There’s been a lot of hype about Instagram and the fakeness of it. And I get it, we all take these one second snaps that end up portraying our lives and while it’s not the whole story, I think we sometimes forget that it is part of the story. Sure, it doesn’t show the fourteen other photos from sslliigghhhttlllyy different angles, or the time it takes to get to these places or the money or the people who are waiting for you while you just have to snap the moment. But despite all of that, at least for me, I love Instagram. It’s a platform for me to remember moments I would otherwise forget. I tend to think of social media for myself, so while I appreciate that other people can view my shots, it’s really all for me. Because behind each photo is an untold story that transports me right back to that moment.
So, I’ve gathered up my fifteen favorite moments and the little stories that go with them.
This was back when I first started Musings over Mochas. I came here with my mom and we sat chatting and working on some fun projects. It’s such a fun space and I love this picture because it reminds me of sitting there with her before I was about to leave for four months. It also reminds me of how I would quickly snap pictures because I didn’t want anyone to see. That has since changed!
I took this the day before I left Santa Monica to go back home to Atlanta. Los Angeles was where I grew up and this little picture used to part of my everyday scenery. It makes me smile to see this picture and know the exact street it was taken on… and that when I go back (I’m there now!) that it will look exactly the same.
My mom and I took a roadtrip to Charleston and of course had to stop at this spot, Candlefish. We both share a love of candles, so when we walked in, we were both in awe. This reminds of the southern heat and how we pigged out on lots of meat and cheese before going vegan for three months.
This was the day I left for London. I got there so early because I didn’t want to miss my flight. I remember sitting there with nerves and excitement, just wanting to be there already. I had no idea what the future would be like, and it’s fun to look back and realize that things played out even better than I could have imagined.
This was one of the first weekends I had in London and I set out to find all of those quintessentially London spots. This was taken in Notting Hill, and even though it was a cute picture, I was still rather unsure of London. Notting Hill wasn’t what I had expected and so this picture reminds me of my first couple of weeks in London, where I didn’t really understand the city and was unsure of my decision to study there.
I took this picture on my first day in Amsterdam. My friend’s plane was delayed by like 6 hours, so I ended up having the afternoon and night on my own because she didn’t get to our airbnb until 1 in the morning! But I remember feeling so safe in Amsterdam and wandering around, just basking in the beauty.
I had just broken my foot the week before and to be honest, my morale was low. My friends were so great though and scooped me up to go pumpkin and apple picking. We stopped at this little coffee shop for some of the best coffee and cake (#eatcakeforbreakfast) that I had in London and then we headed off to the farm via train. They even wheelchaired me around the farm (which was HUGE) because I couldn’t walk in my boot for that long.
I liked brunch before, but brunch became a regular occasion in London. My friends and I frequented the Breakfast Club on the reg because it’s just so damn good. I mean, do you see that picture? I ended up taking so many people here and by the end, they ended up knowing us. So not only does this picture remind me of the euphoria of the best pancakes of my life, but also all of the giggles (and waiting in line in the rain) that accompanied this meal.
My mom came and visited me for Fall Break and we traveled to Berlin and Zurich while she was in town. This picture is beautiful, but little do you know that mama and I were in a low key meltdown because we hated Berlin. It wasn’t until we got to the wall (which we visited after this picture was taken) that we felt justified in coming. Everyone should visit the wall at one point in their life, but you only need a few hours in Berlin.
We finally left Berlin and made our way to Zurich, which we fell in love with. It’s such a peaceful place where you could spend hours just admiring the beauty. I love this picture because it reminds me of the pure joy I felt being with my mama in such a beautiful place, with nothing to do but taking slow walks and eating a bajillion pounds of chocolate.
Dishoom ended up being my squads frequent spot. From breakfast to dinner, it felt like we were constantly there. I’m totally obsessed with their breakfast and this picture reminds me of each time we ate there. I even asked them if I could have the recipe to one of the sauces and while they didn’t give it to me, they brought out six to go samples of it. One of the many places I love Dishoom and this picture.
This picture was taken while my friend Lily and I were on a tuk tuk ride. That ride was so much fun, and this picture reminds me of the wind in my hair and eating chestnuts while wearing a tank top! Going to Lisbon was the perfect last push I needed to get through finals, and this little snapshot captures the insane beauty that put me at ease.
I took this on my way back from Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. That night my friend and I were supposed to see Book of Mormon but couldn’t snag tickets last minute, so we decided to head over to Winter Wonderland. We sipped on mulled wine and danced with these insanely drunk, yet fun guys. We had a blast and on our way home popped by Harrods to see it at night. It was such a sight to see and reminds me of seizing the moment of living in London.
I took this on the nine hour long plane ride home. I only sit on the aisle seat, so I took this while my seat mate was up and about. She was so talkative, so it was nice to get a brief moment to myself to look out the window and process what was happening.
I took this picture on my last day in London, but didn’t post it until I was home. My friends and I were doing a “photoshoot” so that we had pictures with all of the landmarks. I’ll always remember taking this picture and then looking at my friends and thinking about how lucky I am.
So while it’s true that Instagram only highlights the best parts (for the most part), we shouldn’t discount the moments that we caputre. Sure, I didn’t post a selfie when I was bawling my eyes out after breaking my foot, or about how I got lost so many times and was frustrated by not having data or wifi. But I’m grateful for the moments that I did capture “for Instagram” because later on it will bring me back to that exact time in my life. I firmly believe that it should be about curating the moments that you want to remember, not to impress but to serve as a momento for a moment in time.