Joelle Friend Isn’t Your Run-of-the-Mill Instagram Influencer

If joy is contagious, Joelle Friend might just be a super spreader. With over 240k followers on Instagram (and counting!) Friend clearly has a zest for life—a quality that shines through her candid photos. The Instagram influencer is known for her travel and lifestyle content, making a case for outdoor adventures (van included) rather than lux hotels.

Having lived in the Pacific Northwest all her life, she’s now based in Seattle (when she isn’t road tripping, that is). “If you were to ask me what one of my favorite places to roam around in is, Mt. Rainier would be at the top of my list,” wrote Friend in one blog post. “Growing up in Washington, when the clouds finally clear, it shows itself so majestically. It towers over Western Washington and makes itself known. It has a powerful presence to it.”

And while exploring the great outdoors is a passion of hers, Friend also enjoys meeting fellow travelers along the way. “What captures my heart and soul when I travel are the people that I meet abroad,” she explains. “I was blown away by the kindness of the local people and their hospitality.”

“Growing up away from society and in a rural neighborhood is what shaped me into the person I am today,” she added in a recent Instagram post. “I would play in the woods as a kid and pretend in fairies and magic. These days, I now know that magic is real, and we all have to keep creating it.”

Her outlook and instant charm is exactly what our feed needs these uncertain times.