Explore with your heart.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: don’t go somewhere just because it’s “Instagrammable.”
It’s fine to appreciate the beauty of a place and take photos of it but don’t be the kind of person who only appreciates a place for how beautiful it will look in photos.
Ask yourself: if photography was not allowed in this place, would I still visit it?
What do I know about this place?
What does it mean to me?
What is it that draws me to it and makes me want to visit?
I’m not saying don’t go to those visually captivating places you see on social media.
I’m saying: have a better reason for it.
Don’t go just to have the exact same pictures that everyone else has.
Instead, go to a place that means something to you. Go to a place that touches your heart. Whether it’s the location of your favorite movie, or the birth place of your favorite writer, or even just a place that you’ve always wanted to see since you were a kid, just let it mean something more than just something to post on Facebook.
It’s not about being intellectual.
It’s not about being “deep.”
It’s not about being highbrow.
It’s about insisting on value — real value.
It’s about making sure that if you’re going to pour your precious time and money and energy into visiting a place, it better be a place that is valuable and important and nourishing to you — to your mind, to your heart, to your soul, to your life — not to Instagram, not to Facebook, not to the Like-Want-Like-Want-Like Machine.
Put it another way: if you could bring to a place only a really crappy camera guaranteed to produce really crappy photos that absolutely no one will like on Instagram, would you still go?
Would you still go because the place means something to you and it’s enough for you to have those crappy photos to help remind your happy heart of your time there?
Or would you not go because the trip would mean nothing if you can’t take nice photos?
Places, like people, have layers to them: the snapshot, the superficial, the just-below-the-surface, the core.
And just like with people, my advice would be:
Go to a place you’d like to get to know.