I’m often (lovingly, or at least I hope it’s lovingly…) ridiculed by family and friends for my “obsession” with Instagram. I’ll admit that I’m pretty addicted to the social media platform. I’m always on the look-out for new opportunities to create content, and I’ll also admit that I’m one of *those* people that visits places that they’ve seen online, but I cannot stress enough just how Instagram has helped me this past year, particularly with being locked down and stuck with exploring every nook and cranny on my doorstep.
I love Instagram mainly because it is a source of inspiration. It’s a fantastic platform to find places to visit and things to do, particularly if you love travelling and adventuring like Shane and I, and it’s also a wonderful place to be creative and to keep a catalogue of memories. I wouldn’t say I overshare on Instagram and it’s definitely a bit of a highlight reel for me, but I love looking back and seeing what has changed and how.
2020 has been no different. We’re now in Lockdown 3.0 in Wales, and like so many others, I’ve found this last year really tough. The worst part for me has been being confined to my flat and not being able to visit my family. I’ve found myself feeling extremely claustrophobic, anxious and often completely at a loss with it all. Never-ending lockdowns, the constant changing of plans, not seeing friends or family for weeks on end. I hate being out of control and most days have felt monotonous and as though I’m a hamster on a wheel and not able to get off.
But Instagram has provided a little outlet and a way to keep positive and focused. It’s been the perfect way to remind me to appreciate the every day, and having a mini project and way to “escape” has been a huge help. Of course, there were times when I’d find it infuriating to see posts from the “Covid-police”, squabbling about the rules and who was doing what and when. It was even more enraging to see people breaking the rules and flouting it all over their stories, especially when I hadn’t been able to go home and see my family for the longest time I’d ever been away from them. But logging off Facebook and Twitter, and unfollowing or muting those annoying folk on Instagram meant that I could enjoy the platform and all that came with it in lockdown.
Having an excuse to get out:
I would have gone out and about every day anyway, as I hate being indoors and stuck in the flat. I’m definitely not a homely person! But having an excuse to go out and to create content really helped. It made me look at the world differently, and to see the beauty in simplicity and the every day. Watching the parks and places on our doorsteps change with the seasons was definitely a highlight for me, and I loved capturing these places as they evolved.
Finding new places to discover on our doorstep:
Wanting to take photographs and to create content, led me to finding new places on our doorstep. I really enjoyed looking online speaking to fellow Instagrammers and finding new pockets of nature to explore in the centre of the city. It was really refreshing and it definitely helped to mix up the monotony. I was so grateful to find these locations and it really boosted my mood. I can’t wait until we can start traveling a little further afield again so that we can continue to explore places in South Wales.
Sharing places we have discovered and starting conversations:
In the same way that we were being inspired with places to visit by others, I decided to share places on our home patch that local bloggers could visit, as well as further afield as lockdowns eased and we went away on staycations to Snowdonia, Cornwall and the Lake District. I absolutely loved sharing snippets of places to visit in Wales when it was safe to do so in the summer, and I am pleased to say that I received so many lovely messages, along with questions about things to do and places to visit along the Welsh coast. It was really lush to hear that the content I’d been sharing on Instagram had, in some small way, been helping others too.
The community element of social media:
And that’s what I love about Instagram the most; it’s the ability to speak to other, likeminded people at the touch of your fingertips. So many of my Instagram “friends”, who I’ve not even met in real life, have been so supportive, kind and considerate. I’ve loved having people to speak to outside of my bubble and we have also been sharing tips and tricks on places to visit near and far.
A feeling that we’re all in this together:
I mentioned earlier on that Instagram is mostly a highlight reel for me. I can totally appreciate that people find it depressing to watch travel bloggers, Instagrammers and “influencers” sharing a life of luxury 24/7. Heck, I’ve felt the same when I’m trudging to the train station on a dark, rainy January morning for yet another day in the office, while so-and-so is on their third VIP press trip of the year. This year though, there has been a real feeling of “we’re all in this together” on the platform. I’ve actually loved seeing snippets of people’s “ordinary” lives. People enjoying the little things, daily walks becoming the new luxury and appreciating what’s on our doorstep. It’s been refreshing and good to know that, despite everything, we’re not alone.
Lots of love. xoxo