The Perfectly Imperfect Side to Travel

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It’s all too easy to be completely misled by the carefully manicured shots we see on social media. Whether it’s a girl posing on top of a mountain in a floaty red dress or besties enjoying a champagne picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, these shots give the impression that travel is always idyllic.

The Perfectly Imperfect Side to Travel - Perinaldo, Italy

I’m guilty of it myself. My Instagram gallery is full of stunning sunsets, amazing vistas and epic cityscapes. And some people might conclude that my life is one big perfect travelling bubble. But an important thing to remember is that we only show the side of our lives we really want people to see. Social media is selective.

Lakones, Paleokastritsa, Corfu - The Perfectly Imperfect Side to Travel

For example, I didn’t post about that missed flight in Australia or the time I got really sick while travelling solo in Paris. And you didn’t hear about the night our campervan almost ran out of fuel in the middle of the Australian rainforest. Or the time I got blistering sunburn in Africa!

Jetty Jump, Rapid Bay, South Australia - The Perfectly Imperfect Side to Travel

Despite the photos we see online, travel is rarely ever perfect. There will always be a few lumps and bumps in the road, just like there are in our normal everyday lives. But for everyย bad travel experience, there are ten outstanding, spine-tingling, life-loving moments to counteract it.

Byron Bay to Coogee Hike, Sydney, Australia - The Perfectly Imperfect Side to Travel

The truth is, most of us use social media as a form of escapism. Maybe I should show the imperfect side to travel more often; the slips, trips, blunders and errors. But do you really want to see me stranded at an airport in floods of tears because I missed a flight or covered in blisters because I spent too long in the sun? I think not! We show the pretty parts of our lives because that’s what people want to see and those are the bits we want to show. After all, I aim to inspire people to travel, not put them off because of the odd negative experience.

Rapid Bay, South Australia - The Perfectly Imperfect Side to Travel

But I do believe we should be more transparent and authentic when it comes to discussing travel. The danger is that we start to compare our own lives and experiences to those beautifully polished shots we see on Instagram. The truth? Those beautifully polished moments are just that…polished. We do not hike mountains in red floaty dresses and sometimes bad things happen! Behind the Instagram accounts that we all adore, there are real people with real problems, just like you and I.

Lakones, Corfu - The Perfectly Imperfect Side to Travel

But, I’m not here to complain about my lot in life. Far from it, in fact. I’m grateful for the experiences and adventures that fill my life. Even when things don’t turn out the way I expected. Because, honestly, as cliche as it sounds, I think every experience makes you stronger. You realise that you’re made of hard stuff and can cope even when you’re dealt a bad hand.

Isle of Skye - The Perfectly Imperfect Side to Travel

So, what I’m really trying to say is this > Don’t compare yourself to the staged photos on Instagram. Realise that life is rarely ever a bed of roses, even when travelling the world. But don’t let the fear of negative experiences stop you from doing what you love. Rather than feeling envious of the glamorous lives of others, let them inspire you to live your own glamorous life, despite the hardships that come along the way.

Do you find social media causes you to compare yourself to others? Tell me how you feel in the comments below!

The Perfectly Imperfect Side to Travel - Passport for Living

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  1. Really great post that is relevant to everything today. People are so busy trying to show that everything in their lives are perfect that we often forget the reality behind the photos. The truth is that life is messy and challenging – we all know it. No one lives in a perfect ideal world where nothing goes wrong. But it’s the messy things that make us grow and keep things interesting. So here’s to the other, less photogenic side of life!

  2. So true! Travel is never perfect, and it’s good to talk about the bad parts, too. Social media can be very misleading…

  3. Could not agree more! I always notice that I do this too but it’s sort of just natural – important to realize there is another side to the camera though!

  4. I loved this post, and I completely agree! Most of my travel is for work, so I’m super selective of the photos I post… no one wants to see me sweating my butt off because New Orleans is too hot for a blazer or the blisters on my heels from the time I got lost in Cleveland while walking back to my hotel from a conference. Haha. Such a necessary reminder to share things that aren’t as fun or pretty or comfortable to share ๐Ÿ™‚

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  5. Really thoughtful post. I’ve definitely been guilty of this in the past and am making an effort to show all the sides of travel. Love hearing your perspective.

  6. Great post! I made an active effort this year to shed light on some of the unfiltered moments during my travels. People really appreciate authenticity!

  7. I write about it all, the good, the bad and the blisters (as I’m a hiker). I had no choice but to embrace the imperfect side as I would not be able to post any photos from my trips ๐Ÿ˜€ On most of my hiking photos I’m unwashed, sweaty with messy hair and no makeup whatsoever. It was hard in the begging, now I”m wearing like a badge of honor!

    Great post!

  8. Perfect photos look great because they’re so … er … well, perfect. I always want to do the same myself, but then get frustrated after about 3 seconds and think life’s too short and take a quick snap. Ah well, I can always look at other people’s and drool.

  9. Great post, something I think a lot of people should read. Itโ€™s actually something Iโ€™ve been writing quite a bit about lately – I even think our writing styles are a bit similar ๐Ÿ˜‚ Iโ€™m always afraid that I inspire one person to travel and they start and theyโ€™re like โ€˜wait! I thought travelling was always amazingly fun, this isnโ€™t what I signed up forโ€™. Nice post, I enjoyed reading ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Thanks Zac. Yes, I agree. It’s a very important subject to talk about. Because I think the danger is that we compare ourselves to others and become dissatisfied with our own lives! But also, like you said, to make people aware that sometimes things don’t go to plan haha! I’d love to read your post about the same subject. Drop me a link ๐Ÿ™‚

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