Have you ever been scrolling through pictures on Instagram and said to yourself ‘Wow, where is that, I want to see that one day’’? Welcome to the world of social media tourism. What is social media tourism? To me it’s the epitome of ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. I’m the first one to be hooked in by a photograph that has me saying ‘Oh I am definitely going there one day’.
When I’m scrolling through Instagram I get stopped in my tracks often and have to find out more about the location and there have been plenty of times I’ve noted down a destination to explore further thanks to seeing through other people’s eyes.
Sometimes we are lucky enough to get to those destinations but there are times when the weather and other conditions don’t quite live up to the Instagram view. On other occasions places absolutely live up to and exceed expectations. There’s hardly a day that goes by that I’m not noting down places to visit and adding to the must see list.
Not all of the places of interest involve long or complicated road trips though. Like me, you may have also had your eyes opened to hidden treasure in your own backyard so to speak. Sometimes it’s the thrill of the chase too. A location may look familiar but not too many clues are given to its exact whereabouts and so the treasure hunt begins. It’s a great way to explore your own city or town and see it with fresh eyes as seen by a visitor.
To me though I see social media tourism as just a new outlet (and ok with a wider audience) for something that we’ve always done. Many years ago my dad in particular, was a huge fan of sitting down to watch ‘The Leyland Brothers’ television series on the weekend. Everyone knew not to disturb him. He would announce “Seeya, I’m off on holidays” and grab a cup of coffee and a notepad and sit in his comfy recliner in our 70s lounge room and love every minute of their journeys, taking notes on places to see when he retired and would do the big lap. And I’m happy to say that together my parents did just that.
Back in those days the other pastime was visiting relatives who having just completed a dream holiday, would have everyone over to crowd around on the lounge suite and any available floor space to watch the dreaded slide show. But it had the same effect as social media today. You’d see a picture that spoke to you, make a mental note and file it away for that one day you’d see it in person.
So to me social media tourism is an even bigger slide show to the world of ‘hey look at this place’, to hook you into taking that trip. But don’t forget that other source of media for those of you like me that love a tangible guide in your hand. You can’t beat grabbing a magazine that caters for your taste in travel, caravan, camper, 4wd and more to get the in depth of where, how, what to see and tips from those that have done the journeys and can show you the way.
By the way, I’m all about sharing the beauty of this country so if there are any photos that you need to know where they are I’m happy to share the information. Keep making those plans!