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Life in the UK, Thoughts, Travel tales

Bibury, and the Reality Behind the Picture-Perfect Beauty

One of the perks of living in this digital era is the ease of travel planning. You can type in a place, and plenty of results will paint you a clear picture (to a certain degree) of that place. That’s how I found out about Bibury, and, at that time, its charms.

For a long time, I’d always been enchanted with this picture of Bibury in the fall. The row of English cottages, set against the picturesque fall foliage. And that’s how I was lured into putting Bibury on the list.

There are places that will blow your mind the second you step foot on it, as it’s better than the images you’ve seen. Bibury, unfortunately, was the opposite. It broke the illusion of this picturesque, quaint English village that I’d had in mind.

Arlington Row, the spot where these quintessential images take place, was far from idyllic. And to my disappointment, it proved to be more like a touristic cliche. Upon arriving at this place, I saw the street was lined with tour buses and cars, and people were milling around with their selfie sticks held high. I’m not a fan of crowded places, but I can cope with that most of the time. This time, my temper was short thanks to the loud and obtrusive tourists, who were fighting for strategic spots to capture this illusion of a tranquil village.

I had to wait for eternity to get a few seconds of clear space, during which I’d click the shutter furiously. The results were the images above.

A few days ago, Sharon talked about how Instagram had changed the way people travel or live. We’re too focused on choosing ‘instagrammable’ images, rather than looking for experiences and stories for ourselves. Each to their own, I guess. But this makes me wonder, if there were no social media and platforms for people to showcase their travel photos, would they still travel just for the sake of the experience?

Anyway. We stayed there only for an hour, as we were keen to go away from all the madness. I walked away with the smallest number of photos compared to any other towns/villages we visited during that weekend, which shows how unremarkable a place was to me. The place itself was beautiful, but the experience was unpleasant.

I guess this is also a reminder for me, that not every beautiful and seemingly idyllic images on social media is exactly like that in reality. For all I know, there could be 20 people behind every beautiful picture, fighting to keep each other out of their way so they could take some nice pictures to post on Instagram.

Oh, the joy of living in the digital age.

What do you think of this ‘Instagram culture’? I’d love to know!

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8 Comments

  • Reply Justin Larissa

    Aku sebut ini traveling duniawi Mba Dixie, hanya datang, kejar foto bagus bodo amat mau ganggu orang atau gak, yang penting foto, check in, bubar. Duniawi banget lah pokoknya hahaha

    October 16, 2017 at 4:25 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Haha iya betul deskripsinya seperti itu. Aku bertanya2 aja mereka sebenernya menikmati ga sih traveling seperti itu? Apakah mereka juga ngejer dapet pengalaman selain dapet foto bagus? Ga ada yang tau ya kecuali mereka :)

      October 21, 2017 at 12:27 am
  • Reply Wati

    Hello Dixie, I came across your blog and this particular post made me leave a comment. I enjoy reading your blog. May I introduce myself? I am Wati, and Indonesian who works and lives in Sweden. I do not have fb/instagram/twitter by choice. I travel a lot in Sweden and abroad. I am the one who is taking pictures in the family because I love doing it. I do share my pictures but only with family and close friends through WhatsApp or e-mails. I enjoy travel and share the experience with my loved ones. And it is enough for me.

    October 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Hi Wati, thank you for taking the time to read this and comment. Glad to know you enjoy reading my blog :)

      I’m impressed with your choice to not have FB/IG/Twitter. It’s very rare to find people like you. I certainly still use those social media, and sometimes I feel the fear of missing out is real. It’s really addictive and I’m trying to use it less, it’s still a struggle but I’m working on it. However, I draw a line when it comes to traveling. Traveling is the time that I want to savor every moment and not get distracted with social media. I take photos, but I share it way later when I’m back from vacation. Good for you, taking photos and sharing the experience because you enjoy it and not because you want to show something on social media. Experience and memories with the loved ones are the most important things, indeed :)

      October 21, 2017 at 12:33 am
  • Reply Prisanti

    Aku generasi tak peduli, Dix! Haha. My friend once told me, I need to share more on social media because despite how active I am on the platform, I’ve been sharing almost… nothing. I’ve been busy enjoying life/city/event that I almost have no time/forget to take pictures. Things that I always regret most of the time because I might not have any reminder of the experience except the one in my memory. I think it’s the opposite of what everyone has been thinking, I always think memory can be bent and when the time comes, I have nothing to be reminded of. I think balancing the thoughts of wanting to show something to people and keeping memories for ourselves, is a precious one. Because it’s always the thoughts that eats us inside.

    October 20, 2017 at 7:20 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Ah Cup, aku bayangin pasti damai banget ya kalo ga peduli. Your friend isn’t necessarily right I think, every person is different and if you enjoy the moment and don’t feel like you need to take/share photos, why should you? There were times where I was too busy to make memories (be it taking photos or writing things down), and I regret that I don’t have a memento of those times. So now I’m taking photos, for me more than anyone. I agree with you, we definitely need the balance.

      October 21, 2017 at 12:38 am
  • Reply Fanny Fristhika Nila

    Duuuh, akupun sebel setengah mati kalo nemu tempat yg aku harapin bagus, tp ternyata crowded banget ama orang2. Lgs ilfil, pgn cepet balik, fan udh ga peduli ama foto2 :p. Pada dasarnya aku memang ga terlalu ngoyo utk update IG ato medsos dengan foto2 pas traveling mba. Buatku, yg ptg nikmaatin dulu, baru kemudian ambil foto. Itupun cukup beberapa, yg ptg ada bukti I’ve been there hahahaha..

    October 30, 2017 at 8:30 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Iyaa samaaa, ilfeel kalo tempatnya rame ya. Rasanya pengen cepet2 cabut. Aku ambil foto buat kenang2an sendiri dan buat share di blog, itupun jarang banget jepret diri sendiri atau selfie. Miris aja liatnya kalo ada yang lebih ngoyo posting di medsos ketimbang nikmatin pengalamannya. Yah tapi selama orangnya happy yaudah lah yaa. Cuma kadang gemes aja liatnya :D

      October 31, 2017 at 9:19 pm

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