This Week in Travel (Issue No. 3)

With the continued rise of Instagram, there is a whole slew of social-media savvy travelers relentlessly seeking the next photogenic destination, inspired solely by the places they have seen on their favourite travel bloggers’ feeds. More so than ever, tourism is being fueled by Instagram and its’ many influencers (yes, those with the dream job!), who inspire travelers to flock to iconic, sought after locations. They are all waiting for the perfect opportunity to capture a similarly crafted shot, and it continues to change the way we travelClaims of copycats emerge around the globe, and although some believe this to be strictly a publicity stunt, one will never know for sure.

“Mornings in Marrakech-calls for breakfast in the pool”. Photo courtesy Lauren Bullen via @gypsea_lust

And although social media has opened up the way we share our experiences and inspired us all to be our own creators and photographers, it has also limited the way we interact and explore our surroundings. The truth of it is, many new travelers are now discovering the world through a lens and with a forged itinerary. We have trained ourselves to judge moments based on whether or not it’s shareable. I’d even go so far as to question; do we no longer desire to discover the world with true spontaneity and mindfulness? It often seems as if we rather search for destinations to replicate experiences or even worse, we are driven away from overexposure to technology and remove ourselves from them entirely. But if anything, these influencers have inspired us to travel to those far off dreamt of destinations—and that counts for something. Let’s be brutally honest, we have all participated in the popular hunt, scouring for the perfect spot, to take a selfie or action shot. And we, like most Instagram addicts, wait in anticipation for those “likes”.

Florence, Italy. Photo from the Kosan Archives. 

Alas, we can be as sentimental as we want but technology will continue to forge ahead. National Geographic shares the 10 travel apps you need to know for your next trip helping travellers with everything from flight planning to hotel searching and curated resources for the pet owner or foodie. Just when we thought we might take pleasure in less screen time, there’s a new convenient app to rescue us from our travel woes. Yes, our app collection continues to grow, and just like with pills, it seems there is an app for just about anything. Which admittedly, isn’t such a bad thing.

One uplifting and personal journey from Peter Kujawinski, Postcard From My Past: Crossing into Syria, left a lasting impression and is definitely worth the read! Once again, this memoir drives home that even when travelling solo, there are individuals willing to help a newfound friend out (especially when Fig Newton’s are being offered!). It is through these experiences on our travels that we build understanding, expand perspectives and find that there are more similarities than differences between human beings.

The Citadel in Aleppo, prior to the Civil War. Photo courtesy Salah Malawi for The New York Times. 

If you viewed the news as of late, it is evident, at least to us, that we as individuals can make a substantial impact when uniting together. Protests from around the world have ignited and the impact of it is echoing the true underlying theme here, solidarity. Individuals band together, merging their differences and stand up for a common purpose. Hope, positivity and a deep sense of connection are felt from the rally against Trump at U.S. consulate in Toronto. United our voice counts! Everyone has a place in this world and it is through travel that we have the opportunity to remove our prejudices. Justin Trudeau says it well tweeting, “Diversity is our strength”. And it truly is!

And if Trump’s executive order on immigration has signified anything, it would be that unity in America and across the world has never been stronger. Airbnb is working with partners around the world to help refugees and those who may have been affected by the travel ban. Here’s how you can help.


Kosan Tip of the Week:

Challenge yourself to open your mind to discovery, search for the hidden adventure that awaits you and free yourself from prejudices holding your better self at arrest.


Quote of the week:

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
-Henry David Thoreau


Happy Travels!

The Kosan Team