Ferris, you’re on to something.

Imagine this: You’re at one of 25 wonders of the world emersed in nature’s thermal bath surrounded by ethereal views, watching the sun rise and with it — selfie sticks. Everywhere you look, you’re in the fucking twilight zone of social media.

When I was in Iceland, I had to wonder, is it still possible to stray from the idea that life is a perfectly curated photo collage? I know it’s not. I’ve seen it wild and off the beaten path. Some of the best times I’ve ever had traveling were when the character of the cafes and boutiques led me to wander down a street, not because a blogger told me to.

I’ve always tried to explore with a journal and my 35mm camera. Mostly, I just enjoy shooting with analog film because it forces me to be in that one place in time. It’s crucial to take it all in and snap off one precious shot. Sometimes, I’m rewarded when they develop crisp and clear, while other times I only have memory to remind me of the beauty I saw. I have to use smell, taste and breathe still using all of my senses to capture that moment in my mind. That’s what my fondest memories are made of. Not hundreds of photos in my iPhone that I’ll probably never look back at.

I’ve found that in worrying all your time into how good you look in your bikini or making sure you get just the right angle of your dinner, all from behind the screen, you’re actually taking away from your own adventure of submersing yourself in the warm, silky water, feeling the sun touch your skin or savoring each bite. Just being.

It’s incredibly convenient in the digital age to constantly “share” and on some level, that’s really amazing. We are able to communicate faster and easier than ever with our friends and family, letting them take a little part in our time away from them. My partner always tells me, “The best camera is the one you have on you.” I do agree. I also feel it’s equally important to ask yourself sometimes if it’s gotten to the point where we’re now unable to have an experience without documenting it, in order to say we had one? There’s a time and place for everything, maybe an incredible meal at a top-notch restaurant or a meditative place in nature isn’t it. Ferris Bueler had a pretty valid point when he said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” Maybe in this case, just look up.

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