With 2016 still in its infancy stages, it's a great time to be inspired – and perhaps to inspire others, as well. In 2014, as in previous years, HONY – that's Humans of New York for the uninitiated – often inspired me. The blog has an incredible community that frequently garners praise from Brandon himself. Not only does the blog and its social media pages inspire acts of kindness, but it inspires other people all over the world to start their own “Humans of...” blogs, Facebook pages, and Instagram accounts. Learning about everyday people in places you may never get to go is surprisingly deep and extremely special – kind of extraordinary when you think about it. So, why not start the new year by meeting a few of your Earthly neighbors?
1. Humans of Amsterdam
Humans of Amsterdam is probably my favorite “Humans of...” page next to HONY. I would love to visit the Netherlands someday, and do hope to see Amsterdam in particular. Frequent updates have to suffice for now, but they show such a richly diverse and stunning city, filled with fascinating people who – surprise, surprise! – aren't so different from the fine folks spotted on the sidewalks of New York (obscure movie reference!).
2. Humans of Tehran
Humans of Tehran is a close second to HOA, though. It's such an inclusive, warm page with such touching stories and gorgeous photos. You'll get lost for hours, but really, there are worse places to get lost.
3. Humans of Rome
Humans of Rome is nearly as unexpected as HONY. On any day, the blog might share a snap of a decadent party, a Roman twentysomething experiencing the same things as a twentysomething in NYC or Bombay, or a dancing, jubilant man who is clearly young at heart.
4. Humans of Sydney
Humans of Sydney is wonderful, just absolutely wonderful! There's a very subtle focus on street fashion, but the photog's admiration for Brandon is unmistakable in the portraits themselves. And the stories? Well, the stories have some delicious Straya flavoring.
5. Humans of Melbourne
Sorry, I have family in Australia – Melbourne, specifically. Sadly, this page seems to have fallen off, but I used to eagerly follow it to see if any of my cousins or their dad, my once-upon-a-time godfather, might appear in any of the stories. They didn't and now they probably won't, but the past stories and their accompanying photos are still worth a look.
6. Humans of Paris
Paris is near and dear to my heart for any number of reasons, so Humans of Paris has long since been another of my favorite “Humans of...” pages. In the wake of its recent tragedy, just as in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo horror, Paris and her people prove how resilient they are.
7. Humans of Bombay
Sometimes, as I read through these stories, I think to myself that Humans of Bombay represents everything beautiful in the world.
8. Humans of Edinburgh
So, Humans of Edinburgh is hilarious. And beautiful. And insightful. It's really kind of a big deal.
9. Humans of Ireland
Like Humans of Melbourne, Humans of Ireland, unfortunately, hasn't been updated much lately. The archives are worth it, however, for the stories, the scenery, and the occasional snap that's just too Irish for words.
10. Humans of Tricity
Humans of Tricity comprises Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot, three cities in Poland, and it is just … really, you have to see it for yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed.
11. Humans of Cardiff
I feel much the same way about Humans of Cardiff – it's a must-read. The stories hit you so deeply, but so do the smiles.
12. Humans of Saskatoon
Yes. A “Humans of...” blog about Canada is as magical as you hope it is. But truthfully, the folks of Saskatchewan are just like we are. Go figure, right? Humans everywhere are pretty much the same.
13. Humans of Ann Arbor
What's so great about the humans in a Michigan town? Well, Ann Arbor is a huge college town, for one, but it's also quirky, eccentric, adorable, and unpredictable. Whenever I head to Michigan with @Heather to visit her family, I always insist on a visit. Not hard to see why, right?
14. Humans of Spain
Humans of Spain has a long lapse between new post sometimes, but the comeback is always worth it. The people, their stories, the landscapes – all gorgeous.
15. Humans of Seoul
This blog touches you like nothing else. The stories have an eloquence, the photos have a wonderful simplicity, and the whole vibe is almost enough to make you want to pick up stakes and move, or at least visit.
16. Humans of Vilnius
Humans of Vilnius makes me want to move to Lithuania, like tomorrow. The stories and personal anecdotes are interlaced with candid, of-the-moment snapshots that – well, they make me want to move. How do they make you feel?
17. Humans of San Antonio
This blog, these stories, and these photographs are nothing I ever expected. HOSA is amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Do you have a favorite “Humans of...” blog? Ever thought about starting your own?