We’ve all been there recently. Innocently scrolling our news feeds to only come across another post about someone’s far-off travels. It leaves us feeling envious, to say the least. But this is exactly where I think the modern definition of traveling is getting it all wrong.
Traveling used to be something you told stories about. Occurrences on the road happened by chance, not by seeking them out manually to make for a killer Facebook post. Trips used to be about sharing experiences and remembering, not for making artsy pictures. This new idea of traveling has slowly morphed itself to a standard of image, projecting itself onto our small screens. People travel to say they’ve been somewhere exotic, or to say they grew as a person. But is this really why travel is important? Since when did the notion of traveling become our obsession instead of the actual action of falling off the grid?
Young people are faced with this current “travel craze” the most. Not only is it flooding our Instagrams, but it’s plastered on Pinterest in quote form, written on our coffee mugs, and covering the fronts of our journals. The need to travel is prompted as is if it has to happen right this second…as if travel is supposed to be something instantaneous and ready to be exploited. More than often, it leaves us feeling disappointed within ourselves; society assumes that if you can’t travel at this moment in time, we never will. Not only are we pressured to travel, but we are even more pressured to post about it.
Believe me, I’m an advocate about getting outside of your comfort zone and traversing the world, but I’m even more an advocate of doing for the right reasons. I imagine it would be difficult for someone our age to go somewhere, without letting the masses know about their whereabouts, happenings, and deep philosophical realizations along the way at every waking moment. People often forget that even though they crave to get lost, they never fully allow themselves.
Not everyone can afford to just pack up and go, which is where the lack of travel appreciation is lost, and more envied. Just like many things in life, travel takes time and patience; it’s this annoying fact that paves the way for an even more unforgettable travel experience that can be remembered, not shared via the Internet.
Keeping in touch with friends? Fine. Letting your family know you are safe? Even better. But remembering that travel is more about the experience and less about how many likes you get on a photo…now that’s a dying art.