Travel influencer rewrites Instagram captions with the truth

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Australian travel influencer and self-proclaimed ‘gypsy’ Brooke Saward has embarked on a unique trip down memory lane.

After nearly a decade travelling the globe, Ms Saward has taken images of her charmed travelling life and is now sharing what really happened behind the mesmerising pictures, proving to her 584,000 followers that her Instagram pictures are not a reflection of real life.

“The experience of travelling encompasses so much more than just visiting new places. It’s an opportunity for connection; for storytelling with the people you meet along the way, and the people who are following along online,” Ms Saward explains.

Ms Saward’s World of Wanderlust Instagram page currently showcases more than 1100 dazzling photos of some of the most beautiful, foreign, exotic, and ethereal places on Earth – from the cultural gem of Kyoto to the idyllic canals of Amsterdam, and beyond.

To date, Ms Saward has travelled to more than 80 countries and has explored hundreds of breathtaking destinations, all while sharing her expert solo travel tips.

Her latest project – unearthing her innermost thoughts, feelings, and impressions as a collection of autobiographical stories from each destination – is now reaching a whole new audience of fans. 

Here are some of her most popular posts as she looks back at her travels.

View this post on Instagram

[Stories pt. XXV] Being dumped on Christmas Day is a pretty good dinner conversation topic. It is also a great way to make friends on airplanes (mostly stewardesses) and mostly after a few too many wines at altitude. I had four planes worth of stories to tell as I travelled from Vienna – Paris. Paris – Singapore. Singapore – Melbourne. Melbourne – home. The day after Christmas as I sit at one end of the dining table in my rented Viennese apartment, a stack of €100 bills sat at the other. Instead of leaving a note, Simon left euros. He left at 3:55am in the morning and the only reason I know this is because I glanced at my iPhone screen when I heard the door click shut, not because he bothered to say goodbye – or – say anything. What happened in the lead up to Christmas Day is a series of unfortunate events. Much like a Lemony Snicket’s tale, our Christmas holiday went from bad to worse in the 72 hour lead up to his disappearance. I arrived in Vienna a few days before him and filled my days with coffee houses, Christmas shopping and organic wine sourcing. I visited three organic wine stores across town, making it a personal mission to fill the house with everything he loved. I bought a polaroid camera for his Christmas present, one that he would later leave behind and one that I still have in my possession to this day. Simon was a non-social media guy (he’d be the first to tell you that), so I figured he could use the vintage camera to photograph our trip and take a memory of us home. From our dates in Los Angeles to our rendezvous in London, we never took a single photo to suggest that we ever existed – or he ever existed. Sometimes I don’t think he ever did, but I still see his face in my dreams sometimes and I’m reminded he was real. Just, what we had was not. In German countries, Christmas Eve is the main event. I know this now because the supermarkets were closed by the time he landed and we quickly realised there would be no way to fill the fridge for the Christmas feast I had planned. “Oh well” he reasoned as we stood outside the third Billa Supermarket in search of food. “I guess we’ll go out for Christmas lunch” he concluded. To be cont

A post shared by Brooke Saward (@worldwanderlust) on May 10, 2020 at 7:04am PDT

View this post on Instagram

[Stories pt. XXIII] Fast forward to the beginning of January. “Me and relationships in 2019” I captioned my photo. I was bitter, heart broken and for the foreseeable future, done with men. Where did it all go wrong, then? Simon flew to London and I landed two days after him. After a series of Ubers cancelled on me, I flagged down a black cab and forked out a whopping £60 for the journey to the city. C’est la vie, I told myself. You can’t put a price on [love]. After catching up on lost time, we walked the streets of Soho in search of a lunch spot. Simon insisted he use his organic wine app to decide on a venue, rather than my “walk until you find something that looks inviting” approach. He couldn’t bare the idea. And he only drank organic wine. The next day as he slept through his alarm, I snuck out of the apartment to fetch a box of breakfast pastries, two black coffees and a yogurt parfait from Gail’s Bakery. As I handed my debit card to the cashier, a bottle of fresh orange juice caught my eye. “Oh! And I’ll have an orange juice” I said with a smile. Surely he would be impressed. “I hate orange juice” were his first words as I unpacked the box of goodies and sprawled them across the kitchen countertop. “That’s so sweet of you but I don’t drink coffee, remember? And I’m not really a breakfast guy.” He was right, I should have remembered he didn’t drink coffee. I also should have known in that moment he was as untrustworthy as he was unappreciative. Who the hell doesn’t drink coffee? No one I’d trust in this lifetime. Our week in London was a bit of a disaster. That’s an understatement but at risk of sounding dramatic, I’ll infuse my sentences with adverbs capable of watering it down. Speaking of water, Mother Nature herself seemed to disapprove. She showered the city with rain every moment we left the apartment. The signs were all there. At the end of the week he left London in a hurry – something about a business trip to New York. I stayed behind for a few days, rented an apartment in Notting Hill and stared out the window for three days straight. “What the fuck just happened?” I had to ask myself. Little did I know what was coming for me….

A post shared by Brooke Saward (@worldwanderlust) on May 6, 2020 at 7:36am PDT

What are the stories that accompany your best travel photos?

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