, and other things.

Truthfully, being an Instagram travel influencer isn’t in the picture anymore. I’ll use the platform to document my travels, and if an awesome blogging collaboration comes up that requires a photo or two to be posted on my Instagram, I won’t say no. But I’m not going to worry about who’s looking, my engagement rate, or whether or not I’m getting paid. I just want to use that platform to share my travel photos and stories with the world.

One thing is for sure, there won’t be any more burnouts!!

Are you an influencer? Ever considered joining? I would love to hear your stories in the comment!

I quit being an Instagram travel influencer because the lifestyle wasn't healthy. Instagram and working as a content creator, influencer, or on Social Media was ruining my life. Instead, I quit, to focus on being a travel blogger. And it was the best decision I ever made! #travelinfluencer #instagraminfluencer #socialmedia I quit being an Instagram travel influencer because the lifestyle wasn't healthy. Instagram and working as a content creator, influencer, or on Social Media was ruining my life. Instead, I quit, to focus on being a travel blogger. And it was the best decision I ever made! #travelinfluencer #instagraminfluencer #socialmedia

Abbie

Abbie is a 20-something Aussie girl in the midst of a never-ending love affair with the world. She fell in love with travel at the age of 18 and has since then visited 30+ countries, graduated university with a writing degree, and moved to Canada to live out her dreams of being surrounded by snow!

4 Comments

  • Hedy

    I came across this article through Pinterest and love it. I have similar feelings about Instagram and it’s great that there are more content creators out here talking about this!! It’s honestly so important to share how it really is because being an “influencer” is so glamorized, and while there are benefits, the mental health side takes a huge toll.

  • Jaclyn Walsh

    Just came across this when I was googling reviews for Christina Galbato’s Influencer course and I just love your honesty! What you say, it’s actually how I intuitively feel about it too. I don’t want to be held bondage to my I stageam account either as there is do much ‘real’ life to live. Thank you for writing your truth – you never know who it helps x

    • srahmanshafi

      Hi Jaclyn,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment! It’s always nice to know my posts and honesty connect with people. Hope it helps you on your journey. xx

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