Lili Reinhart is a hoarder — of airline miles. As she tells Bustle over the phone, she likes to think of it as saving travel points "for a rainy day." And after spending three years (and counting) promoting Riverdale all over the world, it's safe to say she's collected a lot of them. But, while traveling is a major perk of the job, it can also lead to guilt and social anxiety, two things Reinhart says she's had to face head-on, no matter where she is in the world.
"I grew up not traveling outside of the U.S. until I was 19. Traveling is very new to me," Reinhart says. "I'm just now experiencing it and loving it." It's why her new partnership with American Express' new green card, which rewards travel and dining — actually makes sense.
"Obviously, getting travel points is very important to me," she says. "I love to rack up my airline points." Racking them up is one thing; using them is quite another.
It's no secret that the 23-year-old actor has dealt with anxiety and depression. In fact, she's made it a priority to speak out about her mental health, both in interviews and social media. "Instagram creates an opportunity for you to show the reality of your life, or show the false life," she explains. "I choose to show what actually happens — if I'm breaking out on my skin, if I'm having a sh*t day." And, just like anything else, mental health can affect how you travel. In fact, when Reinhart first started traveling with her show, she "got this weird sort of homesickness."
"It was strange because I was traveling to Montreal, or Paris, or Mexico," she admits, "I felt a little guilty that I was traveling without my family. I was experiencing this all on my own without my family." Of course, she did have her Riverdale family with her. "It was sort of bittersweet in a way and strange for me to do that on my own and do it with friends or a significant other," she adds.
Reinhart has been dating her Riverdale actor Cole Sprouse for a few years, and admits that traveling with her co-stars has bonded them in ways few people experience. "It's weird, it's a very small group of people who can relate to you. That's what really brought my castmates and I together," she says.
It's her castmates and friends whom she credits with getting her out of her head and out in the world. "The people I'm surrounded by in my life now have very much encouraged me to broaden my horizons," she says.
Though she still gets anxious and misses her family, Reinhart has worked hard to embrace everything her new life has to offer. And it's something she wants others with anxiety to do, too. "For the past two years, I've really tried to push myself to go out of my comfort zone and try to let go of homesickness, and enjoy the fact that I have the opportunity to do it and not feel guilty about that," she says.
That said, fans shouldn't expect her Instagram do become pure vacay-inspo. "I don't think there's anything less relatable or more discouraging than seeing someone promoting this perfect life that you know they don't actually have," she says, reasserting her commitment to sharing her ups and downs with fans. "I don't think that's interesting either, I don't really care to see someone's perfect life in Instagram photos."