As what I wrote in my previous post that I have been deactivated my social media account for more than 1 month, I found it interesting on how different my travel experience this winter break without any social media account in my phone or laptop.
I left Boston at December 20th to Halifax, Nova Scotia and then heading to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI) with my host mom Cathy from Canada World Youth exchange program 5 years back, Meagan (the daughter), Scott (the boy), Angela (Scott’s girlfriend) and Zoe (their lovely dog). We were celebrating Christmas at PEI with their big family. I spent 10 days with them and continue the trip to Montreal to meet couple friends from Boston and we spent new year together. From there, we went to Ottawa and I myself came back to Montreal after that and spent a week at Emma’s house, my Canadian friend who did Canada World Youth as well in the same village in Indonesia like me at Depok village. She even stayed with the same host family as me in Cipicung.
Usually, when I travel, I never really disconnect to my Instagram. When I arrived in the destination, I will get some photos and eventually post the best of them in my Instagram. Sometime it will be very hard to choose in between tons of photos that I took when I travel. When I meet people, friend, in the end I will ask to take photo with them and eventually post it in my social media. I also wrote some posts about my travel in my blog with the photos of the journey. I used to be very active in sharing what I did, what I visit, what I see, what I meet, etc. It can be directly or the vice versa which we call #latepost.
This winter break visit to Canada is the first time I am not using any social media and there is no urge to post anything or share to the world what I encounter on the road. What I discover during the 3 weeks travel is really interesting. When you do not have social media, you will not have the burden or the willing to document everything. You have more time to enjoy the place, being in the moment / present, have a more quality time and conversation, as well as valuable and intimacy time with yourself and the places, people, nature, things, etc. The number of photos that I take definitely reduce and I only have the best quality photo in my camera, things that I only need to document. I might have less photos but I have more valuable time in travel.
The fact that I do not need to share those to public make it even better. I wrote a lot of my travel journey, ideas that suddenly pop up on the road, advice from strangers that I meet on the bus, my feeling, interesting conversation, thoughts, on my notes with my pen. The things that I wrote it for myself and not for the society in social media, is truly different. I can write everything I want in my mind, as naked as possible, without considering what people think or afraid of the misconception or judgement from sentences that we wrote. I only share my thoughts and photos to very few people, to my person. I feel content. I feel its more than enough. I do not need to worry about who likes my photos, who comment on it, who share my post, how popular my post, what caption to wrote that can consider as the attractive caption, oh and the tons of hashtag that will never enough.
When I look back on how I did my travel, I feel sorry on how I did not really let my eyes being in the moment to see what I encounter. Your eyes might not be able to see it again. I regret on how I take a lot of photos with less knowledge about it and in the end, what are those photos for? To impress people? Ended up in your storage? Thus, the motivation of taking photos is changing now. I want to have the best quality of photo so that one day I can maybe print it or show it to my lovely people. Not everything need to be photographed. You might afraid that you will not have the best photos when you travel because you only there once, but you should be afraid of not having the best time when you were there.
I feel like the need to take photos with the era of social media is a part of consumerism. Say every photo is $1, you took a lot of it so that you can share it to your social media, how many you spent? I still remember where we only use film camera and you really save your best moment to take photo because the amount you take is limited. I like that idea and I try to do that with the era of digital camera.
Coming back to the title of this post, this winter break is what I called “the zen in travel”. The ability to travel and enjoy the “being in the moment” in the destination, without your mind everywhere, and just focus on what in front of you, who you talking to, the activity you did, is what matter the most.
This is my first post in 2017 and I would like to continue the journey of life without social media, to be able to have the control of what I choose to read/consume, focusing on what matter the most in my life, to read more books and have more quality & real conversation with people, living the “less is more” philosophy in life, simplifying life, and so far.. this has been the happiest time in my life 🙂