One minute you’ll be sitting in your office cubicle and the next you’ll be teleported to the tranquil Hampta Pass in the Himalayas. No, we’re not talking about some crazy science fiction film. This can be done for you by some hugely popular “Insta travelers” or travel bloggers on Instagram. During these troubled times when actual travel is difficult, her Instagram pages have received millions of hits. Thanks to them, the most beautiful seaside resorts, nature reserves and beautiful mountain stations are just a click away.
For example, Akshaya S.’s Instagram page, “The Careless Indian Traveler”, is full of travel stories from Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Spain and other countries. “I had no skills at all,” she says. “My father gave me a camera four years ago. But I didn’t know how to use it so I left it at home and went to Singapore to do my Masters. After that, my best friend taught me some of his basics and I was ready to go. “The 28-year-old is an engineer on weekdays and a hiker on weekends. He is extremely independent and prone to budget travel. “I was very careful to travel with my own money and not be dependent on my parents,” she says. “So I look at cheap bus or plane tickets, take my camera and just take off.”
Abhimanyu Dalal, 25, uses photography skills to bring his page to life. “You can click some amazing photos on your phone,” he says. “You just have to know how to do it right.” His Instagram page “Outside My Rucksack” has over 25,000 followers. For him, travel was initially a form of escape. “As a kid, I never traveled a lot, but in my final engineering year I was in a bad place and wanted a break,” he says. “It was a trip to the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh that changed my life.” The travel mistake bit him so hard that he spent all of his savings buying trekking equipment.
One of the highlights of his account is the 15-second rolls that he can handle with good-humored music. From crossing the river in Kheerganga to enjoying the meadows near Bhrigu Lake in Himachal Pradesh to visiting the highest post office in the world in Hikkim, his short videos are fascinating. “The first photo that exploded on social media was one from my hike to Kedarkantha, Uttarakhand. I was tired and dehydrated, but that caught the attention of many. The Instagram page was originally my personal account before I changed it to “Outside My Backpack” in 2018, “he says. “People may not remember my name, but they remember a good Instagram page.”
Samuel Soundararaj agrees. “A good photo always has an impact on the viewer,” he says. His Instagram page “Window Into My Vision” is a treat for all nature lovers. He began his journey 17 years ago with his grandfather’s old Yashica film camera. “I was about eleven then and we went on an annual family outing. I used to watch my dad take a lot of photos and I ended up taking them, ”he says. Today Samuel is a businessman and lives in Kotagiri – the third largest mountain station in the Nilgiris. He says he does a lot of business travel, trying every time to push himself in time to explore non-touristy places. “I want to introduce people, including locals, to places that you can visit and things to do on short and long trips,” he says.
However, travel blogging and photography are not all fun and easy. Every traveler has to face his own devil. For Akshaya, the main challenge is to be a woman. She was frequently exposed to sexism and racism on international trips. “Some people think that just because you are brown and have black hair you are uncultivated and poor,” she says. Samuel, on the other hand, has to deal with the language barrier. “I only speak English and Tamil, and sometimes that’s not enough to fully experience a place and its people,” he says. “I also have asthma and traveling alone can sometimes be risky. But I’ve trained myself to be careful over the years. “
All three are sure of one thing: They want to make the travel experience as authentic as possible for their viewers. “We work on capturing the beauty of a place in such a way that the viewer receives its essence,” says Samuel. After all, our desire to travel is not selfish; It lies deep in the human psyche and goes back to the time when nomadic tribes explored the world for new resources.