It's kind of easy to hate people you follow on Instagram when they go overseas. They're off doing fun stuff like trawling exotic spice markets and writing 'wanderlust' in the sand with a stick while you're stuck scrolling on public transport, a million miles away from any infinity pool. Because it's the year 2015, there's now a service offering personal Instagram photography so that you too can clog the feed with dreamy, aspirational travel snaps—all without having to take a single selfie.
El Camino is a boutique travel company aimed at the sort of tech-savvy millennials who are a bit too cool for Contiki tours. They offer trips for small groups of 12 to far-flung places like Nicaragua and Colombia (and next year, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago). A personal photographer travels alongside the group, capturing their each and every move from salsa dancing to bathing in mud volcanos. Each morning the travellers are sent around 20 photos to use at will on social media (with the selection criteria probably being, "What will make our mates back home the most jealous?").
On surface level it sounds a bit ridiculous, but there's actually a lot of merit to El Camino (and their booked-out trips and 20K Instagram followers prove that they're onto something). The founders Katalina Mayorga and Marianna Jamadia, who launched the company in April last year, are their own target audience. With a mission statement of "be a traveller, not a tourist," they've gone to great lengths to offer curated itineraries that offer experiences you wouldn't come across on Lonely Planet or Trip Advisor. They want their clients to actually connect with the place's people and culture—think surfing lessons with the locals who grew up on the Maderas waves, or cigar rolling workshops in tobacco fields. They also give 3% of profits to a local social entrepreneur.
And after all, wouldn't it be nice to leave the iPhone behind, actually engage with the surroundings you've paid thousands of dollars to be amongst, and end up with some profesh pics?
This article originally appeared on The Creators Project This article is presented in partnership with Captain Morgan