I’ve been blogging for a long time, but what I love most about this crazy online world is that The Travel Hack is basically my online travel diary, where I store all my precious travel memories. It’s a place to save it. I often sit at my laptop to work, but I end up spending hours reading old blog posts and reliving my amazing trips. It might sound a bit egotistical to say that I spend a lot of time reading my travel blogs, but I do!
Then along came Instagram and an even easier and more accessible way for people to save their memories online. Winner winner.
The second thing I love about blogging and Instagram is that it pushes me to do things outside of my comfort zone. Yes, sometimes your main motivation when doing something is to take great photos or interesting stories to share on your blog. Again, controversially, but it’s true.
If you didn’t want to take Instagram photos, would you pay to climb 300 steps to get a view of Warsaw (which was perfectly visible from the ground)? Hell, no.
If you didn’t want a cute photo looking out over the water, would you have climbed the slippery rocks in the Welsh valley next to the river? No chance.
Would I have dangled my legs over a waterfall if I didn’t think it would look cool on the gram? no.
Would you have let Sam and George play in the sun in a perfectly lit spot in the woods if you didn’t think it would make for an adorable photo?
If I hadn’t been standing there with my camera, would Elle have been floating like a mermaid goddess in this cold rock pool? Well.. yes, she probably would have actually done that, but.., I’m sure she would have gotten out sooner!
There’s a lot I’ve done to help you see a place at its best, by taking nice photos and showcasing the place from a better perspective.
When I first started blogging, I often thought to myself, “I haven’t posted anything in a week. I need to go out and do something fun, so I have something to write about!” Or maybe try going somewhere other than a local restaurant for dinner (again!). That way, you can add new locations to your recommendations.
My blog is always forcing me to try new things and go to new places.
Imagine if someone asked me for a vacation recommendation and I responded, “Well, actually, I haven’t been anywhere in a few years, so I don’t have any suggestions!” I would lose my job.
When you go on a press trip, you’re often presented with a choice of activities, and you’re faced with the dilemma of whether to spend the afternoon at the spa or go on an adventurous hike or do something fun and active. There are many things. Sure, it’s easy to just laze around in a spa, but that doesn’t make for an interesting blog post, does it? So I choose an adventurous hike, and I love it, and lots of great photos and… You’ll get a great story and I’ll be very happy doing it.
My blog has pushed me out of my comfort zone many times and done things I never dreamed possible. It’s not just the big things that force me to do (skydiving, I’m talking to you!) but also the little things like getting up to watch the sunrise because I know I’ll get a nice photo. Or sometimes I’ll be out at 7am because I know I’ll be able to take photos if the streets are quiet and peaceful.
And to be honest, I don’t think that’s a bad thing! In fact, I think it’s the best one yet.
it would have been so much easier to stay home and do nothing last weekend. It was cold, wet, and windy, and I could have spent the entire day on the couch in my pajamas watching Disney movies with the boys. But since this baby carrier was sent to me a few months ago, I knew I needed to take some nice photos to share on Instagram. (I use it at home, but no one wants to see a selfie of me #babywearing at the local co-op!) So I gathered up my army and all my warm clothes and rain gear and headed to the beach. We headed out and we had a great day taking pictures too. Yes, it was cold, wet and windy, but it was still a lot of fun. And if it wasn’t for this photo, we would definitely have stayed home!
A post shared by The Travel Hack (@thetravelhack) on March 28, 2018 at 2:00 PM PDT
Now I know that some people take things too far. People visit amazing monuments and ancient ruins but don’t pay attention to what’s right in front of them. These people can easily take a selfie or spend an hour snapping that perfect shot with their husband for Instagram, then find a decent WiFi connection to upload it and hurry away. Masu. They will be more concerned about their clothes and lipstick than the scenery in front of them. They don’t look around, they don’t talk to anyone, they don’t take the time to learn about their surroundings or appreciate the history behind the place. I think we can all agree that these people should stay home.
Note: I’m not one of those people who thinks you shouldn’t wear cute clothes while traveling. Read more: I’m so busy doing great things I don’t have time to respond to all the criticism
You’ve probably read or heard stories of people doing illegal things or going into debt just to buy expensive products to post on Instagram.
But there are people from all walks of life who should have stayed home. There are idiots no matter what you do, and just because there are idiots in the world doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t enjoy it.
For a while now, I’ve been feeling a little weird and guilty about “doing things for the gram.” I saw this amazing little glamping hut on Instagram and had been dying to go, but I really wanted to go just to take pictures, so I crossed it off my wishlist. But so what?! So what if the reason I was drawn to this place in the first place was because it’s so beautiful? Just because I’m going to take pretty pictures doesn’t mean I’m going to have a terrible time. There’s no need to go there, take a quick photo, and then go home!
So here it is for all you guys out there doing it for the gram. To everyone who wants to step out of their comfort zone, try new things, go to new places, and be more adventurous. It’s for people who apply lipstick instead of lip balm and go about their day feeling like a goddamn goddess as a result. For those who go further, wake up earlier, read more, listen more, and try more. Sure, they might be doing it because it makes for great photos, but they’re sure to have a good time in the process!