Days are elongating, cherry pink blossom is in bloom and leaf buds are beginning to appear on each tree without exception. Nature’s full exuberance may be found from the likes of personal Instagram feeds, and Tumblr timelines. Well-captured Notting Hill decorated doorways embellished with trailing ever-green ground creeping climbing plants, captivating our scrolling delights, the arrival of summer brings nothing less.
Exams are on the horizon, deadlines are looming, but there is a spot of summer sunshine at the end of the tunnel that we are steadily approaching. For many of us struggling to afford bread each week, summer may consist of confining oneself to a menial, mundane, repetitive temporary job. Whose only holiday will be the possible luxury of visiting the east coast for a shot of extravagance, including penny slot machines, a trip to the shell shop and of course, those five freshly made sugary doughnuts for £1.
However, for the more eager and prosperous character, this summer may be filled with enchanting trips around the world, discovering the earth’s best kept secrets whilst taking a few snapshots on the way. For my housemate, for example, three months will consist of a journey visiting twelve different European counties. As well as a monumental trip climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, followed by an enduring trek through the African landscape to its beautiful wildlife… Finally completed with a once in a life-time holiday to the white crystal coast of Zanzibar.
Many of us departing the shorelines of the United Kingdom will no doubt keep our Instagram followers inundated with breathtakingly radiant pictures of our travels. Decades earlier, holiday snaps were often physically shared with family members with date and time referenced on the back of hard copies, however, today our personal memories are shared with the entire digital world.
The Guardian reported nine months ago that professional and personal photographers are now included in small tours to Colombia and Nicaragua, simply because their photos will immediately updated on social media and promote the product. Phrases such as: “If you didn’t photograph X did you even go?” bombard Facebook memes and vines. These create a compelling force that drives us to feel a need to show off our tanned legs with the remnants of a Mediterranean coastline taking up the backdrop of our adventurous trip.
Are we artists? Or simply tourists, whether we like it or not, or do we just want to document the beautiful memories we have made and enchanting visions we have seen? It may be difficult to reign in the seething jealousy expressed at over sharing #loveroftravel snapshots and how the profound privilege of many travel accounts can be utterly repulsive. Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook have reshaped many perceptions of how we view and interact with our travels.
Social media platforms have created such an open outlet for a new world of creativity and discovery that was incredibly restrictive for those who do not have the monetary backing to peregrinate our awe-inspiring planet. Meanwhile my followers will be entranced by my highly filtered pictures of a cloudy bleak Bridlington promenade, with an extra upload of a demolished vinegar soaked, bag of chips. Definitely worthy of an Instagram famous award!