I confess, I’m a serial travel researcher. I’m a little ashamed to admit the amount of hours I spend scouring the Internet, books and magazines. Always trying to discover new places, new things to see and adding more and more to the never-ending bucket list. Though is too much research a bad thing? Can it ruin your first impression on a place or site.
For example – I leave for my month long trip around Turkey in just four days. Excited is the biggest understatement of the century and I have a notes scribbled everywhere with names of towns, sights, restaurants that I have to visit. My Pinterest page is flooded with crystal clear images of Turkey and I’ve been on liking frenzies on whoever posts Turkey pictures on Instagram. I have put Turkey up on the highest pedestal possible and now I am worried it won’t live up to my expectation.
With websites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube, it’s virtually possible to discover a country from the safety of your home. You can discover the delights and beauty from the flawless photography, the world class cinematography and the countless blogs telling tales of of adventures to be had. While access to all this information is wonderful and broadens ones mind. It can create a false image, which can disappoint when seen in real life.
I’ve fallen prey to the illusion of these websites, and have been slightly underwhelmed by certain places. Earlier this year on my road trip through Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia we stopped at Plitvice Lakes, where the crystal clear water is world famous. I’d seen photos and was excited to see the unbelievably clarity and colour of the water in reality. I was somewhat disappointed when the water wasn’t as sparkly as the photos suggested, and the magic that the Internet has conjured, simply wasn’t there.
By no means was Plitvice Lakes a waste of time. No, it was an incredible National Park. The water was crystal clear and the nature was indeed beautiful, but I had worked up such an image in my head that when faced with reality, I was left wanting more..
Likewise with the Aureora Burealis in Norway. I had hopes of vividly lit skies filled with flashes of purples, blues and greens. My hopes were dashed, when we were told most of these colours came out through a camera, and to the naked eye were rare to see.
So while Pinterest and travel websites are great for ideas and inspiration, they are also great at creating false hope. Unfortunately Photoshop just doesn’t work in real life. And if you’re anything like me and has an imagination that likes to run free, then maybe kicking it old school and putting myself out there blindly is the best way to go.
For now, I’m putting Turkey a bit lower on the pedestal, this is one country I’ve looked forward to visiting for a long, long time and I’m not going to let the Internet ruin my experience.
From the girl who is going cold turkey on researching Turkey.