Students document trip abroad on Instagram

Students document trip abroad on Instagram

Sarah Dodson and Sara Frese stand at the Pont des Arts in Paris. Photo Courtesy of Sara Frese

Paige Burleson

“Leading up to our decision to study abroad for a semester, we would always be ‘mentioning’ each other in Instagram pictures showcasing scenes from around the world and this kind of fed our excitement for going abroad,” Dodson said. “Once London became our pick, we figured we could make an account of our own, but one that went more in depth than the typical destination accounts since it would be coming from two different perspectives and focused mainly on one city for a 
whole semester.”

Dodson and Frese decided on “Sayjourning” as their shared 
Instagram name.

“Conveniently we’re both Sara[h], so we figured a play on words would be cool,” Dodson said. “‘Sayjourning’ stems from ‘sojourn,’ which in its verb form means to stay temporarily in a place and seeing that ‘Say’ is a nickname that friends call each of us, we combined the two and considered it a perfect fit.”

Frese said she wanted to have a joint account as a means to capture and record their surroundings in London, a drastic change from Tuscaloosa.

“We thought the account would simply be a way to express our new perspective in a candid and instant way, although spotty Wi-Fi here has proven to delay the ‘instant’ effect to some degree,” she said. “We hoped to capture and post images that we may not necessarily remember later, and we liked the idea of the images being all together, easily accessed.”

Jessica Dante is the editor-in-chief at The Abroad Guide, a blog that discuses a variety of aspects of studying abroad.

“Instagram is important because memories fade much quicker than you think, so the fact that something even exists that can capture these memories for us to look at years down the line is just mind blowing,” she said. “And sharing these memories means that the people at home who see them can understand what you’re doing and experiencing while you’re abroad.”

Dodson and Frese have posted around 90 photos and counting to the “Sayjourning” Instagram account. They have traveled to a few cities in the United Kingdom, Dublin and Amsterdam. Frese said her favorite post on their Instagram is the one 
captioned “Doors of Dublin.”

“We arrived at Merrion Square and we were giddy walking around the square, taking photos at each colorful door,” Frese said. “It must have been a sight to see, but we were able to capture the beautiful doors on our account.”

Dodson and Frese said they have different preferences about their favorite kind of picture to take.

“I have most enjoyed photographing food, like meals, coffee and treats,” Frese said. “Food is always a highlight of each day, so our account expresses that, but I still feel a bit awkward taking the pictures.”

Dodson, on the other hand, said she enjoys taking pictures of buildings and 
scenic landscapes.

“Selfies have not been as big of a priority as I thought they might be because I’ve kind of [had a] ‘Why would I ruin such a pretty shot by sticking my head in the middle’ mindset when taking pictures,” she said.

The Instagram users edit their pictures using different editing apps, including Afterlight and VSCO Cam.

Dodson and Frese post about their semester on Instagram in order to share their journey with others, they said.

“It seems we post when we feel any sort of emotion or attachment to an image,” Frese said. “It inspired us, it made us laugh, it was beautiful, it was ironic, it 
was memorable.”