Travel influencers seem to have it all under control. Every outfit (even on the plane) is trendy, and every meal you eat on vacation is loaded with fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables. Sometimes it can even seem disturbing how some people’s escapism seems to be based on a record set.
Right now that travel aesthetics It’s an important part of vacation planning. Agreed Vogue:, Generation Z appeals boards – Inspirational memory collections, such as on platforms like Pinterest, filled with images of perfect destinations on social networks and their travels based on them.
However, while there are many beautiful places in the world to travel to, the flood of seemingly perfect travel images “Aesthetic tourism” can lead to disappointment.
And study has been released Stylist have shown that social networks they may contribute to women comparing themselves to other women more than before. The “comparison culture,” as Stylist calls it, can get to us very quickly when we see perfect vacation photos and think ours are boring by comparison, even if they aren’t.
Earlier this month, an American writer shared a viral article complaining about how much he hates learning. Florence. “I came to despise the views, I hated the people and I couldn’t wait to go home,” he wrote. Stasia Datskovska.
The problem? Your stay inside Italy Did not meet your expectations sweet life “Fun dinners with my roommates, summer adventures with people who called me ‘pretty,’ ice cream that warmed through my fingers and natural wine paired effortlessly with good conversation and even better Serrano ham.” Compared to that, real life, even in a place as beautiful as Florence, is unlikely to disappoint.
Let’s talk about “travel aesthetics”. You may not recognize the term, but you definitely know what it is. If we close our eyes and think Japan and surely a landscape of cherry blossoms and cathedrals will come to mind, or perhaps a futuristic scene with neon lights. if we think about it GreeceWe probably imagine an island full of white houses covered with bougainvillea, probably like a hotel Oh, mother. if we think about it Pariswe probably imagine a very picturesque cobblestone street with a view of the Eiffel Tower.
But it is important to note that None of these imaginary scenes actually exist. Son fantasies or unique compositions of country or city “aesthetics”. that over the years television, movies, magazines, travel guides, and above all social networks instilled in us.
In TikTok, #travelaesthetic has more than 66 million visits. #londonaesthetic has 47 million views and #japanaesthetic has 91 million views. In Instagram:, there are almost 48,000 “travel aesthetic” tags, in addition to thousands of specific locations such as Paris (48,000 more), London (89,000) or Japan (76,000). When you start looking, the travel aesthetic is everywhere.
Why is it a problem? There is more to see than Stacia Datskowska’s experience in Florence. If we travel with a head full of aesthetics, we take a risk suffering from TikTok-era Paris syndrome; a real phenomenon where travelers visiting the French capital are so disillusioned with the reality of the city that they end up having serious mental breakdowns.
Or rage around another Italian city. Milan. Inspired by TikTok to embrace the Milanese aesthetic as a city of spectacular style, with a haute couture boutique or Gothic cathedral around every corner, Many recent visitors were deeply disappointed by the post-industrial metropolis that they found instead.
The fact is, if you go to a place looking for a particular aesthetic, you run the risk of being very disappointed. And in a final twist, that disappointment to this may be added the number of people who are also there for the same reason. If the most beautiful places in the city are crowded with tourists trying to take the perfect picture for TikTok, no one will achieve their goal.
But that’s not the only problem. By nature, the aesthetics of travel it turns a whole complex destiny into a series of clichés and stereotypes. Often this means reducing culture to its most basic, sometimes racist and xenophobic caricatures.
In the age of visual social media, it’s a trend that’s grown dramatically in recent times, in part due to: “set-jetting” where people visit somewhere based on TV shows or movies like cute clichés Emily in Paris.
Moreover, when culture is seen as primarily visual rather than a complex and primarily human aesthetic. it can be a short step to something far more damaging. Arguably, when a place is decontextualized and derealized, its inhabitants are more likely to be stereotyped and dehumanized.
And while it’s always been true that no culture can be effectively summed up in a single image, social media is changing the game. Competing for seconds’ attention, simplification became even more reductive.
All this is bad. But it’s also very tempting. Who wouldn’t want to be the ultimate traveler, wandering through enchanting (if oddly uncrowded) environments with a bit more depth than a movie set?
Nevertheless, can – and should – struggle against the appeal of aesthetics. Ideally, we will travel to many underrated destinations in the world; places that need more travelers, not less.
But if we want to cross those places off our list, there are always more interesting reasons to visit than visual clichés and aesthetic weight. Above all, we must remember this we deal with real culture and real people and that, as in our country of origin, it’s always more complicated than it looks on Instagram.