What It’s Really Like To Be An Instagram ‘Influencer’

Nicola Easterby is one of the few people in the world who are, “lucky enough to [be] earn[ing an] income from [her] blog and Instagram.” Her blog is called Polkadot Passport, and it documents her travels to more than 46 countries.

Her photos are postcard-esque and very aesthetically pleasing. Her 247,000 Instagram followers truly show her status as an “influencer.”

polkadot passport baloons

How did she end up being so lucky? Easterby is Australian, and growing up, she developed a love for photography. After she finished high school, followed her passion for photography by enrolling in university to study it.

However, she quickly found that being in a classroom was not for her and that she learned more from hands-on experience. Nicola wrote that “studying [photography at school] was slowly killing my passion for the art.”

nicola polkadot passport

Eventually, she took a gap year to travel alone to Europe, and she snapped a lot of pictures along the way. It was amazing, and she knew that she couldn’t return to school.

Nicola kept traveling, and she started Polkadot Passport. She paid for all her own travels for two years, but as followers piled on, she slowly could live off her blog.

Behind the scenes, Nicola admits that her life looks, “rather idealistic,” but it isn’t her real life. Easterby warned that “these images do not tell the whole story.”

What the images do not show is her being stranded in Japan, or her losing her camera in Bali.

elephant polkadot passport

Even though her pockets are filled with money from her Instagram followers, she urges people to remember, “We forget that behind every photo, there is a normal human being – a human being who has just as many insecurities, and who goes through just as much pain and just as many bad days as the rest of us.”