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Laurie Brookins

Sabina Trojanova admits that she enjoys a love-hate relationship with the word “wanderlust.” “The term has become a social-media buzzword, plastered across slightly cheesy inspirational posters and coffee mugs,” she explains. “But it owes its popularity to the fact that it’s a feeling we all can relate to. Everyone has felt that magnetic pull of the unknown, the exotic, the unexplored.”

Instagram's @girlvsglobe visits a church in Malta / Credit: Sabina Trojanova / @girlvsglobe

The U.K.-based Trojanova turned her passion for travel and faraway places into influencer status with her popular @girlvsglobe Instagram account, which currently has 84,500 followers. Featuring postcard-perfect images from London and Prague to Bali and points beyond, Trojanova’s page has spawned a new book, the aptly titled #Wanderlust. The coffee-table tome highlights 500 destinations that quite literally span the globe.

“It was important to me that the book feature beautiful photography, but my primary concern was including a truly diverse range of destinations,” Trojanova says. “#Wanderlust isn’t limited to the spots you most often see on Instagram—it also includes adventurous places most people won’t have heard of, like the Band-e Amir canyon in Afghanistan or the Darién Gap on the border between Colombia and Panama. The real challenge was actually finding images of places like these, as they don’t get that many visitors.”

Popular destinations are present throughout #Wanderlust—the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris or the Taj Mahal, for example—but the book also inspires travelers to seek out a variety of lesser-known locales. Trojanova worked with her publisher, HarperCollins, to divide the experiences into six sections to ensure that most people could emotionally connect to a visual, “everything from beach escapes and conscious traveling to destinations that get your adrenaline pumping.”

Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, India / Credit: Digjoy Singh / Unsplash

But there’s another layer to #Wanderlust that women might find particularly alluring. The images seen throughout the book aren’t solely from Trojanova’s own travels; instead, she reached out to fellow influencers and asked them to contribute. “I enjoy following people like @rosiegabrielle, a Canadian woman who’s traveled all over Pakistan on her motorbike, or Jessica Nabongo [who Instagrams as @thecatchmeifyoucan], the first Black woman to visit every country in the world. I don’t care about the number of followers someone’s amassed or how beautiful their feed is, only the authenticity of their storytelling.”

That focus on women travelers is celebrated throughout #Wanderlust, a global roster that includes “women of different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds,” Trojanova says. She and her fellow influencers are confident that current restrictions ultimately won’t impact the thrill of discovering new places. “Our inability to travel doesn’t seem to have diminished our wanderlust,” she says. “If anything, the forbidden fruit suddenly seems that much sweeter. My hope is that #Wanderlust will give readers a healthy dose of escapism and offer inspiration for future travels—and the destinations featured aren’t going anywhere.”

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