“OMG My Vacay Is Perfect”: The Problem With Instagram And Vacation Filters



Oye – vacations. 3 days in and I’m sitting here in Hawaii, already scanning for that perfect filtered beach pic.

What is it about social media that makes us wanna pull the veil over reality.

Having a great trip – content. But, I still have those eating disorder thoughts and I still have body image hiccups, so in an effort to accept that and move da’ fuq on this week: here’s reality of vacation vs Instagram:

First pic: hair tie got tangled up during sunrise hike. Pulled like 70 hairs outta my head – grimaced through pain. Grimaced at that side shot. Wore backpack strategically.

Second pic: filtered for that “sunrise bright and alert” look. Sent it to the person I’m dating so as to remind them how “outdoorsy attractive” I am.

Third pic: left pic I posed strategically “casual” because I always feel like I have a tendency to pose with my legs spread eagle.

Fourth pic: soaking up sun with a beer in hand, big- grinning. Reality: it was freezing and raining n’ my brother and I sat perched on that rock for a solid 30 minutes. Drank 2 beers, felt like I was being vacuumed into my swimsuit. Worried about my cousin in Houston, stuck  in the midst of Harvey.

Fifth pic: paddle-boarded yesterday for the first time… with one of the boat crew helping. Also, flirted with him because I seek instant validation in swimsuits. He was 8 years younger than I am. My family made fun of me. Captain yelled “you’re not even paddling Cinderella.”

Sixth pic: scowled at my stomach n’ made my brother take another round of pics. I was not “in mid walk” I was literally just standing there.

I’m hiking without shirts, wearing bikinis. I’m eating coconut shrimps and calamari and fruity cocktails and beers.

Just confirmed to speak during the Denver NEDA walk.

I’m thinking about my cousin and his wife in Houston. They’re safe, but man that storm’s devastating.

I’m good and content. And I’m flexibly okay and pushing.

We’re all human. So the next time you’re scanning through “vacay pics” demanding a redo or a “different angle” – remember you’re not alone. We all do this shit

Rehab Truth: Happiness Is Traveling The World With A Backpack And A Toothbrush

The truth is we’ll see. I have no idea.

But, Colorado here I come!


I’m booked, completely scattered, and have spent about half my paycheck at the REI store-

But committing to this solo hike/bike trip is one of the more invigorating choices I’ve made since embarking down the recovery road.

Am I scared? Hell yeah. I’m hesitant. I know the fundamentals of who I am- and I’m incredibly good at getting lost and incredibly terrible at being vulnerable.

I know on this trip I’m going to have to accept the fact that things won’t always go smoothly. I’m hiking a 14er and coping with the knowledge that – hey- I may get altitude sickness and go slower than anticipated.

I’m wrestling with the struggle that food will be completely out of my control.

I’m biking 66 miles round-trip from Denver to Boulder and no doubt I’ll start out thinking I’m the fitness queen of the universe (YAS, KWEEN) only to discover I’ve, in fact, drank too much wine and ran too few times over the past couple months.

I’m going to feel lonely – and that’ll be hard because there’s nothing that can soothe loneliness except yourself.

I’m going to feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and that’ll put me in a panic at some point- Yet I understand sitting here at my desk chair- that I’ll get through it and eventually there will be a day I’ll sit around with friends laughing about ‘that time I got a flat tire and had to wait 7 hours for someone to help.’

I’ve traveled my whole life with an eating disorder and as I reflect on the landmarks and cultures I wasted – I think, in part, I’m choosing to take this trip now as a step to forgive myself for the places I’ve seen but didn’t really truly ‘experience’.

The life I missed these past 8 years.

Maybe I don’t really know at all- and this is all just babble. Maybe I won’t know while it’s happening. And maybe I still won’t be able to place it 6 months from now,

But I do know there’s a reason I’m doing this solo trip, and it’ll be worth it.

And I’m oh so anxious to explore it.

Denver –> Red Rocks –> Golden –> Breckenridge –> Crestone –> Boulder

See ya soon Rocky National!