Watch a short film made in the unseen parts of Mexico, by the brains behind Trippin – an app for a new generation of travellers
From this month, the beach location from Danny Boyle’s cult wanderlust dystopian movie The Beach will be closed annually for several months, in a bid to help the Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh island recover from the waves of tourists. Since the film's release 18 years ago, thousands of fans have descended on the tiny Thai island, causing ongoing environmental damage. The film, starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio, is about escapism, hedonism, shark attacks, and the fragility imposed by gentrification – but mostly it’s a sweat-drenched dream about the pursuit of a hidden paradise.
Thanks to cheap air flight travel, package holidays, and social media, holiday destinations have become subject to trends. Brits pack out Croatian beaches one year, and the bars in Holbox the next. Globalisation and mobile technology have proven to be both vehicles to access discovery and sturdy affronts to any travellers looking to climb a path less trodden. A new-gen travel app, Trippin, introduces hope for the future of travel, with an anti- ‘Gap Yah’ mission that inspires people to think more deeply about how they explore the world. The anti-trend travel collective, who believe “getting lost” is good for the soul, is fronted by 29-year-old DJ Yasmin Shahmir, 26-year-old strategist Sam Blenkinsopp, and 25-year-old tech-head Kesang Ball.
United by the belief that “travel changes the world”, the trio are determined to enrich the time we spend experiencing the world around us, from the Isle of Skye to Shanghai. The app, which has just been released on the App Store, allows you to create and share travel playlists. You’ll be able to log every spot you visit and fall in love with, and share them with your friends to discover the world’s best-kept secrets. Follow playlists curated by their community of travelling tastemakers as well as their “frequent flyers” (big time creatives in the worlds of music and the arts).
The crew travelled out to Mexico at the end of 2017, and for six weeks worked solidly on the app, living and working ensconced in the nature of Zihuatanejo and its local community. They documented the trip with director and photographer Will Reid, shooting a dreamy short film entitled A Day in Paradise, premiering here on Dazed. “I’m not sure Trippin would be what it is if we hadn’t left the office,” observes Kesang. “We caught some of the magic there.”
While breathtakingly beautiful and atmospheric, A Day in Paradise exemplifies the sense of responsibility and an expansive, considerate world view Trippin champions in its travellers. “Most of Zihuatanejo’s local economy is boosted with tourism,” explains Yasmin. “There are no party scenes or knocking back the shots of tequila in the film. It was really to show people that to meet the locals, to make friends with the locals, see where they go, is a way you can protect a place.”
Ultimately, Trippin aspires to encourage a generation of better travellers, who want to protect the places they’re lucky enough to explore. “It’s about boosting local culture, instead of going and spending all your money in a hotel that’s probably American-owned on Mexican soil,” Yasmin continues. “Seek out these people, seek out these experiences. You see the way people speak in the film, they love it when people come there and they love to share their paradise. It gives them such pride and puts the power in their hands.”