This is the third feature in our “Stories From the Road Series.”
This week, I had a chance to sit down with Carlos Loya, founder of the Wonderlust Collective. With an Instagram feed that boasts nearly 140K followers and is filled with travel imagery that makes you gasp, YouLi was thrilled to collaborate with such an amazing community. Here, Carlos and I talk all things travel, photography, and what it means to feel dwarfed by the overwhelming beauty of nature.
How did your love for adventure travel begin?
I would often watch NatGeo and Animal Planet with my father while I was a kid. On family vacations, I would always see my father holding a camera, which inspired me to start playing around with photography in high school.
Since then, I’ve been drawn to adventure. I love nature, and I often take road trips around California especially to Yosemite. I recently bought an adventure-mobile with all my camping equipment, so that I can embark on an adventure on the fly.
What is the story behind Wonderlust Collective?
It all started as an inspiration page for travel and adventure. The social media feed included photos from the places that I traveled to, and I reposted others’ photos that I discovered on Instagram. At first it started small, and the feed gradually started building an audience.
I am a photographer myself. I bought my first nice camera in 2014, and I was hooked. What I enjoy most is capturing awe-inspiring photos, and I always think about what brings people in. It might be the scale of a place, the textures, colors of the location – all the elements that engage people.
The birth of Wonderlust Collective
There was a quote in the 2016 Getty Images article that stuck with me: “There is a desire not just to see and do more, but also to be more.” It is the desire to not only travel to far away places, but also to capture the wonder, nature and spirituality of this great big world that inspired me to create the Wonderlust Collective in 2016. That is what sets “Wonderlust” apart from “Wanderlust.”
Since then, Wonderlust Collective has grown quickly to become a community of creatives who appreciate beautiful photography and visuals. We also find that our community wants to experience the beautiful imagery and connect with other like minded people. Our social media account now includes a mix of my photos and our community’s photos.
What is your vision for the future?
I would love to continue to grow our community, travel to more places, host events, and partner with like-minded brands that help to bring the community together.
We are excited to collaborate with YouLi because of our shared love of travel with purpose and curated experiences.
Have you entered our ultimate trip giveaway? YouLi has teamed up with Wonderlust Collective and Spice Road Travel to give away the trip of a lifetime to Mars and Petra for one lucky winner! You’ve all see the photos of The Treasury in Petra, and now you can go on the back trail from little Petra to The Monastery high above and spend nights in Wadi Rum (where The Martian was filmed). Enter our giveaway now.
Giveaway ends on May 31, 2018, at 11:59 PST.