Get us in your inbox


The seven species of travellers you find on Instagram

Written by
Joyce Koh

The ANTM is looking to produce his personal lookbook. He carefully curates his style, buys a new wardrobe (with matching luggage) specifically for this trip, and spends more time coordinating his #ootd rather than researching the destination he’s headed for. The ANTM also picks his travel companions carefully. It’s best if they’re good photographers or willing to wait for hours in the freezing cold as he composes the perfect angle. How else are the likes going to roll in?

2. The Bourdain
The Bourdain usually has the word ‘foodie’ sprinkled somewhere in her bio. Like any Malaysian out there, this type loves her food. But she’s in dire need of a better camera and food-styling skills. We all agree that meals figure a lot in everybody’s travel experience, but incessantly bombarding us with blurry, unappetising shots of ‘breakfast’, ‘lunch’, ‘dinner’, ‘airplane food’? Next, please. Also, we feel a special kind of loathing for the obviously underweight ones who insist on hashtagging ‘fat’ in every single one of their food shots.

3. The Reader
The reader does not bombard us with travel updates. Instead, once in a while, the Reader specialises in composing little vignettes, all focused on showcasing his or her intellectual pursuits. ‘I’m not a shallow traveller!’ is the general message. Here’s an example: a Leica carefully placed at an angle, some cool aviators gracing the shot, and in the centre of it all, a copy of ‘The Bell Jar’ oh-so-casually lying on the plush beach towel. The Reader has good enough taste to know what books are deemed intellectual, but then again, who in their right mind reads ‘The Bell Jar’ at the beach?

4. The Shopper
The Shopper is a species on the rise. While #ootd still reigns supreme on Instagram, hauls of the day are now gaining popularity. Haul-of-the-day posts are pretty much a given whenever The Shopper goes on a trip. Having researched all the best malls, markets and outlet stores of the destination, AND after a day of wardrobe replenishment, they proceed to spend the rest of the night meticulously arranging their loot on the hotel bed for the perfect #hotd post. And the process repeats itself the next day, and so on, till the trip ends, at which point there will be a grand extravaganza #hott (haul-of-the- trip) post. Double tap or risk the repercussions, reader.

5. Hot Dog Legs
Hot Dog Legs is a term popularised by a tumblr of the same name. More often female rather than male, this breed is usually found by the beach. They lounge on deck chairs, legs propped up, soaking in the vitamin D. There is one thing they cannot resist, which is the view of the gorgeous sea framed by their perfectly tanned, oiled and shapely thighs (achieve the same effect with two carefully placed hot dogs). If Hot Dog Legs really wants to up her game, extra points are given for palm trees and cocktails with little umbrellas. You, with the flabby thighs in the office chair, have no choice but to bow down and give the picture a double tap.

6. Plato
Plato finds himself in a more serene state of mind during his travels. With Google as his best friend, he has an arsenal of seemingly meaningful quotes to accompany his landscape and airplane wing shots. Tell us more about the culture or share some funny vacation stories! No one wants long, pretentious musings about the nature of existence when you seem to be too busy fiddling with image filters and hunting for an internet connection to fully experience the place anyway.

7. Miscaption
Miscaption seems to be missing some vital social media etiquette – really, how hard is it to caption your images? Miscaption’s speciality lies in posting a barrage of self portraits with perfectly windswept hair that don’t tell us anything about their current location. Is that the corner of Mona Lisa’s frame we see? Is that wavy mane obscuring the Eiffel tower? Clues are left all over their selfies while we adoring fans are supposed to solve the mystery of their latest escapade.

Latest news