Photographer Spotlight: Philip Anderson Edsel

This week’s spotlight goes out to Philip Anderson Edsel, an artist born and raised in Austin, Texas. Not only are we infinitely jealous of his hometown, but turns out he’s also an incredibly talented photographer, a writer, and a musician. We’re pretty obsessed with his feed so we reached out to him to see why he uses Instagram among other things. So read on and make sure to check his work out @philipandersonedsel!

Q: Why do you Instagram?
A: I use Instagram because it adds a communal aspect to the art of photography. It’s instant sharing with instant feedback, which photography has never had in its entire history before social media. This accessibility and instantaneous interaction of Instagram inherently gives value to the everyday; the beautiful, little moments you would never think twice about.

Q: What inspires you most?
A: Inspiration can come from about anywhere. One of the things that I love about art is that it is a never-ending cycle of inspiration, which usually jumps from one medium to another. You see a film that inspired you so you write a poem, which gives someone an idea for a song, which inspires a film. I’m inspired by art, but also by faith and the events of everyday life.

Q: What’s one of your favorite shots and why?
A: It feels weird to define my favorite shot. There’s a saying that your favorite shot, or your best image, is always the next one you take. When I’m shooting, I sometimes think, this is the best shot I’ve ever taken. But then three months down the road, I’ll feel uninspired by it. I’m always thinking my best work is ahead of me. It’s what drive me to keep creating.

Q: The best or worst place you’ve been to (and why).
A: One of my favorite cities in the world is Bath, in the UK. I have sort of a romantic, idealistic view of Europe, as if everything was frozen in time from an Austen novel. But I love New York too, and hope one day to live there for a little bit.

Q: One thing most people don’t know about you.
A: Most people that find me on Instagram think of me as a photographer, which I am. But I’m also a full-time musician in a band called Courrier. I’ve been doing that longer than photography, and get to travel all over the country playing music, which is an amazing thing.

Q: Any advice for college kids looking to travel the world?
A: Do it!

Q: What’s next?
A: Working on a new record, our third. Also, looking to shoot some more! If you’re ever in Austin, hit me up and let’s go shoot!

Road Trip 101: 8 Ways to Thank Your Host

One of the most important reasons we road trip is for the relationships we build along the way. First and foremost, this means the people kind enough to open their doors and give you a place to sleep for the night. They may be a family member, distant friend, or complete stranger—either way, your job (if you want to be a kind and decent person and/or have any hope of staying there again) is to show them the utmost gratitude and respect from the beginning to end of your stay.

So how can you make sure you do that in all the excitement?
Here are our top eight tips and tricks.

1. Come bearing gifts. The golden standard. Although we don’t always come bearing gifts, we almost always leave them on our way out.

2. Respect their space. Treat it better than your own. Remember, you are a guest. They have every right to kick you out if you make them unhappy.

3. Talk to them. Wait, what? Believe it or not, it’s actually a huge sign of respect if you take the time to engage them in conversation and really get to know them while you’re there. Everyone you meet is interesting if you understand their story. Use your stay as an opportunity to discover what makes them tick.

4. Cook for them. Now we can’t say that we’ve ever been able to do this, but it’s definitely a great idea if you want to show your host how much you appreciate them. Appetizers, meals, dessert—you know your strong suit. Here’s the perfect chance to show it.

5. Immerse yourself in their culture. If they go to bed at a certain time, you go to bed at that time. If they only eat dessert for breakfast, you eat dessert for breakfast. With people you’re closer with, this may be less of an issue, but when in doubt always follow their lead.

6. Leave the place cleaner than when you got there. Is that even possible? Yes. Yes it is. Even if you can’t straighten out the space you were staying in back to perfection, helping out in other, unexpected ways will leave them with nothing but the rosiest memories of you when you’re gone.

7. Send a thank you note from the road. Show them how much you appreciate them while you’re there, thank them genuinely and profusely before leaving, and after you’ve gone, go as far as sending a thank you note from the road if you can.

8. Offer to return the favor if they’re ever in your area! We love this one because it encourages more people to travel by taking the stress of finding somewhere to stay off their shoulders. Offering up your place is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to thank your host for letting you stay on your journey.

What do you usually do to thank someone when you stay with them?

Photographer Spotlight: Stephanie Suh

If there’s one thing we’ve learned since joining Instagram, it’s that there are some pretty incredibly talented people out there it allows us to have the opportunity to learn from and connect with. So this month, we’re starting a photographer spotlight series to showcase these individuals and their work, beginning with Stephanie Suh.

Stephanie is a 20 year old college student at the University of California, San Diego. Born in Hawaii, she originally moved to San Diego for school and still currently resides there. We’re completely obsessed with her summer-y, wanderlust-inspiring feed, so when we considered people to feature she was one of the first who came to mind. Enjoy!


Q: Why do you Instagram?
A: Instagram has helped me to meet and talk to different types of people which is one thing I really enjoy about it. It’s not just social media for me, it’s almost like a creative outlet where I can gain inspiration from others as well.

Q: What inspires you most?
A: I would say summer inspires me the most. This is pretty evident in my Instagram feed; palm trees, beaches, surfers, etc. Living in Hawaii and California has played a huge role in my art and I’ve always had a love for the ocean and warm weather. During the summer is when I get the most creative and in San Diego, there’s so much beauty around me to gain inspiration from which is why I’m so in love with where I live!

Q: Your favorite post and why.
A: My favorite post is my first one which was a little more than 2 years ago. It’s a very minimalist photo of two small palm trees in the bottom corner. This is my favorite post not because it’s a good photo, but because that’s where it all started. When I posted that first picture after creating my Instagram account, I hadn’t planned on using Instagram as a creative outlet; it was just a random photo that I posted just to try out the app. It’s cool to think about what it turned into and how that first post inspired the theme of my feed.

Q: The best place you’ve been to and why.
A: The best place I’ve been to was Arizona. It was less of the destination and more of the journey that I enjoyed. A group of friends and I had decided to take a spontaneous road trip from California to Arizona and we stopped at random places along the way. Arizona was a fun place but I really enjoyed the journey there. It was the beginning of summer last year and I was in a cramped car surrounded by people I loved with the music blasting. It was exciting because I had no idea what to expect and when we arrived, I was in a totally new place! We came back home with near empty wallets and hundreds of photos that we barely remembered taking, but it was so worth it! It felt like a daring getaway which is why Arizona will always have a special place in my heart.

Q: One thing most people don’t know about you?
A: Most people don’t know that I really enjoy portrait photography! My Instagram feed is filled with scenery but I also love using the human figure as a subject. I have the occasional photo of the beach with a surfer passing by, but I’ve recently been practicing other types of photography that are less related to nature and focus more on the person. I’m hoping to get better and start integrating more diverse themes into my posts, but for now I’m sticking to the whole summer/Cali vibe!

Q: Favorite editing app.
My favorite editing app is image blender. I sometimes use graphic shapes and words when editing my pictures and I use this app to layer them onto the photos. As well as photography, I’ve always had a love for graphic design and through this app I’m able to combine the two arts.

Q: Any advice for college kids looking to travel the world?
A: My advice would be to take risks. It sounds like the typical advice that a college kid would give to another college kid who’s looking for adventure, but saying yes to (almost) everything is what lead me to experience a lot of interesting things as well as meet new people. Another important thing would be to start saving money now. This one seems obvious, but if you want to travel the world, one of the first steps to making that happen is to save money. Although I’m still young and haven’t been to many far places, one of my goals is to backpack around Europe after I graduate college and I know that in order for that to actually happen, I’d need the resources!

Q: What’s next?
A: Like I mentioned before, I’d love to get into other types of photography. I want to expand my knowledge of the art in general, and I think it would be awesome to go to different places and take photos of people from diverse cultures. Photography is basically a reason for adventure which could lead to so many opportunities and experiences, and I want to start taking full advantage of that!

To see more of Stephanie’s work, check out her feed at @steffblah.

A Travel Manifesto

The Yolo Babes:

Love this! What’s your travel manifesto?



I will see the world with wonder, with gratitude, with respect.
I will strive to stay, though ever moving, right in the happy middle: the intersection of longing and contentment. I will not close my eyes to the harsh realities of life and will endeavor to respond with compassion and action, but I will keep my rose-colored glasses on hand, in my carry-on, and remember to count my blessings.

I will not count how many countries I’ve been to, though I don’t think poorly of people who do. I will try to resist the temptation to count because I don’t want the number to be my motivation. I don’t want to travel just to tick a place off a list. I don’t want to say: “My name is X and I have been to Y out of Z countries,” though there’s really nothing wrong with that. I…

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20 Essentials for Any Road Trip

For any road trip, the most important factor isn’t the destination or how long it takes you to get there, but what you make out of the ride. The lovely people at RelayRides inspired us to be part their road trip essentials campaign going on right now and share with you the key things we make sure we bring on every trip, so here goes nothing! If you haven’t heard of them and are young and poor and/or car-less across the country like we are, make sure to check out their rental services before heading on your next adventure!

Hopefully our ideas will give you a good place to start when you go to pack the car, and maybe spark new ones of your own. There are so many ways to make the most of your time on the road, and if you think we missed anything make sure to let us know in the comments!

20 Essentials for Any Road Trip


1. Great people. Having great people along for the ride can single handedly turn a nightmare of a drive into the best time of your life. Make sure you pick the right ones for the trip, whether you need friends who value silence or ones who won’t mind singing at the top of their lungs with you.

2. Great playlists. No matter how long the drive is, great tunes are the backbone next to great people when it comes to epic road trips. If you need some inspiration, check out some of our past road trip playlists on Spotify. Carisa suggests a variety of playlists from more mellow looking out the window ones to dancing in the car or sing-a-longs and we couldn’t agree more. Variety is key.

3. Great snacks. My personal go-tos are red delicious apples and almond cashew flaxseed KIND bars. Crystal’s all about the carrots, grapes, wheat thins and pretzels, and Carisa agrees; Grapes and wheat thins are fun to feed people, while carrots are healthy and great for munching. Plus cookies and sweet potato chips. Oh and oreos, so you can give people dare’s to do for whoever gets the side with least frosting.

4. Drinks on drinks on drinks. It’s easy to forget about staying hydrated on long drives,so make sure you pack a reusable water bottle or your favorite tea or healthy, flavored drink to help keep your energy up.

5. Pillows + blankets. Because getting cozy on a long drive is essential. Take a cue from Crystal and pick up a Mexican wool blanket for the ride.

6. A general itinerary. It’s fun to drive with no destination in mind, but for most of our trips that’s not the case. At least start out with a general itinerary and plan for where you’ll stop along the way and work from there.

7. Some sort of GPS. Getting lost may be the marker of a true adventure but trust us, that’ll most likely happen anyway. GPS or not. Of course you can always ask people for directions along the way, but having some device that can at least tell you where you are is a good start.

8. A camera. As you can probably tell from our Instagram, we love pictures. Make sure you’ve got some sort of device to capture the memories with if inspiration hits you.

9. Chargers. It’s 2014. If you’re not already thinking of packing the chargers for you phone/camera/laptop you’re crazy.

10. Cash. You never know where there will be atms along the way so plan on starting out with a good chunk of cash to help you along. Believe it or not, there are still places that don’t accept card out there.

11. Sunglasses. Driving into the sun is no joking matter, so make sure you bring some cute shades to protect those peepers with.

12. Hand sanitizer. Especially important for right after every time you fuel up. You don’t know who’s touched those things.

13. Bubbles. For traffic/general entertainment. Just make sure it’s legal where you’re going.

14. Layers. Depending on the time of year you’re traveling you’re going to need sweaters, shorts, pants, tops, tanks… the whole nine yards. Pack multipurpose pieces so you can change it up at the opening of a car door.

15. Appropriate shoes. Depening on where you’re going, you might need anything from sneakers to heels to rainboots. Crystal especially recommends flip flops–the easiest to take off for sitting in the back seat.

16. Toothbrush + toothpaste. Fresh breath and good oral hygiene is also pretty important to keep in mind for the trip. It’s easy to feel gross after a couple hours’ drive in the car, so brushing your teeth every now and then can help you feel like a new person.

17. A hairbrush. Because you don’t want to scare people when you stop and get out of the car.

18. Lotion. For some reason car air gets super dry so pack some hydrating lotion to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

19. Chapstick. A little chapstick also goes a long way for helping you feel refreshed and put-together.

20. Entertainment. Whether it’s an audiobook, guitar or car game ideas, make sure you’ve got something you can pull out when boredom hits. Conversation is a beautiful thing but unfortunately you can only talk for so many hours.

So tell us! What are your road trip essentials?

Hannah, Crystal & Carisa

#50DaysofTravel Contest!

#50DaysofTravel Contest / The Yolo Babes To get pumped with us for our next big trip, hashtag your favorite, wanderlust-inspiring pictures on Instagram with #50DaysofTravel through June 18th!

The finalists will be entered in a drawing for a road trip essentials pack assembled by yours truly, and the winner’s photo will be featured on both our site and Instafeed, so get gramming! Just share where your love for travel comes from and make sure you follow us to be eligible.

Carisa, Crystal & Hannah

10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

It’s no secret that we love Instagram. In fact, sometimes going through the world’s #roadtrip pictures literally makes our day. You people are constantly inspiring us with the adventurous, creative, and occasionally insane stunts you pull off all in the name of a cool picture. So this week, we’re sharing with you the golden 10 types of pictures we always find in the feed.

1. The driving selfie.
Please, never snap and drive.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip
2. Unhealthy breakfast choices.
Apparently redbull and chips are the standard.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip
3. Cheesy quotes.
It’s the thought that counts.

10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

4. Sunsets.
Overdone and we still love it.
5. Their dogs.
Because look how cute he is in the backseat!10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

6. Their babies.
To be fair, if we had nuggets as cute as yours in the backseat we probably couldn’t stop taking pictures either.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip
7. Signs and tourist sights.
Literally, every single one.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

8. Maps.
On maps on maps.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

9. Questionable music choices.
Some are truly great. Others, we worry for.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

10. Jumping shots.
Because why not?10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

Don’t forget to join the 1,600 people already following us on Insta!

Photo credits: @lyssmance, @adre4506, @kaitlinalexandra, @fabiolusus, @raisemeupmississippisouth, @pmc_photography13, @georgiegaynor, @blueflint, @banuushh, @rach573, @withintherose, @ashleighhh0317, @georgialgray, @grownaturally, @infinitymirror, @robsangre, @carrieqberry, @jawsraver, @emicka, @lindsayrussel13