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A Traveler’s Guide to Selfies

The selfie has quickly gone from trend to travel phenomenon.  How many selfies have you seen of your friends and family on vacation?  How many have you taken of yourself and posted on facebook or instagram?  The selfie has become part of our mainstream culture and they seem to pop-up everywhere whether it be on-stage at the Oscars or at behind-the-scenes at the White House.  No matter whether you love them or hate them, the selfie is here to stay and will continue to be an important part of how we share ourselves with the people and world around us.

If you’re going to take selfies, here’s my guide for how to do it:

Checking Places Off Your List

Traveling is a lot like a sport.  You keep score by actually visiting all or most of the places on your list.  Whoever kicks the bucket with the highest score wins!  I kid, but the most important thing about traveling is capturing the raw, feeling of the moment.  You finally made it and you’re here in front of the place you always dreamed about.  Now take that selfie and make it part of your epic travel diary.  Score!


Doing Something Amazing

There are those of us who travel and then those who blaze their own trail on an unforgettable adventure.  When you have done the extraordinary, gone beyond what you thought was possible, climbed to the summit, then whip out that camera and capture the wonder and amazement.  Your smile will never shine brighter and you’ll have that perfect everlasting image of you at your best.


Meeting Someone Famous

Whenever we travel, there is always the chance we’ll bump into someone famous.  You have to be prepared, because this type of selfie is very coveted and a bit rare.  Come armed with your best approach, asking kindly using your finest manners and for heaven’s sake be quick about it.  Do NOT linger.  Get the snap, say thank you and you’re outta there!


Capturing the View

We’ve all been there.  The places where you take a look around and your jaw instantly drops from the incredible view that stretches as far as the eye can see.  These majestic landscapes are the perfect setting for unbelievable self-portraits.  Stay calm and take a few hundred so you get home with the best of the best.  Just don’t lean over any cliffs or hang over any waterfalls to get them. We don’t want to see you on CNN.


Staying Out of Harm’s Way

Speaking of not doing anything crazy to get that perfect selfie, there’s this new trend of doing daring and ridiculous stunts to take photos from really dangerous vantage points.  Like with large wild animals and from restricted access areas that are not intended for tourists.  I totally understand the desire to get the epic, over-the-top selfie, but if it seems like a crazy idea then steer clear.  Listen to that little voice.

Related [Craziest Travel Stories of 2014]


Adding Some Fun and Flair

You should definitely add something to your photos that show your style and sentiments about the places you’ve visited.  If there was a song playing in your head, add a lyric.  If you have a favorite travel quote, then frame it up.  If your friends or family kept cracking the same joke during the trip, then commemorate it on the image.  Wrap the memory in a nice bundle so you don’t forget how it made you feel.


Being Creative and Respectful 

Part of making a great self portrait is using the environment and yourself to capture a fleeting, wonderful moment.  Pick out the places that really jump out at you and have fun being creative and trying new things. There’s this tool called a selfie stick that is very useful.  However, many museums and public places that get crowded have already banned the selfie stick because of how rude and aggressive people have become while using it.  Use common sense and be polite and respectful of others.


More from Samantha Brown:

10 Inspirational Travel Quotes

Nominees for Best Travel Movies Ever

12 Best Travel Songs of All Time

Don’t Be One of These 11 Annoying Travelers

9 Ridiculous SkyMall Products


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I think we Asians are stereotypically known to take a lot of pictures when traveling abroad. I can’t deny it. I love taking pictures of myself in front of famous landmarks. A lot of times these pics are my souvenirs! As long as we don’t put ourselves or others in danger, selfies are great 🙂

  2. I wanted to hate this site. I came into it thinking what a load of tosh. I eat my words. It’s really, really great…

  3. thanks for this timely update. hope to make you all proud with my upcoming selfies from my first ever out-of-the-country trip in celebration of the second anniversary of my 30th bday (as in 30x 2)

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