Of late I have been really active on the social media. There are just so many people living their best lives. these people have the perfect bodies, they are always travelling to these beautiful locations, stay at the most perfect resorts that have these amazing infinity pools, and they take the best pictures in the most stunning dresses. These account even look the same because they wear clothes from the same brand and are travelling on the same Pinterest approved itinerary that tells you all the photo spots as well.
But still, All of these accounts on Instagram make you want a similar kind of a life (they aren’t called influencers for nothing) and as I was talking to a friend, we were discussing how much Instagram has changed the way people travel and see the world. More often than not, we plan our travels around all the Insta-famous locations and while there is nothing wrong in that ( My last post was titled “An Instagram guide to Jaipur” ), it is not the entire picture. If you follow us on Instagram, you might know that we recently were in Jaipur, the pink city, I could even give you a city guide to Jaipur and all the places to see and the things to do in the Pink city, but nothing will prepare for for your visit and you would never know what it really feels like unless you go yourself.
I can’t possibly tell you how it feels to be standing on the road side, watching people go by and admiring the gorgeous Hawa Mahal while a random shop wala is inviting you to come in and checkout their amazing collection of jootis. And all this when I am Indian. Think of the tourists from other countries who are not used to the pungent aromas, to the spices in the food, to the honking of hundreds of vehicles at the same time and to the riot of colours that you witness when you are in Rajasthan. To think of their experience here and to try to put it into Instagram squares would be crazy. All in all, there is a lot more to the places you travel than just the perfect pictures that you knew you have to take, even before you arrived (all thanks to Social Media).
Similar thing goes for our trip to Vietnam earlier this year. Even though the pictures were not the most stunning because of the rainy season, but we enjoyed more than we would have if our days there were bright and sunny. Maybe it was only because we both love the rains, but the unexpected change in weather in Ninh-Binh that left us freezing as we did not have any warm clothes( the weather predictions said it was going to be about 20 degrees while in fact it was about 8 degrees) and our pictures from Ninh-Binh aren’t the best ones from Vietnam, still it was the most memorable part of the entire trip. Tt was just the two of us on a scooty driving through paddy fields and small villages of a stunning country and taking the beauty in. Sure we were active on social media while we were there but we weren’t there because some influencer told us so or because it is really famous on Instagram or because we thought that it would look great in pictures, we were there because seeing a few pictures on google, it looked like the break we both needed. We were attracted by the laid back vibe of the small village and no pictures would be enough to describe the charm of that place and the warmest smiles we got from the locals.
I guess what I am trying to say is that it is easy to get caught up in the social media thing where you see the places you visit only through your camera lens and Instagram filters and whether a place was worth visiting is measured in the number of likes you got on social media. Heck, people even plan their trips around places that get more likes on social media. Now nothing is wrong in doing exactly that ( who am I to say, right? ) but let’s not forget to pause for a minute and take the beauty in, appreciate the culture of the place that you are visiting, interact with the locals and try the local food.
So yes, I don’t want to see the world, rather I want to experience it and feel it. I want to experience the whole of it. The most stunning places that make your jaws hit the floor and the little villages in Vietnam that fill your heart with so much warmth. Being on a private Beach with the whitest of sand and standing in the middle of the street and admiring the chaos around you The heartwarming people who bring you inside their house and offer you a meal and people who are just looking to maybe scam you. The good, bad and the ugly and then some more of it.
Because what is travel if it is not about these feelings and these raw emotions, right? What is travel if it doesn’t pull all your heartstrings at once?
Till Next time!