Take the picture or enjoy

I always wonder if it is appropriate to take the picture.

I travel to explore, for an adventure. Sure taking pictures and uploading them to facebook is great, other people love to hear about your trips and sometimes the pictures help you remember all that you did. I love reminiscing on my trips when I am stuck at work or in a snowstorm and pictures are a great way to do that.

But..

Sometimes you see those people who hiked a huge mountain, or are watching fire works or a show and they insist on taking non stop pictures, and watching the view or performance through a screen. I wonder what those people have as motivation to even go? Can’t you just google a video or picture, do you really need to be there then? Maybe our generation is so enthralled with our phones or camera’s that we don’t even realize we are doing it… we see one thing that is cool and we automatically want to snapchat it.

Then you get to the places like war museums, Auschwitz, Pompeii, places where really horrible things have happened to people like genocide, or being sold as slaves, and you see people taking photos. I understand to a degree, you may want to go home and show people you know will never go what it looks like in Auschwitz. I myself have a photo of my friends and I in Pompeii where they sold the slaves.. I don’t think we planned it at the time “cool, they bought and sold people here.. let’s selfie” I think it was more like “finally we don’t have a crowd around us, let’s take a picture”. But looking back, was that really appropriate?

There was a man who wrote an article and attached photos he found online of young people posing, or taking “profile pictures” in these types of places. He then photo-shopped in the background pictures from history where the Jews were starving to death, skin and bones, with this girl in the front doing a yoga pose. It really surprised people I think. The overall reaction was “how could these kids take those kinds of pictures in a place like that”, but unless he put the historic pictures in the background would you have ever though twice before?

The tourists that pay money to the locals that have a monkey or a snake on their shoulders to hold that animal, take a quick photo then give it back drive me insane. A huge snake, a monkey, all these animals do not want to be held. They are not our photo props, they are wild animals. How do you think they are treated when they are used soley as a pay cheque? They are stolen from the wild, drugged, and forced to be passed around like stuffed animals so that tourists can have a profile picture of them holding a monkey. It’s not right. Again, most people would not even think these things, they would see an opportunity and take it.

Off topic: I am an animal lover, completely. I grew up with dogs and I want to cuddle and hold literally anything that has fur. The biggest lesson I learnt when it came to animals was when I bought a pet rabbit. Rabbits are prey animals that hate being cuddled and held. I had to learn that my rabbit shows me affection way differently than my dog does.. she just wants to be in the same room as me, maybe sit on my lap for a head pet, and that was good enough. We can’t just assume all animals are the same as our household pets. 

I have a love hate relationship with electronic devices and I am not sure where I stand all the time on it, I flip and I flop.. But I try to remind myself when I reach for my camera or phone… is this really necessary and appropriate?

Do we travel to take profile pictures ?

These views

Ping Pong shows – Travel mistake

Pets on holidays

Are we really travel savvy ?

Can you believe this beach

Do we travel to take profile pictures ?

Why do we travel ?

Why do we save the money, book off time from work, sit in an airport for over 24 hours, lose sleep, possibly get sick, experience jet-lag, sleep on shitty beds, walk around with backpacks in plus 35 weather ? ….

You see it time, and time again. The Instagram accounts with the beautiful people who seem to just sit on beaches or in beautiful weather every day all day, like that is their job. The women who put up pictures of them laying on their backs in the sand, looking absolutely perfect with a huge smile on their faces.

People hiking up mountains to see absolutely beautiful scenery that they chose to look at through their camera lens instead of with their eyes. They turn their backs to the magnificent and ask someone to take their picture, a jumping picture… so they can set it as their new profile picture. “Look at me.. jumping at the top of the world. Had such a great time”….. sweating my ass off walking up this hill to take this picture, being so exhausted I just walk back down the mountain instead of enjoying the view from the top.

You see less often, but still existent, the Instagram accounts that lose it and announce all their secrets, how fake their lives really are. The women who comment on their previous pictures how they did not even enjoy their day at the beach because they were so enthralled with getting the perfect picture for their social media. They sucked in their belly, they didn’t eat breakfast that day, they didn’t drink any water for fear of being bloated. And by the time they finally got their wonderful picture they went straight home to “relax”… posting their picture with an inspirational quote, or a quote about living in the moment and a smiley face.

Don’t do it.

Yes, take the picture… but after you have fully enjoyed your moments. You probably won’t remember full days, but you do remember moments. Not moments where you watched fireworks through your phone screen so you could videotape it, not moments where you stood still with an awkward smile on your face waiting for a stranger to figure out your camera, and not moments where you pretended to walk away while someone took a picture of you looking “unsuspecting”. No. Moments where you look at the view, you sit down and enjoy the silence, the company of those around you. The moments that you feel, actually feel the wind against your skin. The moments where you are glad you put in all that effort hiking up to the top… because the unfiltered view from the top is well worth it.

-Philippines 2014

Looking cute on holidays