How to Fake Your Exotic Vacation in 42 Steps


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How she photoshopped herself with a Cambodian girl.
How she photoshopped herself with a Cambodian girl.

With social media and technology being so deeply integrated into our lives, so much of what we see is curated. How many times have you taken that selfie to get it “just right” before posting?

This happens a lot in the blogosphere as well. Us bloggers post pictures of luxury hotels, airport lounges and first class seats, however we rarely talk about the tougher aspects of travel.

What if it was all made up. What if I wrote a hotel review and never stayed in that hotel or posted a review of an airline product which I never flew?

One Dutch student did something similar. Zilla van den Born faked an entire 42 day Asian backpacking trip. She did it to show others just how much our social media image can be faked.

Amazing Thailand!
Amazing Thailand!

During the experiment she ate at local Asian restaurants, took photos snorkeling in her own swimming pool and decorated her apartment like a hotel room for Skype conversations, but said she was in Asia. Everyone including her family was fooled.

The Daily Mail has a great article with all of the photos that she posted to social media. Her effort was more than impressive. I can honestly tell you that I probably would have been fooled as well.

This story is an intriguing reminder that we can’t rely solely on what we see online or what we see from others. We only share with the world what we want to and often the image we portray is nothing like reality.

While this phenomenon happens in the real world as well, technology and social media allows people to take it to new levels. I am glad that Zilla did this experiment and shared it with the world. At the very least it makes me think twice about what I share and what I read.

How about you? What do you think of Zilla’s project? Let me know in the comments!

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