Why you should travel for yourself and not the gram

I’ve got my rant pants on again; they’re pulled up tight and I basically can’t move out of this straight jacket of fury that I have created for myself.

Here’s why.

When I travel, I am doing it for me and only me. I am not doing it so I can take a picture to post on social media that in turn you will see and think oh what a fun, easy-breezy time Corrine is having in life. Super jelly. No. I am doing it for me, in the most selfish way humanly possible. It has nothing to do with you. And rest assured, it is not easy-breezy times for me.

So you can understand why I get so fired up when other people are taking photos and posting them for the world to see, only to get other people to like them more. Evidently, they’re doing the exact opposite of what I am. I am referring to those types of people who lug around massive purses all day containing ballgowns and half the Sephora store in 30-degree heat, who then get changed and dolled up in an alleyway in between residential houses just so they can take a picture in Franco’s Bar (more like Drain Your Banco Bar) looking sun-kissed and not sun-drenched in sweat. Well jokes on them because I am probably in the background of most of their photos, sitting in my H&M romper with dried salt stains, a sweat stash and a pitiful red face. They’re going to have to photoshop the lobster blob out of the photos. BHA!

Should Instagram be used for travel inspiration? Abso-fricken-lutely! Should it be used to fuel that horrible COVID-19 cycle of self-loathing- where you scroll your insta feed of travel destinations, click on the stunning pic to enlarge, so the sadness of not being able to leave your country, let alone your province/ town/ bedroom really sinks in. The tears begin to form as you realise you aren’t there and probably won’t be for at least another year, the salted water from your eyes falls on your phone causing it to freeze on the gorgeous snap and now the darkness has really set in. NO!

My warning to you is this. Be well aware that just because the pic looks good, doesn’t mean the place actually exists/ is open/ is allowed to be photographed/ slash/ slash/ slash.

Let me tell you a little tale about a time when I was on the Amalfi coast. We can all agree, highly grammable. The fact that that word is now a verb just proves my point.

Nestled along the Amalfi Coast, there’s this gorgeous archway with a road that has the crystal blue Mediterranean Sea peaking out from under it along with this beautiful beach crowded with tourists and locals but everyone can agree, it’s gorgeous. Fiordo di Furore as it is so rightly named. Fjord of fury.

The only way to get to said awe-inspiring location is by boat, car or by bus. Driving along the Amalfi Coast is rubbish, with sheer cliff face and tiny lanes where you can’t see around the curves of the road. Don’t worry, they have mirrors set up around the really tricky edges. So unless you’re Italian, a NASCAR driver or James Bond, I would not suggest doing it. To top it off, there is very, very little parking at the Fiordo di Furore. I don’t even think it’s considered a town. If I remember right, there were maybe 2 or 3 buildings with a bit of side-of-the-road gravel parking that I wouldn’t consider parking. You could fit 5 or 6 cars max.

Not wanting to die before my 30th bday, we took the bus, which from our location in Amalfi was about 30 min each way (Google says 20 min but it was a tad longer in my recollection) and the bus left every hour or so in peak July season. We pre-purchase our bus tickets at the Tobacco shop (the one in Amalfi is Camera Gaetano and it’s open till late) beforehand because there was an incident where some people did not purchase their luggage tickets in advance and the bus driver refused to pick them up, even though they had tickets for themselves. They ended up getting stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. We didn’t want to look like those fools so we purchased our bus tickets for both ways in advance.

We had our little bag (that we double-checked didn’t need a luggage ticket for) with some water, snacks and towels, ready to make this beach our bitch. After my motion sickness kicked in about 5 meters into the 7km journey, we got off at the stop along with 3 other ladies. We rushed to the side of the road and peer over the edge of the bridge in anticipation. It’s deserted. Not a single beach chair or towel or person for that matter. It’s a birthday miracle, we have the place to ourselves!- said no one in Europe ever. We begin to walk and make our way down the path towards the abandoned beach and what stops us is a massive concrete barrier. I’m talking you need a heavy-duty machine or Hercules to get this boulder in there. The sign read that the pathway was too unstable to go down. In all fairness, there was a mild rockslide on the path, which looked a little dicey. Clearly, this did not just happen overnight since there was aged graffiti on it (since when am I a graffiti expert?). I was there in July 2019 and it had clearly been closed if I were to guess at least a few months. After extensive research (I looked at a 2018 TripAdvisor comment), I determined it was at least a year. And yet. This is the surprising part. YET. on Instagram that very morning there was a post about it with beachgoers with their tans and towels. Beach, please.

So herein lies my beef with all this. You have this amazing beach that has been showcased on Instagram generating thousands of likes and the place is f****** (speech-to-text bleeps my potty mouth) closed and has been for a while. So why are you posting photos of everyone joyously sunbathing that morning? FALSE. What archives of bullshit did you sift through with your greedy hands to get this? Why didn’t you write in that little Instagram caption space “currently closed”? What made you this way?

Fjord of Fury is right.

Side note: by the looks of it, it is now open as of November 2020 but all good that is to us, thanks COVID!

Some other classic Amalfi Coast gram pictures that shouldn’t be taken at face/ screen value.

  1. the one of a single hot person or hot couple on the beach in Positano where there’s nobody in sight. FALSE. There are billions of people on that beach all the time. Most of that beach is private. As in, the restaurants/ clubs somehow own sand and placed their chairs (kind of like how a dog urinates to claim its territory around a tree trunk) so you need to pay 35 euros or whatever it is just to be there. There are literal ropes set up to cordon off the rags from the riches and even if you sit on the sand at the edge by the water, someone will basically come at you with a spray bottle and tell you to scat because you haven’t paid.
  2. that picture on a boat in the water with Positano in the background. Whether it’s a proposal BARF or a look at how skinny and big-lipped I am photo BLERG. Do you know how much a f****** boat costs to rent? Hundreds of euros and if you don’t know how to drive a boat you’re gonna have to pay some Italian hot shot to drive it for you, which costs even more. You’re looking at €400 to €700 euros. How do you have €700 to spend on one photo? Why would you spend it like that all willy-nilly?! Please just send your money to me because I can find a better use for it. I want to start an alpaca farm.
  3. in Ravello, there is this gorgeous view that overlooks the coastline and you can see this specifically from Villa Rufolo. Check yo facts beforehand to prevent crying in public. We took a bus from the town of Amalfi, this time, we were talking 40 minutes on a windy road where I almost threw up. Only to get to the top to discover that there was a summer concert going on inside the Villa so the Villa was closed and, subsequently, the view was closed. Ravello is a cute little town. We got some Gelato but you actually cannot see that sweeping coastline very well from anywhere other than the Villa. Once you get off the bus at the last stop to Ravello, there is a decently OK view but there are some wires, a sort of restaurant and some shrubbery that’s in the way so you gotta use that zoom.

Suffice to say, we spent probably two half days, which equals one full day of activities that were inspired by the gram and I’ll be so bold to say, that it wasn’t entirely worth it. Ravello is a great way to spend a couple hours if you are in Amalfi but I had my hopes up for that Villa view. That door was closed. Literally and figuratively. It would have just been nice if someone on social media told us that.

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