Indians are Traveling for Instagram & Not for Themselves!
Traveling from one corner to the other in India has taught me clearly that, “Indians are traveling for their Instagram Stories”.
I have traveled for 9000kms (5500 miles) in July-Aug from Kanyakumari (southern tip of India) to Ladakh (northern India) and found the base mentality (of most of the Indians) on travel.
In short — They are traveling to spend what they have earned and to show that on Instagram (recently YouTube).
For better clarity — let me take you 5-years back to meet a witty Aussie stranger (say Dave) and the experience I got with him on Travelling.
5-years ago, when I was traveling to Kerala for a chess tournament, I met an Australian traveler in my opposite seat on the train (unreserved segment). Before my eyes caught him — he waved a “hi.” That brought an urge in me to talk to him. Trust me, though the population is second highest, you won’t find a single soul happily looking at you for a conversation with you that easy.
I continued the conversation and got to know his native and his idea of traveling, and how his country is encouraging such attitude for better mental health (12 months of work and a month of paid leave to enjoy their life).
He said — “I travel to forget myself and to see myself in a 3rd person’s POV, which is possible only through meeting many new people in new places”. His idea is simple — if you could see yourself from a distance, many troubles to your eyes will look like a tiny pebble, and the solutions to it will be a piece of cake.
I didn’t get that point clearly at that time as I was a freedom deficit in my life (a common problem for every middle-class + pampered kid of their house). Now, I have traveled for 15000kms (since January 2021) and got to remember what that Australian said after meeting many people (especially travelers) from different parts of India.
He (Dave) went to Kochi (Kerala, India) for 2-days and headed to Thrissur for another exploration. Kochi is a port city known for exports (esp. wooden furniture & Beef — majorly to gulf countries). On his Kochi days, he lived the life of a Kochi fisherman.
He got up as early as them (2 AM), made friends with a boat, and went fishing with them. They returned by 7 AM, capturing some regular fishes with a few exotic seaweeds and prawns. Later, with what they got, they turned every bit of it into money by selling the routines to the locals, having some in hand as their food, exchanging the exotic ones for profit, and some strategies of fishing & selling.
When he explained this, I didn’t get impressed, as this is what everyone does, and I frankly asked what’s so special about it?
He then revealed the gem he found. It’s not a piece of stone that would get him a Bentley but an idea that would make his ass shine like one to get a few Bentleys by being a good marketing strategist.
Dave said — I asked them (fishermen) why did you take me along? And took me through all your strategies; I’m a stranger, I could’ve brought you trouble, or I might later. The fishermen replied, you (Dave) seem to be of no threats to us, and you approached like one among us. So, we thought, “it would be good company and fun for some time with an outsider in our routine.”
He (Dave) then dissected what had happened. Dave caught their attention (being unique in a crowd). He was approachable; of no threats, they are gaining a profit, and most importantly — he initiated the talk. So, bingo! If I had applied the exact strategy, I might get a boost in my business (which he’s struggling to sort out lately).
After hearing this, I was like — “WOW” and thought to travel like this later in life. But it took me 5-years and 15000kms to remember my initial idea of traveling. Because I started this blog to be about “Traveling Idea for Indians doing Ladakh Ride.”
After I started writing, I thought about everything I came across and realized our mistakes.
To-be-frank, all the Indians travel for their Instagram account (YouTube is in the 2nd position). To simplify — “How the traveling differentiated from its purpose among Indians?” I like to take you through a day of our group in our ride.
We would start our ride from one place, take our break in bakeries and hotels, visit the already known tourist places, take photos & videos, get to the room, and crash for the night. Even in those places, we barely had any interactions with the people in those places.
Instead of losing ourselves, we stick to who we were from the beginning — from dress, lifestyle, food, and to the clock & thoughts. We spent what we have earned our ass off in another location and showed it off on Instagram. We gained memories, but it was also with people of our thoughts in a different spot.
Not just for this ride, but for every travel we do. Instead of traveling for ourselves, we are traveling for others.
Traveling is a trending mindset among everyone irrespective of time and date, But that is severely misunderstood right from teenage. To a better case, it is like a break for some people from their routine (like a weekend).
Instead of What? & Where do they spend? It should get addressed among teenagers for better-traveling ideas and to create memories with better quality.