I’ve been observing this phenomenon for a while now. More and more people seem to travel to get to the same places that others have seen before, in order to take the very same pictures and recreate their experiences. They try to plan all the details of their trips. They ask for restaurants, hotels, perfect photo spots etc. – everything should be highly recommended, popular, nice, cheap and of course still individual.

I am in various travel groups on Facebook, I follow some blogs and listen to people around me and many of them do exactly the same – asking for recommendations for everything, making lists. They travel almost exclusively by the recommendations they get, to emulate others instead of planning their own journey. How can people think that it is possible to have the exact same experience others had before?

When did people stop traveling for the journey itself and start doing it to chase the same pictures?

When did people stop to travel for the journey itself and started traveling to chase the same pictures?

Don’t get me wrong – preparing and reading up on a destination can be half the fun of going on a holiday, and I don’t mean to offend any planners among you. I’m just surprised to see that so many people seem to travel for the pictures and talk only about places most of us have seen or heard about second-hand.

Why doesn’t everyone travel for a personal unforgettable journey, to form one’s own “uninfluenced” impressions, to be open to original, individual feelings, instead of chasing and recreating the past of others that one does not even know personally?

You will never, ever get exactly the same picture somebody else took before, and there are two very pragmatic reasons for that. Firstly, we are talking about mother nature – the outdoor conditions will never be 100% the same twice in a lifetime. Nature does what she wants, not what we expect her to do for nice pictures – just because we spent money and time to get there. And secondly, we ourselves are individuals, we feel differently, see differently, we assimilate our surroundings differently – so every picture we take will do so, too!

I have done some traveling in my life and often I chose not to take the camera. Can you imagine why? I chose to enjoy the moment, to create my personal memory – for my inner eye – and to forget about the perfect picture, to be shown and admired at home. It’s not always easy, because I also like to keep some memories, to make them easily visible, and to reminisce from time to time. But I have learned to deal with that.

When did people stop to travel for the journey itself and started traveling to chase the same pictures?

Maybe friends and family will be a little bit disappointed too; because we can’t show many photos and therefore cannot retroactively make our loved ones a “part” of our trip with something tangible. The first time it will be hard, but trust me the second time around it becomes easier. One of the best things about leaving your camera behind is that it’s a way to give others the freedom to create their own images and ideas of the places we have been, so they can use their imagination to “go” to these places. As long as our eyes are shining while we tell our stories of what we have seen, they will be able to imagine how fantastic it must have been.

As I mentioned before, please don’t feel judged by me if you prefer to plan your trips as carefully as possible. I actually love planning trips and need some structure in my life. I just want to help people to think about their journey in a different way, to encourage you to give yourself and your trip some space to be flexible, don’t be stressed out too much to stick to your plan. There is never a guarantee that everything will work out as planned anyway; we all know this too well to be true. Often we are more satisfied when we allow things to happen naturally and expect less. We should keep in mind: we are all individuals – our moods, the weather, general conditions – everything can change from one moment to the next. So it’s good to be aware of this, and a sure way to be less disappointed when things don’t go to plan. Stay flexible and you will automatically feel free, stay open and let your memories form without preconceived notions of how things should be.

When did people stop to travel for the journey itself and started traveling to chase the same pictures?

This is a guest post by Ulli Jeute.

bio-2 Ulrike Jeute is a young German woman full of energy. She loves life, traveling, writing and more. After spending some time in Spain and Australia, she and her little family have settled in Montreal, where she freed herself from 9-5 and started her lifestyle and travel blog, Mrs J’s Adventure of Life. Eventually she would like to return to Spain, but first she wants to discover the world with her hubby and kids and let us know about her life and travel adventures on her blog.