Jon Miksis, 25, started the @Global.Viewpoint Instagram over a year ago, but it wasn’t until a couple of months back that he decided to pursue a career as a travel blogger. “It took a lot of reflection with my family and loved ones,” Miksis said. “But I realized that this is really where my passion lies.” Miksis spoke to the Globe about creating an online community, Instagram’s role in the travel industry, and the allure of Boston as a vacation destination.
Q. Can you tell me a bit more about @Global.Viewpoint?
A. About a year and a half ago, I was scrolling through my newsfeed at some of the big travel accounts on Instagram, and I saw all these beautiful pictures, but didn't necessarily see a story behind them. The captions were only a few words. And I realized, you know, I think there's a need for this informative content, trying to be a storyteller. So I made this account, in part for my international experiences, because I wanted to, you know, really help people understand and inspire people to visit these beautiful places around the world, and also share the meaningful travel experiences and stories behind them. So that's sort of how I got into it.
Q. What made you decide to use Instagram as such a key platform?
A. I've always used it, I guess for the past five years or so, so it was my platform of choice. You know, I've used Facebook and other platforms as well, but Instagram really is that main driver for travel inspiration.
Q. You have a sizable following now and people are always commenting. Can you tell me a little bit more about that sense of community?
A. Just the sense of passion that I had about travel, I think that caused people to want to join this community. And then over time, people shared it with their friends. I've met people in different countries around the world, and they've been a part of this community as well. So it's been really a fun, fun ride. But it's really a culmination of a lot of hard work over time. I answer all my messages, I answer all the comments. I want to make sure that I build as much of an engaging community as possible.
I want to give out travel tips to others, but every time I go on a trip, I also pose the question to them, you know, what do you recommend seeing in these places? A lot of people will get back to me and share their meaningful travel experiences, their top attractions and highlights and then I’ll gauge and plan my itinerary on what they say.
Q. Boston is home base for you, but do you see it also as a vacation spot, at least for people who aren’t from around here?
A. Absolutely. So everywhere that I go, I feel like I'm the biggest advocate for Boston, because I really think that it embodies that European charm you don't really see in a lot of other cities. I like to say that Boston and Quebec City really encapsulate that old-world vibe. I think Boston has an international focus. Obviously, it's a huge business hub. You have a lot of multinational corporations that all choose Boston because of its universities and everything like that. But you also have history, you also have the parks, you have the Boston Public Garden. And you have all this, you know, the Seaport area, you have the Boston Harbor waterfront, you have the Freedom Trail. I think the Boston is truly a place where history, culture, international cuisine, and just people all converge in this tiny little city that we call home. And I think obviously, that's a big selling point for Boston. And I think it definitely differentiates it from other cities in the US.Lillian Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @lilliangbrown.