Experiencing the world from my couch.
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I’ve never been an avid user of Instagram. At most, I found it a platform I’d used to to hurriedly type “how to fix…” when I knew I made a true mess of things.
So naturally, I didn’t come across Kraig Adams on my own accord.
It was a cold and sombre Melbourne evening, where my partner, his housemate and I were settled in for the couch for some mindless scrolling of Netflix. That’s about the extent of exciting plans in Winter 2020, with our Covid-19 Stage Four restrictions basically barring us from going outside.
The restrictions were starting to get to us, as cabin fever boredom well and truly settled in with us like a guest overstating their welcome who really, really, didn’t get the hint that they should leave.
My partner’s housemate flicked half-heartedly over to Youtube, and played the first suggested video under the “travel” category. It just happened to be Kraig Adams.
As the video began, I felt my mouth open into a small “o” as I turned my full attention to his vlog as his journey began.
The beauty of Japan’s landscapes and bustling cities were beautifully encapsulated in his journey, as almost an ASMR experience as we watch his wide pan of the sprawling seaside, the rolling country, and the breathtaking cities. He combines it with his quirky personal experiences like eating food he, and probably his viewers, absolutely can’t identify!
Pre Covid, I had spent a month backpacking around Japan and held the country extremely close to my heart. It was my first big trip as an adult, and it didn’t disappoint. To be able to reminisce with the others throughout Kraig’s video made us almost feel like we were right back there with him, peering up at the ancient Shinto shrines and sipping on sake for the first time (it has a kick, I assure you).
It was like we were watching our travels back with him, occasionally myself or someone else would explain “oh, I remember this!” or “I can’t believe he ate that!”. I felt a sense of giddiness that I experienced when I looked back on my own travel videos.
I had never met Kraig, nor had he met me. But I felt like we had this common ground through his travel, that all of his viewers would feel like we were walking alongside him the whole time.
When his Japanese adventure ended, I quickly selected the next video by him. A majority document his hikes through North America, some videos even extending four hours.
Combined with the relaxed instrumental pieces, I was encapsulated and transported to wherever he took us. Through snow-capped mountains, ragged cliff faces, and beaten paths, I sat transfixed.
Considering my lack of current travel, this could have been a terrible tease for me. Like wiggling some chicken in front of my cat’s face just out of reach, I could have finished his videos feeling hungry and envious that he could experience this while I hadn’t moved from my couch in the last five hours.
Instead, I felt at peace.
It’s a sort of meditation, watching him delicately cross through nature. I couldn’t quite pick out why these videos stuck with me so, when every second influencer on social media had to create a collage of their own experiences overseas. But it was a calm wanderlust, an ASMR for avid travellers, perhaps?
If you're feeling restless, and can't quite remember what the world looks like beyond your own front door, I highly recommend looking at Kraig Adam's Youtube channel. Let's hope the world can heal, and we can begin to use these sorts of travel videos as sources of inspiration for travels in the future.