The sun was shining which put a big smile on my face, as I walked to the train station. I was imagining all the great practise I was going to get. I hopped on the train and sat on one of the ugly green chairs. I tried to sudtely take out my phone, held it at arm’s length, gave my best smile to the facetime camera and pressed record. “I’m so excited that you are joining me on this beautiful sunny day.” It wasn’t perfect, but I was fully aware that I was looking slightly odd to the people around me and I was feeling self conscious.
I pressed send to my snapchat story. An audience of the few friends who have snapchat and a few other travel bloggers who had kindly added me back. I didn’t really want a big audience anyway, not whilst I was still practising with this new medium of snapchat blogging.
What is snapchat? It’s simply an instant messaging app, a bit like Facebook messenger but based around photos, that you can do fun things with. There’s also the ability to create a story, that people can choose to watch, where you can post photos and video. The stories only last 24 hours and this gives a behind the scenes kind of feel.
I knew exactly where I wanted to start, in my head it was going to be perfect. Unfortunately the glaring morning sun had other ideas and I couldn’t get the picture that I wanted, it was not going to be the big reveal I wanted but I acted British and continued on regardless: “because travel doesn’t have to be far, look where I am”, I then panned from the iconic bubbly selfridges architecture to the old church. With the right lighting it would have been amazing. This was average and amateurish.
I then took out my camera to practise and tried to get some better shots of this talking point of Birmingham. In true English style this is when it started raining. I decided to head to Victoria Square and get a coffee.
I wanted to showcase this city, that I have lived so close to for most of my adult life, in the same light as I see it. I wanted to show why I loved this city and why it should be a tourist destination.
I grabbed a coffee, and then noticed something quite random in the coffee house, a women with what looked like a mini spinning wheel. It was random. Turned out they have a knitting club there. I love random stuff and added it to my snapchat story. In retrospect, it really isn’t very interesting, and I think it was at about that point some people stopped watching.
As I wanted to see the city from the perspective of a tourist, I thought what better way than to jump on a tourist bus. This was a telling sign that there were only about 10 people on this bus which only runs 3 times on a Saturday and on a Sunday, that Birmingham does not attract the tourist market.
I wanted to do a snap, sat on this open top bus with the wind blowing my hair everywhere, it wasn’t too easy. Aware that there were a couple behind me wondering what on Earth I was doing, I started to speak to the phone. A car alarm rudely interrupted me. I started again, but it wasn’t good, so I tried again and again. I gave up in the end and just posted it anyway. The tour bus was amazing and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who visits Birmingham or lives here.
I had some time before my next booked tour, so I ran into Birmingham museum and art gallery. It was here that I realised something. Would people who use snapchat even care about a museum? My target audience for this trip wasn’t someone who would have a snapchat account. I did a quick snap and made my way to the mailbox.
I tried not to lose heart, and continued in the vain of practise. It was disappointing I couldn’t take any video footage on the BBC Birmingham tour. Again something I’d put in a top 10 list of things to see in Birmingham (expect a blog for this soon). I tried to get the view from the top of the library but the day had turned quite dull and windy. Quite the opposite to the sun soaked beaches of the travel bloggers I’d been stalking on snapchat.
I went for a cup of tea and slice of cake and called it a day.
I loved my day, loved seeing Birmingham as a tourist and loved snapchat blogging; so much fun. Even if I missed the first rule: know your audience. I’m certainly not done with using snapchat, I just have to pick a better more snapchatable activity next time.
If you’d like to follow me on snapchat you can find me @RapunzPassport