Daily Jambo

Dutch Student Fakes 5 Weeks Vacation across South East Asia

Published: 12.09.2014
Reading time: 8 minutes


Zilla van den Born deceived her loved ones into thinking she was enjoying an exotic five-week holiday across South East Asia as part of a university project. 

But the 25-year-old was actually still at home in Amsterdam and used Photoshop to create the authentic images before posting them on Facebook.

Zilla said, 'I did this to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media - we create an ideal world online which reality can no longer meet.

'My goal was to prove how common and easy it is for people to distort reality. Everyone knows that pictures of models are manipulated, but we often overlook the fact that we manipulate reality also in our own lives.'

The graphics student was waved off at the airport by her family before she took a train back to Amsterdam and spent the following 42 days indoors cleverly altering images.

Over the course of five weeks Zilla seemed to enjoy snorkelling, sample authentic Asian food, travel in traditional tuk-tuks and she even visited a Buddhist temple.

But in reality the photographs were taken in her own swimming pool, or using venues around Amsterdam - and the authentic Asian food was in fact cooked by Zilla herself.

She even created the illusion of a Thai hotel room in her own bedroom, using old Christmas decorations and an umbrella, to fool her parents during Skype sessions.

If all of that wasn't enough she sent text messages in the middle of the night and posted Asian souvenirs that she had actually bought from local shops.

Eventually the truth was revealed to her family and friends and their reaction was captured on video.  

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