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Instagram vs. Reality - Around the World in Katy Days

Instagram vs. Reality

I feel like my generation is so influenced by the photos we see on social media. I know I’m guilty of it. I follow lots of other travel bloggers on all social media platforms, and there have been many times where I’ve seen them post a beautiful, awe-inspiring photo of one of their adventures, and I’d stop and think to myself “Where is that. I absolutely need to go there. And I need to get a photo of myself doing that.” Because let’s be honest, social media is mostly just bragging.

Social media really distorts our expectations for our adventures. And us travelers definitely need to be vigilant about keeping our eyes fixed on reality, because if we don’t, we risk disappointment.


Because it’s an illusion. These photos are filtered, edited, and posed. And I can assure you it took them about 50 shots before they found the one that they would fix up and share with the world.

Want to see what I mean?

Gullfoss, Iceland | Instagram vs. Reality

befunky-collageThis is a small portion of the outtakes at Gullfoss. It took lots of shots of awkward poses, hair accidentally blowing in my face, other people sneaking into the frame, bad lighting, eyes closed, weird faces, and hair not cooperating before I got the shot I actually posted on Instagram.

Painted Desert, Arizona | Instagram vs. Reality

befunky-collage Finding that perfect symbiotic existence with wind and hair is hard.

Basalt Columns at Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland | Instagram vs. Reality

befunky-collageI expected to get a super cool photo of myself on top of the basalt columns. Nope. That didn’t happen. Between the lighting and the crazy wind (it literally knocked me over when I was walking), all of my photos sucked. Somehow I managed to get a good photo of Matt, but mildly ashamed of how long I insisted on trying for the perfect photo here before I gave up.

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico | Expectation vs. Reality

befunky-collageAfter many lighting failures and dark selfies, I heavily edited a photo of some stalagmites and stalactites to post to my followers and say “I WAS HERE!”

So any time you see a post that makes you feel jealous or even inspired, take it with a grain of salt. Even the best photographers have outtakes and throwaway shots. Even the most photogenic places in the world can yield bad pictures.

Don’t let social media pick your travel spots and distort your expectations (in your adventures and life in general). You may be very disappointed.


  • Ashley

    Social media really is an awesome thing, but man does it make everybody out to be perfect and have these perfect lives! There are definitely a few times that I really wanted that Instagram worthy picture of myself on a trip, and it totally didn’t happen. Life happens, right!

    October 5, 2016 at 5:14 pm Reply
    • aroundtheworldinkatydays

      Yes! I’ve really tried to be more intentional lately and remind myself to live for the me and the moment, not for the image I portray online.

      October 5, 2016 at 5:24 pm Reply

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