By Michelle Karam – Follow on Instagram @Traveljunkiediary
Do a quick Google search and you’ll see thousands of articles on the latest tricks behind taking the most epic Instagram photos ever on your next travel adventure.
But have we really become so isolated from the world that we resort to traveling to destinations based solely on Instagrammability? I’ve been away from my phone for 10 days now, I take 10 minutes in the morning to have a look at what I am ‘missing out’ but in reality, my world feels more real than ever when my phone is down and I don’t have the pressure or need to post anything on Instagram… and then check it every 5 minutes for comments, likes etc. Someone asked me last week to advise them on the best places to go on holiday to look good on instagram. That’s when I paused…I realized how much the travel world is changing and I am sure I’m not the only one to notice it.
Are We Really Choosing Locations Over How Instagram-Worthy They Are?
It’s better to travel now, instead of saving up for an unknown future
Despite the economic uncertainty, millennials are spending wads of cash on travelling. Not only that, but they’re changing the very definition of international travel, by foregoing standard vacations in favor of a more extended and meaningful experience. Buying a house, a car, or a luxurious car is no longer a sign of “success.” This new generation gears towards investing money and time on experiences, instead of things. But just how much have things changed? Let’s explore that.
Forget the TV, house, or car. Millennials want to experience the world
Many aren’t sure if the world will still be here in the morning, so they’re sacrificing expenditures on material things, which have practically forced many retailers to file for bankruptcy, in order to pursue more meaningful, personal experiences abroad. While many travelers embark on a journey of discovery and are vastly fascinating by the secrets and hidden gems other cultures offer, many millennials are also traveling for the sake of shooting amazing photos.
The whole social media factor plays a major role with Millennials
Snapping photos of an incredible place and then posting it on social media is becoming a new trend for this generation. For those traveling nomads out there, the need to constantly publish their adventures for vanity or simply to lure you into this liberating traveling lifestyle is just too good to pass on. If you own a business and social media plays a key part, it’s obviously much necessary to take “the shot” so you can then post it online. But just how much effort goes behind snapping that photo of yourself looking happy and ethereal, while staring at the sunset?
Most travelers are interested in becoming freelancers full-time
It’s not like they can hold down a 9 to 5 job and still travel wherever they want to go, so many are using social media as a way to sell their business or themselves in order to make some cold hard cash to stay on the road. And who can blame them? There’s nothing more fulfilling that living a nomadic lifestyle with a steady job that allows you to see the world, right? Well, there’s much more than smoke and mirrors, as you can imagine.
There are some places that are so Instragrammable
The only problem is that when we’re focusing on something we’re seeing through a camera lens, we don’t often take the time to experience what’s right in front of us. So, yeah, taking shots for your blog or social media is awesome, but you also need to take more time to enjoy the beauty around you and truly live. Now breathe, and quit snapping for a second.
Some claim social media sells us an illusion
There’s nothing wrong with this, because you can’t expect people to take photos of sad moments, breakups, or ugly landscapes. But most traveling millennials will take snapshots of the most insanely demanding picture-perfect life and when other travelers come to visit, based on your photos alone, their expectations are shattered by the reality of it all.
Millennials often obsess about taking photos of the most iconic thing
It could be the Leaning Tower Of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, or some unusual rock formation on some remote mountain. Getting to specific Instagram-worthy locations can change your entire trip to get this perfect shot and you might miss out on going out and exploring other things. In some cases, you could end up hiking to take a photo while missing out on the whole experience, particularly if you have to carry a camera, the lens, and a bunch of outfits and accessories to get varied photos. But there’s a way to be balanced and get the best of both worlds!
Pics or it didn’t happen, right?
Well, it’s true. We’ve entered the age of vanity and sharing with the world all these incredible adventures is completely fine. Just ask any Instagram star wannabe and they’ll tell you the benefits of the perfect pose or perfect photo and how this quickly translates in financial gain. This whole obsession with social media has turned us all into narcissists, but sometimes, it’s completely justified.
A recent study showed that millennials choose a travel spot based on how picture worthy it is
Social media is a visual medium is more about what people are doing. Of course, people will always choose to travel to places that are picturesque. Ultimately, young adults are placing far more value on how other’s lives appear online. But since Instagram can never show us the whole story, it motivates us to go out and explore the world in search of our own great adventure.
But you only live once, which is why you have to seize the moment
Millennials are all about the here and now, which is why renting scooters and touring Vietnam or rocking out at music festivals abroad, or hiking Machu Picchu and then writing about it on their traveler’s blog has become so trendy. In fact, a study by Harris Group found that 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things, and who could blame them? But there’s a fine balance between turning your entire trip around just so you can take amazing photos, and doing it with balance while exploring the local scenes, and enjoying candid moments with the locals. It’s all about portion control, much like with anything in life! Take a moment to seize the beauty that’s in front of you, and make sure to dedicate only a few hours of the day to snapping beautiful photos. Don’t be afraid to look bad, or post a photo of an unflattering angle. We’re human, and there’s true beauty in being imperfect also!