“We travel where we want to, not where’s beautiful” – A & N
We have progressed leaps and bounds since the days when we had to purchase and process film cameras before we are able to see our photos. Nowadays, with smartphones all coming with an in-built camera and with it, the widespread of Social Media, most people can barely have dinner without first snapping a picture and posting it on Instagram.
While this is all peaches and rosy for Mark Zuckerberg, it does cause a problem for the rest of us. Under Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Maslow stated “Love/belonging” and “Esteem” as one of our natural needs as a human. And our need to feel belonged and loved has never been greater since the introduction of Social Media platforms such as instagram. How can we not be considering how easy it is for us to just share the things we have instantly online with all our followers. We no longer buy a branded handbag and try to parade it in front of as many people as possible, we now buy a branded bag or dine at an expensive restaurant and post it on instagram to tell the world how just well we are doing. Instagram/Facebook magnifies our need to be envied and love especially since popularity is now a quantifiable object based on the number of followers you have on instagram/facebook etc.
This psychological need applies to us when we travel and affects our behavior. When most people ask us how our Singapore Travel Blog travel as often as we do, we just do cause we made a choice. From budgeting our daily needs to even choosing our travel destinations. The short truth is this, we travel where we want to, not where’s beautiful. In fact, one of my personal most memorable trip was in a third world country, Cambodia.
(Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi Tunnel)
Cause a lot of times, traveling is much like choosing a bf/gf and one really has to ask yourself, if you are doing this cause you want to or just cause it’s good for your instagram. And like most other things, if it’s because of the latter, it probably doesnt end very well.
When asked, a lot of us want to travel far, to Europe or somewhere exotic. But why? If your reason to travel is to experience a whole new culture, you are just as well off heading to a nearby country as you are traveling far. If you didn’t have instagram, facebook or social media and couldn’t post any pictures nor would your friends ever know you visited a country, would you still spend the amount of money you did and head to the country you are able to head to?
Most people don’t want to travel to travel, they want to travel to take a picture of themselves in front of the Eiffel tower. They would stay in a 5 star hotel, reject the local food, ignore customs, fear the religion, avoid the people and tell you that they have experienced a country just because of the selfie they took with their DSLR. But at the end of it, what have you taken away from the trip aside from the photo? How much do you know about the people, the way they do things etc
Sit down and really think about it, if you had a finite amount of money, do you think you would TRULY experience a country more if you had spent 5 days in Paris or if you had used that same amount of money and spend a month in a nearby country like Thailand or Cambodia.
The thing is, wherever you travel to and whoever you meet on your travels, most people want to hear about stories and things about your country and that of those around your region. Take us for example, the people behind this Travel Blog is from Singapore, a country in Asia. When we travel, most people we meet would ask us about our country and places in Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam etc. Because when we travel, we usually don’t just represent our country but our neighbors as well.
For you, it might be just an hour flight away, for someone else on the other side of the globe, it just might take them half a day of traveling just to get there. So stand tall and proud of your country and your neighbors’. Exchange and share the culture of your countries and that of your region. With budget carriers so readily available, it is no longer expensive nor a hassle to travel. Sure it isnt as “cool” heading to someplace far as compared to taking a train to the town an hour away, but again, what are you traveling for? To look cool or to really be a traveler? If you aren’t even sure of countries that so close to you, how would you ever understand when you spend the same amount of money flying half way around the globe visiting a country for just 5 days?
Trust us on this, the biggest mark of a non traveler is when he/she is unable to tell you more about a country other than the known tourist places of interest and being contented with just satisfying their social media feed. To us personally, the best part of traveling is when you are able to tell stories so much deeper than what a mere picture can say.
- MUST READ: Don’t throw away your Boarding Pass and dont take a picture of it
- Tourist vs traveller
- Things to take note of when traveling alone