The Top 5 Most Instagramable Destinations in the World

The Top 5 Most Instagramable Destinations in the World

I’ve only visited 30 Countries to date and therefore this list is my completely biased account of the most Instagramable destinations in the World.

These destinations have not only caught my heart but are also my idea of a perfect picture time and time again. They are also the destinations that have attracted the most attention (likes/comments) on my social media accounts (aka Instagram).

Honorable Mention: Peru

Stunning landscapes and changing terrain, but not quite in my top five, is Peru. With constantly amazing viewpoints and the ever famous Machu Picchu, Peru is worthy of top 10 status, just not quite top 5.

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Number 5: New York City

The city that never sleeps, the views that never stop. New York City is one of my favourite cities for photographing due to the chaos you find at every corner. From the amazing skyline (during the day and at night) to the people and all the way to the most amazing piece of green right in the middle of the city. New York takes 5th place.

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Number 4: Paris

Paris is a city people either love or hate. I absolutely love it and everything it has to offer. The architecture, the views and the diversity – Paris is a destination I’ve been to twice and a place I can’t wait to visit again. Coming in at number 4 is Paris.

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Number 3: Alberta

Canada has many amazing Instagramable destinations, but nothing compares to what Alberta has to offer. From endless stretches of farmland to snowy mountains – Alberta has it all. Alberta takes the 3rd spot.

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Number 2: Vietnam

While Asia has endless amounts of beauty, Vietnam certainly offers it all. Beautiful waters with limestone cliffs, rolling hills and incredibly busy streets. Coming in 2nd place is Vietnam.

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Number 1: Morocco 

I am yet to find a Country or City that comes close to what Morocco has to offer. The intricate details, phenomenal architecture, vast landscapes and the undeniable need to always have my camera on makes Morocco my top spot for Instagramable destinations.

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What destinations have you found to be most popular on your social feeds?

Nothing for free anymore…

Nothing for free anymore…

The cost of travel has never been cheap. However, now, more than ever, costs are continuing to rise and the quality of product continues to decline. Once upon a time (so I’ve been told), getting on a plane meant getting dressed in your finest clothing. You dressed like luxury and were treated that way as well. You were provided with a meal and drinks without another penny spent.

However, the last five years have seen nothing but a fast decline in what was once considered a luxury.

What is still included?

img_2270The short answer is, not much. You now pay for the following “extras” when flying:

  • Advanced seat selection
  • Any food or drink
  • The check a piece of luggage

Those are just the exclusions with the most popular mainstream airlines. If you get your ticket for even less you could even be paying to do something as small as print your ticket!

United Airlines

It was just last year that WestJet made the announcement that they would begin charging for any checked baggage people bring on domestic and transboarder. After this shocking announcement, Air Canada, followed suit – why wouldn’t they – that’s a lot of extra money for them each and every year. People are and not continue to not be impressed that bags are no longer included in their flight cost and you will not see either a lot more grumbling or, more commonly, a lot more carry-on bags cramming into overhead bins on aircrafts.

This is where United Airlines come in. Just a couple weeks ago United Airlines announced that they will soon be imposing a carry-on baggage fee for certain flights that are booked in their “lowest” category. Will the actual seat be different? No. Will the place on the plane be different? No. There will literally be no differences from A to B except for those in A will be paying to check both carry-on and checked luggage whereas B will get their carry-on included in their price.

Although United has not officially released how or when they plan on imposing this rule, I can guarantee there are going to be a lot of angry people that boycott United. However, I can also see many other airlines following suit.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/airlines/news/a24193/united-airlines-overhead-bins-fees/

Decline in Travel?img_1234

Travel is not going to stop because the costs are rising. People will find the money to make it work. However, it is unfortunate that something that was once treated as such a luxury
has now had so many of the offered ‘luxuries’ taken away. People will certainly still travel, I will certainly still travel, I just wish that the airlines would bring back the full experience that once was travel.

 

 

Putting Yourself Out THERE                      (On Social Media)

Putting Yourself Out THERE (On Social Media)

The rise of the internet and various social media platforms has made it both easier and also harder to put yourself out there. It sounds ominous, “out THERE”. In reality though, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Throwing yourself into the World Wide Web and into the hands of an unlimited number of people.

There are so many ways that social media can be used to benefit your life and (if you want) to expose yourself to the World. Social media has truly changed the ‘game’. Anything from selling products to dating is done online now. You can no longer simply show up at a business and hand in a resume – instead, your instructed to ‘apply online’. It could be looked at as MORE personal or LESS personal. It could be looked at as BENEFICIAL or SCARY. What it comes down to is that putting yourself out THERE has a whole new meaning due to the thing we call the Internet.

Let’s take a closer look into some of the biggest changes the Internet has provided us with in regards to putting yourself out THERE.

Sales

Everyone has someone on their social media accounts that’s selling something – “Independent so and so agent”. Whether it be clothing, jewelry, or makeup – I can guarantee that you have one if not many of those groups you’ve been added to.

I myself am guilty of jumping on the Independent Sales bandwagon after falling in love with a product (Jamberry nail wraps) I was introduced to through a Facebook group/party. 24607175514_47366c1884_hHowever, it is also something I have trouble with due to the fact that you really have to put yourself out into the web and try to interact with your friend list enough to sell a product. What is the right amount to post? What posts attract more attention? When am I getting to the point that too much is being posted and people are going to start blocking my content or unfriending me? Do I go as far as posting information on other groups on Facebook or just keep it to my individual group and whoever decides to see it, will see it. There is a lot of pressure with sales on Facebook (social media) and it takes a lot to be successful.

Sales are just one of the many ways that social media has made people put themselves out THERE, into the web, trying to make a living or at least some pocket money by interacting with people online.

Dating

Forget about the organics of meeting someone through friends or while out. Dating theseman-and-woman-1447956950jk0 days, like many other things, is primarily done online. This is an instance where you really have to put yourself out there. You need to make yourself vulnerable to not only the potential of finding someone, but realistically, vulnerable to many people. You don’t know who is on the other end of the conversation your having. On top of that, your also expected to make the conversation – through a few short messages, and figure out if your compatible. You need to put yourself out THERE to test the waters and see if you can find someone. It’s a crazy thought that this is the way it’s so often done now – yet, there are also so many great stories of people that have found love and a mate by simply posting a bit about yourself, sending a simple message – by putting yourself out into the web.

Jobs

Long gone are the days where you could simply drop off a resume and meet a manager when doing so. Now, your name is one of many that simply float within the walls of the application-buttonweb, waiting to be picked. If you don’t have the exact ‘key words’ they are looking for, your likely going to just stay a name floating along. Your first impression is now the words you manipulate and write, leaving your fate (most of the time) up to a computer to select you. Once you are selected you are then searched on the internet – as they try to find anything that can be dug up. If they can access your social media accounts, they will. LinkedIn is another popular site that is essentially providing the same information that your resume once did. The more connections you have, the more you put yourself out THERE, the more likely you are for success. Social media/internet has certainly influenced the way you find/get a job.

Sharing/Connection

Those ominous 10-year reunion stories that people once talked about after high school aren’t really necessary anymore. Most people (likely even those you weren’t friends with) 5169004822_1a373ab600_zhave a good idea of what you’ve been up to in the years past high school, thanks to social media. When you really think about it, you put yourself out there every day on social media. Letting people that you barley know into your life on a daily basis. It could be someone you’ve only met once, yet, you see them again and they know that you just returned from Mexico or that you have a dog named Molly. It’s crazy how much you allow yourself to be out THERE, in the web, on social media – every single day.

 

What other ways do you feel we put ourselves out there now because of the Internet/Social Media?

ADDICTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA

ADDICTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA

I just found myself, while at a funeral, taking out my phone to check my Instagram. That’s right, I’m ashamed to say, I’m one of those people. The people that have their phones attached to their hands at every living moment. How did we get this far gone? Are people obsessed with social media? Am I obsessed with social media?

I think it’s a pretty short and clear answer, yes.

This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about writing about this topic, I truly think that so many people (myself included), have become obsessed with cell phones and the social 20009412344_928488a49d_bmedia apps that are on them. However, despite my self-awareness of this problem – today, I still found myself on my phone during the funeral. It’s horrible and I’m ashamed of it but I’m not sure how to make my use less or to take a step back. It’s something that’s been a part of my life for so many years now.

I may not have grown up with computers and internet, however, since high school it has been a very prevalent part of my life. It’s looking at Facebook on my computer then picking up my phone and looking at the EXACT SAME THING. Nothing has changed in the two seconds I’ve looked down from my computer. How is it possible that I feel the need to look again? Even right now, while writing this article, I literally just checked my Facebook. WHY! How is it possible that even while writing about how much I dislike this part of myself, I go and do the exact same thing I’m putting down. It’s an addiction.

Social Media Tainting Productivity

What about productivity? Yes, a lot of work places have blocked sites like Facebook from being viewed. However, my work is not one of them and I can tell you – I’m on Facebook a lot, Pinterest a decent amount and Twitter quite often. We are encouraged to use social media to promote ourselves and the product we sell (though, travel tends to sell itself), I use it more to pass the time.

Stopping the Social Media Obsessed

How do we stop the obsession? How do we take a step back from something that is almost ingrained, that we (I) unconsciously do? I’ve taken some small steps already while out with friends. We’ve created a rule that while we are at the restaurant, cell phones are put away. If someone takes out their phone – they pay the bill. It’s as simple as that. It’s an 6930725572_db21ccf1f2_bincredibly effective method and something we do often. It forces us to have more meaningful conversations and to not get distracted by something we don’t need to be seeing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc). It doesn’t make sense as to why you need to have a connection with the internet World while you have some of the closest people in your life already in front of you. I only wish that we didn’t have to make this rule, that we just simply did it while together…

My goals for social media:

  • Use it to promote myself more – get people on my social media channels to book their vacations with me. I know they are going, why not get them to book it through me? Find a way to show people that booking through a travel agent (me), is not only smarter but also the same price (maybe even less!).
  • Live more in the NOW. Have more dinners without my phone distracting me, hang out with friends and watch a movie without picking up my phone. Leave my phone in a drawer for a couple hours every evening.
  • Continue to be aware that this a problem and fight to not look. Could I look at Instagram right now? Yes. Will I? No. I have to stop myself at some point and I’m choosing now.

Let me end this by pointing out that by no means am I saying that I don’t think social media is a great thing – because I do. I think it has helped people connect and stay connected with people they might not have otherwise, you can keep tabs on family that you maybe only get to see a couple times a year and it’s also a wonderful place for people of all different walks of life to connect and share stories and ideas. Social Media is a powerful, beautiful part of life – all I’m saying is I’d like it to be something I look at in that way more often than something that I unconsciously use every other minute. I don’t want to be the girl that looks at her phone (for no reason) during a funeral.

Take a look at this series that the artist Eric Pickersgill did called REMOVED.SOCIAL (http://www.removed.social). It has a real impact on me and how I view myself/society in regards to social media. How did it make you feel?

 

Traveling The World Through Social Media

Traveling The World Through Social Media

What do you associate with the word travel?

Is there a vibrant picture that appears in your mind?11178216_10153261758553536_7114650584479635181_n

Is there a smell that instantly reminds you of a past trip or the hope of a future one?

Is there a quote that embodies everything travel is to you?

Is there a feeling, deep within you, that excites and ignites when you think of travel?

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Travel Is…

bogota2For me, it’s the butterflies that appear when I think of a new destination. The sheer happiness that occurs when I think of my past adventures. It’s the photos and mementos that I’ve collected along the way, that upon seeing, spark amazing memories. Travel is an integral part of who I am and is an incredibly prominent and important part of my life.

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As an avid reader, there is one quote that always comes to mind and brings two important parts of my being, together.

“The World is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page”  -St. Augustine

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Travel Through Social Media

With all this being said, I am so happy that social media exists and is able to provide so many people with access to the World. At the very least, a way to be introduced to the beauty that exists all over the World and the adventures that await you.

For me, social media is always giving me new ideas of places to visit. I would have never known that a festival exists in Spain where, once a year, you can have a food fight in the street with tomatoes (La Tomatina Festival).  Now, because of social media, it’s on the top of my bucket list for this year! Without travel bloggers to follow and get ideas from, I would have never realized the beauty of Morocco. It wasn’t on my list of places to see, but due to a picture I stumbled upon on Instagram and a #hashtag I followed, I found myself (figuratively at first and literally a few months later) in Morocco – one of the most stunning places I’ve ever visited.

Comment below and let me know what you associate with the word travel.  What does travel mean to you? Have you ever been influenced to visit a new place because of something you’ve seen on social media?

‘Getting Away With Murder’ Through Social Media

‘Getting Away With Murder’ Through Social Media

Let me start by saying, I’m not even sure how I feel about this topic. man-with-questionsHowever, that’s exactly why I feel the need to discuss it – is there a right or wrong answer? Is it something that can be decided on in a black and white manner or is there too much gray (or red) floating around.

Using Social Media To YOUR Advantage

What I’m bringing forward today is the discussion of how social media has been used time and time again to break the rules or, in other words, to ‘get away with murder‘. It’s alarming how many examples come to mind of stories I’ve seen plastered all over Facebook of someone being “wronged” by a company and in the end – even if THEY were the one at fault – were compensated in some way.

Going Viral: Single Dad Denied Prize From Oilers 50/50 Draw

Black and white or too much gray? Social media is allowing rules to be broken due to a simple click of a button. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand the convenience of taking to social media to complain about a company that has wronged you. However, when we start looking at cases where, in reality, the consumer is at fault, should they really still be getting away with it?

Let’s talk about a recent story that has been shared many times on Facebook. A man (single dad) was denied his half of the 50/50 draw from the Oilers game (there is only a 48 hour grace period to claim the prize) because he was past the deadline.

505ticketthumb

 

The story ended up with a happy ending and the man received the prize. The Oilers stated that it was a “one time exception”. However, is this really the case? Many viral stories end up with a happy ending and the person receiving compensation – regardless of them being at fault. Do you really think that if this was to happen again (let’s say to a sweet older couple), that they wouldn’t make the same exception? Is this consumers ‘getting away with murder’ because of the power of social media? Or, can we counter this and show what great marketing this is for the Oilers foundation – for giving this single dad the money, despite the rules? Is this a win/win or is this a bigger problem within social media?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-oilers-50-50-draw-raffle-hockey-fan-winner-1.3819070

http://globalnews.ca/news/3029289/oilers-foundation-makes-one-time-exception-gives-67k-5050-raffle-prize-to-single-dad/

A few other examples of people ‘getting away with murder’ despite them being at fault themselves:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/passenger-refused-flight-over-missing-letter-on-airline-ticket-1.2891783

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/nearly-expired-passport-ruins-italian-vacation-for-ontario-couple-1.2364440

Black And White Or Red? Is There A Point To Rules?

Okay, dramatic, I know. Of course there is a point to rules – the majority of people won’t reach out to every level of social media when they are ‘wronged’. However, there are stories going viral, daily, pushing the regulations and rules because of social media. Break the rulesIs it in the companies best interest to give in and try to play the hero by compensating the consumer, despite fault. Or, is this just setting way too much precedence?

Are my thoughts an over reaction? Is this even an issue? Is my white and black brain just off-put by the large amount of grey matter that floats around this issue? This is the 21st century and having a voice and (easily) spreading it is just a part of every day life now. Why does it matter if the single dad gets his prize (who wouldn’t want him to – that’s a life changer for him and his son!)? Should a person get to fly even though their name was incorrect on their plane ticket (at their own fault), despite the rules? This one doesn’t pull at your heartstrings as much, but the same question is there. Why aren’t rules simply rules now that social media is involved? When do companies say no? Can they even allow themselves to now that social media has the potential to make them look bad with a quick share or retweet.