Insta-travel is for chumps.
No seriously, where are these places under #travel? Please tell me because I’d like to be there too. That turquoise water from another planet, the pillowy white sand, and the zero crazy tourists.
Why does everyone have a perfect, cut body straight out of a Boflex commercial and a boyfriend that rivals good ol’ Arnie?
There’s no way on God’s green earth all of that is real but people believe it. I swear it must be the same people that think margarine is equal to butter. Fox 8 pm evening news flash – it’s not.
People are scrolling through Instagram travel hashtags and smashing those like buttons like there’s no tomorrow. “And as always don’t-forget-to-subscribe” …to unrealistic travel vlogs.
So here at AlienEating, we’ve broken down the top re-occurring things we see in #travel and are going to do some severe Mythbusting so you can #enjoy some #goodvibes during every #sunnyday this #summer.
Crystal clear, nuclear blue water
Finding water that florescent turquoise depends on the time of day, weather, location, the tourist season and how many Pina Coladas you’ve had. The water isn’t going to always shimmer like Edward Cullen’s forehead or be as clear as your conscience after admitting to not actually needing a “personal day”.
When I went to Patong Beach, Thailand it was high season and the only thing in sight was crispy sunburned grandpas, jewelry salesmen, and the same beach umbrellas from 1952.
I didn’t see any clear water beach and had to go to a different one 20-30 minutes away to get away from the creepy-crawly sex tourism horde. The second beach we found was perfect, not too many people, soft sand and clear water. It just takes time to find the right one.
To save you the search, the best beach we went to by far was Raya Beach. You’ll have to take a boat there but it was totally worth it with tons of room to float around and contemplate your life choices. Plenty of umbrellas and although still filled with people, everyone was quiet, relaxing and just enjoying their time.
You, the Taj Mahal, and no one else
Do you see all those people in the picture below? (gold star for photo quality) That’s what a real Thailand beach-gram looks like. No beach swings, hot bikini-clad girls, lad parties or keggers in sight. Just lots and lots of tourists, people trying to scam you into renting beach space ten times it’s worth, and little kids crushing your Iron Throne sand replica.
This isn’t only for dream vacay beaches. It’s a worldwide epidemic. The Sydney Opera House, the Burj Khalifa, the Golden Gate Bridge, you name it, are all going to be filled with people and salesmen. If it’s on your bucket list, it’s also on 1,000 other ones.
That being said, it is definitely possible to catch an extremely touristy place with little to no people. It’s the same as finding clear blue water on your trip to the Bahamas – picking the right time and place.
You, your bootylicious manchild and HOTxxxBODS galore on a Eurotrip to Ibiza.
Let me tell you, it’s nothing like that so snap yourself back to reality. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything but pan-seared Europeans, dad-bod bros, and children with booger dingleberries at tourist spots. I thought Thailand was going to be one long, never-ending Jordan Belfort music video. Not a week long trip to Costco. Don’t know the song? It’s a three-minute musical version of Wolf of Wall Street.
So go have a listen, beat your chest alpha male style, and indulge in some “wallets flexing in the gym and dirty martinis”. That’s as close as you’re going to get to get to Spreak Break Beautiful Insta-people style. Everyone looks like a tourist and it’s hilarious. Indulge in the tourist sun hat and billowy Thai pants uniform.
0.01% of the world’s population must have seen an infinity pool. Do they really exist or is it some otherworldly thing that only people of maximum level douchiness get to see? I think the only infinity pool I’ve ever seen is the drool pool I wake up in every morning.
Billion dollar mansions
I mean yeah if you’re a Kardashian on a private Polynesian island but really most of us are in cramped 18-bed mixed dorms with 10 drunk frat boys, five stinky religious hikers, and three bummin’ potatoheads. No butler or complementary champagne in sight. Just toast, butter and if you’re lucky some fancy diner-style strawberry jam packets.
Your place probably isn’t going to be in a regal spot on a cliff with an ocean view patio balcony either. It’s more likely to be in front of a little family-owned shack restaurant but it will have some of the best food you’ve ever tasted.
If you’re not rolling in #ad money, hostels are amazing and a great alternative. They’re cheap and a great place to find out about the local bars, ongoing events and even a great place to meet friends. 30 different people using the same shower? Sign me up.
Here’s a little tasty-taste of a budget hostel Morgan and I stayed at in Bangkok for about $10/night. It was clean, safe, near a night market, and in a central location with coconut vendors and beer-on-tap around every corner.
A feast so fancy it’s fit for a Persian cat.
I don’t think I’ve ever eaten something that was more than $10 while traveling. Most of us are bargaining on bomb-tastic street food, gourmet 7/11 cuisine, and street-side $1 baguettes. Gaze upon those juicy oranges for 10,000 won ($10) and those crunch-o-matic apples for 5000 won ($5). Pro-tip: street vendors often give discounts as well.
Every meal doesn’t have to have three Michelin stars attached when there are cheap and delicious options available everywhere. Try out local street food, cooking, booking accommodation with meals included or even sharing with your hostel-mates. Occasionally, Airbnb hosts will even cook for you, a bit pricier but a good option to have a more real experience. So keep your eyes and ears open for all the drool-worthy food that won’t break the bank.
All this is not to say Insta-travel is toxic or wrong, but it’s extremely misleading. When people see those perfect photos online and then go on vacation, they’ll be electrocuted to reality and disappointed by the lack of beach swings and acai bowls. If you don’t believe me, look up Paris Syndrome.
You would think in an age where everything from your dog’s vomit to Jessica Alba’s toe is photo-shopped, more people would be aware of the horrors of Fakestagram. These influencers are out there scamming you and conjuring up corny ass travel quotes like “jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul”.
Okay well, I need a job to fill the pockets to travel. My pockets aren’t about to fill themselves any time soon.
Realize that your experience isn’t going to look like muradosmann’s or majamalnar‘s. All these people have pro cameras, photo editing software, and have worked hard to make those photos look flawless. Use Instagram to get yourself inspired but keep your expectations low and do lots of research.
Be smart, be prepared, be safe, be open-minded and most of all just have a good ass time!
In the end, who’s really traveling to bum out in a 10 bedroom mansion with 5 jacuzzis? You’re traveling to eat new foods, meet locals, day drink in your one dirty sarong and make some unforgettable memories.
Do you stalk the depths of #travel? Or do you get out there and take those #travelgrams yourself? Tell us about a time you went somewhere that didn’t match your #instapectations! Leave a comment or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.