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At some points it can seem like everyone you know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter are all on these incredible journeys round exotic countries, and the feeling of envy you get when clicking your way through their (usually multiple) photo albums can leave you with the holiday blues and cruising for airline tickets.
However, a Dutch student has turned the tables and made her friends green with envy after she posted photos of her ‘trip’ around South East Asia, despite not spending a penny or leaving Amsterdam.
For five weeks, Zilla van den Born subjected her Facebook friends to the same torment we are used to enduring whilst sitting at home scrolling through our feeds on a rainy day, but everything they were seeing was completely fake. Zilla went to incredible lengths to create the illusion that she was backpacking around South East Asia – she even duped family and friends.
During her 42 day break across the ocean, she did everything that you would expect someone who had visited those countries to do – she posted pictures of herself eating the local cuisine in a restaurant, visiting a temple, going scuba diving and even posing with animals and children.
The photos pictured of her eating local food in foreign restaurants were actually pictures of Zilla eating traditional food in exotic restaurants…but in Amsterdam instead of Thailand.
The pictures of her sitting next to a Buddhist monk in a temple was also in her home city, and the photos of her snorkelling in turquoise water with tropical fish and coral was a photo-shopped image of her in her local swimming pool, with the sea life merely superimposed in.
Zilla even made sure she redecorated her bedroom so that it looked like an Asian hotel room, and managed to keep up the illusion to her family by video-calling them at random times of the night.
The reason behind all of this was Zilla’s university project – she wasn’t just doing it to prove a point. She wanted to show how Facebook and other social online activity isn’t always a reflection of real life.
Speaking to the Dutch media, she stated: “I did this to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media, and that we create an online world which reality can no longer meet. My goal was to prove how common and easy it is to distort reality. Everyone knows that pictures of models are manipulated, but we often overlook the fact that we manipulate reality also in our own lives.”
If you don’t fancy the hard work and effort of creating and photo-shopping multiple images each day, and instead would prefer to experience the real Asia, remember to take out good quality travel insurance which can cover you for things like emergency medical expenses, personal possessions and cancellation.Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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