The perfect trip does not exist.
The perfect trip does not exist firstly because the perfect life does not exist, but also, shit happens when you catch flights – mosquito bites, missed planes, food poisoning, having to wear all your clothes to dodge Easy Jet fees. Anyone who describes their trip as “perfect” or “a dream” is BS-ing you at least a little.
Social media, of course, makes it super easy to create and maintain the image of a perfect trip–or even a perfect life. If you’re like us and follow a plethora of travel accounts on Instagram, it’s easy to idealize traveling and forget that even the girls perfectly posed in paradise with a pineapple paloma in their paw (that was fun) have the same travel troubles as we mere mortals. Like, if you went to Renaissance Island and didn’t take a picture of you pretending to feed a flamingo, did you even Aruba?
These days, social media makes sure we’re interconnected to the point where we’re seeing Fijian beach pictures from the vacation of a girl we haven’t talked to since the seventh grade.
Fast forward another 12 years, and the seventh grade acquaintance in question, let’s call her Mindy, is doing the tree pose in a rainforest somewhere, pricking her finger on the top of the Louvre pyramid, and adorning her Thai island pics with quotes Marilyn Monroe definitely didn’t say, and thanks to social media, you get to see it all.
We can’t help but wonder: if Mindy really felt as #blessed as she claims to be, would she feel so compelled to convince her IG followers that this was the case? Similar to the phenomenon that couples who over-post on social media are overall not as happy as the ones who don’t.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 ways you know that your friend’s picture-perfect vacation was, for whatever reason, not perfect.
1. Excessive Facebook check-ins
Anyone have that one friend who suddenly becomes a FB check-in machine once they go somewhere new and suddenly your feed is flooded with random check-ins?
You don’t need to check in twice during your layover in Cleveland – we know. You’re sitting in an airport lounge waiting for McDonald’s to open and fighting for an outlet so you can charge your phone to provide more unnecessary updates.
2. Instagrams a lot – but doesn’t Snapchat as much
Snapchat is in the moment, so it’s harder to fabricate a dope trip that way, whereas Instagram makes it easier.
3. …Or, alternatively, only posts one photo when they’re gone for a long time
There are exceptions, but if someone posts 5 pictures a week of their cat, their friends, their new shoes, etc. when they’re home in Missouri but then suddenly posts one picture for their two weeks in Amsterdam, something doesn’t add up.
4. Flowery quotes about how amazing and life-changing everything is
Your picture of you on those swings in the sea in Indonesia is cool enough. No need to accompany it with a super long quote that’s meant to be inspiring.
5. Documents every meal they ate/fancy cocktail they drank
Don’t get us wrong, 1-2 are acceptable. Okay, 3-4. No more than 4. But if you’ve seen one paella and sangria picture, you’ve kinda seen them all.
6. Too many selfies
If you’re off doing cool stuff, why can’t you leave your phone alone for more than 3 minutes at a time? Don’t you want to conserve battery for more than just your face?
7. Posts about how great their trip was–six months later
When you’ve posted the same picture twice with the #takemeback hashtag, you know you’re trying too hard.
8. Tagging the same random people they met at their hostel one time in posts weeks or months later – when nobody tagged them in anything
…bonus points if they use a caption like “missing my bitches from Prague.”
9. Doesn’t have any good stories about their trip when you see them in real life…
…because all the good parts (or with some people, every damn moment) is documented in their social media. It’s like a movie where all the good parts were given away in the previews. If you’ve ever stayed in a hostel, you know you haven’t really done it right until there’s at least one story you can’t put on the internet or tell your grandma.
Also, if you ask them how their trip was, they don’t tell you any stories but repeatedly assert that it was “incredible”–that’s the word people think they’re supposed to use.
10. …and yet clings to the same anecdote over and over
“You went to Olive Garden last night? Ohhhh my godddd the pasta I ate in Rome eight months ago was sooooo good I literally died.”
Don’t get us wrong – there’s nothing wrong with posting about your travels on Instagram, and we’re pretty active on the ‘Gram ourselves. We just want the Mindys of the world to know that it’s OK if your trip wasn’t perfect. Sometimes, it’s the not-perfect trips that make for the better stories. Social media isn’t everything. We’d rather hear an awesome story than double-tap your Eiffel Tower pictures any day.
Do you have a friend that does this? Have you had a trip that was less than Instagram-perfect? Let us know in the comments!
TL;DR: Social media isn’t everything. We’d rather hear an awesome story than double-tap your Eiffel Tower pictures any day.