As summer comes to an end, so comes the influx of travel posts. Study abroad updates, last-minute vacations and weekend getaways all come together to become the bane of every social media existence for those stuck at home. How can you compete with “Best summer experience” introductions during sylly week when the best you can offer is that time you managed to drunkenly cram four slices of pizza in your mouth at once? Luckily, some Internet wizardry can make it possible to showcase an exotic summer that puts every carefully framed profile picture to shame.
Of course, the bedroom of your studio probably doesn’t resemble an exotic beach locale. If your Photoshop skills are lacking, plenty of local landmarks can provide just what you need to create a stellar fake-cation. Always wanted to try an African safari? Good thing there’s a conveniently intimidating lion statue on campus just waiting for a photo op. Just slap some filters on that shit and wait for the likes to roll in. Beach getaway calling your name? Blow up a kiddy pool and break out the best bikini–some strategic angles later and you’re relaxing on the shore. Bonus points if you can manage to leave the allure of snacks and Netflix to actually get a believable tan.
Every artfully-lit Insta shot of a Peruvian ice crab soufflé make you want to chuck your instant ramen out the window? Don’t let some serious food envy derail your plans! A trek to Uncle Chen’s plus some takeout chopsticks = instant trip to Beijing. Coffee and donuts stop on your way to summer classes? You mean a stop at Beignets à être trempés, one of your favorite bakeries in the south of France (French press prop and béret are optional, but highly recommended).
The final but most important step: adopting a cover story. Penn State’s pretty huge, but the odds of never running into someone you know are about as slim as you actually visiting any place you claim to have had a life-changing experience in. Whether it’s a cover story or just utilizing impressive ninja-like stealth, you’re gonna need a plan to avoid the public eye. The long-lost identitical twin is always a crowd pleaser, added points if you adopt the evil persona.
With these guidelines in mind, you’re ready to embark on the pseudo-trip of a lifetime! Feel free to supplement with a few airplane wing shots and some inspirational quotes about traveling and life’s journeys and you’re all set. Make sure you don’t forget the obligatory photo recap and musing on the life lessons you learned while away!