Travel on social media vs. travelling in real life

We all know that social media is just a massive highlight reel of our lives, and it never shows the true picture of what is going on in a person’s life. This is never more true than with travel. The time someone spent ‘finding themselves’ hiking through the jungle and bonding with natives will never be all sunshine and daisies, no matter what they make out to be true on Facebook. While it really was the time of their life, they also probably had to deal with some rubbish along the way.
Of course travelling can be the most exciting part of life, and you should definitely share your stories wherever you can to encourage people to get out there and have an adventure of their own. Though I don’t think the reality travel should be too sugarcoated. Why not mention both the good, the bad and the ugly?
So, to celebrate the imperfection of life, here’s my look at what travel looks like on social media compared to what it looks like in real life.


Online: Made friends with the locals and they’ve even invited us in for a welcome drink!
In real life: Some very intimidating locals came up to you and started talking to you in a language you don’t know. As they practically force you into their home, your anxiety goes through the roof and you start wishing you’d told your family that you love them a little more often. 
Online: Missed our connecting train so looks like we’re going to get to explore this amazing city for a few hours!
In real life: You had to shell out your budget for the next two days on a replacement train ticket, so no meals out for a while. Instead of sitting on a train, you had to cart your backpack around a city you didn’t intend to visit, but you do get to see some pretty incredible sights.
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Online: Managed to get a hostel with a connecting nightclub! Tonight is going to be awesome.
In real life: It is awesome, until you finally collapse into bed at 3am and the music keeps on pounding for another four hours, which really isn’t going to help your hangover.
Online: Spontaneous change of plan – we’re now going to this new city for a night before heading on to our final destination!
In real life: It’s an amazing decision… until you get there and realise there’s a big festival on and all the hostels are booked up. When you eventually find one with a few beds, the price is extortionate and you have to pay it. But it does mean that there are going to be some great parties to go to tonight.
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Online:  Amazing! We just got upgraded from a regular room to a huge suite with panoramic views of the city. I think I’m going to like it here.
In real life: Doesn’t mention that the receptionist felt so sorry for you with your bright red, sweaty face after carting your backpack from the train station in 36 degree heat that she thought you needed a treat.
Online: Went on a fantastic excursion today with a local who knew all about the history of the city. Really learned a lot.
In real life: You saved money compared to price of the official trip, but you ended up in a minibus that looked like it was about to break down any second and a driver who seemed too drunk to spout out any facts. In truth, you’d rather he stopped talking nonsense and concentrate on not driving the bus off a cliff instead.

Next time you’re scrolling through Facebook feeling green with envy, remember that no-ones travels are ever perfect, and sometimes the things that go wrong make the best stories. And while you’re at it, why not book your next trip so you have something to look forwards to?

Do you have any funny travel experiences like these? Don’t forget to share them in the comments!

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  1. Ronda Autumn
    March 5, 2016 / 5:39 am

    I LOVE this! It’s so true, traveling in real life is so much harder than writing about all the amazing experiences you have. This is so helpful. It reminds me it’s ok to write about the good and the bad side of traveling! 🙂

    • March 5, 2016 / 9:27 am

      Thank you Ronda! I think this is something we are all guilty of without even thinking about it, though I do try to stop myself from sugar coating everything as much as possible. Enjoy including the bad bits in future!

  2. Ronda Autumn
    March 5, 2016 / 5:40 am

    PS. I love your quote from Beauty and the Beast in your profile pictures. 🙂