Real places. Real stories. Real impact.

How far have you gone…
How long have you waited…
How much have you paid…

…for that #instaperfect shot?

Yeah. You know the one we’re talking about. That one where you waited in a sweltering hot line up of tourists for that infamous ‘wish you were here’ shot with nobody else in the frame? Those selfie stick woes, the Disneyland vibes, and pay-per-pose tribulations never quite make it into the caption, do they? But maybe they should… 

Never in human history has our world been so accessible – virtually and physically – to so many people. On any given day, nearly 10 million people can be found taking a flight. Over 200 million photos are uploaded onto Facebook, and 95 million to Instagram. When it comes to travel, most of us seek out those epic insta-worthy photos that make our friends and followers jealous, portray that picture-perfect moment of serenity and awe, and make the ultimate statement: “I was here”.

Yet sometimes, the shock and awe of a visit to an Instagram-famous destination is more about the jarring reality of the experience, rather than what we find in the frame

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TRUTH BOMB #TravelUnfiltered: Judging from what's within the frame, this rock formation in Trolltunga, Norway provides a secluded balcony to the world – ideal for creative, daring and witty selfies. What you can't see is just out of shot: the waiting rabble. Swipe for the actual video ➡️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Up until 2010, only around 800 people per year made the six-hour hike. By 2016, that number rocketed to more than 80,000 people per year. This dramatic rise in numbers is incredible, considering the Troll’s Tongue Rock has dangled out 1,000ft over the Ringedalsvatnet lake since the Ice Age. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ With its jaw-dropping landscape as far as the eye can see, you’d expect that this is the type of spot where you could happily sit in to meditate, journal, map out life’s plans for hours… but all you really get is 60 seconds (maybe 90 seconds, if you’re really lucky!). There’s actually a pile-up of humans waiting to do the exact same thing as anyone else -- get that ‘I’m on top of the world in this secluded spot’ shot for their ‘gram. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ How are you traveling this year? Mindfully, consciously, slowly? Are you hiking for the experience… or for the photo you get at the end of it? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This is part of Unsettled’s #TravelUnfiltered series, where we look for the hidden truths, facts, and realities behind some of the most Instagrammed places on earth. Have a story to share? Post your photo and tag #TravelUnfiltered, or head to link in bio! . (🎥: @kimbelsvik86) . #BeUnsettled #EmbraceTheUnknown #TravelUnfiltered #Norway #Trolltunga #Overtourism #SustainableTravel #TasteInTravel #LiveAuthentic #CreateExplore #Instagram #SmartTravel #BeautifulDestinations #BucketList #InstaPassport #LoveToTravel #DoYouTravel #UnsettledUnfiltered

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Today we are launching #TravelUnfiltered series, where we look for the hidden truths, facts, and realities behind some of the most Instagrammed places on earth. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ TRUTH BOMB: Remember that incredible turquoise beach in Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie, The Beach, that everyone wanted to go to when visiting Thailand? Well, it used to look like this… pristine white sands, crystal water, and abundant coral life. Until the pop culture phenomenon took over our feeds and this tiny piece of land in the Andaman Sea started tallying over 5,000 visitors a day...during low season. And that’s when it started to look less like the Leo DiCaprio version, and more like the next photo >> swipe right. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As the erosion became worse, Thailand’s Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department officially shut down the island to tourists in 2018. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A bold and important move… and in the right direction. So the question lies, are we just feeding into trend of recreating that ‘The Beach’ moment a la some Hollywood actor for our feeds, or are we writing our own script when exploring certain beaches of the world? . #BeUnsettled #EmbraceTheUnknown #UnsettledSailing #TravelUnfiltered #Thailand #Overtourism #SustainableTravel #TasteInTravel #LiveAuthentic #CreateExplore #Instagram #SmartTravel #BeautifulDestinations #BucketList #InstaPassport #LoveToTravel #DoYouTravel #UnsettledUnfiltered

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Over-tourism, overcrowding, and to a lesser extent, mass disappointment, are becoming a serious concern in these places as the world becomes more accessible.

However, it’s the no-bullshit disclaimers and reminders like the above from our community members and fellow travelers that present a silver lining in how we choose to travel in 2019 and beyond. You have a choice of where you go, and what you do there. Are you feeding into the perception, or are you living for the experience itself?

We are reaching out to the Unsettled community to ask: what is your truth behind an image, a place, a moment? What was the unexpected surprise behind the lens when you arrived and pulled the curtain back? Was the act of taking that photo part of the adventure itself? Part of a rude awakening? Part of an ‘aha!’ moment of what travel means in the 21st century? If so, we want to hear it. Line ups, overcrowding, tripods, and, of course, the beautiful surprises.

Upload your own photo and story of an iconic spot, unfiltered.
Hashtag #TravelUnfiltered and #BeUnsettled to be part of the movement.

On August 31st, we’ll choose one winning photo and offer $500 off any Unsettled experience.

Ps…If you remember anything from reading this, remember this: Every day, 95 million photos are uploaded on Instagram. Despite all the filters, frames, and wild selfies from far-flung destinations, the most liked photo of all time… is a simple egg.

Travel responsibly, travel slow, and enjoy the journey…

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