Use Snapchat Maps To Get A Realistic View Of A Destination

Since I just took a one-day visa run from Vietnam to Thailand (and back), I had a lot of time on my flights to reflect on my nomad journey. I’ve been traveling since 2017 and it is wild to think of all the journeys I’ve been on – plus the mistakes I’ve learned from. 😂

One of the most common things I used to do when visiting somewhere new was set unrealistic expectations. Many times, I would choose destinations/hotels/excursions based solely on the Instagram photos I was seeing. I should say upfront, every single trip (no matter what) was completely worth it and I made amazing memories! BUT, there were times I was expecting something different than what I actually saw/experienced (the heavy filters tricked me!).

I found that a good way to get the true feeling of a place (and food/people/social) before visiting is by using Snapchat Maps. If there’s a destination you’d like to visit because of all of the aesthetic photos on IG, also check out Snapchat Maps to see other views of the destination. Snapchat isn’t as curated, aesthetic, or filtered (it still is, but it’s definitely more realistic!) – so you can get a better vibe of a city or experience. It’s also interesting to check out Snapchat Maps when large world events are happening in real-time!

I remember when I first moved to Krabi Town, Thailand – when I searched it on IG and Google, I was seeing lots of pics of white sand beaches and turquoise water. I was SO excited to live in paradise! So I was very surprised when I arrived and realized Krabi Town didn’t actually have the white sand beaches I was expecting. Instead, I was living next to a large brown river (still paradise…just different. 😂). Could I have done better research? Absolutely. Was living there still worth it? 100%.

I don’t want to deter anyone from traveling to the beautiful places you see on IG (or Google Maps or Facebook)!! Just always remember that what you see online can be a bit different than the reality. By using Snapchat Maps, it helps manage expectations. Instead of being letdown that the pink sand beaches aren’t that pink, you’ll go in with an unfiltered lens – and still have an amazing time! And the best is when places exceed your expectations (which happens more often than not!).


Instagram vs. Reality – Pink Sand Beach


Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.




On Saturday, I did a quick one-day trip to Thailand! Unfortunately, Vietnam only grants 30-day visas (boooo!), so that means I have to leave the country every 30 days. The two most popular ways to do a ‘visa run’ is to take a bus to Laos or fly to a neighboring country. The Laos trip takes a bit longer and I wanted to visit Thailand again – even if for just a few hours! Many people turn their visa runs into vacations, but I just wanted to get it done and be back in Da Nang (plus, it’s surprisingly cheaper than the bus!)!

So I flew from Da Nang to Bangkok and spent a few hours in the airport. I was so happy to hear “sawadee ka” again and see all the prayer hands; it’s a habit I picked up when I lived in Thailand and still do it to this day when greeting people. Makes me so happy!

The visa run consisted of A LOT of lines and waiting. Check-ins, security, boarding, and the dreadful immigration lines. Can’t believe I went through 4 sets of immigration check-points in one day! But I DID take advantage of my ‘lunch break’ in Bangkok. I got a big bowl of my favorite dish in the whole entire world: Khao Soi. Then I got some Thai tea (YUM!) and then bought some mango sticky rice and some Thai food meal kits to bring home.

Check out my entire trip within 60 seconds here! 🎥🇹🇭

The funniest part was seeing people that were on both of the same flights as me – lots and lots of people doing visa runs this way! I’ll probably do this one or two more times – but Ninh and I may turn my next visa run into a longer stay in Thailand. Oh, the life of a nomad! 😉

With love,


With Love Andrea 8

You are magic. ✨

Welcome, I’m Andrea!

I’m a passionate dream therapist, business alchemist, and wandering nomad – living my dream life. With a love for teaching the gifts of our dreams (day & night) and sharing every day magic, I guide spirits like you on transformative journeys to manifest their dream lives. You must be here for a reason… Take a look around and feel free to connect – I’d love to meet you!

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