What does "Fresh Air" mean to us? Well, if you take a look at your Instragram, it apparently means everything to the Digital Age. I wonder, if it wasn’t for social media, would any of these people who are taking all these outdoor adventure photos really be taking these photos? And if not, is technology actually making us get outside more? But at what cost? In this Digital Age we are obsessed with the idea of adventure and pushing the limits, going beyond just putting a “pretty” filter on a photograph. People are standing on the edge of buildings and buying airfare to get them to such beautiful places. But when they arrive at their destination, they get the photo they want and then it's time to move on to the next place. What happened to enjoying your surroundings and not just “doing it for the [Insta] Gram”. At times I feel almost robbed of wonder and adventure when I realize people are flying all over the world simply for their social media platform, for more likes and followers. But hey, I'm just as guilty, and I’m sure you are too, of whipping out your phone or camera to capture your surrounds. But did you enjoy the surrounds past the viewpoint of your iPhone?
I recently took a trip to Cancun, Mexico and was on a beach that was absolutely beautiful. The water was crystal clear. The locals were the only ones that knew about it. It was one of the most breathtaking sceneries I’ve seen. It wasn’t “typical Cancun”. I was there to enjoy the scenery and experience the vacation as much as I could. There I was on my beach chair, looking through all the beautiful washed up coral, and out of nowhere appears a crowd of men and women in their early twenties, dressed incredibly well for the beach, with bags of beach accessories. I didn’t even think anything of it because well, lets enjoy the beach! I noticed they all got out their “selfie sticks” (or “the stick of narcissism” as my friend calls it), and started taking photos and posing for these photos, which is fine. We should all take our photos; heck, it was beautiful there. But what got me is once they got all their photos they packed up, took all their fancy clothes off, and went to the bar. Now, most people would get annoyed with this situation, but honestly people should do whatever they want on their vacations. Maybe sitting around is not what some people think a vacation is about. It made me sad because these situations are now what the Twenty-First Century is: we all look like we are having a great time. But are we really?
Visitors decided to choose "Fresh Air" as the topic for our second issue because we want our readers to know about some of those adventure seekers out there who think fresh air is everything. It may be part of their social media platform, but they crave getting out there, and would keep getting out there even if the internet crashed and social media magically disintegrated. We also wanted to know about the diehard "Fresh Air" seekers, maybe documenting their travels here and there, but could care less about how many followers they have. What matters to some is getting outside and being at peace with themselves. There's nothing like the feeling of pushing yourself and physically exploring through such beautiful wonders the world has to offer.
You will see that in each interview in this issue, we ask: What does "Fresh Air" mean to you? The answers vary, and are all beautiful in their own way.
We don’t care if you take photos of your travels; frankly I’m sure most people don’t care. What we hope you are doing is getting out there, and doing everything you’ve always wanted. And in this issue were present some of the people making "Fresh Air" their priority.
Article by Lydia Claussen