Social media vs Real life

Vera Staha, Nuuksio National Park, Espoo, Finland

Social media became an important part of our life. People are sharing their best moments with the world. Beautiful clothes, luxury bags, expensive cars, exotic resorts, Michelin restaurant’s masterpieces on a plate, etc. Looking at these photos you might get an impression that bloggers have it all. But I think in most of the cases Instagram feed is not a reflection of the reality but rather an illusion of a perfect life. A pretty decoration, if you will.

It doesn’t mean that photos are not real, no, I’m just saying that Instagram pictures are showing only one part of someone’s life. Take my Insta account @travelingwith_vera for example… Since I am a travel blogger, I’m posting only photos that are related to travel theme, and because of that it might seem that I am traveling non-stop. But it’s not true. Comparing to a travel blogger pro who is traveling abroad every single month if not more frequently, I hardly travel at all. But I do travel more often than an average person… at least I think so. How often do I travel? It depends on a budget and other expenses that I have. Yep, as plain and simple as that. One year I’ve managed to visit six different countries, the other – only two.

Main question people are asking me is where I get money for traveling. Looking at my Insta photos most of them assume that money is just magically falling from the sky into my pockets or that I am a gold digger married to a “Rockefeller”. And some are getting really upset and disappointed when I tell them the truth. And the truth is… drum-roll sound… I’m earning it. Have you ever heard Dolly Parton’s song “9 to 5”? Well, my job is quite similar to that. “9 to 5” accompanied by chorus from Bon Jovi’s “It’s my life”, to be exact. And every month I put some money aside for traveling. I call it “Happiness fund”. I plan my budget and try to find cheapest offers. So, nothing mystical or out of the ordinary.

I enjoy being active, so depending on my budget and money situation in general, I am making decisions where to go and what to do. If it’s possible to go abroad for few days – great! If not, then I can always visit a nearby country for a weekend. I’ve been to Tallinn and Stockholm countless number of times, yet I never get bored by them. Love both of those cities and always go there at least once or twice a year. Thanks to Tallink, Silja Line and the Club One gold membership card I always get nice benefits and offers.

If I have a very tight budget, then I go to nearby cities: Turku, Porvoo, Hämeenlinna, etc.; omnibus.com is one of the cheapest ways to travel in Finland. And if money is really an issue (unfortunately, shit happens sometimes), then change of scenery is a next best thing. There are plenty of beautiful nature spots in Uusima area. It’s not exactly traveling but I think it’s close enough. My absolute favorite places are National Park Nuuksio, Suomenlinna and Hanika Nature trail.

* * *

So, why traveling? Simple answer would be: Traveling is my passion. That is one thing that I don’t want to live without. Traveling brings me happiness, joy, and life is getting filled with amazing memories. And those are far more valuable for me than any material thing I own. Memories are priceless. That is why I’m so easily letting go of the money that I was patiently saving for months and happily investing it in traveling. Yes, I consider traveling to be an investment. As they say: “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.

Few years back I was ordering all my trips six months in advance. It was always cheaper this way. But nowadays I don’t have a possibility to use the same system as before. So, I had to adjust to the new situation. And this winter I’ve tried a travel service that offers so called “last minute deals” for the very first time. Surprisingly, it turned out to be an enjoyable and positive experience (*I will tell all about it in my upcoming posts “Seven days in Paradise”)! I could even say that it has been one of the best vacations I’ve had in years! I enjoyed it so much, that I’ve decided to purchase only “ready packages” from the same or similar websites in 2019. It will be an experiment of some sort. “Travel more, pay less” or something like that. I think it would make my travel blog more interesting, more informative and more helpful for the masses. Because let’s be honest, not many of us are fortunate enough to spin the world globe and point with the finger to some random place where can go for a weekend. Nonetheless many of us (myself including) wish to travel and see the world without robbing a bank.

Summarizing it all, I want to announce the theme of 2019 for my travel blog: Budget Traveling. Don’t worry, you are not going to see posts with screaming titles like “How to survive one week in Maldives with just 100 bucks and a backpack in your hands”. No, I actually intend to enjoy every single day of my precious holiday as much as before (if not more) but for much less. At least that’s the plan. And I’ll be sharing this experience with all of you guys here on my blog as well as on my Instagram. So, buckle up, it might be a bumpy ride!

Hope you enjoyed it!

TWVera

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