Beware Vacation Photos: A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words (and edits out a 1000 others)

BACKGROUND:  I was on vacation for two weeks in the Canadian Rockies.  I plan vacations in the northern regions of our great continent to escape the heat and humidity of DC.  Being cool (as in temperature) is a real priority for me. I take weather very, VERY personally.  Like the rain is happening TO ME.  The humidity is all about ME.   I can't really relax on vacation until it's a perfect sunny day, 78 degrees, light winds from the north east.  

 Photo #1:  Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

Photo #1:  Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

PHOTO #1:  It's 78 degrees with a fabulous cold wind coming from the GLACIER across the road.  I was so happy with myself and my family and our friends, I was overflowing.   I snapped this pic and sent it to my brother and sister.  They responded with adulation and enthusiasm, which I appreciated.  But the main event was my abundant feelings of well being.  A perfect mix of  hiking, being with my kids and fresh air.  While the feedback from the pic was nice, it wasn't as nice as where I was.

 Photo #2:  Glacier Lake National Park, Montana, USA

Photo #2:  Glacier Lake National Park, Montana, USA

PHOTO #2:  Isn't this beautiful?    Aren't you the teeniest bit envious?  Behind the camera though I was hot and sweaty and grumpy.  There was a heat wave.  My 78 degrees had turned to 93 degrees with a billion percent humidity and half a trillion other hikers on MY trail.  I'm not sharing this to complain, the point is that I was actually feeling very cheated that my perfect vacation was being invaded by a heat wave (and OTHER people).  So I decided to get a cheap thrill by sending this photo to a bunch of people.  They responded by saying how beautiful it was and fabulous and this sorta filled up my hot, humid and disappointed cup.  

 Photo #3:  Waterton Lakes, Glacier National Park, Alberta, Canada

Photo #3:  Waterton Lakes, Glacier National Park, Alberta, Canada

PHOTO #3:  Our trip continued, and like all trips, some of it was fabulous and some of it was disappointing and some of it was annoying and some of it was glorious.   I noticed the more content I was with my reality the less compelled I was to share it.  I could just live it, contentedly.   The more  let down I was by my reality the more I wanted positive feedback from people.  So I snapped finely framed photos, editing out the parts that sucked.  I sent this photo on the last day of our trip.  This final stop on our two week sojourn was touristy and hot and I did not like it.  Our motel was kinda grungy, smelled bad, and the 'view' was a joke.  Dinner was a disappointment, the beer list was lacking, the ice cream joint was meh.  And did I mention it was hot and HUMID.  IN CANADA.   I shot this on a morning stroll and sent it off looking for the feel good juice because I could crop out all the bitterness and wait for  the oohs and ahhhs from the texts to lift my drooping (and hot)  spirits.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  Vacation photos are fun.  I love sharing them, I love looking at other peoples.  I'm inspired by where all my fun friends go, and I'm the teeniest bit jealous. And then, I remember that in every photo there are disappointing, grungy, beer list lacking, and humid parts edited out. Just like in each and every one of our photos!