Don't do it for the "gram"

Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat. Vine... & the hundreds of other social media apps out there that have become addicting to most of the millennials & then some out there. I'm as guilty as most that I spend a lot of time scrolling my life away when I'm bored, when I'm waiting for the oven to preheat, when I should be sleeping ect. And now that I've started to create this wanderlust world that is my website/blog/social media platform I find myself spending more time on those apps. I like to call it "homework" seeing what people are posting, how they are engaging their viewers or readers, seeing new & exciting places people are exploring. Those are all things I love to learn about and use to further my travels and growing my "brand".

That being said there's something that kind of ticks me off. A subject that a fair few bloggers out there have touched on before - doing something/going somewhere just so you can show it off on your channels, let’s take Instagram for example. With billions of users uploading their snaps daily there is so much content out there, and I love to find new 'grammers' as much as the next, but what really boils my blood is when you ask someone why they went there or talk to them about where they're going next and they say something to the tune of "well to get the pic of course"...cue my eye roll & a long sigh. I get it. I'm a trigger happy traveler as much as anyone and my external hard drive has tens of thousands of photos from my travels over the years. I love to document the places I go, and share it with all of you. That being said, I'm spending more time seeing things without my camera lens in front of my face & it's been refreshing. Just this past weekend I went off on a 15km hike and found myself not wanting to take my camera out to snap everything I saw, but see it all for myself and take it all in. Sure. I went trigger happy when we finally reached a gorgeous waterfall & our pit stop for the afternoon but that was after sitting and soaking it all in. I wanted to capture the moment, and how I felt when I look back at the photos. But if I hadn't snapped a single photo that day I wouldn't have been upset. I would be able to pull it in my mind (although I am glad I got a few good shots) and remember the moment.

So often when I travel I run into groups of people just waiting to get that "one good shot" that one Instagram worthy post. That Snapchat vid to rival all others, and it seems that they could be forgetting why they are in that place. The experiences you have when you travel (in my opinion at least) are the most worthwhile, and seeing the whole trip through your camera lens takes away from that. Take this situation for example - I don't know how many of you have been in this position before, but picture this. You're at a concert venue, about to see one of your favourite bands of all time when you look up and every single person around you is watching the show through their cellphones...not one or two shots here or there, a clip of your fave tune...the whole however many hours they're playing. How can you actually say you enjoyed the set when you didn't really "see it". That's how I feel about certain travelers I come across, that they're not truly seeing what it is they came there to see. That even though they have all these photos, they weren't in that moment. Again this is all personal opinion, and I'm not claiming to never be that person that thinks "Oh Instagram will love this" or "can't wait to share this with so & so on facebook". But that being said I'm just becoming more and more aware of how it feels to see everything myself these days and not through the lens of my camera or my phone. Maybe one day I'll be able to go somewhere and not feel compelled to take a single photo & embrace the moment in it's entirety and be in that moment...I said maybe!

For now I urge you to just try it. Go on a hike or on a trip and soak in the moments yourself before you take out your phone or camera. Enjoy seeing it all through your own eyes. Do it for you. See if you see things differently. If you notice more of what surrounds you, if you feel differently. Traveling is all about the new experiences you have, so why not try to make it even newer the next tiem around. What's the worst that could happen? You connect to a place more? You get to really feel something? Give it a try & comment back with how you felt!