This travel influencer will change the way you view Instagram

Insta-famous influencers, especially food, beauty, and travel content creators, often seem like they’re living perfect lies. But are they, really? Source: Shutterstock.

“I WAS LIVING ABOVE MY MEANS. I was living a lie and debt was looming over my head,” 26-year-old Lissette Calveiro told New York Post.

Insta-famous influencers, especially food, beauty, and travel content creators, often seem like they’re living perfect lives.

They get to dine in expensive places for free, sample street food you’ve only ever heard of, get first dibs on the latest beauty products, don designer clothing from top to toe and fly off to the farthest corners of the world.

And more often than not, they’re paid to do what they do.

We see and we envy, but we also forget that almost all (if not all) of it is filtered.

In her quest for stardom, Miami-based Calveiro gained 23,000 followers but also landed herself a whopping total of US$10,000 in debt.

“I was shopping . . . for clothes to take ‘the perfect ’gram’,” New York Post quoted Calveiro as saying.

She was struggling financially while juggling an internship and a part-time retail job to fund her life as an Instagram star. A stark contrast from all the glitz and glamor she showcased on the social media platform.

And despite her debt, she still gave herself US$200 per month to ensure her followers never saw the same outfit twice.

She would also fork out US$1,000 for a vintage Louis Vuitton bag or an accessory from Kate Spade and make month-long trips to Las Vegas, the Bahamas, and Los Angeles to get “new material” for her Instagram posts.

She may have landed a full-time publicist gig, but most of her salary went to dining out, shopping, and traveling. All for the socials.

“Snapchat had these (geo-)filters (like digital passport stamps) and I wanted to collect at least 12,” Calveiro said. “If you break it down, a lot of the travel I was doing in 2016 was strictly for Instagram.”

Does she regret it? She said yes.

“I had a lot of opportunities to save. I could’ve invested that money in something.”

What do her followers say?

“I want your life!”, “Loving your dress!”, “You look so happy!” and other words of admiration and support are often repeated in the comments. But perhaps they’re just blissfully unaware.

Not Calveiro though. She has pulled a 180. “I find more meaning in what I’m doing. It goes back to me being more authentic.”

And she’s not the first to have fallen apart.

Insta-famous Russian travelers Murad and Nataly Osmann, otherwise known as the #FollowMeTo couple, may have millions of followers on their respective Instagram accounts.

But unlike their iconic photos, they’ve unglamorously run on empty many times.

“You have to be ready to put all your energy into what you are doing. And you should be ready to live in airports, trains, buses, and cars because it is all about moving from one place to another,” quoted Murad as saying.