Travelling has become close to impossible due to the annoying but understandable restrictions that come along with a global pandemic. But this is by far no reason to bury one’s head in the sand! While staying indoors, there is no better pastime than discovering enticing travel accounts on Instagram to get the inspiration flowing for where to journey post-quarantine. Let’s go!
It has been almost a year since we were able to – really, actually, in the flesh – travel. Although the summer of 2020 was, compared to stricter lock-down situations, lenient towards us, there were no major trips, no party vacation with the besties, no backpacking through a foreign country and no spontaneous city trips. Maybe, depending on where you live, you were able to spend some days in a rented cabin near the forest or in the family lake house. But apart from that, it looked rather dim on the travel front. And it still does.
Digging Through the Diaries
As hard as it is to even remember, there was a time when travelling was possible and allowed. There is probably evidence somewhere on your phone. Whenever you are yearning for the familiar gold, warm sand beneath your feet, for niveous mountains and slopes or for ragged northern landscapes, you grab your phone and look at the holiday photos you once posted on Instagram. Then, you find yourself reminiscing about prior vacations, the feeling of belonging nowhere and everywhere at once. Something which you cannot do now, but the least you can do is to remember those beautiful times. However, you don’t have to actually be there to see a place, you can also let somebody else do the exploring for you and simply tag along!
Expand Your Horizon
It might sound pretty dumb at first. Why on earth would I enjoy watching other people having fun travelling when I am stuck at home, you think and that is a reasonable concern. But try to look at it this way: You cannot visit a place yourself (duh!), so the only possible and cheap solution is to discover it through the eyes of someone else, to follow their journey through beautifully curated photos on Instagram.
Chelsea (@chelseakuai) is not only a traveller but also an astounding photographer. While other travel accounts might lead to nothing but jealousy, her photos are so aesthetically pleasing that you almost forget about your brooding mood. Right now, she’s staying low in Hawaii, but on Chelsea’s account you can dive (quite literally, because there are spectacular underwater photos too) right into her previous adventures!
If you are more of a romantic, a travel couple account might be just the one for you! @charlieandlauren are based in their London home but share their travel experiences from India to California, which they made available in a documentary on YouTube. Although the latest posts are mostly from London, their account invites you to experience four years of travelling simply by scrolling.
If you pick travellers that you find genuinely nice and likeable, it is possible to develop so-called parasocial interactions or even form parasocial relationships.
Of course, following all these accounts won’t do you any good if all you feel is envy. However, if you pick travellers that you find genuinely nice and likeable, it is possible to develop so-called parasocial interactions or even form parasocial relationships. The phenomenon, first discovered by psychologists Horton and Wohl in 1956, describes a one-sided imaginative bond that one can have with a media person. If an individual is exposed to said media personality more frequently, the emotional attachment can evolve into a perceived reciprocal relationship, although it is not always mutual. As the media personality can be a celebrity or even a fictional character, they are (mostly) unaware of these sentiments.
Coming back to Instagram, this means that if you indulge in a certain travel account, you might develop something akin to friendship with the Instagrammer who runs the account. This, in turn, may lead to you enjoying the travels they experience, because you perceive them as someone close to you. But enough of the communication science talk. Let’s find the perfect Instagram traveller for you to ‘befriend’!
You like watching a cute little family? Check out @thebucketlistfamily. You would rather follow around a laid-back adventurer? Have a look at @funforlouis. You are into sustainable travelling? Then @laratolksdorf might be for you. You want to support a small account? Check out @maren.rie. All those places seem too hot and too sunny? Look at the latest posts from @swedishnomad. You just can’t get enough of couples travelling? Try @positravelty or @mariefeandjakesnow.
Simply watching others having fun, especially when you are lonely and vegetating on your couch in your shared flat, can be agonising. But once you give the search a try and find one traveller whose content suits you, you can profit in so many ways.
A Bucket List of Destinations
What good can these accounts do, besides fuelling your wanderlust even more? Well, one thing you can certainly take away from various travel accounts is their beautiful photos of various destinations. A fun thing to do is scrolling through different accounts and saving these posts about places you find most intriguing, beautiful, or challenging in your Instagram folder. If you are interested in travelling, you probably already have a bucket list with places you want to visit yourself one day. If not, why not start one now! The travel accounts you found on Instagram can help you put magnificent destinations on your list. Depending on what you’re looking for, you could find places rather close to you, so you don’t need to spend a whole lot of money to travel there once the lock-down is over.
Now you can cluster all these places into continents, countries, cities, or sights. Or you can list them according to types of trips – one column for backpacking another for relaxing trips, for example. You could also group them by mood, temperature, types of activities, travel buddies… whatever floats your boat.
Pick Your Place and Plan
In the end, it all comes down to picking one place to start planning. I know, I know, we cannot go anywhere right now. But why should this keep us from thinking ahead of time and planning the best trip of our lives?
I challenge you to pick one of the destinations that you have written down on your list. Choose one that you genuinely want to visit, but that is also feasible for you and your wallet. God knows, we students have suffered during this pandemic. And now, plan your trip in earnest! Make a budget plan, look for more travel accounts that provide tips for secret spots, or buy a travel diary where you can collect pieces and snippets of inspiration, so you are set for when you can actually travel there. Until then: Try to engage in the anticipation of your future journey!