Written by Lara Neibert
In December of 2016 Janine, Alex and Julia asked me if I would like to join them on a road trip. One week up the Garden Route. Of course I said yes even though I had no idea what to expect. Being on vacation is not something you can do with each and everyone of your friends, you get to know people in many different (not always positve) ways when you spend 24/7 with them. Additionally to that, the crew has thousands of followers on Instagram while I had no idea of their business… Here is what it was really like to travel with “social media famous” kids:
1) There is always time for a picture
One thing I definitely learned during the trip: being patient. Rushing back home before it is getting dark and we could get lost in the african bushes? Eating your food straight away when it is served because you where starving for hours? Nope, not with those Instagrammers. Picture it or it did not happen, that’s the motto. We are in Africa, where everything works slower (you can be happy if it works at some point) and Alex is a South African citizien so that was a good excuse as well when I had to sit down and wait. What you have to keep in mind: If someone asks you to take a picture, you better take a picture! Or rather take ten.
“Picture it, or it did not happen.”
2) Do it for your followers
The two sisters do not care about people who are watching/admiring/judging their picture sessions in public. Well, why should they? Most of the pedestrians have no idea about the business and thousands of followers who are waiting for a new upload so they keep watching the hot beach bums having no idea how serious the shooting really is. In addition it is about making an effort and not being lazy. One night, after a long day of adventure and hiking, we wanted to sleep peacefully in our cozy sleeping bags and Alex made Janine carry their tent all over the camping site to nail the perfect shot under the stars. Of course I would not have left my tent for such a mission (plus imagine all the mosquitos who would have seen their chance to contaminate our tent) but from Instagrammer to Instagrammer it is a different case: They have comprehension for each other and not later than the likes are dropping on the picture, all the effort was worth it.
“Alex made Janine carry their tent all over the camping site to nail the perfect shot.”
3) It’s all about the vision
During the road trip I was able to witness a couple of shootings but one of my favorite’s took place in the forrest of Wilderness during a hike. We passed a field of fern when Alex asked Janine to stand in front of it („It will look great in a portrait!“). A minute later she was two meters deep in the field surrounded by super green (read more in point 4) plants and who knows what kind of animals. For Julia and me it was ridiculous to watch because Janine could not really relate with Alex’s idea. After some days we got used to sudden statements like „Stand there“ or „Walk there“ – just another flash of genius by Alessandro Banini (aka Alex aka @diaryofalex).
4) It’s a no for green
Writing about „those Instagrammers“ suggests that I am not involved in social media at all which is wrong. I use Instagram, Snapchat and all that stuff but during the trip I realized how not serious I am about it. Before one of the crew members posted a picture everyone had to share his or her opinion on it. First, I thought how good you look in the photo but the struggle is much real-er than expected. The main problem are the colors. If you want your feed to look nice you better choose a punch of colors that will be the main part of your pictures and keep your account unitary. Which ones people like? White, blue and colorful walls. What no one likes according to joliejanine and julescecilia? Green. Unless we are talking about palm trees it is a no go. This is one of the reasons why we will never see the beautiful fern portraits – what a loss (how Julia would say).
5) Part of the game
If you are watching Julia’s stories on Instagram and Snapchat you have probably seen me trying to capture the whole beauty of my avo toast or iced coffee as they were „slowly converting me to an instagrammer“- haha. Facing the fact that I spend a week with them it is comprehensible that I started to adapt myself in the social media game especially because suddenly so many people where following me after some posts I was tagged in. If you want to stay anonymous while being on vacation with Instagrammers do not go on vacation with Instagrammers!
6) Not all instagrammers are Smombies (Smartphone- Zombies)
I was surprised how little time they spend on their phones or at least if I compare it to myself. Even though we had no wifi in some restaurants or accommodations and no access to plug sockets they managed to keep the followers posted without letting it be an all time present part of our trip.
“I was surprised how little time they spend on their phones.”
We made so many beautiful memories together that were not captured with a camera which is perfectly fine because in the end I did not go on a road trip with three instagrammers but with three extremely kind, funny and open minded people. I am so grateful to call Julia, Janine and Alex my friends. Cheers to all the inside jokes, deep talks by the bonfire and most importantly the snacks we shared. #lekkerroadtrip