In the past few years, I’ve been using a lot of travel videos on YouTube to find out which destination I’m going to . I research from how to get to the destination, to gastro tips and tours to do and which to avoid. I have fun with the situations spent by youtubers and I get a good idea of the destination, which is actually too explicit.
Do you remember that emotion of seeing a different airport for the first time, with faces you don’t know, incomprehensible words and where your vision is impacted by unprecedented colors and shapes?
So it’s over.
Of course, seeing it live is different, but it gives that Deja Vu feeling. You’ve seen this airport on a travel vlog before, you’ve seen the instagram dishes of a hipster restaurant by a hipster youtuber, you’ve seen the street food exhausted by gastronomic bloggers. I’m a huge fan of the late Anthony Bourdain and Mark Wiens, but you know what’s worse? The expectation.
And it never corresponds to reality. The dish they ate looks much more wonderful than it really is. Where’s those butterflyes on your stomach of not knowing where the way to the city is? Where’s that feeling of unique discovery when tasting a cheap and wonderful dish of street food, if now even street vendors are now big stars and famous for travel videos? Do not get me wrong. I’m not criticizing travel bloggers and youtubers, even though I’m a voracious consumer. I think the quality of images and descriptions are excellent, given the new technological resources where, with a cool camera and a powerful drone, and a person with good charisma and much more spontaneous than traditional TV programs
I remember before there was YouTube, before there was Instagram, i used to flip the pages of travel magazines and made me dream of the destination. In words, we imagine a thousand things. When we finally know the destination, we can have good and bad surprises, enchantment and disappointment, but with our eyes.
Before, we used to write in our moleskines a list with the points to visit and went on a semi-unknown journey. Along the way, we got lost, we found a better one, we made a different script. And the delight of discovering a unique design store? To find a charming little restaurant with divine food? Your discovery, only yours?
Now, as much as we try to take different paths, we end up going in the recommended places, for safety or even laziness. We ate the dish that as described by YouTuber is delicious and we still do the same reviews on our Instagram.
The hard part is to get rid of this addiction: how to stop watching these videos before traveling? On this New Year’s trip to Miami, I confess that I saw all the videos. I found out how to get to South Beach by bus, which are the trendy restaurants, the newest hot spots, the best shopping. No surprises, for the good or the bad.
One 2020 goal: go to a destination and just look in old travel magazines. Even if the information is outdated, it may be better to stir the imagination than cut its wings.
Maybe we will get lost at some terrible restaurant and have a huge diarrhea. But hey, that´s life. Not Instagram.