5 Notorious Instagram Girl Poses Explained

Navigating the world of Instagram is a daunting task, let alone trying to figure out what the heck us ladies are doing in our photos! Before I started taking lots of travel pictures I would just be BAFFLED at these travel Instagram accounts!

Like WHY AM I ONLY SEEING THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD?! Or why are you wearing a dress and a hat on the top of a mountain, I KNOW you had to hike up to that!!

I remember thinking ‘this is dumb’, BUT little did I know these gals had it figured out. These are the essentials to making beautiful wanderlust-y photos.

Here I want to give you the behind the scenes explanation of 5 that I have (sort of) figured out and am totally guilty of!!


1. The Walking Away To Nowhere Shot

This is a BIG one in the Instagram world. You will see us Instagrammers aimlessly strolling along a street, or Riviera or some other picture perfect place. Somewhere that yes we probably did walk but WHY are we being photographed doing it. Well let me tell you!

I’ll start with the no BS reasons why I like to take pictures walking away from the camera:

Firstly, facing away from the camera covers up the fact that it’s probably 150 degrees and I’m sweating a lot.

Secondly, it also covers up the fact that I’m definitely wearing no make up and look like a tired traveling goblin.

Thirdly, it disguises that I probably have a stomach ache and I am in pain. Also if I extend one of my slightly chunky-ish legs it makes it look s’long and lean which works for me! It’s like the magic Photoshop for real life.

Now the more *~artsy~* explanation – Basically, this effortless aka totally planned picture, is supposed to beautifully recreate what we are actually doing which is probably walking down a beach or alleyway but with the intent to transport you there as well!

Showing only the back of my head makes it way easier for random Instagram viewers to imagine themselves exploring a new coastline or shopping in a local market. Its silly and kind of annoying but true!!

2. The Hat *also face turned away* Shot

Basically this kind of picture is the same as the one above but just add a hat to it! Why? Because the hat is the face of the back of the head! It adds interest, it covers up a bad hair day and hats are just cute right?!

3. The Dancing Twirl Shot

This is a classic instagram photo, you know that like dress or skirt which has the, as 7-year-old me would say ‘twirl factor’. Why are we spinning? It makes literally no sense and I actually can’t even explain it to you other than its fun! Twirling is fun, and that ‘funness’ is conveyed by the movement of clothing. But yeah I don’t really get this one but I’m totally guilty of it.

4. The Smiling At Literally Nothing Shot

Okay this one is a go to of mine, and may only be applicable to me, but I’ll explain anyway. A lot of people can pose in a shot and look super moody and mysterious by not smiling but your girl ain’t one of them. If I am not smiling I look a bit constipated and my face just looks puffy, overall not cute. SO that’s why I am smiling, and usually I am genuinely happy to be looking at whatever dumb thing I am looking at. ~*~miles of smiles~*~

Exploring back alleyways of Hanoi, also wishing that this orange Vespa was mine 🤗✨🍊

A post shared by Kelsey | Miles Of Smiles (@milesofsmiles._) on

5. The Scenery With You Being Very Tiny In The Frame Shot

This one is a popular one, and is actually a basic rule of thumb for photographers and hobbyists alike. These type of shots are used mostly to show off a view or something in the background and if you put a person in the frame it instantly creates more intrigue along with showing off what is in the background! It also creates a scale so that the HUGE mountain will actually look huge next to a person.

Every person you will ever meet knows something that you don't, learn from them // Bill Nye ✨💛 ☼ Did you know that Malaysia is predominatly Muslim country? While I was in Kuala Lumpur thought it would be fitting to learn a bit more about its religious culture, so I visited this absolutely ~*stunning*~ Mosque. Up until then I had never been to a Mosque before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect! ☼ I went on a short tour of the building and was amazed by the intricate tiling, and impressive architecture but even more so by the people who were there. They were kind, patient, and knowledgeable. We chatted about religion, art and just life! It was an absolutely amazing experience as a whole and totally what travel is all about – educating yourself! ☼ Tell me about a time you learned something completely new whilst traveling, let's share the knowledge! 🤓❤️

A post shared by Kelsey | Miles Of Smiles (@milesofsmiles._) on


There ya have it, 5 poses that I am guilty of using explained. I hope that this provides on insight and less eye rolls when scrolling through your Instagram feed. Do you have any others that you see or use often? Let me know what they are and why below!


Wondering how I can take all of these photos in different locations? Check out my latest post here which explains how I can travel so much!


Keep smiling (at nothing while twirling and walking away)


xx Kels

The Ultimate 48 Hour Kuala Lumpur Bucket List

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Known for its large international airport, Kuala Lumpur is merely a stopover city for most who are on their way to other destinations. Unfortunately for them, they are missing out on so many awesome things to do and see!!

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Since I was only there for two days I in no way could tell you that this is a ‘guide’ to the city! Anyone who says that they have the perfect itinerary for a city after only being there a couple days is lying! Rather they should just be called ‘this is what I did when I visited *insert city name here* and usually they all will tell you the same things. I too am guilty of this, BUT I am making a change now! Sooo here ya have it, after many hours of research I compiled this Kulala Lumpur bucket list of sorts for myself and now I will share it with you!

This is what I did/you could do in Kuala Lumpur with 48 hours:

Learn more about the Muslim faith at Masjid Wilayah:

The majority of Malaysia is Muslim, so why not immerse yourself a little bit more in their religious culture? Masjid Wilayah also known as the Federal Territory Mosque, is only a few minutes outside of downtown Kuala Lumpur and is an architectural wonder, channeling designs from Iran, the tiling and structures are amazing.

Tours are free and start at 10:00 in the morning! The men and women who work there are some of the kindest I have ever met, they are happy to discuss their faith with you along with any other that questions you may have. Non-Muslims are welcome to join the tours, remember that it is a place of worship and you must act accordingly! They will give you proper attire to wear, as you must wear the appropriate clothing.

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Immerse yourself in history at the Islamic Arts Museum:

While you are learning more about Islam, take a trip over to the Islamic Arts Museum! I was a bit skeptical at first because I have been to a handful of sub-par museums in SE Asia but this one was first class! It was on par with art museums in Europe that i have visited. The artifacts were documented and explained in English, and categorized beautifully. Entrance to the museum is only 14 RM, (3 USD) and you can spend as long as you’d like! The gift shop – one of my favorite part about museums was amazing as well. Truly top notch!

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Go shopping in Chinatown aka Petaling Street:

Petaling street is one of the best night markets that I have been to! The amount of goods for sale was insane. Watches, shoes, glasses, clothes, bags – and it all was really good quality! Well I mean it was all fake but it was that nice kinda fake. Prices weren’t too bad either and you could haggle with the shop owners quite a bit to grab a bargain!

Along with the goods, the food was amazing!! SO many different options and all of it looked delish. I tried some noodles and dumplings which were s’goood along with a winter melon drink that was actually scrumptious despite its coca cola color! All around this area there is no shortage of foods to try, things to buy and photos to take!

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Explore Brickfeilds – Little India:

Because of its primarily Indian population, Brickfeilds has been dubbed ‘Little India’! All around this area you can find Indian cuisine and shops. Loud music blasts from street speakers and hundreds of pigeons fly over head! It really didn’t feel like I was in Malaysia any more! All the shops that line the main thoroughfare are bursting with beautiful fabrics. I bought a beautiful Indian skirt at one shop and later munched on some Pakoras that were made fresh right in front of me! Nom nom nom.  

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Marvel at the Thean Thou Temple:

The Thean Thou Temple was legit the most beautiful Chinese temple I think I have ever seen. The weather was gorgeous which helped, but this stunning place should not be missed if you are in KL! The details were astonishing,  and you actually get a pretty cool view of the city from the top!

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Get the perfect view of the Petronas Towers:

To witness the amazingness which is the Petronas Towers you can venture downtown to KLCC park to see them from the ground or you could also take a visit to the HeliPad Bar for a stunning view of the city! Since I was doing this for the ‘gram I wanted to perfect photo op (shameless I know, I know). After much discourse between fellow bloggers I was recommended to go to the Traders Hotel! From their top floor pool you can stand on a bench and hang out the window and get this picture. I am ridiculous I know, but hey, it was a great view!

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Hike 272 steps at the Batu Caves:

One of the top sites in Kuala Lumpur are the Batu Caves! This Hindu temple is placed on the inside of a massive cave on top of a huge mountain! Needless to say it was awesome! The only way to see it is to climb up the 272 stairs while dodging 300 monkeys and 400 pigeons, if you survive the ascent up, then prepare to be amazed. The second cave is where the real beauty is, hanging vines and trees line the cliff walls while monkeys scamper up them!

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Coffee Shop Hop:

Kuala Lumpur is in the beginning stages of a coffeeshop boom, with the level of millennials rising, it can only mean one thing – coffeeshop culture must accommodate our need for hip spaces to drink expensive beverages and eat expensive salads. This is all fine by me though, as there were some beautiful places to stop, recharge and have a delish cup of coffee or tea! My favorites were Merchants Lane Cafe, VCR, and ChoCha Foodstore.  

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Useful Info:

Download Grab App or Uber: There are taxi’s everywhere in the city along with an expansive metro system but I opted to just use the taxi share app Grab. Therefore my destination along with price was prearranged and could not be disputed. I have spent so much time getting lost on trains and time was precious and these apps worked great and were much cheaper than the taxi alternative.

When traveling from the airport, again – I would just opt for a grab or uber! I took the train and once I arrived at the station and took a cab to my hostel it ended up being basically the same price as just getting a car from the airport. Next time I will just do that from the get go and save time!

When going to any of these places, arriving early to avoid the crowds is necessary! The Batu Caves were very quiet when I got there at around 8 AM but shortly after it was swamped with tourists!

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia


Don’t forget to Pin it for later!!  48 Hours in Kuala Lumpur



10 Hilariously Real Things That Happen When You Move To Vietnam

Moving to a new place is always nerve-racking, you never quite know what to expect or how you will change. In case you are looking to move to Vietnam, here are 10 things that will happen when you do!

1.  You become a street-crossing warrior.

The roads in Asia are unlike any the west have ever seen, from the crazy fast drivers in Thailand to the small alleys and incessant honking of Bali, these streets are cray – but Vietnam puts them all to shame.

The roads here, especially in big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh are wild. Traffic rules are nonexistent and the onslaught of motorbikes never stops. If you want to cross the street the only trick is to keep moving just as the traffic is. After a while you become invincible and can cross these roads like a pro.

2. You embrace that nap life.

Vietnamese people are an early to bed and early to rise nation. They start their day around 6 AM, and not just wake up at six, I mean they are out and about. All of this early hustle leaves you exhausted by midday, (also it’s really hot) which is why the whole country has a siesta of sorts for a couple of hours.

People will nap anywhere and everywhere, coffee shops, the side of the road, their office, you name it. Due to this complete shutdown of life around noon it’s only appropriate you adopt similar customs. #naplife


3. You will up your people watching appreciation entirely.

Vietnamese people take chilling to a new level. Here they slow down, and will just sit on a small stool on the sidewalk taking life in. These small little roadside tea stands are super popular with the locals as a spot to take a smoke break and read the paper or grab a cool drink.

Their love of people watching inevitably rubs off on you, and you notice all the quirks of society from the elderly practicing Tai Chi or daily stretches to the wild amount of things fit on a motorbike – there is never a dull people watching moment.

4. You appreciate the sun more than you ever have in your life.

This is mostly here in Hanoi where I am, because the pollution is so bad that seeing the sun is a true rarity. When you do happen to get a clear day, some direct sunlight and clean air, it’s like you are reborn.

5. Iced tea takes over as preferred day time drink always.

In Vietnam the gold standard day time drink is a cool Tra Da – which means iced tea. There are lots of different varietals but this unsweetened, slightly earthy tea is everywhere and anywhere. You drink it with every meal, all the time, ever and after a while you simply can’t see any other drink to pair with a meal.


6. Condensed milk in your coffee becomes the only way to drink it.

Again, with the bev-ys but this is a serious one. I mean it’s coffee we are talking about. Cà phê is a big deal here, and there is no other way to drink it than with some version of condensed milk.

You may perhaps add different things to it like yogurt, egg, or coconut but the tried and true method of getting that caffeine fix is the ol’ Cà phê sữa đá which is strong, black Vietnamese coffee with a smidgen of condensed milk – and let me tell you it’s pure happiness.

7. You will stop wearing makeup and rock that glistening upper lip.

Okay, so this is directed at my other traveling lady babes out there but in Vietnam it’s hot, and I don’t mean just like warm, it’s full on sweaty. So, this inevitably doesn’t make for a makeup conducive environment.

Not to say you won’t throw some concealer on, along with a little mascara but foundation and eye shadows are a thing of the past. If they don’t melt off your face, the everyday monsoon will wash it all straight off. RIP beautiful Mac eye shadow palette.

8. You will start to own this body you have like none other.

It’s no secret that Vietnamese people are pretty small, clothes in shops probably won’t fit you unless you are a very small human as well and this is totally OK. After you are told you are too big for things day in and day out – not to mention if you are a teacher your children will most definitely point this out too – “techa baby?!” Ultimately, you will come to a place of self-love and not give any damns about how others perceive you. Gotta just live your life, shop less and embrace the stares.

9. Your workout struggle will be so real.

Finding a gym that has A/C is a real ordeal here, most gyms have fans but air conditioning is just too dang expensive, hence you will most definitely be working out inside but it will feel like you are outside.

This hot box called the gym will have you questioning all of your life choices. Bugs will fly through the open windows and die in your sweat, and every time you’re there you will be 90% sure that heat stroke is one stifled breath away. It’s all worth it though – wait, is it?

10. Driving in the rain will always be comical (and terrifying).

When it rains it pours, but does life stop? Hell to the no. People have got places to be! Since the majority of Vietnam runs on motorbikes there is quite a stylish and booming business of driving ponchos. Man, the Vietnamese have perfected the poncho like no other country I have seen.

Here, this large plastic tarp is fully equipped with a bit that covers the front of your bike entirely and has little holes for your mirrors and a cut out spot for your headlight. You can even buy them in different patterns and with two hoods so your passenger can be covered as well. These strange things will never not be funny but they are quite useful and make driving in the rain much more comical to distract from all its dangers.


And there ya have it – 10 hilariously real things that happen when you move to Vietnam! Anybody have any more things to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

Keep smiling! 🙂