I wonder, as of late, while I mindlessly scroll through Instagram before I sleep, waiting for the one quote that resonates; the one photo of the smile of a dear friend that reminds me they’re okay while I sit on the other side of the world. I wonder about what Instagram has become – this relentless documentation of our lives. Split-second recaps of moments passed, trying to summarise what can never really be summarised in an image on a screen. The algorithm now rewards short-form content. If you have more than two sentences to say, you’re pushed to the back of the line – apparently, not many people here want to know your full story, only a romanticised snippet of a seemingly perfect life, and then scroll on to the next thing.
My feed is full of posts about travel. Perhaps that’s about as romanticised as life can get. It’s the epitome of hedonism. And many of us long for those moments. Why? Because that’s where we can feel the most free in a life designed to confine us into boxes and labels that keep the wheels of this economic engine turning. Travel continues to become a beacon, a beacon increasingly accessible to more people in our world today. But has travel lost its authenticity? Has travel lost its meaning? It seems, these days, travel is becoming a mere opportunity for us to take a hundred pictures on our phones (probably having a great time doing so), post them on Instagram and go back inside our labelled boxes. I wonder, in its transient nature, is travel becoming a little toxic?
I’ve spent the most part of the last decade of my life writing about this arguably toxic, hedonistic beacon. I have about two-thousand square-sized snippets of life on the road, neatly laid out on my Instagram page for the world to see. I’m at the back of the line though because I don’t post short-form reels every day. Instead, I like to focus on stories and content that ask us questions we might not have answers to, or make us reflect on the things we might not want to reflect on. This post will probably be disrupting for the average hedonist, and maybe you want to stop reading right here and continue to engage in that well-deserved freedom. Or perhaps watch on, and reflect with me on whether we have gone a little travel-crazy and if so, how can we navigate the ethics of travel promotion together and promote travel in a less toxic way.
Thank you, SafetyWing, for the opportunity to share my thoughts and advice about this topic. Watch the full video below.