Once upon a time, people took real vacations. They went to cool places. They took pictures of monuments and maybe a group picture if a friendly local was willing to hold the camera and take a shot.
We not only don't take real vacations, but we escape to places like YouTube and Instagram to see other people in gorgeous places, looking utterly unrealistically gorgeous, smiling and having fun. What a life!
Honestly, in my 20s if there was such a thing as an influencer career, I'd have jumped on that bandwagon. I had a youthful exuberance and body, a desire to see new places, and share. The camera and I were also good friends.
But, the reality of influencers is a lot of "fake" living. They have to set up shots, lighting, timing, outfits, makeup, what they will say, not to mention the hours and hours of editing and promoting the work. It's not a 9-to-5 job. Sure, the content of the job is fun, but it's rather like being an artist and 10% of the time is making art and the other 90% of the time is paperwork and promoting. And the fan base! They are constantly wanting to chat and connect.
Popularity is fleeting. More and more we see influencers on YouTube making 1 minute or less videos just to stay relevant because posting often helps their algorithims.
So, what do we learn from that lovely lifestyle they show off and promote?
Technically, you're sitting on top of it.
City parks, outdoor concerts, playing in a swimsuit under a sprinkler, drinking wine, grabbing an inner tube and heading to the river, eating amazing meals, taking what's around you and not only appreciated it, but seeing it as a gift - THAT'S what being your own personal influencer is like.
Dive right into your world and explore!
Julie and I regularly look up events calendars and seasonal celebrations. It gives us a chance to try new things, see new places, and we have an obsession with eateries and bars that have hilarious themes.
We also enjoy staying in town at a resort or hotel a few days so we can enjoy that part of the Valley of the Sun. One location, we listed all the things to do around the hotel and found a wide variety of fun -
a haunted hotel
an olive farm
an antique mall
indoor glow-in-the-dark putt putt
a railroad museum
an art gallery
Influencers show lovely lives of cooking meals from scratch, applying the perfect makeup, heading out to surf the waves, and always there is a strong emphasis on travel.
A road trip is a great influencer-style fun goal. Pick a place within a few hours of home and bring a friend or family. Get a chance to put your toes on the dashboard and paint your nails. Roll down the windows. Embrace the scent of a new place. Pick a place that is either high-pampering like a spa or resort by the water or someplace with tons of rural flavor to test out the diner most visited by locals, the courthouse tour, the historic district. Do all of this at your leisure.
You don't need to record and share your fun. In fact, actually be present in your activities. Pamper yourself. Rearrange a room, play outdoors, cook a meal, go someplace new, try a new exercise video.
We all have our favorite influencers and usually they are ones that reflect a lifestyle we want. Start watching yours and adopting some of their example.
Here's some of my favorites -
Rachel is a beautiful and super sweet young woman who bought a big compound of land and outbuildings in Joshua Tree and works to renovate the location. She exemplifies do-it-yourself and healthy lifestyle. From her channel I get brave enough to do some renovation projects I never imagined I would undertake. I also look at my home with a designer's eye to develop my own style as she has done. She also often calls on her gal pals to help. This is a behavior I am beginning to adopt and it's super empowering.
This adorable couple with a precious precocious toddler share their renovations on a Hawaiian home while sharing their own design business of furnishings and wallpapers, all of which are totally my style. They inspire me to be proud to use color in my home, carry an indoor-outdoor living vibe, and be playful.
This beautiful young swimsuit model enjoys her time surfing in Hawaii and traveling to exotic locations. She brings you along to see places you may never visit in person. To me, she's a beautiful destination seeker and that inspires me to seek out lovely locations to immerse myself in. She also enjoys her life in a swimsuit, something I hope to be more and more comfortable doing.
Honestly, influencers are showing us how to slow down and focus on things like nurturing, nutrition, independence, travel, self-care, beauty, and embracing leisure.
It might be time to live the message.